Whether you want to start learning how to create software for yourself or you want to familiarize yourself with the software development process, you should familiarize yourself with the software creation process. There are a few steps each piece of successful software goes through during the creation process, which ensures quality and functionality. This article is a non-exhaustive list of the most important steps, why they are important, and how you can carry them out.
Research and Requirement Gathering
An extremely important step, especially for more complex tasks, a successful software development process needs a lot of research and information gathering before even one line of code is written.
If you want a software solution for professional purposes, such as launching an online market or expanding your business’s operations, it is extremely hard to get the software development right - what operations are necessary for the program to perform? How can it facilitate communication between different people using it? How crucial is each operation and what is the cost of failure? These are just a few of the questions you need to know the answer of before outsourcing it to software developers to start working on the software solution or creating it yourself.
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you’ll quickly find out that the finished product is missing a few key functions, some of the operations aren’t up to your standards while other operations are being over-polished, and you will have difficulty adapting the software to your growing business as time goes on.
Next step in the process is prototyping - since the father of philosophy, man has realized that language is an imperfect vehicle for communication, and misunderstanding is bound to happen, but the purpose of a good software development plan is to minimize misunderstandings, and more importantly, minimize the cost resulting from it. Imagine spending a lot of man-hours trying to come up with an excellent software requirements specification (SRS), and then you proceeded to spend a lot of time, effort, and money developing the software program. If at the end of all this, you found out that there was a fundamental misunderstanding between you and the client, you’d lose a ton of money and, potentially, a very angry client that might leave a bad review for your software development agency.
Prototyping is the answer to all these problems - you can create a barebones version of the software solution that includes some of the key features and displays the looks-and-feels of the program and presents it to the client. If you get the go-ahead, then you can start developing the software extensively.
If you are commissioning a software development agency to create the software for you, you don’t have to worry at all about this stage. You’ll probably hear from the agency a couple of times about some details, but other than that, unless you want to be more involved in the process, you’ll just have to wait for the software solution to finish.
On the other hand, if you’re the one developing the software, this is the longest and most technically demanding part of the process:
- You need to make sure you follow the SRS when creating the software.
- Keep flexibility and extensibility in mind - most clients want features added and changed over time, and you need to plan for this by following accepted software development practices and code in such a way that you can easily extend the software solution’s function in the future.
While it is impossible to weed out all the bugs and mistakes in a software program, especially a big one, it is important to conduct sufficient tests to ensure all the main functionalities work as intended.
One smart way to approach this is by coming up with the list of functions the software solution is intended to perform and then sorting them from the most important functions to the least important. Focus on the functionality at the top of the list and ensure everything is okay there because bugs and mistakes there could cause much more damage.
Release and Marketing
This section is only for those developers who want to release their software solutions to the public, and if you’re one of them, you need to know how to advertise for your software solution and let potential clients know you have a solution for their problems.
You can start by creating a website, posting about your software solution on forums, and buying some ad space for it where some potentially interested people might see it. Although, these take a lot of time to bear fruit, and software engineers are notoriously bad at marketing, so you are fighting an uphill battle.
If you find out you are not having any success marketing on your own, you can always hire an SEO agency like Neadoo Digital SEO agency to help you rank first in Google searches making a lot of people find out about you!