Topic: Steps to creating quality software/Software Development Cycle
There is a general procedure to how software is created that can help assure that there is a baseline for quality – a plan for how the software should work, what functions it can complete, what the customer of the software wants and more. Out of six steps in the design process, three have to do with coming up with the design, and the last three steps have to do with implementing the ideas altogether and ultimately creating something useful.
The first of six stages has to do with planning out the course of development. With a good plan set in place, developers know exactly how the program should work and what steps/pieces of code is needed to accomplish the finalization of the software package. If one were to lack a good plan, progress might be made solely on a whim and a group of developers may not be able to work together as easily. Without a shared vision, developers may end up working on a portion of the project that is redundant or unnecessary. There may be times where they are working on separate portions of the project, making good progress, but with a good plan comes an easier development cycle.
The second stage begins and is still a part of the development process throughout the other stages: this stage has to do with analyzing the code/entirety of the software throughout the rest of the stages of development. With good analyzing skills shared across the developers comes a project that rarely has many serious issues in its development. Problems with the code will be pointed out and fixed more often if the team practices analyzing the code on a consistent basis. Without analyzing the code, unseen errors can build up and the format of the code could worsen.
The third stage has to do with the design of the project. This is where the structure and backbone of the software is created. With a good design, the system is easier to understand to the developers. With a poor design, pieces of code may be left in places they shouldn’t be, organization may not be up to par, and developers just will not have the ease they could have in making the project come to life.
The forth stage comes directly off the heels of the design stage, because this stage is where ideas are implemented into the design. At this stage, the software is starting to reach a place where it could be run and tested. It is evaluated to see if it is running correctly. The fifth stage requires enough implemented features to be able to run a prototype of the software.
The fifth stage is the testing stage. This stage is crucial in weeding out any errors and in helping the developers reconsider the design of the program during their next Sprint or development cycle concerning the software. Without good testing, the code could run improperly, creating false outputs or having code that could run much quicker than what is currently implemented.
Once the software is done being designed, analyzed, tested and with features implemented, the final stage begins: maintaining the software through its various releases. Once the software is released, it may still be in an in-development state (it may be an early alpha or a beta version of the code, not released officially.) The project needs to be consistently evaluated and code should be tweaked/deleted/created when necessary to further update the project and to be able to release newer versions of the program. Many, many projects – whether productivity software or builds of a video game – remain in this stage for a very long time, until the developers consider the software complete and in need of no further editing and maintaining. The game is released, the software becomes officially available to the public (not still stuck in the beta stage or earlier) and the developers can move onto different projects.
Following this set of events in order and with care helps the creators of software maintain the quality of the project. It is easier to develop on a project that has been planned out and tested throughout the implementation of features and design of the program as a whole.
The quality of the software can be assured through the careful execution of each step of the development process. Until next time,