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Software life cycle: What is the process for software development?

What are the differences between hardware and software? Types and examples

All the things we buy and consume are derived from a production process that goes far beyond what we can see as consumers. But the reality is that before being conceived every article was just an idea, and materializing it is a long road with several phases .

With computer programs this is no different. The well-known software life cycle is a sample of them , and it makes it clear that to create a program, certain methods and paradigms must be followed.

In this article we are going to show you everything you need to know about the software life cycle . You will know the different phases of this process, and all the paradigms that surround it so that you understand what a program looks like from the eyes of a developer.

What is the software life cycle and what is it? this process?

The life cycle of a program or software is nothing more than the pragmatic model that a team of developers follows to create a digital product. This model is not unique, and the term is used in a more general way , since each team can follow its own path to develop software.

The truth is that the model chosen will largely determine the activities carried out during the process. This process is a long way that goes from the conception of the ideal of the software, the analysis of the problem and its intention, until the later launch to the market. This is a whole thesis to determine why software is necessary and its usefulness in the industry .

What are the stages of the life cycle of a program and what does each one consist of?

The life cycle of a program is a long process that can be compared to the production of a film. In both cases , you first have a vague idea that is subsequently given form until you get a final result as close as expected possible.

However, there are three stages that will always be present in your conception:

Planning

Planning is the first stage of software development. In her the bases of the project are laid down, the problem is analyzed and the ways in which the product will solve them are raised. The development team is also chosen, and then the work schedule is established .

It is a basic stage in the production of any good or service, and in computer development it is one of the most important, since a large part of the final result will depend on it.

Implementation and testing

In the second phase, once you have the clear ideas of what you want to get, the implementation of all of them begins. It is at this time that all work begins and programmers do not stop until they have a prototype of the program for testing .

Testing is one of the most complex stages in the development of any program, since it is in it that the test is tested. Each of the functionalities will be tested to evaluate its performance in real conditions that it will have to face in its launch .

In this phase, test launches are usually made, which are popularly known as “betas” or “demo”, in which a small population of users uses the program to give your first impressions. The results of all this are so important that many programs don’t see the light of the fact that they don’t get enough positive opinions from beta testers.

Launch and maintenance

Once the program is tested and with guarantees, the launch phase begins, which is basically putting it on the market to be sold. Here the marketing team puts their knowledge to work to spread the material and get the expected users .

However, the most important part here is undoubtedly the maintenance of the program, which implies that the development team is constantly detecting failures or making improvements to it, which we constantly know as updates. This is extremely necessary since outdated software is obsolete in less than a year .

What are all the processes in the development of a software?

The three phases explained above contain within them a series of more complex processes that are individually important for software development.

Here we discuss each one of them:

Request collection

Once the development team is assembled, what is known as requirements gathering begins. For this, an analysis of the main problem is carried out and the applications are classified into three types; system requirements, user requirements and functional requirements .

With all this what is achieved is a clear idea of ​​what are the needs of the user who will use the program, the requirements of each of the features that will be added to it, and the requirements of the program to perform each of these functions . In a way, it’s like checking out what’s going to be solved, what needs to be done to fix it, and what it takes to get each solution up and running.

Feasibility analysis

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We continue in the planning phase. The feasibility study is an analysis that is carried out to perfectly idealize the needs of the user and especially to determine if all these needs can be solved or not by the program. In addition, also asks if the program is really necessary or if it might become unnecessary .

Feasibility studies other things of great importance, such as whether or not it is economically profitable to carry out a project of such magnitude, as well as how shocking the software can be in its respective market. Once all these variables are put on the table , it is determined whether development continues or not.

System study

Once the project is approved, the last stage of the planning phase begins. In this step, what is done is a complete study of what is the best design to create a software with the functions established above, so that its development is as accurate as possible. This is where you think about the interface, the functionalities and all the resources that will be needed to create the program .

Design

The design depends largely on the previous point. At this stage they think about the aesthetic and functional aspect of the program, determining how and where each of the tools, colors and even the favicon of the shortcut to be installed on the user’s desktop can be activated. To do all this many times they conduct surveys among potential users, as well as other strategies .

Programming

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Once the template of what the program should look like is known, the longest stage begins, as is its programming. There is not much to say here without entering a highly technical field , the important thing is that it is in this process that the software is written and encoded.

Testing

Once you have the first version of the program, the testing phase begins. To do this, you can launch “beta” so that a community of users can access the software and try it out so they can give a first impression of it later.

Release

If the program passes the tests, the relevant improvements are made and it is officially launched, where it enters the market and begins to be marketed. For this, a team of marketing experts is usually delegated to make the project gain visibility .

Maintenance

Finally, it is necessary to delegate a team of programmers to constantly monitor the program to detect possible failures or possible improvements that must be evaluated and then implemented in what is popularly known as “updates”. b>

What are the paradigms that are followed in program development computer science?

The entire life cycle of a program is determined primarily by the paradigm that is followed. The paradigms are a series of pre-established norms that help a team of developers to have a guide to the steps they must follow to start their project.

There are three types of paradigms, and here are what they are :

Traditional

Throughout history, different models of software creation have been developed. The first that were used at the beginning of this science were given the classification of “traditional”. There is no exact model that should be followed to the letter, but a series of instructions for create the best possible strategy.

Traditional models are characterized by drawing an ordered line with the steps that must be followed from beginning to end. The problem with them is that if an error or failure is detected in the early stages in an advanced phase, the project must be restructured .

Object oriented

The object-oriented paradigm is one of the most used currently and draws a three-phase path; classification, collection of applications and design, which are fundamental in the development of the program. But the most important feature of this is that the main idea is that the source code of the software can be reused to integrate into other more complex applications or create similar softwares.

That is why the “classification” is done, to determine in principle what the program will be. Thus, when determined for example, as a media player, its source code can be used to create another player that inherits its most important characteristics, so that whoever takes the code can make their own arrangements to create a more powerful version or limited thereof.

This simple idea completely changed the industry, especially with the launch of open source tools that could be taken by any novice programmer to do their own wonders, creating a highly competitive environment that led to the development of new development techniques.

Agile development

This paradigm is based on the idea of ​​streamlining the software development process to the fullest. This simply eliminates or ignores a large part of the processes mentioned above , especially the most complex, such as feasibility analysis or requirements collection. With this in mind, the team can focus directly on programming and program design.

Another feature of this paradigm is that it seeks to solve user problems in the fastest and most practical way possible. This is the principle used by tools of use “one click” , which seek to minimize the influence of the user, automating all processes to the maximum.

Currently this is the most used current, although it is often combined with object-oriented methods that also work perfectly.

Under which models can the life cycle of a software?

What you just knew are the paradigms, which are the ideals that are followed to create a model for the development of a program. These models also depend heavily on the planning of the development team, that is, that each one structures them in their own way. However, you can identify certain models that have been so effective that they are still being replicated to achieve successful software:

Cascade model

This is one of the most commonly used traditional paradigm models. As expected, it establishes a series of processes that must be carried out in a specific order, that is, that cannot be advanced until the previous process is finished.

In this sense the following steps must be performed :

  • Requirements collection.
  • Software design.
  • Software construction or implementation.
  • Integration.
  • Testing (or validation).
  • Deployment (or installation).
  • Maintenance.

Coiled

This is a traditional model that differs from the other by the fact of performing a risk analysis periodically during the program development stage. In this sense, the aforementioned processes continue in the same order .

Code n ‘Fix

Coding and correction is an agile development model that is based on the immediate creation of code by skipping many processes such as risk analysis, design and others. In the end, as expected, errors will be found, which will be corrected until a clean version of the program is obtained .

Iterative

This is one of the oldest object-oriented development models known so far. It is based on the creation of prototypes , whose source code was subsequently used for the creation of another program or its integration into a more advanced tool. In many cases, the prototypes obtained were so good, that they were considered a fine product l.

This model also has traditional features, such as the fact that a series of processes are also followed for its full development: initialization, iteration and checklist.

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