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by Zhabhiya

9 Min Read | Mon, 20 Nov 2023

What is Software Development, and What Are the Different Types?

The global number of software developers is foreseen to reach 28.7 million by 2024

As the software industry progresses, questions like what software development is and how it works occur to more and more people. 

To choose the best software for your business is imperative because choosing the wrong software can lead to loss in revenue and overall growth. 

So, let’s dive in!

What is Software Development? Explained 

Software development is a method where you design, create, and maintain various software applications. Once the software is designed, it moves on to the testing parts to ensure it is well-functioning and free from loopholes. 

The base of any software development program requires mathematical analysis, a bunch of computer science techniques and methods, and excellent engineering. Apart from that, every software development program aims to build a system or software that is user-friendly, reliable, and streamlined. 

Requirement gathering and analysis are foundational steps of software development. This is one of the most crucial and time-consuming phases, which leads to the next phase. We will further discuss in-depth requirements gathering and analysis in software development.

Why is Software Development Important?

The digital world has made a prominent mark on the business industry. Today, a business must practice online marketing to be successful. Software development is a significant part of the digital industry as there is a growing demand for mobile apps in every field. 

The chances of generating and multiplying revenue for a business become much higher with a well-constructed online platform. That being said, here are three reasons that explain the vitality of a software development platform. 

  1. Brand Promotion 

Software development tools can boost your brand's visibility and help you expand your reach. It promotes your business to people worldwide with access to standard devices like smartphones and computers. 

  1.  Improves Customer Service And Sales Experience

One common thing in the digital and business world is that customer opinions and feedback are at the pinnacle. Constant customer reviews help you improve your business services to enhance their experiences. 

An online platform like an app or a website can help you record this feedback for improved performance and bottom line. You can also use your online platform to display the positive reviews of your clients and use them as organic testimonials. 

  1. Open And Direct Communication 

A brand or business must maintain open communication with its audience. While that may be possible through different mediums, software development can only fill the physical gap between the clients and the brand’s management.

4 Primary Software Types of Development You Should Know About

Software development is an abundant field with fruitful results and resources. Hence, we will discuss the four primary types of software development tools that can provide exceptional support to your business. 

  1. Web Development 

Web development is one of the leading and most popular fields of software development today. As the woo-commerce industry expands, software development frameworks have been a significant support. 

More and more businesses are migrating online due to the potential of expanding their clientele and generating greater revenue with less investment. 

At its core, web development involves creating web applications, pages, and websites. An online server generally hosts these applications, so anyone with a screen and internet connection can access them. 

  1. Application Development 

Application development has a targeted approach where it solves a specific problem or provides a set of services to users. Tasks like writing and editing, video games, video or audio calling, etc., are a few examples where application development is used.

Even though most people today prefer to use apps on their mobile devices, they can be used anywhere, depending on the software development methodologies used in the creation process. Apps can be accessed through web browsers, Smart TVs, laptops, and desktops. 

  1. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is software development that develops and manages cloud storage. Some famous examples are Dropbox and Google Drive, where people can store all their data like photos, videos, documents, etc. 

Cloud is one of the most beneficial forms of software development, as it lets you store large amounts of data, avoiding massive memory consumption in devices. Additionally, it also maintains the quality of photos and videos as original. 

  1. Mobile Development 

Mobile development specifically involves softwares and applications that are designed for phones. Apart from mobiles, you can also access them from smartwatches and tablets. 

Most software developers work with expertise in Windows, Android, and IOS when developing any mobile application. According to their expertise, the developers design applications for playing games, creativity apps like photo and video editing, productivity apps, social media apps, etc. 

Software Development Process: 5 Key Steps 

Now that you have learned all about software development and its types let us see how it works. Here are five primary steps of the software development process. 

  1. Software Requirements Gathering And Analysis 

Once a software development project is set in motion, the foremost tasks of the team are requirement gathering and analysis. You must understand user intent and what type of service the software will provide to the user. 

While determining that, you must remember what the user wants or needs from your application—gathering requirements of your demographic involves hosting surveys, deep competitor research, interviewing people, etc. 

After collecting the data, the team will study and analyze everything thoroughly to understand user intent. Once done, the team can begin creating a plan for their software.  

  1. Software Design

Designing software is a crucial step in the software development process. Once you have all the requirements, you must design a software system based on the user's needs. This phase involves choosing the suitable algorithms, data structures, and interfaces that blend well within your system. 

Your software design will determine how efficient and reliable your software will turn out. So, you must focus on your system's quality and user application. 

  1. Software Development And Implementation 

After you design your software, you are left with a detailed layout and concept of your software system. Now it is time you put your planning into execution, i.e., development and implementation of your software. 

Software development is one of the most prolonged phases of the process, starting from the initial conception to the final release of your software system. During this phase, you must ensure that the software meets all the user requirements, is user-friendly, and can be released before or at the due date. 

  1. Software Testing

Testing is one of the most challenging steps of the software development life cycle. Once the developers have finished their job and think the software is ready, testing is done. 

So, as a safety measure, the software system will go through the testing process where it is determined whether the application meets all the requirements and shows zero error in functionality. 

  1. Software Deployment And Maintenance

Software deployment involves uploading your software system on a server, configuring it on the platform, and determining whether the software functions properly. Software system maintenance requires developers to recognize issues or errors and troubleshoot them to keep the application current. 

Software Development Methodologies

Every software development project that succeeds needs efficient management. Hence, choosing a suitable software development methodology for your software management would be best. 

  1. Waterfall

Waterfall is considered the oldest or traditional method in software development. This methodology consists of a linear model that processes step by step like a waterfall. The steps are requirement analysis, design, development, testing, and maintenance. 

While this method is the most used, you must be careful when implementing it. You must ensure your previous phase is 100% completed to move on to the next step. Also, there is no way you can go back to a prior phase if you need to make any changes. 

  1. Agile

The team generally adapts the agile software development methodology to maximize efficiency and reduce potential risks like cost overruns, bugs, changing requirements, etc. 

While there are several agile development methods, teams create systems in iteration, mainly consisting of mini-increments of new updates or functions. Agile development methods are extreme programming or XP, feature-driven development or FDD, scrum, and crystal. 

  1. Lean

Lean development focused on maximizing efficiency and reducing wastage as much as possible. This method provides guiding principles that help the team or developers utilize their time to deliver high-quality outputs and eliminate non-productive tasks. 

The lean method also focuses on learning and pushes the team to keep an open mind until the software development process is completed. 

Software Development Tools And Technologies

  1. Programming Languages

Programming languages are a communication medium for computers. These languages can translate human commands to a code or format that computers comprehend for desired results. 

Programming languages are required at every stage of software development. Software programmers must write codes sourced from either web developers or software engineers. 

The role of a software engineer is to follow principles and mathematical applications to devise code for the computer. Web developers then use these codes to design software systems to visualize modifications and features that need code translation. 

The most popular programming languages used for software development are JavaScript and C++. Nevertheless, other programming languages are used in software development tools and technologies

Programming Languages Used in Software Development 

  • C and C#

  • Python Python 

  • PHP

  • Scala 

  • Ruby 

  1. Software Development Frameworks

As many programming languages exist, you will find several software development frameworks available out there. Each of these frameworks focuses on particular tasks and is used to solve targeted errors. 

Primarily, three types of frameworks are used in software development. Below is a brief explanation of these frameworks, and we have also included some of the tools used for them. 

a.) Front End Frameworks 

Front-end frameworks focus on the visual aspect of a website that users see and consume. These frameworks help programmers manage everything displayed to the users accessing the software system. 

Since these are frameworks, they provide developers with a foundation to work on and allow them to control the outcome of their design. 

Common Front-end Frameworks:

  • Angular JS

  • Bootstrap

  • React 

b.) Back End Frameworks 

Back-end frameworks are generally used in programming frameworks. These frameworks are also known as web frameworks because they help programmers develop web pages and websites accessible through a browser and internet connection. 

These frames have blessed programmers as they no longer need to focus on standard tasks. These frameworks automate all the general tasks so developers can boost the software development process. 

Due to back-end frameworks, tasks like retrieving database access, page templates, and session management do not require human assistance or time. 

Common Back end Frameworks 

  • Django

  • Express.js

  • Rails 

c.) Mobile Development Frameworks 

The usage and demand of mobiles and smartphones have increased rapidly. Simultaneously, mobile development frameworks have also seen a hike in software development requirements. 

Mobile development frameworks provide programmers with a structure and system that help them develop applications compatible with smartphones and tablets. These frameworks are divided into two categories: native and cross-platform mobile apps. 

The native mobile apps are built individually for Android or IOS, but the cross-platform apps cater to both operating systems. 

Common Mobile Development Frameworks 

  • React Native 

  • Flutter 

  1. Software Development Tools

Software development tools help you manage, develop, and test your software system. Additionally, they also provide support in troubleshooting errors and recognizing loopholes. 

Common Types of Software Development Tools 

  • Source Code Management 

  • Integrated Development Environments 

  • Project management tools 

  • Test automation tools 

  • Debugging tools

  • Configuration management tools  

Wrapping Up!

Selecting the right software is  the cornerstone of every business. 

You must understand software development and its different types as we reach the end. While software development is a vast field with never-ending tools and methodologies, learning and adapting to constant upgrades might be challenging but undoubtedly fruitful. 

Zoftwarehub is a leading Middle East's AI-powered software discovery platform that enables businesses to find software solutions tailored to their specific needs. 

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