Software development methodology

The development of a quality product begins with the definition of the life cycle. This is a clear action plan that allows you to understand what should happen, how to achieve the result and what methods to use. The methodology of software development is proven methods and practices that allow you to make a digital product correctly and well. There are several types of techniques by which programs and applications are made.

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The development of a quality product begins with the definition of the life cycle. This is a clear action plan that allows you to understand what should happen, how to achieve the result and what methods to use. The methodology of software development is proven methods and practices that allow you to make a digital product correctly and well. There are several types of techniques by which programs and applications are made.

What is a product development model and why is it needed

Each product has its own life cycle. These are the stages that the whole development goes through. It starts from the moment of creating an idea and making decisions. You have decided to make a website or application for your company. At this point, the life cycle has already started.

Then preparation is carried out, analysis is done, and how this product can be obtained is studied. When it becomes clear what you want to do, you need to decide how to do it. At the project stage, an idea is formed into an action plan, a stack of technologies is selected, and software development methodologies are selected.

This is the approach by which the product will be developed. And the quality of the final product depends on the choice of this approach. After all, the choice of a software development model allows you to determine the order of execution and implementation of tasks, to develop a system for monitoring and evaluating development, to form the terms of product creation, to determine the cost. The choice of methods allows you to achieve stability during development, and this is one of the main tasks.

The software development process itself consists of approximately the same stages. We will talk about them further. But how these stages will be implemented, how they are interconnected and according to what principles they work – determines the methodology of software development. Its tasks are as follows:

  • helps to understand how to implement an idea and create a product useful for business;
  • gives a clear idea of the working methods and an action plan, which reduces the likelihood of errors during development;
  • it helps to save money at the development stage, minimizing the number of edits and speeding up the process due to a clear action plan;
  • allows you to distribute tasks within the team depending on the selected method;
  • forms a sequence of actions, forms requirements for the product.

The need to choose software development methodologies is justified by a qualitative approach. Otherwise, you can start creating a product and never finish it, because there will be no clear plan of action. But even if such a method can be characterized into a methodology, it will simply be less effective. There are quite a few models, some companies offer work using unique methods. But the basis is always taken from 7 basic, proven over the years and working techniques that guarantee a good result.

Basic development methodologies

Each software development model has its own unique features, advantages and disadvantages. It is impossible to determine which of them is better, because different tasks, products and ideas have their own development principle. Let’s look at the main types that are used in programming.

“Waterfall Model” (cascade model or “waterfall”)

This is a classic model that was used at the dawn of development, and continues to be actively used today. Its principle of operation is quite simple: each subsequent stage is performed only when the previous one is completely finished. There is a clear separation of stages, and the development takes place as if in a cascade, gradually descending from the first to the last.

This software development model is quite rigid, has strict rules. It clearly defines the timing of each stage. But there is also a drawback: it is very difficult to take a step back. Making edits to an existing project is very expensive and problematic. This method is suitable only for projects that are clearly painted, there is a full understanding of what is being created, for what purposes and what requirements are being set.

You can use this approach if there is a detailed prototype or an existing similar application. In addition, the cascade model should be used when working with government agencies, where it is important to strictly submit reports, follow the schedule and not deviate from the originally set plan.

“Incremental Model” (incremental model)

An incremental software development model is suitable if there is a clear plan of action, but the product needs to be launched quickly enough, and changes can be made in the future. Its essence lies in the fact that an action plan is first developed and divided into small tasks. Further, each “block” is developed according to the traditional cascade model. Initially, a “basic” product is made with minimal but important functions. Gradually, it is supplemented by the development of other components, which are called increments. The process loops until there is a fully assembled unified system.

Each part is a finished element. Sometimes it can even be used separately. As a rule, it is designed in such a way that it is no longer redone. That is why the cascade model is used inside the incremental model.

What does such a software development methodology provide? First of all, risks are minimized, rapid market entry and product launch are ensured. In addition, the basic functionality will already work and bring benefits to the business, you can always introduce new formed tools if necessary.

“Iterative Model” (iterative or iterative model)

This approach is slightly similar in design to the previous one. The essence of iterative software development methodology is to create basic functionality and gradually improve it. So far it sounds similar to the previous version, but there is a difference.

The incremental model can be compared to a puzzle where all the elements are taken and gradually assembled into a single picture. An iterative model is a sketch of an artist who first makes a pencil sketch, then picks up paints, and then draws details and creates a picture.

This method is suitable for large projects, in which the main tasks are defined and there is a general idea of what should happen. But at the same time, the details are not clear, it is not completely clear how this or that function will work. For example, social networks are developed using this method. The general functionality is clear, but the number of functions and capabilities are not fully defined. This approach allows you to gradually add components and improve existing ones.

“Agile Model” (flexible development methodology)

A flexible software development methodology is an excellent solution for creating a product that is not fully formed in its idea. The peculiarity of this method is that the customer can immediately observe changes in the development and adjust actions. This is possible due to the definition of sprints – segments for which tasks are performed. During the discussion, goals are set, the time of the segment is determined and the developers complete the task. Then the discussion takes place, changes are made, a new segment is assigned.

The agile development method is very effective, but it has its drawbacks. Due to the fact that it is impossible to determine the exact results and understand how much time it will take to implement the idea, it is impossible to determine the cost.

If the project is set up for a long life cycle, should have adaptability to changes in the market, then the Agile method is great. It allows you to adjust to the requirements and make edits.

“Spiral Model” (spiral model)

Spiral software development models are suitable for large projects where making mistakes leads to large losses and negative consequences. The emphasis is on risk assessment and elaboration of specific business tasks. The principle of operation is as follows:

The work goes in a spiral, at each turn of which 4 main actions are carried out: creating a plan, risk analysis, development and construction, evaluating the result and collecting feedback. If all 4 stages are successfully completed, then the development proceeds to a new round.

The very transition to a new round resembles an incremental model, where each block is developed independently and joins the originally created basic functionality. The peculiarity of the approach is that most of the time is spent on analysis and an attempt to perform calculations and assess the consequences, rather than on the development itself. Programmers sometimes implement a function much faster than it is studied by analysts.

The spiral model is suitable for large companies, as it is not cheap. In addition, development takes quite a long time. This method is for those who put everything on the line. If the project ceases to exist in case of failure, then you need to protect yourself and eliminate the risks. And this method is used for this.

“V-Model” (V-shaped model)

The peculiarity of the approach is the emphasis on testing and verifying the operability of systems during development. The tests are conducted in parallel with the product creation process itself. The principle itself inherits the basic approach in cascade development. The process is step-by-step, there is a clear plan of action, a strict technical task is drawn up. But tests are conducted in parallel, and if errors are detected, they are immediately corrected, regardless of the development stage.

The peculiarity of this software development methodology is that tests are carried out already at the early stages of creation, and it is possible to move to a new stage only when all errors are eliminated. At the same time, at the new stage, the tests analyze not only the new stage, but also all the previous ones. This allows you to control the relationship of components and their performance.

“RAD Model” (rapid application development model or rapid application development)

The methodology of RAD software development is suitable for those companies that want to launch a product as quickly as possible. The bottom line is that all the stages of creating a program are not divided into several separate blocks, each of which is handled by a separate development team.