The Software Development Process
Software is a very unique product. Not only because it is a creative product protected by intellectual property, but also because it is not a finished product.
CODE. TEST. REPEAT.
Building a software is a continuous refinement. Software development is always iterative. It follows the endless pattern of code, test, repeat.
Formally, software development process has these steps:
•Gathering and refining requirements
•Rolling feedback into the next iteration
After numerous coding, testing, and tweaking, the software development team has reached the end result: the software’s first edition. This is usually called the Alpha candidate.
But the alpha is just a prototype. The developers still have to test it out, identify the bugs, and define its quality controls. Once it’s fixed, the refined end product is what we call the Beta candidate. This is the app that developers launch to the users.
IT’S OUT IN THE OPEN
No app is perfect. Therefore, the beta is not yet the definitive edition of the software. But since it’s already out in the open, developers take advantage of the user’s feedback. Bugs will be discovered and fixed. Users will request additional features and it will be granted.
For business clients requiring custom software, it’s common to have these big ideas. However, with software development, it has to start small. Developers are more realistic to start with the smallest kernel of the project’s vision and walk their way to pursue the next goal. This way, development is much cheaper. Client only pays for the features needed.
MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
As mentioned earlier, software development is a creative process. But some clients think that it can work as fast as any other tasks. Wrong. Software development is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t thrive on rushing things.
That’s the reason why clients and developers feel like they’re in a part-time job, or feel tired in the long process, or even feel frustrated with the code-test-repeat cycle. Well, that’s normal.
TRUST THE DEVELOPERS
Clients must not worry. Good software developers anticipate problems and address them effectively. They have your back. Remember that you’re asking for something for an app that has never existed before. Clients just have to trust the developers and work closely with them towards success.
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
Software development is a collaborative process and therefore, communication is the key. Everything should be transparent. Developers are more than happy to ensure all stakeholders are more than satisfied. So if you don’t understand or need more information, just ask. If both client and developers are informed, it’s easier to navigate the software development project.