Developing custom software is a complex process that requires a team of professionals to create innovative and functional solutions that meet the unique needs of a business. The aim of the development process is to provide a valuable product that helps businesses achieve their goals. From planning and design to implementation and testing, each stage is critical to the success of the project. In this blog post, we will explore the software development process, including the roles of the key people working on it. Let’s dive in!
What is software and how you can use it?
Software is a set of instructions, programs, and data that tell a computer or other digital device what to do. It includes both the code that programmers write and the documentation and other materials that describe how the software works. Software can be installed on a computer or device, or it can run online through a web browser.
There are many different types of software, including:
- operating systems – the core programs that manage a computer’s hardware and provide a platform for other software to run on,
- applications – programs, which perform specific tasks, such as word processing, photo editing, or web browsing. If you want to learn more about the power of mobile apps, check this article here,
- utility programs – tools that help users manage and optimize their computers, such as antivirus software, disk cleanup and system monitors,
- games – interactive programs designed for entertainment purposes,
- middleware – software programs that provide a platform for other software to run on and communicate with each other.
Software is an essential component of many modern technologies, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices. It can be used for various types of projects in different industries, like business management, e-commerce, education, healthcare, tourism and many more. Developed software may serve a wide range of functions, like: managing product listing, orders, payments and shipping. It can also be used for scheduling appointments, billing tracking or insurance claiming. These are just a few examples. In this field – only sky is the limit. Everything depends on the project needs. In general, any project that requires the tasks’ automation, the data’s processing, or information management can benefit from the use of software.
What are the benefits of implementing custom software in your organization?
Increased efficiency – software can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and reduce manual errors, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.
Providing software contributes to cost savings thanks to reducing operational costs by automating tasks. Otherwise, these task would require manual labor or outsourcing. Software may also reduce the need for paper-based systems and associated costs.
Having a custom software solution can give a company a competitive advantage by enabling it to offer unique features or services that its competitors do not have.
Software improves accuracy by automating data entry and reducing the risk of human error. This approach ensure that data is accurate and consistent.
If you are thinking about enhancing customer experience, software can provide clients with better and personalized service, self-service options, and improved communication.
Launching software gives the access to important data – valuable information and insights about clients’ behavior, market trends and operational performance. As a result, the companies can make better decisions and prepare the products tailored to their customers’ needs.
Another advantage of software is scalability due to providing a flexible and adaptable solution that can support future expansion and help the company to grow.
Overall, providing software can have a significant impact on the overall success and growth of the business. Software can improve efficiency by streamlining workflows and automating repetitive tasks. It contributes to reducing costs by eliminating manual processes, and enhancing the customer experience by providing personalized services and support.
Who is involved in the software development?
Software development is a collaborative process that involves a variety of professionals with different roles and responsibilities. Here are some of the key roles involved in software development:
- Project Manager (PM) – responsible for overseeing the software development project from start to finish. They work closely with the client to understand their requirements, manage the project timeline and budget, and ensure that the team is working efficiently and effectively.
- New Business Manager (New Biz), who analyzes the client’s needs and translating them into functional requirements that the development team can work on.
- Developer (Dev)– there may be multiple developers specializing in different platforms and programming languages. They can work on both, or specialize in frontend (what users see and interact with) and backend (the server-side processes responsible for the application logic that makes the frontend work properly).
- Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer is responsible for testing the software to ensure that it is working as expected. They identify bugs, defects, and other issues and work with the development team to fix them.
- UI/UX Designer – User Interface (UI) Designer is responsible for designing the user interface, which is visually appealing. User Experience Designer (UX) takes charge of providing the user-friendly software and easy to navigate. These roles can be separated, or one person can be both – UX/UI Designer.
- Database Administrator, who designs and manages the database that the software uses to store and retrieve data. It can also be a part of the developers’ task.
These are just a few examples of the roles involved in software development. The specific roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. They may be named differently, with slightly varying responsibilities.
What are the steps of software development?
The custom software launching process generally involves the following steps:
- Kickoff meeting
- Idea and planning
- Wireframing and design
- Maintenance and updates.
The process may vary based on project scope, complexity, and requirements. Most teams typically follow these general steps. In the following sections, we will dive into the details of each stage to provide a comprehensive understanding of the software launching process.
1. Kickoff meeting
The first meeting that takes place between the project stakeholders and team members at the beginning of a project.
In this meeting, the project manager typically presents an overview of the project, including its goals, timeline, and scope. They also answer any questions from the team members or stakeholders. The kickoff meeting is critical to the success of the project, because it helps to summarize everyone’s expectations and ensures that the project is ready to start.
The purposes of the meeting are:
- setting the tone for the project,
- establishing clear goals and needs,
- ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page.
2. Idea and Planning
This stage is a continuation of the kickoff meeting. One of the goal is to prepare the software concept. The team works on a basic plan regarding the features, target audience, and design of the software. It also involves researching the market and analyzing user requirements. During this step (or even at the first meeting), the team with the customer discuss development details. Behind the idea and planning, they are following tasks:
- defining the purpose of the software and its intended users,
- conducting market research to identify the target audience and competitors,
- creating a basic feature list and functionality requirements,
- developing a rough flow and user journey,
- creating a project roadmap and setting timelines and budgets.
3. Wireframing and Design
After ensuring about the project idea and preparing the plan, it’s time to lean over the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). At first, the designers work on the wireframing and then on the design of the project.
Wireframes are basic layouts, which show the placement of content, images, and functional elements on a webpage or screen. They help visualize the structure and layout, e.g. of a website or application before design work begins. Wireframes are usually created using simple lines, boxes, and placeholders to represent content. They may include annotations to explain functionality or interactions. When the wireframes are approved, they can serve as a guide to move forward with the design and development.
To prepare the wireframes, the UX designers have to think about the logical flow of the application or website. They have to optimize the user’s experience to make it efficient, enjoyable, and intuitive.
After preparing wireframes, designers typically move on to the next stage of the design process. This involves using graphic design software to create a more detailed visual representation of the app or website. It includes colors, typography, images, and other design elements. The accurate design helps to refine the visual style of the product and ensure that it is aligned with the overall branding and messaging of the company.
The key tasks in wireframing and design stages include:
- developing wireframes or prototypes to visualize the layout and navigation,
- creating visual design elements such as color schemes, typography, and iconography,
- refining the design and user interface based on user feedback and usability testing,
- Creating final designs and assets for the interface
This is the stage where the actual coding of the software takes place. After receiving the wireframes and the design projects, the developer can focus on mirroring the design to create the backend, frontend, and server-side components. Furthermore, they integrate all the necessary features, like APIs, and third-party libraries. They bring the project to reality, through demonstrating the behavior of the e.g. app’s or web’s elements and interactions with users.
The key tasks in this step are:
- choosing a suitable development framework, programming languages, and tools for the project,
- developing the backend and server-side components, including the database architecture and APIs,
- creating the frontend components, including UI elements, navigation, and user interactions,
- integrating third-party libraries and APIs for features such as push notifications, social media integration, and payment gateways,
- conducting frequent testing and debugging to identify and fix any issues in the code, even before the proper testing stage.
It’s a crucial stage of the development process that involves verifying if the software meets all necessary standards and performs as expected. The tests check the functionality, usability and performance of the software. Functional testing ensures that all the features work correctly and as intended. Usability testing involves collecting user feedback and testing the ease of use, intuitiveness, and overall user experience. Performance testing measures the speed, responsiveness, and stability, to be sure that it performs well under different scenarios. After identifying the bugs or issues, the developers make fixes to ensure the app or web functions smoothly.
The testing stage consists of:
- conducting functional testing to ensure the software’s features work as intended,
- testing the usability and user experience through user testing and feedback,
- conducting performance testing to measure the speed, responsiveness, and stability
- identifying and fixing any issues or bugs in the code.
When the software has passed all the necessary tests and meets the desired quality standards, it’s time for deployment. The software is launched and made available online or for download in the application store. Depending on the type of software and its availability (application / website), the stage of implementation will differ.
In the case of the app, deployment includes:
- preparing the app for launch, including finalizing the app store listing and metadata,
- submitting the app to the relevant app stores or platforms for review and approval,
- launching the app and monitoring user feedback and app store reviews,
- providing ongoing technical support and maintenance for the app.
In the case of website, deployment includes:
- choosing a web hosting service and setting up a web server or cloud platform,
- configuring the website domain and DNS settings,
- testing the website on different browsers and devices to ensure compatibility and responsiveness,
- uploading website files to the web server or cloud platform using FTP or other file transfer protocols,
- testing the website again after deployment to ensure all features and functionality are working as expected,
- setting up website analytics and monitoring tools to track website performance and user behavior.
7. Maintenance and Updates
After the app or website is launched, it requires constant maintenance and updates. It’s necessary to keep it up-to-date, fix bugs and add new features as per user feedback and requirements.
It’s crucial to take care of launched product through:
- monitoring user feedback and analytics to identify areas for improvement,
- conducting regular updates to fix bugs and improve the performance,
- adding new features and functionality based on user comments and market trends,
- providing ongoing technical support and maintenance to ensure that the product is compatible with new operating systems, devices and more.
Software development is a complex process that involves several stages. Each step is integral to the successful launch of the software. Collaboration between designers, developers, testers, and other stakeholders is required to create high-quality software that meets the needs of its users.
Providing software as a company has numerous advantages, including the ability to offer unique solutions that solve specific industry problems. Launching software for a company or its customers can generate recurring revenue and automate many processes. The software development process is complex and involves the work of multiple professionals. While the stages of development may seem difficult, an experienced team can make it possible. At Codebase, we recommend creating software for startups or enterprises, regardless of the industry type, because we believe there is always room for improvement and growth.