The Basics of the Software Development Life Cycle
The software/systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a process used by the software industry to plan, design, develop, test, and deploy high quality software. This life cycle is meant to be repeated many times when necessary to improve the quality of software and the overall development process. The cycle’s five steps in order are planning, defining, designing, building, testing, and deployment.
Step 1: Planning and Requirement Analysis
The first step in the process is planning and requirement analysis. Ideas are provided by various departments in a company such as marketing, sales, accounting, administration, and human resources. Then a manager or senior developer in a company or department does analysis on the requirement analysis. In this analysis the manager or developer researches if the idea is possible for a team to develop with minimum risk.
Step 2: Defining Requirements
After the planning and requirement analysis the next step in the process is to define and record the ideas provided by various departments to get feedback from customers/users. The recording is done on a document called SRS (Software Requirement Specification) which includes all the requirements that need to be developed in a project.
Step 3: Designing the Product Architecture
The next step in the process is designing the product architecture. In this step the SRS document is used by product architects. Using the SRS the product is designed and documented in the (DDS) Design Document Specification. Then the DDS is given to stakeholders for their approval.
Step 4: Building or Developing the Product
In this step the actual execution of ideas begin in an effort to build a minimum viable product, or MVP. The instructions in the DDS are followed and the programming of the code is started. The software developers usually have to follow the programming instructions given by the company and use specific software development tools.
Step 5: Testing the Product
The next step in the process is actually testing the product after it's developed. The product is now checked if its functional without any bugs, errors, or defects. If any of those are found they are fixed and retested. This step of the process is typically done by a QA, or quality assurance team.
Step 6: Deployment in the Market and Maintenance
After the product is fully tested it usually needs approval by beta testers, which are small groups of users that provide feedback on the product. After the feedback is received changes are made to the product if necessary before releasing it to all users in the market.