Best Tools for Software Development Life Cycle

The technology sector takes up a significant portion of the economy. As the economy becomes more digital, it enables more people and businesses to innovate, which then helps feed the growth of technology even more. Today, experts agree that the average time of software development is between four to six months.A key to rapidly producing high quality software lies in the software development life cycle (SDLC).

What is SDLC?

Software companies are able to develop and deploy a new system, website, or app two to three times a year with the help of a software development life cycle (SDLC). An SDLC is a framework or process that enables a development team to produce quality software at the fastest time and at the lowest cost. The team achieves these goals by following best practices and a structured approach that usually divides the process in six (some use seven) stages.

The SDLC stages are defined, but different approaches or methodologies can be used to follow the process. Some of the SDLC methods or models are waterfall, iterative, and spiral. As requirements change because business landscape changes, newer models have been developed, such as agile, lean, and DevOps. Although they offer different approaches, the goal is the same, which is to help development teams deliver high-quality software in a quick and cost-effective way.

SDLC stages

1. Requirement gathering

In this stage, the development team tries to answer the question “what is the problem?” This important stage is performed by the senior members of the team. They get input from project sponsors, customers, and users to get details of the situation and understand better the nature of the problem. They try to find out if there is an existing system that needs modification, or if there is no system and a new one needs to be created. At this stage, planning for the software project is also started.

For requirement gathering, Jama Software lets you manage not only requirements, but also risks and tests as you define and develop products.

2. System analysis

The second stage is where the team analyzes the problem in detail. They try to answer the question “what does the user need?” With input from customers, they inspect, analyze, and verify the data sources, processes, and flows to make sure that the intended solution will correctly address the needs of the user.

System analysis can be performed with a variety of tools, especially with flowcharts and diagrams. Cacoo is an online diagram and flowchart software with built-in collaboration tools.

3. System design

In this SDLC stage, the analysts and designers of the development team work together to answer the question, “how do we get what the user needs?” They translate the logical design into a system that satisfies the functional requirements. The design details the specifications, features, operations, and output. The design document is reviewed by all stakeholders and needs approval for development to commence.

System design is a stage that requires documentation, drawings, and collaboration. Lucidchart is an online diagram and visual solution software with system design tools that let you document processes, code, and systems.

4. Development

The development stage is where coding begins. At this stage, the team builds the solution that the user needs. Depending on the architecture and programming language used, the team should adhere to best practices and code style. They should also refer back to the design document to make sure they are working on the same solution blueprint.

At this stage, one of the best tools to use is GitHub, an online software development platform that lets you and your team host and review code, manage software projects, and build software with modern and automated tools.

5. Testing

In many development methods, testing has become a subset of every stage. But for the whole life cycle, there is always a testing stage before deployment. It is where the defects of the product are reported, tracked, fixed, and retested. Testing can be done manually or can be automated, usually by quality control testers. The team makes sure they answer the question “did we get to build what the user needs” in the affirmative.

Testing requires time and effort. Automating testing is a modern solution to use resources efficiently. Katalon is an automated test tool that can be used for web, mobile, and desktop software projects.

6. Implementation

The last stage of the software development life cycle is the implementation stage. The software solution is put into production to be used by the customers. When it performs according to the design, the software project is considered delivered. Usually, it is monitored for some time to observe its performance with the addition of new users and usage environments. This is usually the operations phase and is considered outside of the SDLC. When issues appear, users may request fixes and/or modifications.

For implementation, as well as for the whole SDLC, one of the popular tools is Jira Software. It is an issue and project tracking software that is used by many development teams.

Conclusion

Teams can use many tools depending on the methodology they adopt as they develop software. Some teams using agile methods would prefer tools that include features for scrum like Axosoft. Some DevOps teams may prefer enterprise tools like Digital.ai. Collaboration and the ability to integrate with project management software are some of the features that are important to consider when developing software solutions.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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