Starting a new software project can be overwhelming. It can be helpful to break the process into smaller, more manageable steps. Traditionally, software development has been broken into six steps. Using this process can make a large project less intimidating.
What Is Software Development?
Before we dive into the process, it will be helpful to define software development. It can be tempting to think that a small project doesn’t really qualify as “software development”. However, no matter how big or small your project is, if you are designing a program, you are engaging in software development.
Simply put, software development is the process of creating and coding software to meet some need. It could be the needs of customers, or a personal need, such as automating a task. The program could be large or small. But, all projects benefit by breaking the project down into a series of steps.
Software Development Steps
1. Needs Assessment
As mentioned, software development solves a need. Thus, the first step of any project is clearly identifying the need that you are trying to solve. On large projects, this could involve market research and meeting with stakeholders. A smaller project might just require making a list of must-have features.
This is the most important step in the process. Without a clear understanding of what is required to solve your problem, it will be difficult to design an adequate solution. Having a clear vision of a product can also help to keep your project on track. As you begin to design your project it might be tempting to add features that are not needed but are wanted. This is called scope creep and it can derail a project.
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