What are the steps in a software development process?

Wat zijn de stappen in een softwareontwikkelingsproces?

Imagine: you have a great idea for an app, platform, or other type of software. You want to have it developed by a software developer. But what can you expect from the development process? And how do you prepare well?

Step 1: The requirements analysis

A development process always starts with a requirement analysis. This means that as a software developer, you sit down with the customer and look at the why behind the application. Why do you want to make this app? What is the goal? What do you want to achieve with it? What do you want to add? Often at this first step, we find that the customer is fixated on a particular way in which the solution must be provided. Let’s say a customer wants to link babysitters to families. Then he might be completely fixated on the idea that it has to be done via social media. But this may not be the best solution. To find that, we must first ask: why do you want to couple these people? What’s the foundation? If we go back to that, we might find that there is a much more convenient solution. 

We often notice that the customer also has an endless list of features in mind. Features that might be really fun to implement but are they necessary? And do they add value? Again, it is important to go back to the core. Then we look: who is this application being made for? Who are the users? And what would be convenient to build? 

Step 2: The minimum viable product

The next step is to define the minimum viable product. This means you’re going to look at how to create the most stripped-down version of the product that still works and adds value. We determine this based on the motivators we discussed in step 1. The big question here is: roughly what kind of system is it going to be? Will it be a platform or a marketplace-like application? Or a simple website? And equally important: what should a user be able to do at a minimum? We then place all the components we can think of in a backlog. And then we ask: what is essential?

Step 3: The technology

In the next step, the system design, or architecture, is designed. At a functional level, there is now a solution. Only then do you have to decide a whole lot of things. For example: what kind of hardware are you going to use? What kind of server software? Will it be for web or mobile? And how many databases do you need? This aspect also needs to be thoroughly thought out.

Step 4: The people

In step 4 you start with the development of the mvp. You now know what you are going to make. But you then have to think about: okay, with which people are we going to do this? And how do we structure the collaboration? For example, are we working with daily stand-ups or weekly meetings? 

Step 5: the implementation phase and the testing phase

In step 5, you implement the components of the product and test the product. After implementing the components, we first do a release in our own testing environment. Here we do internal tests to remove all bugs. Then we do a release in the acceptance environment, where the customer can check the product to see if he thinks it works properly. We repeat this process every two weeks, and release a fully updated version every two weeks. The implementation phase and the testing phase are therefore actually iterative. 

If the testing phase goes perfectly, we can ultimately release the product in the production environment. But when this release is done, you actually end up in a new phase, where you continue to develop. And then you have to again implement and test the updates. 

It’s important to understand that the development process for software never ends. Especially with mobile applications, or a platform, you keep developing and optimizing. You always ensure that the production environment is well monitored, so if a bug occurs, or a server goes down, you can immediately intervene. 


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