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What is Software Development Methodology & Why Its Learning is Crucial for Developers

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It is highly important for the developers to understand how an application is made using different types of techniques. The sound knowledge of a development methodology gives them an edge in preparing plans for all kinds of software development. It lets them know what type of tools will be needed and how many resources will be required to build a software project. This also provides an early analysis of the time frame, as well as the complexities that could arise during the development process.

Unfortunately, many budding developers do not have an understanding of these methodologies at the start of their careers. They randomly try to pick different processes for the development of applications without knowing any technical implications. This only creates problems for them when their projects face failure in the execution. It not only wastes their time, but also muddles their learning by not allowing them to understand the right methodology for software development.

To avoid facing project failure every time, it is advised to first understand the different software development methodologies completely. It not only simplifies the development process, but also lets you know how different types of software should be developed using different techniques. In this article, we have discussed some of the most popular development methodologies in detail. But before moving into them, let’s take a quick view of the core definition of software development methodology below.

What is Software Development Methodology?

The development of a software product needs to go with certain rules and principles. All of these guidelines help to formulate a strategy to build software according to the given requirements. These rules are smartly made for the development of all types of applications, so that everyone can work with them easily. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating a desktop application or website, the methodology will remain the same for everyone as long as your product goals are aligned with their results.

During the last few years, software development methodologies have evolved dramatically. This has been done to further streamline the process of software development. Today, you can use different types of methodologies depending on your product’s nature and functional requirements. It has made easier for the developers to pick the most relatable technique that fits their software needs. Using its practices and guidelines, they can swiftly create robust applications without being puzzled by any misconceptions.

Types of Software Development Methodologies

Software development methodologies have evolved rapidly in the last few years. Their different types have allowed developers to focus on various working models according to the given requirements. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular development methodologies used by developers.

Agile Development Methodology

The agile development methodology is the most recommended technique to build large-scale software applications. It is not like any conventional method in which different processes are arranged linearly. Instead, the agile methodology focuses on fulfilling the user needs by prioritizing the completion of the most important software functions. It can be easily customized as per the required needs, giving developers and their teams more control over the process.

The breakdown of the agile method is also very unique as compared to other practices. It is divided into multiple sprints spanning over days and weeks. The purpose of planning these sprints is to allocate tasks into multiple time frames. Different development teams are given the responsibility to take care of these tasks separately, so that synchronized results can be achieved at the end of every sprint. This process precisely streamlines the development work, enabling multiple jobs to be completed within a given time frame.

Waterfall Development Methodology

The waterfall development methodology focuses on completing different tasks one by one. It could be termed a classical technique that underlines the linear approach. This means that the waterfall model deals with different tasks in a sequential manner. This generally takes a lot of time, but also ensures to bring clarity at the end of each stage. Developers can analyze the results obtained from every stage to further plan actions for the upcoming phases.

Generally, the waterfall model is not used for large-scale applications due to its lacking in different dynamic areas. It is best suited for small-scale software products in which result-oriented tasks are more focused in each stage. The advantage of this model is that it provides the required results at the completion of the whole process. There are very few chances of failure or disruption in this model because it focuses to get the required results at the end of every phase. This ensures to complete everything with efficiency, precisely as per the given requirements.

Prototype Model

The prototype model works in a different manner as compared to the other practices. It is a method in which developers primarily focus on creating a product prototype first. It helps them to test the prototype in the market, so that any major loopholes or pitfalls can be identified at an earlier stage. The selection of the development process depends upon them, as the prototype process doesn’t restrict them to pick any specific one.

Nowadays, many software developers prefer to use this approach for their relevant projects. It gives them a free hand to use different methods and functions in the development of a prototype. They know that any mistake or error in the prototype can be fixed at later stages. This allows them to experiment with different things in the development, so that a final product could be made with proper efficiency. Though it scales up the time of overall development, but also ensures to offer perfection in the final software product.

Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is often considered to be the foundation of modern-day development methodologies. It was introduced way back in 1991 as the first model to develop commercial applications. Unlike other techniques, RAD focuses on developing products quickly without comprising anything in the final quality. It takes a pragmatic approach to achieve the required results perfectly according to the given demands.

The model is basically based on a 4-step development framework i.e. requirements gathering, prototyping, testing, and final implementation. It is one of those unique methodologies in which prototypes are not made for general customer usage. Instead, they are created for in-house usage, so that the actual development process can be streamlined towards testing and final implementation. It provides great analysis to the developers about the quality of applications during the development process. This reduces any chances of failure or low-quality software products to be rolled out in the market.

Final Words

That concludes our entire article in which we have discussed different software development methodologies in detail. It is certainly very important for developers to understand the core concept of various development methodologies. It will help them to pick the best suited development practice according to the requirements of their applications. Generally, people prefer to use the agile method for software development, as it provides more flexibility in the overall process. Other than that, some development teams also go with RAD and Prototype models, as they are also termed pretty good in offering quality software products results as per the given demands.

About the author


Huzaifa Khan

Huzaifa Khan is a content marketer at a renowned Custom Software Development Company. He's a passionate blogger and has keen interest in technology & marketing related topics. Besides writing, he's also an avid skater.