The SDLC Phases Explained

Software Development Life Cycle Phases

Don’t jump into the software development head first. It’s important that you know what you’re doing before starting anything especially in IT. It’s tough and it’s fast. So every single step you take should be carefully taken into account. You should know the fundamentals of basic software development. One way to familiarize yourself is by studying the phases of the software development life cycle.

One prerequisite when developing software especially for startups is knowing SDLC. Software Development Life Cycle is a framework that defines the tasks performed at each phase of the software development process. The SDLC phases detail the required steps leading to the completion of the development until the next iteration if required, is performed.

It can be hard to hire a team that can adapt to any SDLC model. You need to have a team that has skilled members in all the different SDLC phases, from planning to deployment! Fortunately, you don’t need to look elsewhere to find that team because you are in the right place. Full Scale is here for you!

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Software Development Life Cycle serves as a guide in building software products in a systematic and disciplined manner.  The framework creates a structure that enables the development team to produce quality products by adhering to the definition of various tasks that need to be done.

The SDLC phases comprise the inception up to the retirement of the software product. These phases include six major steps: requirements and analysis, designing, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

The 6 SDLC Phases Explained

Requirements Gathering and Analysis

This phase marks the beginning of software development. During this phase, all the information and requirements are gathered in order to conceive a concrete expectation of the software product.

Requirements gathering and analysis aims to collect the details of each requirement and establishes an understanding as to why each requirement is present. This discusses the hows of fulfilling every requirement of the product. Along with these, this step also allows discussions on how each requirement will be tested. Through this, testers can contribute by adding value to the analysis of requirements.

Design and Research

Once the gathering and analysis is complete, the next step is the design. In this phase, the developers and system architects formulate the high-level design of the software and system to achieve each of the determined requirements. By doing so, this phase will determine the technical details of the design such as risks, technologies to be used, project constraints, capability analysis, budget, and time. After these, the whole team will determine the best design approach for the product.

As far as the system architecture goes, the necessary specifications, features, and operations needed to achieve the functional requirements will be detailed in this phase. These include the components that need to be developed, third-party services to be used (if needed), user stories, database structure, and front-end designs and behavior.

Development

Here is the nitty-gritty part of the SDLC phases. The development starts once all the design requirements are completed. The software design will now be translated into code.

Front-end developers will start to develop the necessary interfaces as well as the GUI to connect with the back-end. The database administrators create the necessary data needed as per the requirements. Developers also work together in creating unit tests for each component and review each other’s codes. They will also create a build to deploy the product to a project-specific environment. These steps can be iterated until all of the requirements are attained.

This phase is also the end of the initial part of the development process before moving on to integration and testing.

Testing and Bug Fixing

After the modules and components are complete, the testing part of the SDLC phases will commence. For this phase, each module will be tested thoroughly depending on the testing strategies developed by the quality assurance (QA) testers to make sure that the software product is completely free of any defects.

A tester’s main role is to contrast the output with the requirements and identify the issues. They make sure that the software product behaves exactly as defined in the requirements. Testers can do this process by following test scripts or test cases for a more structured procedure. They may also do exploratory tests by playing with the features available.

The testing phase would take additional time buffer since this phase needs allocated time for bug fixes and issues that have been found. This cycle—test and fix—will continue until all features are fully functional without any more bugs.

Deployment

Once the software product is tested and freed from any defects or bugs, it should be ready for deployment. Deployment, the fifth of the six SDLC phases, is grooming the product up to be ready for customer use. The User Acceptance Tests should be checked and the software should be live in the production environment.

Maintenance and Updates

As soon as the software product goes live, it marks the beginning of the maintenance phase of the SDLC. This includes the post-production processes such as enhancements and fine-tuning of the system. In this part, the team could also start planning the possible functionalities and features that could be added to the software.

Additionally, if an issue comes up that needs to be fixed, the developers should be informed in order to provide fixes depending on its severity. The product may need a hot-fix, meaning a fix for high-priority features that should be done as soon as possible, or otherwise, just wait until the next version to apply the updates.

Most Popular SDLC Types

The six SDLC phases explained above are the major parts that should be undergone when developing software. However, due to the variety of projects and the volatility of technology, different approaches to the software development life cycle have been present to cater to one unique project after another. Among these are the most popular SDLC types: Waterfall, V-Model, Prototype Model, Agile Model, and Spiral Model.

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Hire a team!

At Full Scale, we hire top tier developers, testers, designers, and project managers who are skilled and experienced in developing software products under different methods. They are skilled in multiple project development and management tools and processes needed to produce quality software.

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