There are several different approaches to the software development. This can be a more structured, engineering-based approach to develop business solutions, while other may be a more incremental approach, where software evolves as it is developed piece-by-piece. Most methodologies share some combination of different stages of software development:
- Problem/ Requirement Analysis
- Research w.r.t. Problem/ Requirement
- Requirement Gathering For The Proposed Solution
- Design & Development Phase
- Testing the software
- Support and Maintenance
These stages are often referred to collectively as the software development lifecycle, or SDLC. Different approaches to software development may carry out these stages in different orders, or devote more or less time to different stages. The level of detail of the documentation produced at each stage of software development may also vary. These stages may also be carried out in turn (a “waterfall” based approach), or they may be repeated over various cycles or iterations (a more “extreme” approach). The more extreme approach usually involves less time spent on planning and documentation, and more time spent on coding and development of automated tests. More “extreme” approaches also promote continuous testing throughout the development lifecycle, as well as having a working (or bug-free) product at all times. More structured or “waterfall” based approaches attempt to assess the majority of risks and develop a detailed plan for the software before implementation (coding) begins, and avoid significant design changes and re-coding in later stages of the software development life cycle planning.