What Is SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) – Clear Explanation!

Idego Idego • Feb 14
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The software development cycle (SDLC) describes the stages of software development and the order in which these stages should be implemented. The consequences of each stage are visible in the next steps. It is a complicated process of transforming a user’s need into a product and maintaining that product until it is withdrawn. 

In most phases of the software development life cycle, we find tasks related to quality assurance and testing. A formal description will not guarantee the creation of a high-quality product, but it will certainly help to improve its production.

SDLC definition – What is Software Development Life Cycle?

The software development cycle also called SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) was created in 1960. It has not evolved much since then and is still successively used for planning, designing, building and supplying IT systems.  

Software development is not a simple matter and no one who participated in a large project needs to be convinced. The times when one person was involved in collecting requirements, analyzing, designing, programming, testing and implementing an IT product are long over. 

6 stages of SDLC – from the beginning to the end of the project

It is especially important nowadays, when human life in a direct and indirect meaning may depend on the software being created. Therefore, processes, methods and methodologies are being developed for software development and management that attempt to describe this complex mechanism for creating and maintaining software. 

To put it simply it is a series of interdependent stages in which activities are undertaken, starting from the disclosure of the need to build an IT system, the presentation of its ideas, construction, use, adapted to possible changes in functioning (usually resulting from due to changing environmental conditions) and ending with decommissioning.

Software Engineers - development team

We can distinguish several permanent stages for virtually every project:

  1. Planning – collection and analysis of requirements presented by clients, stakeholders, industry experts, based on market research. Based on the requirements, further actions are planned and a strategy is developed. Clarity of user requirements. Often, the requirements are not clear and understandable at first, sometimes they are not even well documented. The first stage of the project is more than once to discover and understand the purpose of the future user. Good business analysis and prototyping are useful here.
  2. Analysis – defining the problems encountered by the team during software development, restriction analysis, analysis of goals as functions, recommendations. Sometimes, a critical factor is the limited time for execution (e.g. limited access to resources) or a strictly defined deadline for putting the product into service. In both cases, the project must be very predictable already at the planned stage.
  3. Design – designing a product based on collected requirements and analyses, consultations. This is the moment when designers bring their creativity into motion, UX in combination with UI can change the most boring project into a real gem.
  4. Implementation – product development, code creation. The teams of developers in accordance with established documentation, technology and methodology of software developers create the code in accordance with the designs of designers.
  5. Testing & Integration – software testing and interaction with libraries, databases or other programs.
  6. Maintenance – training of software users, providing documentation, providing assistance in using the software, ongoing resolution of errors and failures.

Variants, techniques, and strategies for software development as extensions and modifications of the basic models:

  • Document-driven development
  • Prototyping
  • Discovery Manufacturing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Spiral model

Approach to SDLC – What is Software Development Life Cycle

Difficulties in building large force systems, many years ago, the need to systematize the process of manufacturing IT systems. Therefore, models were created to organize the actions taken and the states in which the IT product is located. Currently, the collection of software life cycle models is extremely rich.

Two approaches can be used to develop software using SDLC and these are the traditional (Waterfall) and agile (Agile) approaches. Software engineering seeks to identify and describe the basic phases of software development and operation, as well as indicate a model for the optimal course of these phases.

These terms are often not fully understood. It is very common to believe that the cascade process is an outdated process, and the iterative process is the only valid approach. the choice of process depends to a large extent on the nature of the project, and thus there is no single valid software life cycle model. Moreover, most often it turns out that in practice models that are modifications or hybrids of basic processes perform best.

Conclusions – Explanation of Software Development Life Cycle 

The software life cycle (SDLC) – from the idea to its exit from the market is a long process. Analyzes, implementations, maintenance or other activities often require the cooperation of dozens of experienced programmers. However, SDLC is something you can’t avoid because every step is worth its weight in gold and omitting even another one will cause the failure of the project.

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