Creating a modern software system is a very laborious task: the typical size of the software exceeds hundreds of thousands of operators. To effectively create such software products, a specialist must have an understanding of the methods of analysis, design, implementation, and testing of software systems. It is also important to understand existing approaches and technologies.
The development of software products, like any other complex system, is carried out in stages using a block-hierarchical approach. It implies the development of a product in parts with subsequent assembly. At each stage, certain design operations are performed, which are appropriately documented. The sequence of stages and their results follow the software life cycle model.
In addition, the implemented system must also be accompanied by various kinds of program documentation, for example, a specification, a programmer’s manual, a user’s manual, an operator’s manual, etc. Thus, the ability to create software documentation is certainly necessary for a software developer. You can Go Company and find the best eLearning software development specialist. But if you want to learn more about the steps involved in software development, then the following guide will be helpful. Try to allocate enough time to study the important material about educational software development.
What Stages Does the Software Development Process Include?
The e-learning software development process involves the actions and tasks performed by the developer and covers the creation of software and its components in accordance with the specified requirements. These include design and operational documentation, as well as the preparation of materials necessary to check the functionality and quality of software products, materials necessary for personnel training, etc. According to the standard, the software development process involves the following actions:
- Preparatory work – the selection of a life cycle model, standards, development methods, and tools, as well as drawing up a plan works;
- Analysis of requirements for the system – determination of its functionality, user requirements, requirements for reliability and security, requirements for external interfaces, etc.;
- System architecture design – determination of the necessary equipment, software, and operations performed by service personnel;
- Software requirements analysis – addressing functionality, including performance characteristics, component environment, external interfaces, reliability and safety specifications, ergonomic requirements, data requirements, installation, acceptance, user documentation, operation, and support;
- Software architecture design – defining the structure of the software, documenting the interfaces of its components, developing a preliminary version of the user documentation, as well as requirements for tests and an integration plan;
- Detailed software design – detailed description of software components and interfaces between them, updating user documentation, developing and documenting requirements for tests and a test plan for software components, updating the component integration plan;
- Software coding and testing – development and documentation of each component, as well as a set of test procedures and data for their testing, updating user documentation, and updating the software integration plan;
- Software integration – the assembly of software components in accordance with the software integration and testing plan for compliance with qualification requirements. These are a set of criteria or conditions that must be met in order to qualify the software product as conforming to its specifications and ready for use in given operating conditions;
- Software qualification testing – software testing in the presence of the customer to demonstrate its compliance with requirements and readiness for operation. At the same time, the readiness and completeness of the user’s technical documentation are also checked;
- System integration – assembly of all system components, including software and hardware;
- Qualification testing of the system – testing the system for compliance with the requirements, checking the design and completeness of the documentation;
- Software installation – installation of software on the customer’s equipment and verification of its operability;
- Acceptance of the software – evaluation of the results of qualification testing of the software and the system as a whole, final transfer of the software to the customer.
Basic Models of the Software Life Cycle in an E-learning Software Development Company
The concept of the software life cycle appeared when the programming community realized the need to move from artisanal methods of software development to technological, and industrial production. As usually happens in similar situations, the programmers tried to transfer the experience of other industrial productions to their field. In particular, the concept of the life cycle was borrowed.
The leading experts of educational software development companies note that the software’s life cycle is a period that starts from the moment of making a decision about the need to create a software product and ends at the moment of its complete removal from an operation. This cycle is the process of building and developing software.
The life cycle concept arose under the influence of the need to systematize work in the software development process. Systematization was the first stage on the way to automation of the software development process. The next steps of the transition to the automation of the software development process were as follows:
- Establishing the technological routes of the activities of software developers;
- Determining the possibility of their automation and identifying risks;
- Developing tools for automation.
Using the life cycle concept allows choosing approaches that are most effective for the tasks of a certain stage of the software life. Depending on the software development and support processes features, there are different life cycle models.
The Waterfall model of the life cycle was proposed in 1970 by V. Royce. The Waterfall model of the software life cycle arose to meet the need for systematization of work at the early stages of program development. According to this model, software systems go through two phases in their development:
The phases are divided into a number of stages. The Waterfall model involves the sequential execution of all stages of the project in a strictly fixed order. The transition to the next stage means the complete completion of work at the previous stage.
Agile Model (Iterative and Incremental Development)
The Agile model involves dividing the project’s life cycle into a sequence of iterations, each of which resembles a mini-project with all life cycle phases. The classic Agile model absolutizes the possibility of returning to previous stages. This circumstance reflects an essential aspect of software development: the desire to anticipate all situations of system use in advance and the impossibility in the vast majority of cases to achieve this.
All traditional programming techniques aim only to minimize returns. But the essence does not change from this: when returning, you always have to repeat the construction of what was already considered ready.
In the spiral model, program development takes the form of a series of successive iterations. In the first stages, the product specifications are clarified, in the next stages, new features and functions are added. According to eLearning software companies, the purpose of this model is to reassess the risks of continuing the work at the end of each iteration.
The software development process in an educational software development company is usually considered a collective work of specialists aimed at meeting users’ needs in automating their activities. Like any other collective work, it requires organization and management. This process is sometimes lengthy, linking by production and other relations those who can be considered producers of the program to one degree or another.