What is the Software Development Life Cycle?

What is the Software Development Life Cycle?

November 24, 2022

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What is the Software Development Life cycle?

The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a structured process used by development teams to create high-quality software systematically and cost-effectively. With it, businesses are given a step-by-step approach to successful software development that not only meets but exceeds all customer expectations and demands but also reaches completion within times and cost estimates.

SDLC provides a big-picture breakdown of all the steps involved in software creation, guiding companies through all major stages of development. The Software Development Life cycle outlines a comprehensive plan with phases. Each one of these predictable phases encompasses its own deliverables. In this article, we will explore the basics of SDLC.

A brief history of Software Development methodologies

The history of software development methodologies dates to the 1950s and 1960s when computer science was rapidly evolving. Nevertheless, software and computing engineering didn’t exactly follow a detailed approach like SDLC back then. But as the complexity and scale of projects grew, software engineers tried to implement structured methods to accelerate software development.

This circumstance triggered the beginnings of a production framework that eventually became the Software Development Life cycle we know today.

Popular software development life cycle methods

The SDLC has changed to fit various scenarios and as a result, software development teams have various models to use. The most popular SDLC models include:

  • Waterfall
  • Agile
  • Iterative and Incremental
  • Prototype
  • Spiral
  • V-Shaped

Stages of the Software Development Life Cycle

Development teams follow development models ranging from Agile to DevOps to Waterfall (or any other variation). The number of phases in a software development life cycle can vary depending on which software development methodology and framework a team is following. But regardless of which software development approach they subscribe to, they follow the same basic stages for building any digital product.

The most common SDLC structures are variations on the following phases: Requirement gathering and Analysis, Planning, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment and Maintenance. Nowadays, these stages are not always followed sequentially. Modern Software Development Life Cycle frameworks such as DevOps and Agile encourage companies to share responsibilities across these phases conducted in parallel.

What are the benefits of the Software Development Life cycle?

Reducing the cost of software development.

Improving the software quality.

Faster time to market.

Enhancing project documentation.

Security testing ensures that the final product turns out to be more secure and protected for your users.

Providing management with a higher degree of oversight and control.

Helping developers have a better understanding of what they are building and supporting them with a clear roadmap to arriving at that goal.

Helping improve coordination between the software development team.

Ensuring all stakeholders have a chance to contribute and share their feedback.