When designing new software, there are a lot of processes to go through in order to determine the exact need of the final product. This is known as software development methodology, and involves creating a framework to use as a structure. This plan then controls the whole process of creating and developing these systems.
Over the years, there have been a number of different frameworks developed in order to make the process easier. Each of them have their strengths and weaknesses and offer varying approaches to the way the software is developed. For example, some have a much more structured set up; a more engineering-oriented way of looking at the final solution. Others do it in sections, building the software in small chunks. It should be noted that these different methods are not necessarily good for all projects; the strict plan method is much better used on business solutions, for example.
However, each methodology does have the same basic principles, and all contain a combination of these areas. Firstly, the problem is analysed, and then there is research done to see if it is valid. After the research there is a proposal for the solution. It is only at this point that a plan can start to be developed.
Once the plan is drawn up, the software can start to be coded; and then, once this is complete, there need to be a number of tests to ensure that it works as designed. Finally, the software is released to the customer. Usually during this time there are glitches and bugs that will surface – often missed in preliminary tests. This means that there is then maintenance, upgrading and reprogramming to be done. This is a constant in this industry and nothing to worry about – even the best-planned software suffers bugs.