Have you ever wondered how the apps on your smartphone or the websites you browse come into existence?
Both are the results of an intricate process known as software development.
If youre interested in software development in the UK, this article will dive deep into the topic.
Well explore what software development truly is, as well as explore its benefits and step-by-step process.
If you want to pursue a career in software development, well also discuss some of the promising job opportunities, along with their salary ranges.
Without further ado, lets get started!
Software development is a systematic process that involves designing, coding, testing, and maintaining software to meet specific needs or solve particular problems.
It involves a series of steps that transform an idea into a functional and reliable piece of software.
Software developers are able to create a wide range of applications and systems across various domains.
Here are some common types of software that developers create:
You might wonder, why is software development so popular among solo entrepreneurs and businesses?
The reason is because software development provides the tools and systems needed to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
Here are other reasons that highlight the importance of software development across different sectors:
Software development is a systematic approach that involves a series of steps to design, create, test, and maintain software.
While the methodologies may vary depending on the software type, here is a general overview of the typical steps in the software development process:
The first step involves understanding and gathering requirements from stakeholders.
This includes discussions with clients, end-users, and other relevant parties to identify the purpose and functionalities expected from the software.
To do so, developers need to conduct meetings and interviews with clients, end-users, and other stakeholders.
The expected output is a requirement specifications document which elaborates what the software must accomplish.
Once the requirements are established, a comprehensive plan will be created.
This phase involves defining the scope of the project, estimating timelines, allocating resources, and identifying potential risks.
The plan serves as a roadmap for the entire development process, so the team can create a project schedule and establish milestones clearly.
In the design phase, developers will create a detailed blueprint of the software based on the gathered requirements.
This includes architectural designs, data structures, and the overall system structure.
The goal is to create a clear guide for the coding phase.
More importantly, the design phase is where the whole user journey is mapped out.
By doing so, you can ensure a seamless browsing experience, from the moment users visit your software to when they finally convert.
This is where the actual coding of the software takes place. Programmers will write code using programming languages, following the design specifications.
The coding phase is crucial in transforming the conceptual design into executable code, since the developer should follow coding standards, while continuously testing and debugging.
After coding, the software undergoes testing to ensure that it meets the specified requirements and functions as intended.
Testing includes unit testing (testing individual components), integration testing (testing how components work together), and system testing (evaluating the entire system).
Once testing is successful, the software is deployed to the target environment.
Deployment involves installing the software on servers, cloud platforms, or other computing devices, making it accessible to end-users.
Software development doesn't end with deployment.
The maintenance phase involves addressing issues that arise post-deployment, applying updates, and making improvements based on user feedback.
This ensures the software remains reliable and up-to-date.
Those steps are often represented in various software development life cycle (SDLC) models, such as the Waterfall model, Agile model, or Iterative model.
Some methodologies, like Agile, may emphasise iterative development with frequent testing and client feedback, while others, like Waterfall, follow a more linear progression through these steps.
Some jobs in the IT industry heavily rely on software development. Here are some of them, along with explanations of why it is essential for their functions:
Software developers are directly involved in the creation of software applications. They write code, design algorithms, and ensure that the software meets specified requirements.
Some examples of their duties are writing, testing, and maintaining code, while collaborating with stakeholders to understand requirements.
Besides that, software developers also use various programming languages and tools to build functional applications.
Note: Salaries can vary based on the programming languages and technologies used, as well as the industry.
QA Engineers focus on ensuring the quality and reliability of software through testing and verification processes.
In this role, familiarity with software development is needed for executing the following tasks:
All in all, the main purpose of a QA engineer is to identify and address issues before the software is launched.
Note: Experience with automation testing tools and frameworks can impact salary.
DevOps engineers work in between development and operations, focusing on automation, collaboration, and efficiency in the software development lifecycle.
The goal is to enhance collaboration between development and operations. They could also automate and accelerate the software delivery process along the way.
Note: DevOps roles often have higher salary ranges due to the combination of development and operations skills.
Systems analysts bridge the gap between business needs and technology solutions, while analysing and designing information systems.
A system analyst usually performs these tasks:
This way, they would be able to ensure that the technology solutions align with business requirements.
Note: Salary can vary based on the complexity of systems analysis and the industry.
DBAs manage and maintain databases, also ensuring data integrity and security.
They need to design and implement database structures too, while optimising queries for performance.
By understanding software development, they would be able to ensure efficient storage and management of data, while ensuring the functionality of applications relying on databases.
Note: Experience with specific database technologies and the scale of databases managed can impact salary.