Software development is a set of broad range of activities that start from the conceptual idea of automating a business process. It includes understanding the needs and planning the features of the software, coding the programs in a programming language, testing the programs to see if they work correctly, and then document how to use the features of the software. Software development process includes studying the existing business processes, creating software prototypes, testing the software, modifying the code to improve the functionality, and release the software product. Once the software is released and bought by the customers, the software development company has to provide support to the customers.
Software development companies mainly develop software for the following main purposes:
- To automate existing business processes of a particular client or business. Customized application software is designed to automate existing business processes. For example, a software application developed for a courier company to digitize and automate all of its business processes.
- To meet general purpose needs of a vast number of users. For example, MS Office is a general application software suite that caters to the common office needs of users all over the world. Some open source general purpose applications are also present in this category. For example, Open Office is free software that delivers the functionality delivered by MS Office.
- To automate a particular process in a particular business or scientific need that is specific to an environment. For example, to automate an everyday task involved in a drug manufacturing company. This may be very specific to a particular drug or a particular industry. Scientists would code small programs for such tasks. These programs are not commercially available.
- To automate the functioning of a particular device. Embedded software are created to deliver this functionality. For example, microwave ovens and automatic washing machines contain software that automates their operation. These software are embedded in chips that are fitted inside these devices.
Over time, the processes involved in software engineering have been studied, tested, and re-engineered to deliver better quality software to clients. A set of engineering paradigms have been created with rules and guidelines to create quality software. These standard policies and paradigms aim to deliver a standardized software engineering practices.
- Reviewing current systems
- Presenting ideas for system improvements, including cost proposals
- Working closely with analysts, designers and staff
- Producing detailed specifications and writing the programme codes
- Testing the product in controlled, real situations before going live
- Preparation of training manuals for users
- Maintaining the systems once they are up and running
- Expertise in current computer hardware and software
- Ability to use one or more development language (C++, PHP, HTML, etc.)
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Eye for detail and identifying problems
- An understanding of business
- Analytical and commercial experience
- Software developerinvarious programming languages
- Software engineer
- Development Architect
- Testing engineer