swSoftware development is when a user desires to create new software or, usually, upgrade their already existing system for a more efficient one. The users can be as diverse and large as an entire corporation or organization, a team that relies heavily on said software or even a small group of individuals. Once they establish that they wish to create a new system or upgrade said existing system, they will be required to devise and implement a master plan which will lead to the creation of this new system.

Several steps are required to complete this software development process. This includes, but is not limited to, working out what the system needs to accomplish, developing it accordingly, writing out the code, thorough testing and debugging, and finally launching, should everything work out. This development process can take as few as a motivated programmer to several or even hundreds of developers.

To establish what is required from the system, in other words, the problem(s) that it must solve, there has to be research. Sometimes the problem can be a common one, requiring the creators of new software to make theirs to solve the problem in a way that puts their product ahead of their competitors. However the problem can be entirely new, requiring the team to come up with a method of resolving it. Finally, it can be a recent problem that has been discovered, making the previous software obsolete, requiring a new creation to resolve said problem. And so, at this point of software development, the goals that are meant to be attained are set out.

Once these objectives have been recognized, the next step is to plan out how the software is supposed to work to reach these problem solving solutions. This all comes before a single line of code is actually put down. Matters of user interface and the graphics that will go into the user’s end of the software are also established. At this point, graphic designers, interface developers, programmers, and producers, should it be a large team, come into play and participate at this stage of software development. This will work out how data will be inserted or input for processing, and how it will be displayed or output. Furthermore, the more intimate parts of the software are worked out, such as the algorithms that have to be in the software, and that is the “processing” aspect of the software system. Flowcharts and pseudo codes are commonly used to assist in this process.

Next in the software development process is the actual coding. This tends to be the most tedious and longest part of software development. This daunting task of actualizing the entire software system in line by line sections of code is left to programmers. There are several programming tool that are used to assist in this task. Each is left to the preferences and sometimes budget of the team.

Software development can go on long past the launching of the software. This allows for bugs that may have passed through the testing phase to be rooted out, and a “patch” or “fix” sent out.