If you’re thinking about becoming a software or web developer, something important to understand is, you will rarely (if ever) work alone. Even if you decide to start a career as a freelance developer, you will more than likely be called on to collaborate with others to meet the client’s needs. The process of understanding the functionality of the code you write , and how it connects to existing code is a big part of a software development job.
So while writing code and achieving bug fixes might be work you do by yourself at a computer, it will usually be in connection with others, and with the mission to achieve a greater goal. To give you a better sense of what this looks like in action, we decided to break down some of the most common software development process models, and review a dozen of the tools developers rely on to get the job done.
5 Software Development Process Models
The process of developing software is complicated. From everyone agreeing on what the software needs to do, to decisions about design, to testing the code and resolving bugs, this is a team effort. There are several tried-and-tested process models that development teams follow to get the product live. Here are five of the most common:
- Waterfall Model: In the waterfall model, each phase of development is not begun until the completion of the stage before. This means design cannot begin until requirements are defined, development does not begin until design is approved, and so on. This traditional approach to software design is still in use at many companies, even though all the other models on this list were developed to correct perceived issues with this approach.
- Agile Model: In the agile model, teams work in sprints to design, create, and test portions of the code, then proceed to the next sprint and build upon what is already created. This allows for flexibility and adaptability if requirements and user expectations change throughout the project.
- Iterative Model: In the iterative model, the core software is developed and released with the basic requirements and functionality. Then, a new version of the software that improves and expands on the existing program is updated with each subsequent release.
- RAD Model: In the rapid application development (RAD) model, after requirements are defined the program is developed, tested, and improved until users agree the interface and functionality are correct. This allows end users to give better feedback about how the software must be improved.
- Spiral Model: In the spiral model, a focus is placed on risks in the software. After objectives are determined and met by developers, the risks and bugs in the software are identified, and a new version is developed and further reviewed. Then, a new spiral might begin or the product may be completed for release.
These process models are just some of the workflows that developers use to work together and meet the expectations of clients. In fact, some companies and teams even come up with hybrid approaches between two or more of these models. It’s whatever suits each team and company best!
Software Development Collaboration Tools
Collaboration between developers, designers, and end users is the foundation of efficient and successful software development. These tools are some of the basic collaboration tools for software developers that everyone from freelancers, to remote workers, to in-house tech professionals can expect to use:
- Monday: This workflow management tool allows developers to integrate different third-party platforms in one place and visualize the tasks that need to be completed. The options to set deadlines and track the time spent on each task allows productivity to be documented as well.
- Slack: This business communication platform allows users to communicate one-on-one, as well as create different conversations based on projects or subject matter. Built-in filesharing allows files to be passed back and forth within the chat as well.
- GitHub: This tool is a mashup between a collaboration platform and a development platform. On one hand, project managers can assign tasks and attract completion. On the other hand, developers can share and collaborate on code in a secure environment. Code libraries can even be integrated!
- BitBucket: This collaborative software development environment allows code to be organized in private repositories. This allows users to focus on the specific goal, process, or product they are working on while also having all the code at their fingertips.
Even if your employer or client uses a different tool or combination of tools for real-time software development collaboration, some of the functionality and features will likely be similar to these programs.
Entry-Level Software Development Tools
While some collaboration platforms allow for integrated development, other projects will need separate development platforms. These might have more storage, more security, or be integrated with code libraries and other features. Here are some of the more simple entry-level development environments a coder might work within.
- Embold: This tool analyzes over 10 different languages of code to find bugs and errors. This lets users uncover issues that affect stability, security, or put future updates at risk, before the code is final. Embold integrates with GitHub, BitBucket, and other development environments.
- Linx is a low-code, drag-and-drop application development tool. With over 100 pre-built features for different business functions and features, this tool makes developing business software easier and faster. Once created, apps can be automatically debugged with the tool before going live in one click.
- Quixy is a zero code platform anyone can use to create a user interface. More than 40 fields are part of ready-to-use templates that allow well-designed software to go live. Security features like custom password policies and multi-factor authentication can also be integrated.
Just like with the development models and collaboration platforms, each team will make its own choices about development environment. However, a general similarity between these tools means the more you are familiar with, the easier it will be to adapt.
More Software Development Tools and Techniques
Once you reach a certain level of experience as a software developer, you’ll benefit greatly from the flexibility of more powerful tools. While they might have a steeper learning curve for newcomers, they offer greater flexibility and power. These are some of the tools that can be used to develop apps and software from the ground up, or to make changes to the front-end and back-end securely and efficiently:
- Node.JS is a cross-platform development environment where web apps for Microsoft, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems are created. The platform is also designed to create well-organized back end structure and even server-side development. As an open source platform, node.js has one of the largest open source code libraries available.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud 9: The Cloud 9 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) was purchased by Amazon in 2016. This environment is used to create, test, debug, and run code in the cloud. One unique feature is that web and mobile developers can work on code together, and will also receive code completion suggestions (kind of like autosuggest) to help them work more efficiently.
- Atom is a free editor that allows developers to edit the front-end look of software without changing the source file. These edits will be applied across platforms, letting you make changes on the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of an app in one place. Used in conjunction with Electron, it can also be used to create applications from scratch.
- Eclipse is the most popular development environment for the Java language, though it is also used for many other programming languages. It can even be used to create other development environments for mobile, cloud, and desktop. The platform has many advantages like debugging and code completion and can integrate with many other tools.
- Adobe Dreamweaver is a website and web app development tool for Windows and Mac that has been in use in some form since 1997. Though it is an HTML editor at the core, Dreamweaver can incorporate over 15 other coding languages. It is also available in over 18 human languages, making it a valuable platform for international software development collaboration.
With so many different coding languages and the products created using them , new software development tools are being engineered every day. Some companies have even instituted proprietary development environments designed just to meet their specific needs and workflow.
At Eleven Fifty Academy, we are constantly auditing and updating the curriculum in our coding and cybersecurity bootcamps to ensure our students are using the best and most popular tools in the tech industry today. Learning how to use modern frameworks and libraries is part of the immersive hands-on learning that all our students experience. You’ll leave our virtual classroom ready to impress hiring managers with your skills and adaptable mindset, plus a portfolio of projects that demonstrate your abilities.
Learn more about our software development bootcamp curriculum, attend a free introductory course, or connect with one of our admissions advisors to ask your questions. However you find your way to our bootcamp programs, we look forward to helping you transform your life and upgrade your career in a matter of months.