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Phases of software development: main challenges of each phase

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Feeling the call of software design is a sleepy one, as we saw a few days ago when we read that development capacity is the main concern of managers, with 22.46% in Apiumhub's State of Software Development report.

The incorporation of digital tools in companies is essential in today's economy, whether in a supermarket, a law firm or a marketing agency.

Find out what the phases of any software development are and how to face the main challenges they pose.

are you ready?

What is software development?

Software development is a process by which software applications are created and maintained. This process involves the design, coding, testing, documentation and maintenance of software applications. It is not an easy process and requires a lot of dedication and knowledge.

All about the phases and challenges of software development stages

Pay attention to the details of each phase of software development, as well as the challenges present in them:

  • Problem, systems and requirements analysis

This is the first stage of software development and consists of identifying and understanding the problem to be solved. In this phase, an exhaustive study of the context in which the problem is found is carried out, the requirements are analysed, the objectives to be achieved are defined and they are set out in the ERS (System Requirements Specification) document.

The main challenges of problem, systems and requirements analysis are:

  • Avoiding an incomplete or inaccurate problem analysis, as this could cause the development software to fail to solve the real business problem, lead to unexpected costs or a large amount of delays.
  • Ensure that the problem analysis is sufficiently detailed and accurate, which is a challenge especially in large and complex software projects.
  • Software design and architecture

Once the problem is understood, the solution is designed. In this phase, the scope of the software to be developed is defined, the components are designed and the functional and non-functional requirements are specified. The programmer(s) determine(s) the overall functioning of the system, so it is time to bring to the table considerations of the network, hardware, use cases, etc. The architecture is the first design decision about the system and one of the most important points of the entire development.

The following challenges are unique to this phase of software development, so pay close attention:

  • Align the system design and architecture with the organisation's business objectives and strategy.
  • Be geared towards scalability and flexibility to allow for business growth and evolution.
  • Be robust enough to handle a large volume of data and traffic.
  • Facilitate integration with other enterprise systems and applications.
  • Programming and implementation

In this phase, the coding of the software is carried out. This is a very important stage, as it is where the previously made design is materialised. The complexity and duration of this stage are not exact, but are determined by the programming language that we are going to use (JavaScript, C/C++, Python, PHP, etc.).

These are the main challenges of the software development phase based on programming and implementation:

  • Ensuring a correct and efficient integration of the different software components, as well as the fulfilment of all requirements.
  • Ensuring the reliability and stability of the system.
  • Minimise the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the software.
  • Testing and review

Once the software has been coded, it is tested or debugged. In this phase, it is checked that the software complies with the specified requirements and that it works correctly. The review of the system is a great opportunity to execute the necessary measures to ensure its quality from the beginning.

The challenges of the test and review phase of the software project are:

  • Ensure test coverage and that all software functionalities are validated and verified.
  • To make the designed tests efficient and capable of detecting errors quickly and efficiently.
  • Minimise test execution times and have good control over these.
  • Maintenance and care

Maintenance is a stage that is carried out continuously throughout the life of the software. It is a process that allows correcting errors, improving functionalities and adapting the system to new needs. It involves the support of users throughout the service, software updates, etc.

The main challenges of this phase include:

  • Ensuring software availability and protection against security attacks.
  • Keeping the software up to date with the latest features and functionalities.
  • Ensuring software compatibility with existing systems and devices.
  • Reducing the cost of software maintenance.
  • Documentation

Documentation is another important stage of software development. It is the production of documents that specify the operation of the program and support both the developer and the user. Transparent documentation of the program source code is a fundamental point of development.

These are the main challenges of the documentation phase of software development:

  • Ensure that all requirements are documented and fully understood.
  • Ensuring that the software documentation is clear and concise, and that it can be easily understood.

This is the way in which users can comfortably and intuitively use and interact with the application. It is a key point in development, as it will determine the user experience, which in turn can improve productivity, efficiency and satisfaction.

The following challenges are specific to the usability design phase of software development:

  • Ensuring that the software meets the user's needs, that it is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Ensuring that it is attractive to the potential customer, compatible with the users' devices, easy to update, secure and reliable.

are you a company based in Madrid and need help in the different phases of software development? Ask for information at Occam Agencia Digital.

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