Agile Methodology VS Traditional Software Development

In the software development industry, there are two main approaches that drive the project life-cycle. Traditional software development, also known as the Waterfall method, is a linear and structured approach that relies on processes to accomplish the end results. Agile methodology is a non-linear approach to software development that adapts to changing requirements and flexible planning throughout the entire process. When choosing a vendor for custom software development, it is important to be familiar with both methods to determine which will be the best approach for your business needs.

Traditional software development practices can be broken down into four distinct phases. The initial step is to set up the requirements for the project and determine the length of time it will take to implement the various phases of development while trying to predict any problems that may arise. Once the requirements are laid out, the next step moves into the design and architectural planning phase where a technical infrastructure is produced in the form of diagrams or models. These bring to the surface potential issues that the project may face as it progresses and provide a workable road map for the developers to implement.

Once the team is satisfied with the architectural and design plan, the project moves into the development phase where code is produced until the specific goals are reached. Development is often broken down into smaller tasks that are distributed among various teams based on skill. The testing phase often overlaps the development phase to ensure issues are addressed early on. Once the project nears completion and the developers are close to meeting the project requirements, the customer will become part of the testing and feedback cycle. When the customer is satisfied, the project is delivered.

This linear approach to software development relies on structured processes and heavy documentation that guides the work done in each phase. The success of a rigid structure depends on the fact that all requirements are known before the development phase begins and that they will not change. This makes it easy to set schedules, determine project costs and allocate resources.

However, in the real world of software development, problems do arise and new specifications are discovered during the development phase. The traditional waterfall approach to software development does not provide the flexibility to address these issues without a great deal of cost and time. In complex situations, it may mean having to start completely over from the beginning.

A more flexible approach to custom software development is the Agile methodology. With this approach, the emphasis is less on the structured process of development and more on team collaboration. Instead of relying on documentation to measure the progress of a project, the goal is to produce working software in incremental phases before all requirements have been met. Customers and developers collaborate throughout the life-cycle of the entire project and are not restricted to requirement documentation and contract negotiations. Agile methodology is designed to address changing needs throughout the entire project.

With Agile software development, tasks are broken down into small increments called iterations which are short cycles that last anywhere from one to four weeks. Each iteration follows the same process as traditional software development does, such as collecting requirements, devising a plan and developing it. However, this approach involves multiple iterations to accomplish the total project requirements rather than attempting to follow a single development cycle. At the start of each iteration, the project needs are reevaluated. This allows changing requirements to be adapted even at the end of the development process. When the customer receives working versions of the software throughout the development life-cycle, this minimizes the risks of their return of investment and allows them to provide continuous feedback.

Despite the lowered risk of software development with an Agile methodology, it is not without certain disadvantages. Because of the flexibility involved with this approach, it can be difficult to determine completion schedules and calculate budgets for the project. The success of Agile also relies on the continuous collaboration with the customer. If the customer does not have time to invest in the process then this approach may not be the best method.

Understanding the development methods in place in the working environment of the company you hire for custom software development will have an impact on overall customer satisfaction. Both Agile and waterfall methods are viable solutions with proven success. If your project requirements are straightforward and unlikely to change, then choosing a vendor who uses the traditional method is a good solution. However, if your project requires a great deal of flexibility and continuous collaboration, than Agile software development solutions are the best option.

Tips for Hiring a Software Development Company

Modern market today is very competitive which is why hiring a software development company is vital. Having the best software program will help companies succeed in the ever-changing market. Either you are choosing just an individual to develop your software or hiring a software company, it should be best to be careful and meticulous when selecting one. Always remember that the one you hire will be bringing the company’s interest. So to get the best quality software development company, here are few tips to guide you:

First, you need to decide whether you just want to hire freelance soft developers or a software company. This first step is very vital as it can either make your project a successful one or a total failure. If the project is huge, it would be best to hire a company as they are equipped with a team that can work with your during your schedule. They can also give you sound advices to better improve your software. Hiring freelancers on the other hand is cost efficient, however; would only be advisable for smaller projects.

Once you have decided which software company to hire, check their website and ask for an estimate. Make sure that you place the necessary information so the company can give you the best price. For high quality developers, do not expect them to be cheap. As long as the quote is within your budget, then go for it. Quality is expensive.

Scout for IT companies that have the most experience when it comes to your needs. You can compare their achievements and how they work. By doing this, you would know if they meet the necessary qualifications you need for your project.

Select a firm that fully understands your needs. You should also comprehend their style and design so you can harmoniously work together. Hiring a software development company that does not understand your visions on the project would be entirely useless. Make sure that from the start you have discussed everything and they fully see your goals as their goals as well or if not, then you can look for another IT company. Do not stick to a company that will not help you succeed.

As a paying customer, make sure that everything has been accounted for. As you want to get the highest results of the work they give you, you are also paying them the price they have charged you. Double check that there are no hidden charges that can’t be explained otherwise, they have already started cheating on you. Cheating is not a good practice between partners.

To avoid this, it is best for each of you to communicate effectively so you will not miss out anything. Communication plays an essential part for your project to succeed, either just hiring a freelance company or a huge software development company.

So if you are looking to work effectively with any software development company, it is best to go through the steps in looking for one. Using this as a guide when looking for a company would lead you to a successful project.

The Differences Between Software Development and Software Engineering

Software development and software engineering go hand in hand when it comes to the implementation of software. Software development deals more with the creation of the software and when this is complete, software engineering takes over with the creation of software systems. Both of these disciplines are at times interchangeable and without much difference to the layman. If you just want to have one specific piece of software designed, such as database software that will keep track of your bird watching hobby, then you’ll just need software development. If, however, you want your bird watching database to be able to support multiple functions, such as delivering a report with statistics and results, then you’ll more likely need the expertise of software engineering.

Software engineers will implement and design software applications through the use of many mediums. These software applications will then be used for a variety of purposes that include business practices to entertainment purposes. It is these software applications that allow users to make their time on the computer as functional and productive as possible. Types of software applications include language applications, office applications, entertainment packages, and applications for education.

The cost of hiring a software developer will be significantly less than hiring a software engineer. Before you make your final decision about what you want the software to do you need to plan you budget, your timeline, and determine what you want the end result to be. The industry of software development continues to grow each year as more and more businesses are having their own software developed for them that is specific to what they do and what they want the software to do. Most companies will already be using some type of software application, such as Office Suite, and most likely won’t need another application developed for them. For most intents and purposes you’ll be fine hiring a software developer for you and your business needs.