Browse Definitions :
Definition

software development

Software development is the collective processes involved in creating software programs, embodying all the stages throughout the systems development life cycle (SDLC).

SDLC methodologies support the design of software to meet a business need, the development of software to meet the specified design and the deployment of software to production.  A methodology should also support maintenance, although that option may or may not be chosen, depending on the project in question.

The Waterfall model, the original SDLC method, is linear and sequential, generally following these stages in order:

1) Identification of required software
2) Analysis of the software requirements
3) Detailed specification of the software requirements
4) Software design
5) Programming
6) Testing
7) Maintenance

The waterfall and similar models are considered predictive methodologies, in contrast to adaptive models such as agile software development (ASD), rapid application development (RAD), joint application development (JAD), the fountain model, the spiral model, build and fix and synchronize-and-stabilize. Frequently, several models are combined into some sort of hybrid methodology as is the case with open source software development (OSSD).

The history of software development goes back to about 1810, when Joseph Marie Jacquard developed holes punched in cardstock to guide the patterns woven by his looms. It wasn't until 1949, however, that John Mauchly developed the first programming language, Brief Code (later known as Short Code).

See also: Our Learn IT: Software development reference guide. Or check out our printable software development glossary of brief definitions, linked to the full versions for more information. Would you like to test your knowledge? Try our Software development quiz.

This was last updated in October 2016

Continue Reading About software development

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • e-business (electronic business)

    E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the internet.

  • business resilience

    Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business ...

  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • first call resolution (FCR)

    First call resolution (FCR) is when customer service agents properly address a customer's needs the first time they call.

  • customer intelligence (CI)

    Customer intelligence (CI) is the process of collecting and analyzing detailed customer data from internal and external sources ...

  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

Close