The Computer Science and the Software Development Industry
Software development is the lifecycle stage of developing, coding, designing, testing, documentation, and debugging involved in building and maintaining software, programs, frameworks, or other technical software components. Software development process is often considered to be a generic or organizational activity. It can be done by software engineers (the names of whom we will shortly be acquainted with) or sometimes by business units which specialize in software development (e.g. software development companies). Software development lifecycle begins when an idea for developing a particular software component is conceived and subsequently developed through the phases defined by the software development process.
A software development company will usually have a list of requirements that they need to satisfy before beginning the software development work. The software engineer(s) then meets these requirements with a view to satisfy them at each step of the way – from the preliminary requirements to the “to do” list at the end. Software engineering thus includes a whole range of activities, each defining a series of steps to be taken towards achieving a specific result. A programmer usually follows these steps in order, one after the other, in order to build a program, obtain user acceptance, use the desired functionality, make modifications, and finally provide a product that satisfies user expectations. The activities of a software engineer form the foundation of the entire software development life-cycle.
Programming: Programming is primarily concerned with the formal specification and design of a particular computer program or an application software package. Programmers write source code to describe a specific piece of software and its intended use; they usually rely on a compiler and various supporting tools such as linkers and interpreters to translate these specifications into machine instructions. Programmers are also responsible for the testing of their code at every stage of the development cycle. Programmers may specialize in particular areas, such as object-oriented programming, web programming, high-end programming, or procedural programming.
Architectural Design and Code Organization: Architectural design involves determining the functional requirements of a project before software development. The requirements are then transformed into a specification, which is used by software engineers to define the behavior of the software program as well as its interactions with external users and hardware. This part of software development also involves a lot of communication between the software engineers and designers. Code organization is the process by which the technical description of the software is translated into a manual that describes each line of code. Software developers use test methods and error management techniques to guarantee that the program is correct.
Communication Between Developers and Business Owners: Communication is an important factor in software development, because it allows developers to exchange information regarding the current status of the project. This is especially necessary between them when they are located different geographical locations. For instance, developers in the West Coast may need to coordinate their efforts with those in the East Coast. In cases such as these, communication channels must be set up before the programmers can meet. This is done through the information technology and computer science industry association.
Application Development and Testing: During software development, the testing phase is usually performed by non-technical persons, such as business owners. The purpose of this phase is to verify whether the software is suitable for its intended use. The software development company will be responsible for writing the test cases and will have to coordinate with the testers once the software is complete. The software engineering and computer programming industry association also handle the software testing process.