Types of Software Development and Which one to Choose from?

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Software development

Software development involves creating, designing, documenting, and debugging code to build an application, framework, or digital utility. Software development is done primarily by software developers or coders working with an organization, MNC, or startup or even on their own.

Different kinds of software development are available, and it entirely depends on the company to choose the one that fits their goal. Some of the software development available to the company are as follows:

1. Web development

It is the process of building web applications. These applications can be accessed via the Internet Browser on various devices such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc. Web apps are very dynamic and have two components: front-end (client-facing) and back-end (server-side).

  • Front-end development: The front end is the exterior part of the web application that a user interacts with. Front web developers code the user-facing side of an application/ web page, coded with HTML, CSS, and Javascript with some frameworks that provide templates.Front-end development also involves fixing bugs and collaborating with the back-end component to ensure the two components work together efficiently.
  • Back-end development: The back-end is the part of the web application dealing with servers. It features databases, web servers, operating systems, frameworks, etc.The back-end developer’s primary roles include building the core logic and infrastructure that makes the website or application function.Some other responsibilities of back-end developers include performing quality assurance(QA) testing, assessing the performance and speed of the website, and ensuring optimal display and running of the website. The back-end developers also troubleshoot and debug problems to ensure the website runs without issues.Back-end development is done in server-oriented coding languages, including Python, PHP, Javascript, Kotlin, Ruby, C#(C sharp), Go programming language, etc.The back-end developers use frameworks such as Laravel, Django, Spring, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, etc. The back-end has two components, which are:
  • Database development: Databases are developed to store and access information in electronic format. It aims to create a repository that efficiently allows data storage and retrieval. Database development uses languages such as MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL server.
  • API development: API is software that interconnects two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. An API developer builds software to build software that allows data transfer and interpretation possible between systems. A few languages used in API development are Python, Ruby,.NET, Java, Perl, ActionScript, etc.
  • Full Stack Development: Full Stack development is the common ground of both front-end and back-end development. Full Stack development is beneficial as it allows end-to-end program management and efficiently maintains the development flow.

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The full stack developers should be able to design engaging sites with the help of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, build the server-side logic and connect the front end with servers using APIs.

Full stack development uses:

  • Angular, Node.js, React.js for front-end
  • Java, Python, PHP, Go for back-end
  • Databases like MongoDB, Firebase, MySQL
  • Frameworks and system designs

2. Desktop Development

Desktop developers develop software applications that run on desktop/laptop operating systems such as Windows/MAC/LINUX.

Desktop Development primarily deals with creating apps that run in a particular operating system without internet connections. Large co-operations and businesses primarily use these apps to support their operations.

  • Windows development: It involves the development of software applications or frameworks for windows. Windows development is primarily done in the C# language.
  • macOS development: Development of software that works on macOS. It uses languages like Python, Java, or Swift.
  • Linux development: It is the process of developing software for Linux OS. Android is also based on Linux Kernel. Most of the languages can be used for development in Linux.

3. Mobile Development

Mobile development is also known as App development and is the process of development and creation of software application for mobile devices that operates on OS such as iOS or Android. Mobile development is used to develop all applications a smartphone runs, including mobile games and social media.

Mobile apps are of two types, native and hybrid apps. The native app is developed for a particular OS, which can be either Android or ios. Building a native app is efficient as you can use native APIs and OS-specific programming languages. Whereas Hybrid apps are written using a single codebase that can run on both IOS and Android, they are written in languages both the OS recognizes. The languages/frameworks used in mobile development include Objective C, Swift for iOS, Java or Kotlin for Android, etc.

4. Data science

Data science is extracting data from structured or unstructured data sets using computer programs. Data scientist manipulate and tweaks data to dig out the desired information using cluster computing techniques. Data science involves the use of MATLAB, C/C++, and Python.

5. Cloud computing

Cloud computing is used to transfer data outside local servers and storage in remote servers hosted on the internet to make the data available globally. Cloud computing development involves creating software that powers storage applications such as Microsoft One Drive, DropBox, Amazon Web Services(AWS), or Github. Cloud computing developers should be proficient in Java, XML, ERLANG, Python, and Go.

6. DevOps

It is a philosophy that combines the development process (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It includes a set of practices that reduces the time between the change you commit to a system and the change that is implemented while maintaining the quality.

DevOps automates software development, testing, and IT operations to shorten and streamline the development cycle while delivering software features, fixes, and updates. DevOps is complemented with Agile for better products and collaboration. In short, it is characterized by shared ownership, workflow automation, and feedback. A DevOps engineer must possess programming, testing, integration, and scripting skills.

7. Game development

It involves creating video game software that runs on computers and gaming consoles. Specific frameworks are needed for game development, which are:

  • Lumberyard: Primarily used to make games for PlayStation 4, PS4, and XboxOne, Lumyard is programmed in C++ and Lua.
  • Unreal: Oldest framework, primarily used to make PC games. It is programmed in C++.
  • Unity: It is used to make 2D, and 3D games for Windows, Macs, Playstation, Xbox, web apps, Android, iOS, etc. It is programmed in C ++ and C#.

8. Embedded system development

It is programmed software/hardware part of a separate system. With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things), embedded systems are widely used. Embedded systems are used in electronics, medical devices, telecommunication, etc.

The role of an embedded system developer is to design, develop and create software and implement it into a device built around microprocessors.

Embedded systems are used in many products we use daily, such as motion sensors, gaming consoles, cars and vehicles, medical devices, etc. To do embedded systems development, one must know Raspberry pi, Embedded C, C++, Assembler, Python, Arduino, etc.

9. Security software development

Data is vulnerable on the internet, and many try to manipulate or steal it. Ethical hackers and cybersecurity experts develop software that prevents data theft and intrusion of malicious viruses to prevent it from happening. To develop security software, one must know Python, Javascript, PHP, and SQL.

How one can select the best software for their company

The type of software a company uses depends on the core functioning of the company. If the company is a videogame company, they should choose game development software and hire and work with game developers.

Every software application is built for a specific function and requires a particular approach. For example, if you need software to store and process data and help in business operations, you most likely need a desktop application.

Similarly, if a company uses web applications and webpages, then it should use web development software and hire front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers.

Instagram, Facebook, and Netflix are all dynamic web apps and social media networks made using Web development. These pages have interactive user-facing pages with a complex back end that makes these sites functional.

A cybersecurity company that produces antivirus should choose security software development and hire security software developers. The security software protects your system from potential threats, including data extortion and digital attacks.

Additionally, Software development companies develop various applications and widgets to help users perform specific tasks or assist them, and this is done with the help of technologies such as AI.

Almost every major tech company uses AI in its operations. These companies use tools like automation, conversational bots, smart machines, etc., developed using   AI technologies.

Companies that make electronic chips for computers, digital machines, or robots use embedded system development to program, develop and design chips that are used in electronic components.

Data analytics companies use data science to store and process data. All big tech companies use DevOps to streamline the software development process they require.

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Rajamanickam Rajan is the Director at Skein Technologies which is a leading software development company in India. He holds an expertise in Analysis, Design, Development, Testing and Implementation of Hybrid and Native applications. Rajamanickam has mentored and motivated the development teams at onsite and offshore for successful deliveries.

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