5 Core Activities For Your First Software Development Project

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There are several core activities to follow on your first software development project. The software development life cycle (SDLC) is reliant on several core activities. While every software project is unique, programming teams tend to follow a few universal steps to ensure successful delivery. These mission-critical activities guide software professionals through essential SDLC stages – including architecture design, coding, quality assurance (QA) testing, release, and distribution. As a tech enthusiast and computer science (CS) student, you should know how to start designing, engineering, and releasing your own innovative software products. After all, our future depends on solutions like these. Read on for the core activities to follow on your first software development project.

Gather System Requirements

First and foremost, gather all the necessary requirements and specifications for your new software development project. Collaborate with designers, developers, QA experts, and external stakeholders to determine exactly what the system needs. If you’re working on this project independently, put together a focus group of prospective end users. Together, you can discuss exactly how the application should look, function, and operate. Also, determine requirements for project deadline, budget costs, and functionality needs. Of course, proper requirements planning leads to less rework, fewer miscommunications, and minimal project chaos. Plus, it can inspire greater satisfaction and confidence from stakeholders. Surely, gathering system requirements is one of the most prominent activities for your first software development project. 

Learn A Programming Language

Before you can start building your first software development project, you need to learn a popular coding language. Rust is a widely-used, general-purpose, and multi-paradigm programming framework. It’s a great choice for developers that prioritize memory safety, speed, and high performance. Using Rust, you can integrate a wide range of powerful development tools, programming resources, and supporting technologies into your workflow. For example, you can use a JFrog Cargo Registry to securely distribute Rust crates across your team with fine-grained access control. Specify these access credentials based on personnel, project requirements, or pre-determined criteria. Certainly, learning a coding language is one of the most important activities for your first software development project. 

Design The Software Application

At this point, it is time for the application design phase to begin. This is where your project requirements begin to come to life. Typically, the software design process focuses on five major steps – research, brainstorm, design, implementation, and iteration. This will result in an initial prototype of your envisioned software application. During this stage, you should also create logical and physical design diagrams, as well as data-flow charts. In some cases, it will also be advised to start writing pseudo codes. With structured design processes, you can ensure seamless code integration, maximize stakeholder acceptance, and improve visual understanding. Surely, dedicate time to design activities when building your first custom software application.  

Code And Develop Your Product

Now, you are ready for the actual coding and development phase. Start building your software in accordance with your initial requirements, project scope, user expectations, and statement of work (SOW). The entire software will be written in the programming language you previously chose. Naturally, this tends to be the hardest, longest, and most complicated piece of the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC). However, it’s also obviously one of the most important. To alleviate some of the pressure, start with an MVP – or minimum viable product. This can help you set actionable deadlines, minimize scope creep, and release powerful software applications. Absolutely, coding and developing are some of the most essential activities when building your first software product. 

Conduct Quality Assurance (QA) Testing 

Once your software is fully developed, save some time for QA testing. Software quality assurance testing is a must before your application is released into the real-world. Without SQA, you risk catastrophic corporate emergencies, possible hack, and diminished stakeholder confidence. There are a few primary forms of QA inspections – functional, unit, performance, security, and vulnerability testing are all key. You may even be able to save time by automating these testing processes with artificial intelligence (AI). Definitely, conduct QA testing before releasing your first software development project into the wild. 

There are several core activities for every successful software development project. Typically, the project begins with system requirements gathering, planning, and analysis. Next, you’ll need to teach yourself a popular programming language – such as Rust, Ruby on Rails, Python, or JavaScript. At this point, it is time for the software design phase to begin. From here, you can move on into actual system coding and development. Afterwards, spend plenty of time testing your system against your initial specifications, standards, and requirements. Follow the points above to learn the most important core activities for your first software development project.

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