A software development methodology can also be referred to as a software development life cycle. It is a defined process for organizing and developing software. Some methods are more popular than others, and theoretically, anyone can come up with new methodologies. However, when dealing with a large project, especially in the professional industry, it can be helpful to learn and adopt existing methods that other software developers are already using.

Whether you have a favorite software development methodology you use frequently or not, it can be helpful to learn about what’s out there. After all, software development comes down to problem-solving, and there are numerous ways to solve different problems. With that in mind, here are 5 software development methodologies you can try in your upcoming projects.

1 The Waterfall Method

The Waterfall Method

The waterfall software development method is simple and straightforward. If a client knows exactly what they want up front, then this method can be used to develop the software they need. In a nutshell, the specifications are handed off from the client to the project manager who works directly with the development team. The development team uses the specifications to design, build, and test a piece of software before deploying it and handing it back to the client.

Why Choose the Waterfall Method?

  • Works best for simple and short projects
  • All needs are known up front and documented
  • The final product won’t require maintenance

2 The Agile Method

The Agile Method

The agile software development method relies on collaboration between clients, developers, and testers from the beginning of the project onward. Software is developed in short iterations so that continual feedback can be received. These iterations can be as short as needed for the project. Because of these short bursts of work, not every detail about a project needs to be known up front. If a client’s needs change, the agile method can keep up with minimal risk. An interaction can be planned out, developed, and tested before the next phase is started. Once an iteration is complete, the client can use that part of the software while the next is being developed.

Why Choose the Agile Method?

  • It’s known from the beginning that the software will change
  • The client needs software quickly, but they can’t commit up front
  • An experienced development team is ideal for the agile method

3 The Feature-Driven Method

The Feature-Driven Method

The feature-driven software development method is made up of five processes that all happen simultaneously. In a large organization, this iterative methodology allows for faster development because everyone is allowed to work at the same time. It is not used for single-developer projects. The five processes allow for the following to happen at around the same time: An overall software model is created, a list of features is produced, implementation of the features is planned, the software is designed based on the features, and the software is built.

Why Choose the Feature-Driven Method?

  • You have a large project in a large organization
  • The main developer has strong leadership skills
  • The client prefers speed over documentation

4 The Spiral Method

The Spiral Method

The spiral software development method is used for high-risk or critical projects, particularly within large organizations that have budgets that can cover this time-intensive process. There are four steps in this development methodology, but the most important step is the risk assessment. If there is failure in this step, then the whole project can be in jeopardy. The other three steps are determining what the objectives are, developing the product, and planning the next phase. If there is too much risk to develop the next phase, then the initial three steps are repeated.

Why Choose the Spiral Method?

  • You are working on a high-risk project
  • Time is secondary to getting it right
  • You are okay with possibly never finishing

5 The DevOps Method

The DevOps Method

The DevOps software development method combines the development team and operation team, treating them as one as far as projects are concerned, not allowing the teams to be siloed. Of course, each department has different tasks within the process. With DevOps, the development team continuously develops while the operations team handles security, quality assurance, and other necessary operations. This collaboration allows for fast development timelines.

Why Choose the DevOps Method?

  • Speed and security are equally important
  • Continuous feedback and maintenance is required
  • Culture allows teamwork between departments

Learn More About Software Engineering Methodologies

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