Custom Software Development

What is Agile Software Development Process (Agile methodology)?

All custom software development projects need careful consideration and approach as many things can go wrong in the development process. This is where agile practices come in.

To understand the agile software development process, we must first identify and understand what software development and Agile is.

What is Software Development?

Software development is a set of activities dedicated to developing computer software, this can be system software, application software, programming software, educational software and more.

In that sense, software development as a whole is the process used to create, design, deploy, and support software with the use of programming tools and coding.

What is Agile?

Much like Waterfall, The Spiral Model is a Agile methodology.. Boehm proposed the first methodology in 1988, and a group of 17 software developers released the first agile Manifesto principles.

Developers use the Agile methodology to anticipate the need for flexibility the software must apply a certain level of pragmatism to the end result of the software. Agile refers to an iterative software development methodology with value delivery by developers in small increments, not just one chunky launch.

What is the Agile Life Cycle?

The Agile development life cycle refers to the iterative and incremental process used in Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming (XP).

The software development life cycle is what we use here at Pulsion along with our custom built requirements gathering tool to help our development teams improve on traditional software development approaches.

All Agile methodologies for developing agile project management include six basic steps.

The first step involves defining and gathering requirements, planning, developing, building tests and releases, producing, and retiring.

The Agile Software Development Cycle

All of these parts are included with the iterations, so the iteration has been done after the release phase, and the second iteration can begin.

  • Requirements gathering: The requirements for the software are defined and prioritized.
  • Planning: Once all the requirements have been identified, the development team can start creating a plan they can use to deliver the software, this includes the features and functionalities they will implement during each iteration.
  • Development: The development team can start building the software using frequent and rapid iterations. If any errors occur, they can start the debugging process.
  • Release: The team can deploy the software to the customer/market and run some software testing to review the software and implement stakeholders and customer feedback.
  • Production: Maintenance and updates are done as needed to keep the production running smoothly. The teams can also monitor and respond to issues or changes as per the customer and stakeholder feedback.
  • Retirement: Once the product is no longer supported or needed, it will be retired.

Because the testing is performed throughout the agile life cycle, companies are assured that they will deliver high-quality products, giving them peace of mind.

Types of Agile Software Development Methodologies

Many companies mainly focus on the software application as a whole. In contrast, the agile methodology allows you to break the program down into smaller, cleaner pieces to piece together later.

Here is a list of Agile Methodologies:

Sprint planning in Agile

Each Agile stage is described here, causing numerous code iterations. This iteration is created by repeating the process of enhancing the app to create the best possible version to meet project requirements. This iteration is a sub-cycle contained in an agile software development lifecycle. Agile cycles divide work into steps to achieve these iterations. Each sprint aims at producing a functioning application.

Examples of Sprints

A typical sprint will last about 10 business days (2 weeks). Below are examples of typical sprints.

  • Product vision: To provide solutions.
  • Product goal: To build a deep learning model.
  • Sprint goal: To improve the accuracy.
  • Sprint backlog: Train the model, apply transformations and use transfer learning.

What are the Agile Principles and Values?

In 2001, 17 software development professionals met to talk about light software development and eventually developed an Agile Manifesto.

Despite the controversy of whether the document’s useful life has expired, the Manifesto remains central to the Agile movement. Agile development values have been described as the following:

  • Individual interaction is much more important than process or tool.
  • People are responsible for the development process and addressing business demands.
  • They are the most critical components of the development process.

The Benefits of Agile Software Development Methodology

There are many benefits that the agile software development processes can offer you as an individual programming developer as well as an organization, such as:

  • Satisfied Customers: As the customer is involved during all stages of the development process, the agile team can keep them informed at all times, and they can add their values and opinions on the project.
  • Improved Quality: Because Agile methodologies use an iterative approach, process improvement occurs during each interval.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: The Agile process is all about flexibility and adaptability. The teams can respond to changes, even at the last minute, and adapt to the changes without disruption.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Agile’s iterative cycles, typically in the form of short sprints, enable the delivery of working software at the end of each iteration. This results in quicker releases and a faster time-to-market for new features.
  • Improved Quality: Continuous testing and frequent feedback loops in Agile help identify and address issues early in the development process, leading to higher overall software quality.
  • Predictability: With the Agile process, work is done in short intervals, which is also known as sprints. These sprints make it easier for the project manager to assign resources as needed and measure the team’s progress.
  • Adaptive Planning: Agile allows for adaptive planning, where priorities can be adjusted at the end of each iteration based on changing business needs, market conditions, or customer feedback.
  • Cost-Efficiency: By focusing on delivering high-priority features early in the development process, Agile helps maximize the return on investment and optimize resource allocation.
  • Transparent Progress Tracking: Agile frameworks incorporate tools and practices for transparent progress tracking. Burndown charts, daily stand-up meetings, and regular reviews provide visibility into the project’s status.
  • Continuous Improvement: Agile encourages a culture of continuous improvement through retrospectives. Teams regularly reflect on their processes, identifying areas for enhancement and implementing changes to optimize efficiency.
  • Reduced Risk: Regular assessments are essential to reduce risks, and with the Agile process, these assessments get done during sprints. Therefore, the project manager and the team have visibility into the project and can pick up on errors and obstacles at an early stage.
  • Better Communication: Continuous interaction and face-to-face communication between the team and customer is one of the most significant advantages. With this approach, all parties involved are always on the same page and work towards the same goal and objectives.
  • Strategic Alignment: Agile ensures that development efforts align with strategic business goals. Regular feedback and adaptability allow organizations to steer projects in the direction that maximizes value.q

Software Testing

No matter what type of work or project you’re working on, testing is a crucial step in the development process. The testing process is an evaluation and verifying process used on projects to reduce development costs and includes bug fixes and prevention and improvement of performance.

The Different Types of Software Testing

Validating and testing require critical assessments to be done. The self-explanatory testing can help with collaboration between the tester and the testing team to reveal situations that can lead to errors or obstacles in the software.

There are various types of software tests used throughout the Agile life cycle:

  • Acceptance testing
  • Integration testing
  • Unit testing
  • Functional testing
  • Performance testing
  • Regression testing
  • Stress testing
  • Usability testing

The Importance of Software Testing

The need for quality control (QC), for example, when developing a software application, is something every project manager and development team strives for. No team wants to deliver software with defects that can damage their brand’s image or reputation.

This step is where testing comes in. Even though testing computer software is costly, it is a very cost-effective option in the long run, as it can save companies millions if they have a good QA process and testing techniques in place.

The testing process helps improve software reliability and the delivery method of high-quality software applications with very few bugs or errors.

Software Testing Education

It is part of a company’s core values to teach employees how to do things according to its standards, and testing falls under the umbrella of teachable categories.

Learning how to test a software product properly is of the utmost importance, as the software tester needs to know how to run the tests and what to look for to detect issues early.

Any learning institution that offers Computer Science or any other computer courses or qualifications has testing as a part of its curriculum.

This also allows students to learn how to run tests and adequately prepare for the real-world workforce. Institutions also offer distinct and separate testing courses or integrated software testing.

What Will You Learn as a Software Tester?

Meeting software requirements will be a part of your daily duties as a tester. You must also create various test scenarios to detect errors and obstacles, including automatic testing.

Here is a list of duties and responsibilities of a tester:

  • Detecting and analyzing software defects or issues.
  • Collaborating with colleagues and other testers to develop efficient testing systems.
  • Reporting significant findings to senior managers, project managers, and executives.
  • Designing and creating an automated testing system using computer code.
  • Interacting with customers to understand the software or product requirements.
  • Providing feedback and assistance with software design and functionality.

The Benefits of Testing Education

Education in any industry is something we all see as important, just as learning new skills for self-development and the progress of the company.

Software testing is one of the top skill requirements in the development industry and so learning how to properly conduct tests is of the same level of importance. So, one may ask; What are the benefits of testing education? Well, software testing can help the development team detect and resolve issues before they become major problems for the project.

Agile and Software Testing

To conclude, we want to return to the link between Agile testing and the Agile software development process. We now know that Agile testing is a practice that forms part of and follows the core principles of Agile development and uses a cross-functional Agile team.

To emphasize this point, we see that with this, the testing phase is not a separate entity; it is, in fact, an integral part of the development process. The teams that form part of the Agile team all work together throughout the development project, making the Agile approach the best option for software development companies.

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