Software development is the process of creating a computer program that will be executed to solve specific issues and challenges or to enhance performance or functions. For any software to be developed there has to be a problem that is supposed to be addressed by that very program. Any software has a specific problem that it is supposed to solve. The difference comes in the methods that are used to obtain solutions. Software solutions started by a development method called Waterfall. By its failures and strength, a better version called agile came about.
Early software development methods
This was the first method of software development. It worked by splitting the business requirements into parts then prioritizing those parts from the most basic user requirements. The software solution was then developed from the part that was given the priority sequentially up to the last priority. It was more like an assembly line. This linear way of development brought about a challenge as business needs were dynamic and would change after some prioritized parts were solved. In this model, a lot of teams that worked individually were involved in the development process. This made the software static in that it was extremely difficult to make changes to software since it would entail bringing all those teams together.
It was hard to develop software due to the linear and static way of development. For those reasons, software development became very tedious and consumed a lot of resources since it required a lot of skilled labor in the various tasks from development all the way to support and maintenance.
The waterfall method showed a lot of loopholes in developing software. It necessitated research on a better and faster approach to development that would also be cheaper. This research led to the development of the agile method. This method took into account the findings of the research that was conducted. The research showed that the waterfall model mainly failed in three areas as mentioned below.
- It planned on developing software very large projects in a single development cycle
- It assumed business was static and would not change, so it was not able to be altered in case other requirements came about
- It tried to lock in big projects at the formative stages
The agile method of development addressed these challenges by removing the linear process. This was done by having a collaborative team that worked together as the software was developed. This led to a continuous process where every team was involved in planning, testing, integration, deployment, support, and maintenance. It, therefore, opened the cycle to changes when they occurred and improvements even at later stages of software development. Because of the team interactions, more common approaches that enhanced software development arose. This brought about the birth of the most popular approach called Scrum. It was widely used, and it enhanced the development of new methods of software development in use today.