A Beginner's Guide to Software Development Life Cycle

January 19, 2023
Natalie Thorburn

Software is a complex beast. It has to work on multiple platforms with various operating systems and hardware configurations. It needs to be able to scale up or down depending on the number of users currently online. It has to respond even as it processes large amounts of data. And it all needs to happen without any hiccups or glitches due to human error!

To make things easier for everyone involved, software developers use a process that begins with gathering requirements from stakeholders and ends with deployment into production environments—a continuous cycle called the software development life cycle SDLC. Take a closer look at what goes into this process. Micro Focus states, "SDLC is a necessary part of any software development project, as it can help your organization build high-performance products."

Requirements gathering and analysis

Requirements gathering and analysis is a crucial phase of the software development life cycle. This phase aims to gather, organize, analyze and document the functional requirements for a project or product. A requirement can be defined as "a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or achieve an objective" (ISO 8402).

Requirements are derived from business needs, organizational goals and customer expectations. They should be measurable, testable and verifiable statements about what needs to be built for the system/product/service being developed to meet end-user needs.


Design is the process of creating a solution to a problem. It's about solving the problem, not just building something that works.

Design is a creative process. It involves making decisions and tradeoffs, so you must think deeply about what you're creating and why.

Implementation (coding)

It's not until this step that you actually get to write code. Coding is the process of writing source code, which can be compiled into machine language. Compiled programs are often called executables, which you'll use daily as a programmer. You write the program in a high-level programming language such as Java or Python and then compile it into an executable file by running your program through a compiler.


Testing is the process of evaluating a software product to detect and correct errors, ensure compliance with specifications, and evaluate the quality of the product. This is an important part of software development because it helps to ensure that the application meets its requirements.


Deployment is taking a software application and making it available for users to use. Deployment can occur in several different ways, depending on what application you're deploying and how you want to make it available to people. The most common approach is to host your application on a web server so that it's accessible through the internet.

  • It allows anyone with access to the internet to use your software as long as they have an internet connection.
  • You don't need any specialized knowledge about how computers work (i.e., installing programs) for someone else to use your software.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with this type of deployment method:


Maintenance is the process of keeping a system working. It's a subset of the SDLC and includes bug fixes and enhancements to existing software. Maintenance can be performed by a software development team or by an external contractor.

It's important to remember that software development is a complex process, and there aren't any shortcuts or one-size-fits-all solutions. The best way to learn about SDLC is by diving in and getting your hands dirty, but until that day comes, it's okay if you feel overwhelmed with all the different steps involved in creating products.


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