A Perfect Software Developement Life Cycle in a Perfect World

Recently in my studies about software development, I’ve been learning about the backbone of software development itself, otherwise known as the software development cycle.

Something I initially thought was a two step process of idea -> development, is a far cry from the actual reality.

I mean from a simple google search on ‘Software Development Life Cycles’ you’d end up with millions of results plus hundreds and hundreds of books of different theories, ideas and practices published by global companies and renowned developers.

Yet as scary as it seems as of right now, the more intrigued I am to learn more about this world of digital development. I accept the challenge.

My knowledge of the topic isn’t broad enough for me to go too in depth of each and every life cycle and how they all work. The list below names a few popular models

  • Waterfall
  • V model
  • Incremental
  • Iterative
  • Spiral
  • Agile

Moving on… I spent some time examining and analyzing what Software Development Life Cycles (SDLCs) the institute where I work use. from the knowledge I have and by asking different members of the teams around me I learnt that there are many factors that contribute to what process is used.

Although in theory an agile approach is what most of my team said would be ideal, this is hardly possible as working in a huge environment consisting of many faculties and branches it tends to be a challenge to set up face to face meetings at short notices to just review what is required etc.

From my own experience so far within the institute I realized that it really varies on what process is used, sometimes small projects may require just one to be there own project manager, business analyst as well as the developer. However regarding huge projects there is somewhat of a waterfall approach with missing sections. I’ve realized that sometimes doing the feasibility study is neglected due to the fact that there are higher powers around all HE institutes that can change a rule or ask for certain groups of data, when that happens you don’t really get the chance to ask yourself could we do this? or should we do this?

In conclusion, within the department of Higher Education(HE) there really isn’t a perfect go to SDLC. Nonetheless the teams and faculty work really hard together to approach and complete a project with the best interest of how it will affect not only the institute, but mainly the students as they are the most important factor.

Even though data protection and government laws do at times slow and or even halt certain progress, which can make a simple task over complicated doesn’t mean it isn’t achievable.

Here at the University of Westminster the teams work in close proximity with each other and the majority are knowledgeable in many aspects. For example we have a SITS business solutions team that have previous experience working in different faculties e.g finance, admissions etc who now  channel that knowledge to provide excellent Intel and assistance.

We also have the developers, my team. We are not only skilled in development and coding but also often act like business analysts. We have to arrange interviews and meetings to gain knowledge and understanding of what is actually needed before we can start the design and development work.

It really is great to work with a diverse skilled team, as it allows me to not just learn about software development but to learn about HE as a whole. To be involved from the initial stage, all the way to the implementation and further. While all at the same time gaining life skills from fields like business analysts and project managers.

Ajmal Choudhury – Aspiring Software Developer

 

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