Agile Software Development

26 Nov. 2010 Software Development

One big obstacle in developing software is that when one version of a system is out of the door, customers are quickly clamoring for more features. If you provide too much functionality in a given software application, you take a lot of risk. You also increase the development timeframe, thus frustrating the people who have come to depend on your software. If you don’t make the changes soon, their productivity could go down. What are you going to do?

If you’re like most smart information technology managers, you rely on agile software development. The main goal of the process is to decrease the amount of turnaround time it takes to get a new release of your software available to the general public. The methodology is extremely popular with marketing teams, who need a quick way to implement their ideas in order for their company to remain competitive.

For agile software development to be successful, a developer needs to be closely involved with the people who will use the final product. As part of the analysis, the developer will show a basic prototype to the customers to make sure the result will meet their needs. Requirement gathering, software designing & development, software application testing, and releasing the final product are done in short timeframes.

Because the final programs to be released are smaller, a key benefit of agile software development is that requirements can be changed in the middle of the process. This decreases the risks that would be involved in making changes in the middle of development with a larger release. Developers benefit by seeing customer’s reactions to the software and the customer benefits by feeling that they their voice is heard in the development process.

However, despite all its many benefits, agile software development is often perceived as unprofessional by veteran developers. This objection is easily overcome by feeling the energy involved when a group of developers interact with a group of customers. An open exchange of ideas lead to a final product that is much more exciting to write and more precisely meets the needs of the customers.

One effective ingredient of agile software development is to make your systems as database driven as possible. That way, when you want to make a change, you simply change the underlying database rather than writing code. You then provide a front-end tool into the database that will let more advanced customers make the changes for themselves.

Another thing to do is to separate your business logic, your display logic, and your database logic into separate small files. For instance, suppose your business has a standard for mahogany backgrounds and a certain font. Then, the marketing department decides to change the standards. Rather than writing new code, just update a style sheet that your programs will refer.

Keep your code in separate small files, each one designated to complete one specified task. Organization of file directories and code needs to be well thought out in advance. The file structure should be thoroughly documented so each developer knows how it works. That way, any change can be made to the smaller file. Small changes are more easily tested and greatly increase the chance of success when moved to the production environment.

Contact us today or call 1-877-RISHABH (1-877-747-4224) to find out how Rishabh’s experience in agile software development can help you with your next software project.

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