What you need to know to start a software development company in 2018
The development of software as a business doesn’t compare to the most of traditional jobs. Sure enough, there’s a number of approaches that may apply to any job but building your career in the software development sector offers some incredible advantages you won’t find elsewhere. This way, if you’re no stranger to IT technologies and innovations, one day you may find yourself thinking about starting your own company. These days the startup scene is blooming, so it may be one of your best decisions in life. But before you become an aspiring tech-oriented entrepreneur, you should know what the industry’s fundamental principles are.
Sure enough, it all depends on the type, scope, and requirements of a particular project. However, the development procedure for each of them has been already determined so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It will be slightly different for the development of mobile applications and embedded software in comparison to, say, automation solutions and databases, but the general sequence of steps to create software is universal.
Writing code is the part of the working process that is usually associated with software development as an industry. The proper code stands on three cornerstones as it is important that the code is sufficiently optimized, concise and understandable.
In a nutshell, a good quality code is a crucial part of any successful software. If the quality of the code is poor, it usually leads to both financial and time losses due to further maintenance and additional modifications.
The characteristics of a good quality code are:
Well-written solutions are way easier to debug and maintain. They contain fewer errors too. If you want an analogy, well, in this case, a software developer could be compared to a novelist. Let’s say you’ve come up with a brilliant idea for your book. Everything starts with the idea – we all know this mantra – but your message won’t reach a broad audience unless it is properly structured and contains proper grammar and vocabulary. When you are “writing your novel,” make sure your programs and methods are neat and manageable. Besides, they should also contain language-specific idioms and direct logic.
Undoubtedly, the design is the second most important component of the product besides its technical features. And it’s not just about looks. The professional software design optimizes the code structure for business needs and it affects a product’s performance, scalability and security. Secondly, a convenient design style influences the efficiency and speed of users’ interaction with a solution. As a rule, the requirements for design are defined by a technical specification. Simplicity, intuition and minimum efforts for performing an action (as well as beauty and conformity to the corporate style of the company) are the points to pay your attention to.
Another essential feature is changeability. The modern world of consumerism is constantly evolving, and users are becoming more and more demanding. This way, the possibility of implementing a quick change is crucial for any modern software product. Let’s pretend that you need to add a new awesome feature to a mobile application. If the corresponding codebase is well designed, an engineer won’t spend countless hours on figuring out how the existing code works. The structure of the code will indicate what steps should be undertaken to make things work. In other words, the success of adding a new feature depends on the complexity of this particular feature, and not on the complexity of the solution.
To make this happen, you have to get familiar with:
- automated tests
- modular code structures techniques
- SOLID principles
The methodology of SOLID deserves a separate paragraph as it’s considered to be one of the most popular sets of design principles in object-oriented software development. The name itself represents an acronym for the following principles:
- single responsibility principle
- open/closed principle
- Liskov substitution principle
- interface segregation principle
- dependency inversion
Testing is carried out at each stage of a software development. It includes a lot of tests on the test plan itself which is generally customized according to the specifics of the project at the stage of drafting the technical requirements.
The test results should be documented and available to the client in real time. As a rule, a payment for the product’s development is made only after passing all kinds of tests, including client tests.
Testing isn’t easy, and it’s inevitable that bugs will crop up. Thankfully, there are now various bug tracking tools to help automate the process. This article shows 8 bug tracking tools that can help to ensure issues don’t go unnoticed.
Software documentation fixes the plan, development process, and result of software development. It includes all the initial information: technical requirements and layouts, work plans, costs, reports, testing and the list of performed tasks at each point in time. Documentation is necessary for the rapid and accurate detection of errors, the transparency of joint work as a mandatory legal part of the contract.
Principles of software development
According to Robert Kavanagh, software architect at Elinext software development company, the most crucial point for a development company is to determine the basic principles of work. Each developer has his own approach, values, and priorities so without a proper plan, your company may go nowhere fast.
Orientation to quality
Although it sounds like a hackneyed marketing cliche, the adherence to quality isn’t a common thing in the industry as sometimes companies tend to ignore the points mentioned in the previous part. The following things are an integral part of a successful software development business model:
- best practices and methodologies of qualitative development (Agile, Scrum, etc);
- a powerful product testing system;
- a transparent planning and implementation of tasks;
- an adjusted management system;
- a professional technical support;
- a clear and convenient system of payment;
Adaptability and flexibility
The process of development is a fluent thing. Sometimes a client has no possibility to clearly formulate all the requirements at the stage of writing a technical specification. Occasionally, there is a need for a 180 degrees change at the stage of development. The basic rule is to be sympathetic in such situations and anticipate this probability in advance, so you can agree on the conditions of work with the customer if this probability occurs.
Starting a software development company (or basically any company) is a lot more than just solving a problem. It involves courage, determination and commitment. There are lot of other advice on the web, so make sure to learn at the daily basis. Good luck!
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