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Software Development Life Cycle- Learn How To Build It

By Sumaiya Simran Last Updated -- Tuesday, 2024-04-30

The common mistake which we usually make is rushing into software development without any predefined software development life cycle (SDLC) methodology, hence resulting in over budgeting, extended deadlines, multiple bugs, etc. 

However, a well-planned software development lifecycle methodology for software development will result in quality full, bug-free, and cost-effective.

Well, everything or every creation has a process, a process that holds the operation of "beginning till finishing."  

The beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning.

—------ Dark,Web-Series

This quote simply describes the framework of the life cycle, that when a cycle ends, the end starts a new beginning, and the cycle continues. 

And as time passes, every industry is going toward modernisation. Every organisation is now integrating different advanced, & innovative software automation technology, which facilitates and boosts the production process. 

But have you ever thought that a software application also has a making process, a life cycle, and a methodology to follow while building any mobile application development, custom software development, and website development !!! 

And the making process of software is called the software development life cycle (SDLC). 

The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a framework for creating innovative software by following essential steps.

  • Pilot requirement collection 
  • Brainstorming & Planning 
  • Design a demo 
  • Software Development 
  • Testing 
  • Deployment 
  • Maintenance support

Hence, this article will explore the depth of every stage involved in software development and illustrate the necessity of software in every industry.

What Is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

Basically, the software development lifecycle (SDLC) showcases the construction process of software. There are two types of software: ready-made software and custom software

In the case of ready-made software, a user will get all the generic & common modules used by every industry. And in the case of custom software, the user has the freedom to personalise the software according to the need. 

SDLC is also considered an application development life cycle. Moreover, before a developer starts writing code, the developer must architect the software prototype.

The software life cycle model can be both pictorial and diagrammatic diagram form, and the purpose is to jot down the following

what Is software development lifecycle (sdlc)


  • Client Special Requirements:

After the client and developer meet up, developer will note down all the requirements & features a clients wants in his’her software. 

  • Detailed Plan:

Developer will create a draft of a software development roadmap of constructing the software. 

  • How To Develop:

Development cost, technology used, duration, modules all will be included in this part.  

  • Maintenance: 

A developer's work doesn't end after finishing developing the software, developers have to spend extra time in synchronising the software with the client's server.  

  • Technology Used:

Technology such as PHP, My SQL, react, Node js etc, it’s totally up to the client which technology to use to develop the software.

  • Cost:

The fixed budget, which software development company will charge from the client. 

  • Duration of Development:

The time duration needed to develop the software. 

  • Module & Features Involved:

The important specifications which will enrich the whole software.  

Certainly, with a software life cycle model, the whole making process of the software project will be systematic and disciplined

Moreover, the software lifecycle model will also contain the details of the task of each team so that it becomes clear which task is assigned to whom.

Besides this software lifecycle model will also elaborate on every step of software development separately and also be applied in other sub-steps and tasks.  

Why Should You Go For A Software Development Life Cycle?

The software development lifecycle roadmap itself describes the development process of software. However, developing software is challenging because it involves a lot of stress, such as repeatedly changing requirements, searching & choosing the best suitable technology, and cross-functional collaboration between multiple departments. 

Moreover, the software application development lifecycle (ADLC) follows methodological systematic framework management. Therefore at every stage of software, a developer has to cross-check with the client; even though this process is time-consuming, it is still an effective way to fulfil the requirement. 

Pinpoint Reason Of Choosing Software Development Lifecycle Hackernoon Models:

  • Better client satisfaction 
  • More visibility to the stakeholders 
  • Well organised planning, assessment and schedule 
  • Less risk and accurate cost estimation 
  • Improved software development outcome

Dynamic Stages Of Software Development Life Cycle 


Everything has a working process, such as the software system. The software development lifecycle roadmap explains the developing process of a software application. And maintaining a chronology software development roadmap helps to be strict with business logic and time schedule. Below, I have provided a broad & breakdown explanation of each phase of the SDLC. 

Phase 1: Planning 

Requirement Collection

It's usually considered a first meeting with a client, or it is an introductory meeting with potential customers. 

Conventionally, this meeting is conducted between the senior developer and the head stakeholder of the company. 

Below I have shared a chronological list of topics both parties will discuss in the first meeting:

  1. Introduce themself
  2. The head stakeholder will give a brief introduction about the organisation.
  3. Senior developers will give briefs about themselves and past achievements.
  4. Head stakeholders will start briefing about the projects, initial requirements, overall goal, intention, buyer persona, and vision.
  5. Senior developers will note down all the requirements and clear out any raw confusion from the client. 
  6. Also discussed is the necessary quality assurance, risk & difficulties associated with the project.
  7. The head stakeholder will share all the software requirement specifications (SRS) documents with the senior developer for the application development's sake.
  8. In the end, the head stakeholder will share their budget and the time barrier for the project. 

Feasibility Study: Brainstorming & Analysis 
This part of the software development life cycle phases can only be started after conducting the first meeting with the client. 

In this second stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC), a senior developer will sit with his team and divide all the work among the team. 

Besides, will also brainstorm the requirements, examine the software requirement specifications (SRS) and identify the best solutions to create the software.

In short, developer planning is to sketch down an initial demographic transformation based on the user requirement and software requirement specifications. And discuss which technology, design, programming language, and framework to use to get the best outcome. 

3 Types Of Design, Which Can Be Sketch At The Initial Stage

Architectural Design: Abstract Version Of The System

High-level Design: List Of Modules Of The System  

Detailed Design: Logical Structure Of Each Module and how those will be linked with each other. 

Disclaimer## All this brainstorming, initial sketch, and software requirement specifications all be needed while writing the code.

Phase 2: Design

Software Prototype

Constructing a practical software prototype is an essential part of the software development roadmap. A software prototype is a perfect visualisation of how the original software will perform. Also considered to be the best way to evaluate, test, and validate it from users.

Additionally, designing a practical software prototype reduces the risk of the original project. Even though the software prototype doesn’t include all the features, it focuses on all the essential and complicated elements that need to be cross-checked by the clients.

Point Out Reason For Building Software Prototype Before The Original Application:

  • An early stage of software development is the best time for feedback, validation, and evaluation 
  • Aware About Your Progress

Software Architecture

Software architecture is crucial in the "designing phase" of software development life cycle methodologies. Software Architecture is considered a fundamental part of the software and helps develop a structured software solution. 

Mainly, software architecture marks out how the modules of software are assembled, their integration, and their synchronisation with each other. In short, software architecture provides business logic and how the process will work in a software application, which later hugely assists the developer team while coding.

Phase 3: Write Code 

Review Meetings & Improvise 

The software prototype review meeting will be important for both the head stakeholder and the developers. Because, this review meeting not only gives developers the chance to showcase the software demonstration, but they also get the opportunity to collect feedback and validity from the clients.

In addition, the developer and client will discuss the issues, difficulties, and confusion faced while constructing the software prototype. 

After the meeting ends, the senior developer will sit with the development team and discuss all the issues, feedback, & changes suggested by the clients. And it's the senior developer's responsibility to ensure all the discussed problems get fixed and conduct a quick follow-up meeting with the clients. 

Write Code

Once the software prototype has been shaped, the developer can start writing the code. In the phase, developers will begin constructing the software system using the suggested programming language. 

Usually, the coding part is divided into different sectors for instance; units, modules, UX/UI design, frontend & backend, and also assigned to multiple developers for rapid output. In short, this phase is the most critical phase of the software development life cycle. 

Moreover, in this phase, developers strictly follow the predefined coding guideline. And use the following programming tools: compilers, interpreters, debuggers, and programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, or PHP.

Phase4: Testing  

The complete cycle of software development life cycle methodology and software testing life cycle (STLC) will identify & measure whether or not the raw intended thinking of the client matches with the developed one.

The quality assurance, also known as the "testing team," will start with their testing program by checking the entire system's functionality, user experience, security check, CTA buttons, links ups, parents/child modules, business logic, and their process. 

In addition, the quality assurance team will also track down the bugs, irrelevant parts, or defects and will notify the developer. They will also do both manual & automated testing based on tools and scripts. After identifying bugs or defects, the testing team will collaborate with developers to address and resolve any issues uncovered during testing. They will then conduct thorough regression testing to ensure that the fixes have been implemented successfully and have not introduced any new issues. Utilizing the most commonly used QA testing tools, they streamline the testing process, increasing efficiency and accuracy while reducing manual effort.

This testing session will continue till the developer improvises all the bugs, and the system gets stable, operating just like the client requires. 

Phase of Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

  1. Requirement Analysis
  2. Test Planning
  3. Test Design
  4. Test Environment Setup
  5. Test Execution
  6. Test Closure

Phase 5: Deployment: Moment Of Truth

Deployment stages of SDLC start just after the developer completes fixing the bugs the quality assurance team found. And with the client's permission, the senior developer will release or make the final software live. 

Software deployment processes can be both long & short, depending on the nature of the software. One essential part of deployment is ensuring all the functions and business logic are working perfectly.  

Phase 6: Operation & Maintenance Support

Once the final software application is live, the end user will start using the software. However, while using it, users might discover new bugs, and that's when developer support will be needed.

3 Types Of Maintenance Support Will Need After The Deployment Stage  

  • Bug fixation 
  • Software upgradation 
  • Enhancement 
  • Add ons development

Phase 7: DevOps: End-Game of SDLC

DevOps is considered to be the last phase of the software development life cycle methodology that increases speed, efficiency, and output. 

DevOps methodology minimises the number of steps in the software lifecycle by creating a collaboration between the developer and the operation team.

DevOps is a new way of software development life cycle phase, where a cultural shift has significant implications for both the teams and the organisation.

In the past, developers were only responsible for their work, but now developers do more than just develop every step of the SDLC. 

Fig:DevOps Lifecycle 

Benefits Of DevOps

  • Improve the page speed 
  • Improved collaboration between developers and operations teams
  • Rapid deployment
  • Improve Quality and reliability 
  • Improve security issues in every SDLC phase

6 Types Of Software Development Life Cycle Model

SDLC models not only help develop the software but also show developers a path to construct it in an organised manner.  Each SDLC model follows a series of unique phases or different chronological order, thus ensuring success in the step of software development. 

1. Waterfall Model

The waterfall model is also called the linear sequential model, and this model is one of the most commonly used models in SDLC.

Brief Explanation Of How the Waterfall Model Works: 

First, the whole development process will be divided into multiple predefined phases. The most important part of the waterfall model is that each phase should be completed before starting the next phase. 

And each phase has its own responsibility and duty to perform. Any overlap between the phases is impossible in the waterfall software development life cycle. 

Which Type Of Application Development Project Is Appropriate For the Waterfall Model:

  • Requirements will not change frequently
  • The application will be straightforward and short 
  • Requirement will clear
  • The environment will be stable
  • The technology and tools used are not upgraded 
  • Resources are available, and skilled

waterfall model

Fig: Waterfall Model 

2. Iterative Model 

The iterative software development model is also considered to be the part of waterfall software life cycle.

Brief Explanation Of How Iterative Model Works:

The iterative model starts by dividing the software system into multiple sub-functional, and each Iterative process will be developed separately using the same SDLC process (requirements, design, coding testing and support). 

And the SDLC process will continue to repeat until each function gets properly fixed and all requirements get adequately fulfilled. Each phase is the improvement version, such as in addition to the functionality, business logic etc., of the previous software release. 

In short, the first version of software product increment fulfils the core & basic requirements. 

The second version of the software product increment will fulfil the other supplementary features to make it more advanced than the previous one. 

In the third version of the software product increment, the final product will be presented to the client, evaluated by the clients, & ready to make it live. 

Which Type Of Application Development Project Is Appropriate For Iterative Model:

  • The requirements of the system are very clear
  • there is a demand for an early product release 
  • software developer team are not that advanced  
  • Highly advanced features and objectives are involved, such as banking software                                                 

iterative model

Fig: Iterative Model

3. Agile Development model 

The agile software development life cycle is quite similar to an iterative model.

Brief Explanation of How Agile Development model Works:

In the agile development model, the application development process will continuously operate the "planning", "learning", "development", "improvement", and "deployment" together. In short, both the development and testing processes will have to work simultaneously.  

The agile development model is considered one of the most uncomplicated and effective software development processes that assist in constructing a business's intended vision into reality.  

Which Type Of software Development Project Is Appropriate For the Agile Development model:

  • Team collaboration and discussion about programs and tool 
  • Where the customer has a frequent chance and in the urgency of the software 
  • The project is flexible and has the opportunity to correct errors in the middle of the project 

agile development model

 Fig: Agile Development Model 

4. V-model 

The V-shaped model is a highly structured model which follows two parallel development phases. One is called the verification phase, and another is called the validation phase, and both jointly end up in the coding phase. 

Brief Explanation of How V-Model Works:

The V-shape model is also known as the verification and validation model. The V-shaped software life cycle model is the extension version of the waterfall model, where both the development and testing processes operate consecutively in the stage of the development process. 

The V-shape verification model indicates the practice of evaluating the software development process, and their primary purpose is to ensure the developer team meets all the requirements. This verification model includes steps such as: 

  • Business Requirement Analysis
  • System Analysis
  • Software Architecture Design
  • Module Design
  • Coding

Moreover, the V-shape validation model indicates the practice of dynamic analysis method and testing of the software functionality to ensure all the requirements match with the developed one. This validation model includes steps such as: 

  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Acceptance Testing

When To Use V-Shaped Model

  • Run testing throughout the development process
  • The testing process will be run in the parallel process
  • Prevent defects rather than identifying and fixing them 
  • The left side in V shape model is the software development life cycle (SDLC)
  • The right side in V shape model is the software test life cycle (STLC)
  • The entire figure is like a V-shape, which is why it is called a V-shape model


Fig: V-Shaped Model

5. Spiral Method

The spiral software development life cycle is a risk-driven SDLC process, thus a safety net for big and complex application systems. The spiral method combines two types: process model, waterfall model and iterative model. 

What Is Spiral Model In SDLC?

The spiral system development life cycle process operates just like waterfall model stages but with a little twist. When the spiral loop starts, it separates the software development life cycle stage into 4 different parts.

  • Planning
  • Risk Analysis
  • Engineering
  • Evaluation

And each part of software development in the spiral cycle starts with setting a small set of requirements to develop. As the spiral cycle moves to the following stages one by one, it will add different business functionality, modules, bug fixation, etc., till the application lifecycle framework is ready for production.

When To Use Spiral Model SDLC?

  • When the Client Ask For Frequent Updates On the Progress
  • Software Project Is Large
  • Software Project Requirements Are Unclear And Complex
  • The client May Ask For Change Repeatedly
  • High Budget Software Projects

spiral method

Fig: Spiral Model 

6. Prototyping Model

The prototype model in software engineering is one of the major stages of SDLC. The software prototype model is a preliminary version of the software, and a software developer can only start constructing the software prototype when finishes gathering all the requirements of the clients.

This software prototype model in SDLC can only be constructed after gathering all the requirements from the client. The main purpose of building a software prototype is to create an early or demo model of a software project so the developer team can collect initial client feedback. The software prototype model is a demo version of the software, hence lacks a lot of functionality, process and modules.  

There are two ways to use this software prototype while developing the software:

  1. Developers will rapidly develop the software using the prototype model. 
  2. Developers will follow the software prototype step by step and improvise it by adding different advanced features and functionality. 

Following Steps To Follow To Develop A Software Prototype:

  1. Understanding the basic requirement of projects 
  2. Develop the prototype model in SDLC 
  3. Take feedback on the prototype from the clients 
  4. Revise and improvise the prototype

When To Use Prototype Model in SDLC?

  • Assist to brings a significant reduction in risk 
  • Help to reduce costs.
  • Best fit the product to user needs and market requirements.
  • Uncover key issues early and improvise them 
  • Accelerate sales cycles and early customer exposure.

Prototype Model 

Fig: Prototype Model 

Positive Side Vs Negative Side

Custom Software Development Life Cycle 

One of the biggest positive sides of custom software development is that organisations can personalise their own application development system based on the requirements, needs, and operation standards. 

And apart from this reason, there are other issues too, which help you decide whether or not an organisation should go with a custom software development service

positive & negative side of custom sdlc

Positive Side 

  • Well organised & structured software development plan 
  • Less chance of any steps getting overlooked 
  • Chance to identify & improve bug issues while developing 
  • Software development within budget
  • Guaranteed to meet the need of the end-user 
  • Better collaboration between the teams and clients 
  • Efficient use of resources 
  • Assurance of on-time project delivery 
  • Flexibility to choose the SDLC methodology that works best for you
  • Develop software documentation 
  • SDLC encourages open opportunities for application improvement from client feedback and evaluation
  • Organisations can maintain the industry standard with custom software development services
  • Multiple stages of quality assurance: for instance, testing, validation, verification and bug fixing

Negative Side 

  • It is challenging to accommodate the changes at the last hour
  • Time-consuming and costly
  • Huge risk of getting delayed 
  • Too much focus on documentation rather than working on software development
  • Massive miscommunication between the developer and clients
  • Too much time & resources are spent on planning & documentation.
  • If it uses a waterfall model, any problems encountered later might raise the cost and risk of delay.  
  • SDLC is not that suitable for agile development methodology.
  • SDLC strategy might not be suitable for all types of software, especially those that need frequent updates

3 Types Of Lifecycle Management Methodology (LMM)

Basically, the lifecycle management I'm talking about in this blog is actually the development process of software. Every developer follows common lifecycle steps while developing software.

And even though I have mentioned 3 different life cycle methodologies but all 3 follow the exact software development life cycle phase.

  • System Development Lifecycle

Basically, the system development life cycle is another term for software development roadmap. Like SDLC, the system development life cycle starts by gathering client requirements and stops at maintenance phases. 

Typically, a system development life cycle is developed by maintaining a combination of hardware and software components and solving a complex problem. 

System Development Life Cycle 

Fig: System Development Life Cycle 

  • Custom Software Development Lifecycle 

Another dynamic application development process is the custom software development life cycle. In this lifecycle management method, the whole process will conduct in the following chronology:

  1. The client will contact any custom software development service company & IT consultant service company
  2. Share their requirements 
  3. Developers will brainstorm & analysis 
  4. Negotiation of time & budget 
  5. Design a Prototype
  6. Construct A Architecture
  7. Client Review Meeting
  8. Testing & Improvising Solution Deployment
  9. Writing The Code
  10. Maintenance Support

custom software development lifecycle

Fig: Custom Software Development Life Cycle 

  • Application Lifecycle Management

The application lifecycle management (ALM) process is quite similar to the software development lifecycle (SDLC). And just like the SDLC phase, the ALM model starts with gathering clients' requirements and ends with maintenance & support. 

Moreover, Application lifecycle management stages are also called an integrated application lifecycle management process because it brings together all the software departments, for instance, developers, analysts, & testers, to achieve the business goals. 

Application Lifecycle Management 

Fig: Application Lifecycle Management 

Application Lifecycle Management Tools

  • Project Management
  • Requirements Management
  • Source Code Management
  • Test Management
  • Real-Time Chat Support
  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Visualization Tools (Charts & Graphs)

DevSecOps: A Security Net For SDLC 

Your developer team is developing software as per the client's demand, but have you ever thought about the security issues of the application you're building? 

DevSecOps is the short form of "Development" Security", & "Operation". DevSecOps is a security procedure which is applied in every phase of the software development life cycle. DevSecOps significantly provide more security to the business logic, process, and tools across the core functional teams. When a developer writes codes with security guidelines in mind, it becomes easier and less costly to catch and fix vulnerabilities before moving forward into the next phase.

Every phase in the SDLC has a role in constructing the security patches in the DevOps, which continuously keeps integrating and delivering CI/CD workflow. The main purpose of DevSecOps is to promote secure applications with speed and quality. 

devsecops lifecycle

Fig: DevSecOps


Software development life cycle (SDLC) is a construction process of software. And to develop software, most software development companies or custom software development service companies follow 7 to 10 software development roadmaps. The stages of the software development life cycle start with gathering the software requirement from the client and end with providing after-sale maintenance support to the client. 

Moreover, a developer's contribution in the software development life cycle doesn’t end just by handing over the software projects to the clients. Instead, they also have to give time to fix all the bugs, security issues, etc.