Before I leapt unknowingly into the tech industry, I associated software development with quiet nerds, windowless offices, and endless rooms full of servers.
While those software developers are still nerds at heart, it turns out that there is so much more to software development services and the people that provide them then I ever imagined.
Instead of coding late into the night with headphones on, software development services professionals are communicating constantly with business stakeholders to discover innovative ways to solve the problems that plague businesses around the world.
I’ve found that interpersonal skills, creativity, and industry experience are actually very useful for success in custom software development.
What is a service in software development?
Software development services cover a wide breadth of business technology services. From designing the software to testing the finished product, software development services providers can often jump in at any point in the software development life cycle to help your business reach its goals, whether it’s increasing revenue, engaging customers, or streamlining operations.
While technical prowess is certainly necessary to get the job done, software development teams also consist of people with skills you might not expect. Different services call for different specialties, meaning talents like facilitation, communication, an eye for design, a breadth of real-world experiences, and a cell phone packed with apps can be very advantageous.
What services does a software development company provide?
Software development companies provide a range of services. Of course, the range of services a given company can offer will vary. Some companies provide software development services centered around one or more products that they’ve created.
These product or product ranges are often specialized to one type of business or industry. These software development services companies have extensive experience and knowledge of a particular industry and the challenges that the organizations in them typically encounter. They work to build and enhance software intended to solve a common problem. They then work with businesses to best implement the software in their organization.
Other software development services providers take a custom approach. They work directly with a variety of businesses to design and build software with an individual business’ unique needs and goals in mind. Geneca offers these types of custom software development services. No two things that we build are the same, as we aim to solve your specific problem and help you stand out in your marketplace.
Typical software development companies offer services centered around the actual software build. However, some can also help to do one or more of the following: facilitate discovery, define and write requirements, implement UI/UX design, create prototypes, develop software, test, and launch the final product.
What does the software development process consist of?
The most versatile of software development services providers are ready to assist wherever you are in your development process. We identify a few main categories on a software development project timeline.
This is the dreaming phase of the project. Your software development services provider will work with you to identify your need and envision the best possible solution. This will include a lot of discussion with business stakeholders and extensive market research.
Now that you’ve discovered what you want to create, you can decide how it should look and what it will do. This stage involves careful consideration of your users, as well as your brand overall. You have the power to determine how you want people to experience your end-product.
This part of the process is typically what software development services providers are known for. This is where the actual programming occurs. Your software developers will write code that results in the functionality your users need. They will also ensure that everything powering your software behind the scenes is streamlined and accurate.
Once you have built a product, you can test it out. The actual timeline for this depends on the methodology used by your software development team. Sometimes testing will occur at the end, while other times it will happen simultaneously with your software build as you test it piece by piece.
Wouldn’t it be great if everything were right the first time? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. To make sure you have great software that works as intended, your development team will tweak and test again and again to make sure everything is up to par, and nothing was overlooked in the initial design phase.
Once your product is meeting requirements, it’s time for the final approval – yours! Your business stakeholders should have a chance to check out the software. The sooner you can start doing this, the better – then you’ll know if you need to pivot at any point and will have more time to make necessary adjustments.
Now that your users have accepted your new software, it’s ready to go live. Depending on what you’re creating, this part could be simple, or it could be multi-faceted. For instance, a mobile application deployment has some extra layers around getting approved for use in both the App Store and Google Play store. Your users will finally be able to get their hands on the software and start using it as needed.
Just as your business will evolve over time, so will your software. As you get the chance to really use your product, you will likely identify some enhancements that would make it even better. You want a software product that is poised to grow and change with your business and won’t leave you stuck in a rut and facing an extensive rebuild in a few years’ time when things change.
5 Common Problems You Might Encounter In The Software Development Process
No matter which software development services you may need, it’s good to know what to expect. As you can see, the software development process can be quite extensive and involve a lot of interested parties.
In addition to software design and development, software development services providers often help lead businesses through some common IT project obstacles.
Misalignment between your IT and business teams is a common challenge that you can encounter at any phase of the project. If your software development team listens to you, assures they can help, and then disappears for months while working on your project, the odds are not good that you’re going to get what you expected.
In order to remain aligned, all stakeholders should understand the vision driving the end product and continue to check in frequently to ensure everyone is on the same track.
Just like business and IT can become misaligned, so can individual business stakeholders. This is especially true for cross-departmental teams that are not used to working closely with one another. Your software development team might provide suggestions, but ultimately, it’s up to the business to make the final informed decision. It can be a challenge when business stakeholders slow down the process because of the inability to make decisions quickly or navigate their way through a lot of red tape in their organization.
It’s important for your software development services provider to be able to facilitate discussion and point out shared interest between teams. It would also benefit your organization to make sure that the decision-making pipeline is smooth and ready to respond.
No matter how fast your business makes decisions, it’s a real problem if they aren’t translated appropriately to your development team. Requirements that are missing details result in a lot of additional back and forth. Requirements with too many details increase the time it takes to create them and the odds that the development team will miss them.
Your software development services provider will want to ensure that the team member who writes the requirements is a part of the business discussions and can translate their user needs to the team’s development needs. It’s also a great idea to review these documents with the business to ensure you’ve done that right.
Scope creep is when the estimated effort for the project grows during the course of it. An enthusiastic business stakeholder can often add scope when dreaming up a new feature they didn’t know they wanted before they started. However, it’s the software developers that most often contribute to scope creep. A series of really quick, cool things can add up to extra time fast, especially if they need to undo it because the business wasn’t on board.
Discussion around project scope is important at the onset, but make sure you know how your ongoing decisions are impacting your overall project scope.
For more information on how developers add to scope (and how you can stop it!) click here.
Another common barrier to success during the software development process is miscommunication. The bigger your team, the more likely it is that someone, somewhere will misinterpret something someone else has said. This often results in rework and unnecessary discussions that set projects behind.
It’s helpful for teams to create a shared language when working together, especially for the first time. Your software development services provider should encourage questions on your behalf – if you don’t fully understand, it’s difficult for you to make the right choices for your business!
How do I select the right software development services provider?
In today’s world, having the right software is critical to business survival. You want a company that will build a product your users will love while helping you navigate the challenges that come with software development.
So, how do you find the right partner for you?
KNOW THE SERVICES YOU NEED
There’s a lot of information out there about software development services, making it hard to know where to start. The good news is – this process is all about you. What do you expect from your software development services partner? Will you need full teams available 24/7, or a small team to roll out a new visionary product?
Think carefully about the platform you want to use. Do you have some off-the-shelf products in mind that seem to address your most common issues? Or do you need your own branded mobile app with ecommerce capabilities to help you maximize online ordering?
UNDERSTAND YOUR WEAKNESSES
Obviously, you want your software development services provider to complete your software, but they should also complete YOU. What are your concerns when it comes to the software development process?
If you’re new to this, you might need a partner that can guide you through each stage. If you are worried your current products won’t succeed after launch, you want a software services provider that can deliver risk assessment and optimal testing. If you’re a pro at creating your own software, you’ll want an equally experienced team that can learn and move fast.
DEFINE BUSINESS GOALS
Start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish? Maybe you’re just looking to vet an idea you’ve had for a while and see if there’s opportunity for ROI. Perhaps you have a lot of great ideas and are looking to create a suite of products that will help you serve your customers better than the competition.
Keeping the ‘why’ in mind will allow you to effectively evaluate software development services providers without getting weighed down in software lingo. Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, and Lean? Focus on what you want to get out of your partnership, and you will be able to make the right choice for you.
For a step-by-step breakdown of how to choose the right software development services provider for you, check out this guide.
What are the services provided by Geneca?
We are a full product development company, meaning we do so much more than code! From identifying market gaps, to determining pricing, there is a lot that we can do before we even begin building your product.
We know that confidence is critical when it comes to successful software projects, so we want to kick off your software build knowing exactly how it will fit in with your business, help your users, make you money, and grow with your business.
We offer application development for web, mobile, cloud, and desktop. We also build enterprise, IoT, e-commerce, and big data solutions. We can design databases, integrate solutions, and update legacy software to streamline reporting and keep your data secure.
Already have IT expertise on staff? We are great at blending with existing teams to bring extra hands and a fresh perspective.
Click here for more details about everything we do to help our clients!
As it turns out, software development services today span a wide range of offerings and rely on a variety of people with different skillsets to find the solution to unique business problems. At Geneca, we embrace this variety as full-service software consultants.
That means that we’re ready to work alongside you and find the right solution to whatever problem you are experiencing. Even if you’re not sure that we’re the best fit, we’re available to jump on a call and get you going in the right direction.