Software Development 101 – A Complete Guide For Stakeholders

software development - LTS group

A well-developed software oozes with seamless team management, ongoing task progress tracking, and the like, thus, helping you to boost productivity and make needed business decisions in time. However, a majority of businesses haven’t got the broad picture of software development and its enormous benefits for organizations.

Don’t despair! In the next 15 minutes, we will get you covered with a digestive definition of software development, all of its popular types, its importance, a list of top software development tools, reasons why you need software development services, and so much more.

Without further ado, let’s get cracking!

What is Software Development?

First off, we will dig into the software definition. Software boils down to its simplest form of applications, programs, or scripts that power computer hardware and make devices properly functional and programmable.

Software development refers to the process of designing, creating, testing, and maintaining software using various programming languages and tools.

software development
Software Development

The development of software involves the use of a variety of methodologies and techniques to develop software that meets specific requirements and solves problems for users. This can include everything from writing code and debugging to testing and deploying software.

Types of Software

There exist 4 common types of software that are designed to serve different purposes:

  • System software plays a role in providing basic functionalities, such as operating systems, disk management, hardware management and other operational functions.
  • Programming software offers coders, developers or IT engineers tools to create software. Programming software can be compilers, assemblers, debuggers and the like.
  • Application software or software application or application is a program designed to fulfill a particular task. It can be a web or mobile application. Familiar examples of software applications are security software or media player on your computer, or Facebook and Netflix on your phone.
  • Embedded software operates neither on a phone nor a computer as it is an integral part of cars, industrial robots, machines, etc. in the form of microprocessors or microchips, to perform a specific function.
embedded software integrated in infotainment
Embedded Software Integrated in Infotainment

Software developers will take various steps in the software development life cycle to turn every blueprint for a feature-rich program into reality.

Should you wonder “What is software development life cycle?”, keep scrolling to satisfy your curiosity.

Software Development Life Cycle

If you are about to invest in software, you may encounter the term software development life cycle (SDLC) or software development process, which is a methodology for creating qualified software at an optimal cost. This framework features various steps for software development.

It typically includes the following stages:

  • Analyzing requirements
  • Planning
  • Designing software
  • Developing software
  • Testing software
  • Deploying software
  • Operating and maintaining software
  • The aforementioned steps and their orders can vary depending on specific company or project requirements.

To dig deeper into SDLC steps and how you can apply them to your project, discover our ultimate guide on SDLC for beginners.

SDLC Software Development Life Cycle - Phases
SDLC Software Development Life Cycle – Phases

Besides SDLC, you also have to choose suitable software development methods to make the idea come true in the most effective manner.

What are Top Software Development Methodologies?

Software development methodologies are the steps to apply to kick off an IT project. The selected methodology serves as a tactical primer that defines the workflow for the whole project.

Common IT software development methodologies are Agile development, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Waterfall, and so on. Let’s take a closer look at each methodology.

Agile development

Agile methodology is an approach to software development that emphasizes flexibility and collaboration. Agile methodologies are iterative and incremental, allowing for changes and adjustments throughout the development process.

Agile Software Development Methodology Process
Agile Software Development Methodology Process

The most popular agile methodology is Scrum, which is a framework for managing and completing complex projects. Other popular methodologies include Kanban and Lean. Agile emphasizes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement and encourages rapid and flexible responses to change.

When to apply?

Agile development is an optimal choice when the product vision or functionalities are not clearly defined from the beginning. The flexibility of the agile model allows modification in both product concepts and the implementation process. Ultimately, a better product will soon be rolled out.

Rapid application development

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software development methodology that prioritizes rapid prototyping and iterative delivery.

The goal of RAD is to quickly deliver a working model of the software, which can then be refined and improved based on feedback from users and stakeholders.

Rapid application development
Rapid Application Development – Source: G2

RAD typically uses visual development environments and reusable components, which can help speed up the development process. It also often involves end users and other stakeholders in the development process to ensure that the final product meets their needs.

When to apply?

RAD will be the cream of the crop when the deadline is tight and the product should be launched ASAP. The role of stakeholders’ and users’ feedback is exceedingly essential in this software development methodology to ensure product quality and its developing direction.

Waterfall model

Waterfall model is a software development process in which progress flows in a linear, sequential way through the phases of requirement gathering and analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

waterfall software development methodology
Waterfall Software Development Methodology

Each phase must be completed before the next one begins, and there is no overlap or iteration between phases. This model is considered to be a traditional and highly structured process.

When to apply?

Contrary to Agile and RAD software development models, Waterfall methodology is exploited only when the project is short and its requirements are crystal clear and not supposed to be adjusted. Simultaneously, resources and expertise should always be on deck.

Apart from the aforementioned software development methodologies, you can dive deep into the concept of the V model, iterative model and incremental model coupled with their advantages and disadvantages.

Software development models
Software Development Models

Besides those common software development methodologies, there exist dozens more. As different methods fulfill different company demands, LTS Group – leading IT outsourcing company in Vietnam offers free consultations for clients to opt for the best-suited model.


Best Software Development Frameworks for 2023

Developing an entire software from scratch requires not only loads of effort but also high costs. In order to optimize the financial and human resources and speed up delivery time, developers avail pre-built frameworks to accomplish IT projects.

Basically, software development framework or web app development framework is an application, product or system that arms coders with rudimental functionalities and reusable software environment to build and modify software with less attempt required.

Software engineers often deploy various frameworks to develop mobile apps, desktop apps, or web-based applications. The selection of a framework mostly depends on the programming language and the compatibility between the framework and the software.

Several popular frameworks help lighten coders’ workload are:

Python Ruby Java PHP JavaScript
Django Ruby on Rails Spring Laravel ReactJS
Flask Garden Play CakePHP AngularJS
TurboGears Spark Symfony KnockoutJS
PyTorch Wicket Phalcon EmberJS
Netty Yii MeteorJS
Reactor Zikula React Native
Neural Network Libraries Lumen Vue
CodeIgniter Gatsby

and the list keeps growing.

Any framework or a combination of frameworks that are highly compatible with your project will be properly harnessed by IT engineers from LTS Group to quickly deliver the finest work results.

IT engineers of LTS Group
IT Engineers of LTS Group

Each framework entails a distinct set of tools as well as dev documentation to help developers quickly get accustomed to the system and utilize it with ease.

Even though frameworks may sometimes pose some challenges regarding the steep learning curve, limited flexibility, and heavy dependence on third-party libraries, they have a critical role to play in boosting efficiency and avoiding technical friction.

Whichever software development framework you opt for, will bring convenience and high quality to the table.

Top 4 Software Development Tools to Consider for IT Project


Jira - software development tool
Jira – software development tool

Jira is a software development tool that helps teams plan, track, and manage their work. It is widely used for agile software development, but can also be used for other software development frameworks.

Jira features include the ability to assign tasks to team members, set deadlines and priorities, and provide real-time reports on project progress. Additionally, Jira can be integrated with other tools to provide a more comprehensive project management solution.

Jira’s customer ratings

  • G2: 4.2 / 5.0 (5000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4 / 5.0 (12800+ reviews)


GitHub - Software Development Tool
GitHub – Software Development Tool

GitHub is a web-based platform for version control and collaboration that allows developers to store and manage their code, as well as keep track of changes made to it over time.

It is built on top of the Git version control system and provides a user-friendly interface for managing and co-working on code.

GitHub is widely used by individuals, companies, and open-source communities to host and organize their code and projects. Developers can use it to cooperate on code with others, as well as to share and discover new open-source projects.

Additionally, it provides tools for code review, issue tracking, and project management.

Github’s customer ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5 (1000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8 (5000+ reviews)


Bootstrap - Software Development Tool
Bootstrap – Software Development Tool

Bootstrap is a free and open-source front-end web development framework that helps developers create responsive and mobile-first websites along with web applications.

It provides a collection of CSS and JavaScript components, such as navigation bars, forms, buttons, and modals. All of those elements can be easily integrated into a website or web application. Bootstrap also includes a responsive grid system that supports IT engineers to generate flexible and responsive layouts.

Bootstrap’s customer ratings

  • G2: 4.5 / 5.0 (140+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5 / 5.0 (<10 reviews)


azure software development tool
Azure – Software Development Tool

Azure or Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.

It provides a variety of services such as virtual machines, storage, networking, and analytics. Developers can make full use of Azure to build and deploy applications with a bunch of programming languages, tools, and frameworks.

Azure’s customer ratings

  • G2: 4.4 / 5.0 (600+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4 / 5.0 (100+ reviews)

In fact, thousands of progress tracking and productivity boosting tools are available out there for you to choose from. It is recommended that you should check the suitability between the project and the team before making up your mind on the software development tool.

Why is Software Development Important?

“Software development is both challenging and rewarding. It’s creative like an art form, but (unlike art) it provides concrete, measurable value.” – Chad Fowler.

The popularity of software in daily use has crazily increased that people might not realize their indispensable presence. In fact, software applications make a profound contribution to forming behavioral patterns as they are now widely operating on both PC and mobile devices.

People of any age love social networking apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., and work with a handful of software at the workplace, from enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), and human resource management software (HRM) to customer relationship management software (CRM) and far more.

Apart from satisfying human demands for entertainment, software applications are developed to facilitate human life.

Living in a technology-dominated world with the priority of productivity, we are radically improving our efficiency and accuracy with tremendous support from software.

software development improving efficiency and accuracy
Software Development Improving Efficiency and Accuracy

Imagine how much time you save and hassle you avoid when using an ERP system to track any project’s progress or manage the status of human resources. Needless to say, the automation that software offers minimizes manual involvement in repetitive tasks, thus saving time and avoiding human mistakes.

LTS Group has delivered over 40 software development projects and figured out that on average, custom software can help save up to 40% of time and resources. Particularly, an eSchool platform for a Vietnamese school that connects parents and schools reduces 42% of time and human effort to monitor students and report their activities.

Either way, software is becoming more and more vital to human beings, and hence so is the software development and programming.

When Do You Need A Software Development Service?

If you are picturing software that can help your organization save more time and boost productivity, that’s when you may need software development services.

While off-the-shelf software products can immediately tackle your problems, custom software should be developed when you have an enormous team to manage and complex tasks to handle.

Off-the-shelf software is an IT product released for general use for the mass market. Your team can opt for pre-made software if it somehow satisfies business needs regardless of its limited flexibility and control.

This kind of software also costs less upfront investment.

However, in the long run, off-the-shelf software may require additional fees on licenses, add-up users, new versions, or any other custom development and integrations needed.

Furthermore, the restricted management access to interfere with underlying code and program makes it more challenging to add features or adjust the software.

That’s when bespoke software development comes in useful. A tailor-made application is undoubtedly your choice in light of:

  • Full flexibility and control to make adjustments whenever you find your team in need of custom functions.
  • Swift adaptation of software to the company’s expansion.
  • Extensive expertise of IT engineers.

Beside off-the-shelf software vs. custom software, the battle between the in-house team and the outsourcing team has always been fierce. If you find yourself sitting on the fence trying to decide which team to form, check out our head-to-head comparison In-house vs. Outsourcing Software Development: What should you choose?

In-house software development vs outsourcing
In-house Software Development vs Outsourcing

FAQs about Software Development

1. What is IT software development?

IT software development is the process of designing, creating, testing, and maintaining software using various programming languages and tools. This can include both the development of new software applications as well as the modification and maintenance of existing ones. The goal of software development is to create software that meets specific user requirements and solves specific problems.

2. How does software development work?

Software development typically follows a structured process known as the software development life cycle (SDLC). This process typically includes the following steps: Requirements gathering and analysis, Design, Implementing, Testing, Deploying, and Maintaining. The actual process may vary depending on the methodology and approach used, such as Agile, Waterfall, RAD, etc.

3. What is a software developer?

A software developer is a person who designs, creates, tests, and maintains software leveraging diverse programming languages. Software developer frequently works on a variety of projects and is involved in the full software development life cycle.

4. What is software design?

The process of defining the structure, organization, and implementation of a software solution is software design. This course of action involves creating a blueprint or plan for the software, specifying how the different components will interact, and determining how the software will meet the requirements of its users. The software design process will eventually create a software system that is efficient, easy to maintain, and can be easily extended or modified as needed.

Bottom Line

Software takes center stage in making human life easier and more fascinating; therefore, software development is becoming more important than ever. The whole process involves a myriad of sophisticated steps, tools, methodologies, and skills to successfully deliver operational software.

If you are planning to develop software for your company, give LTS Group a whirl and see how our enthusiastic and highly skilled IT engineers do wonders on your project.

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