The Role of a Software Engineer and the Software Development Cycle

Engineers help you set processes to make your projects get to the finish line without delays. The software development methodologies are no different and they exist to make the iteration phases a fluid process. This is where the work begins for your team members.

The Models

With the evolution of development projects, a series of models were born in order to fulfill the vast needs of users. You can think of these models as roadmaps that will help your project managers plan accordingly to your specifications and the difficulty level of the project. Some of the most popular development models are used today:

Waterfall Model: The waterfall model is one of the first models presented to software engineers and it has the advantage of being easy to understand and deploy. The issues the waterfall model has its the tunnel vision it gives to the developers. The waterfall restricts the uses a simple but efficient roadmap that focuses on finishing the project and delivering once it is complete and ready to go making it slower in some instances.

Agile Model: Agile methodology focuses on the delivery of the project by breaking it down into smaller pieces called sprints. These sprints are subtasks that help your development team finish the whole project while testing and every phase of the process and including out of scope customer requirements while needed.

The Waterfall Model Development Cycle

The detailed plan of the different model works by breaking down the different tasks into categories. These categories work as tasks clusters for developers to take action on key aspects of any project. Some of the key categories of the waterfall model are:

Requirement analysis: in this phase of the project, developers assess the wants and needs of the customer and begin creating the key tasks that will function as deadlines to see the project finish.

System Design: Here is where the architecture and the system requirements and hardware needed for the project will be assessed. The next will deal with the decisions taken in this phase.

Implementation: Implementation is where the coding happens. The system is broken into small programs called units, which are integrated into the next step. Each unit is developed and tested for its functionality, defect detection is also tackled on the next step.

Testing & Integration: The units are tested and then integrated into one system. After the system is integrated into the process of defect detection and fixing will begin on the integrated system until the project is ready for the next step.

Deployment: once the test phase is completed, the project will be released into the market or the customer environment.

Maintenance: Maintenance takes care of any detail that can come up from the client environment or a better version is needed. This issue maintenance is called patching.


To go deeper into the development cycle for the Agile model, you need to know how the waterfall model worked and why it is needed to evolve beyond its constraints. The waterfall model is simple and very useful for all sorts of projects, but it can create speed issues. Speed of delivery is the number one reason why the Agile methodology was created and we will discuss that in the next part of this series.

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