Part 3 - STEPS IN PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: Algorithm in Computer Science
Writing code is really a tough nut to crack and demands a gruelling amount of time and effort. Hence project managers and programmers leverage the systemic approach in developing the program. That step in program development is known by the name Software Development Life Cycle. So, in this blog, we will discuss each phase of the program development steps which is Part-III of the series Algorithm in Computer Science.
What is the Software Development Life Cycle?
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the practice of building and developing a program. It typically consists of six to eight steps majorly including Planning, Requirements, Design, Build, Document, Test, Deploy, and Maintain. Some project managers will combine, split, or omit steps, depending on the project’s scope.
SDLC is a way to measure and improve the development process. It allows a fine-grain analysis of each step of the process. This, in turn, helps companies maximize efficiency at each stage. As computing power increases, it places a higher demand on software and developers. Companies must reduce costs, deliver software faster, and meet or exceed their customers’ needs. SDLC helps achieve these goals by identifying inefficiencies and fixing them to run smoothly and efficiently.
Steps in Program Development
- Defining or Analyzing the problem
- Design (Algorithm)
- Documenting the program
Let's discuss each stage in details
Defining or Analyzing the problem
It is the first and the most crucial step in program development where the problem is defined by conducting preliminary research and analysis. Defining the problem helps to understand the problem articulately and describe the scope so that we can arrive at the solution. This step involves specifying input and output requirements, deciding computer programming language, hardware and software requirement, memory as well as processing specification. Problem Analysis and Problem Explanation also happen in this phase.
The second stage is program planning and design. A well-curated plan is developed to solve the problem. It includes defining logical sequences and drawing flowcharts to clearly understand the problem and situation.
- Algorithm- An algorithm is a step-by-step series of instructions to perform a certain task or specified actions.
- Flowchart - Flowchart as the name suggests is the logical representation that describes a process or workflow.
After the design process, we move to the most important task that is writing code or commonly called program. Codes in a computer language are the instructions written to perform the task. This stage is the longest and time-consuming process as the entire software is built.
For effective coding some of the guidelines which are applied are:
- Use of meaningful names and labels of variables.
- Simple and clear expressions.
- Modularity with emphasis on making modules generalized.
- Make use of comments and indent the code properly.
- Avoid jumps in the program to transfer control.
Okay now our code is written but how do you check if it’s correct or not? That we do by testing the code with different test cases. The testing phase helps to ensure if the code written is the solution to the problem described.
What if you find any error conducting the testing phase? Then no worries debugging process helps to detect locate and correct those errors and warnings.
Some common errors which might occur in the programs include:
• Non- initialization of variables.
• Reversing of an order of operands.
• Confusion of numbers and characters.
• Inverting of conditions, for example, jumping on zero instead of on not zero.
Documenting the program
And finally when programs run successfully without any errors and bugs then documentation of the code is done. It is a very essential step in program development. In simple words, Documentation is saving the program for later use. It ensures that future modification and maintenance can be done easily by any programmers if they refer to this documentation.
Technology keeps on changing with time and the written code should be compatible with all the new technology in the market, hence this stage of program development is purely dedicated to that part. Any changes and updates to the code are done in this phase.
All components with an algorithm, flowchart and the life cycle of the development program not only have us maintain difficult tasks but also provide the best environment to develop the program. Each of the steps in program development combines for the best performance of solving the problem.
Frequently Asked Question
Question 1: Name some of the important Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models?
Waterfall model, Agile methodology, Incremental Model, V-Model, Spiral Model, Big Bang Model, etc.
Question 2: What are the seven steps in program development?
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) includes Planning, Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, Documentation and Maintenance.