What are software development methodologies?

Software development methodologies are a set of approaches and practices used in the software development process. They are designed to help organisations produce high-quality software in a timely and cost-effective manner. There are different types of software development methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall, Iterative, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Extreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development (FDD) and Scrum. Each type offers different advantages and disadvantages depending on the project's requirements and goals.

Agile methodology is a lightweight process framework that focuses on delivering value to customers quickly through iterative processes that involve frequent feedback from stakeholders. It is based on adaptive planning, rapid release cycles and self-organising teams that enable faster responses to changes in customer requirements or market conditions. Agile helps organisations develop high quality software with fewer resources by allowing teams to deliver working versions of the application early in the process, while still leaving room for improvement later.

The waterfall model relies heavily on planning at the beginning of the project, followed by defined phases where progress is tracked against pre-determined milestones at each stage of development until completion. This approach defines clear boundaries between phases, which helps to reduce complexity, but does not allow for flexibility if customer requirements change during development.

Iterative Methodology involves going through several iterations of design, coding, testing and maintenance phases before completing a product cycle or feature set within an agreed time or budget. This approach allows developers to use the lessons learned from previous iterations to build new features or enhance existing ones, as it encourages team members to continuously learn from their mistakes while improving overall product quality over time.

Rapid Application Development (RAD) uses prototyping techniques and user feedback loops throughout each iteration cycle to rapidly develop applications with minimal resources while still delivering high quality results within tight timelines or budgets. This approach allows developers to rapidly refine applications by using stakeholder feedback throughout each iteration cycle, rather than relying solely on their own judgement or expertise to make decisions about features or functionality during the development phase.

Feature Driven Development (FDD) uses a model where small teams work together to complete specific feature sets within an agreed time or budget limit, before moving on to another feature set until all required functionality has been successfully completed within an acceptable timeframe. FDD focuses heavily on communication between stakeholders throughout each iteration cycle, which helps to ensure that all required features are developed according to customer expectations, rather than relying solely on developer judgement when creating new features.

Extreme Programming (XP) focuses heavily on collaboration between developers, customers and testers throughout each iteration cycle to ensure that applications quickly meet customer expectations while providing flexibility for future enhancements as needed. XP relies heavily on automated testing tools, which ensures that bugs can be identified more quickly, while giving developers more time to be creative when developing new features.

Finally, Scrum is an iterative framework based on sprints in which small interdisciplinary teams work together under tight deadlines to achieve specific goals until all tasks have been successfully completed according to pre-defined criteria. Scrum emphasises communication between team members and rapid response to unexpected issues that arise during sprints, so that projects can be completed efficiently without compromising product quality standards.


Continuous Integration (CI)
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