The five D’s of creating software

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that software development is just about code, and that since much of that can be in the form of standard modules, it’s an easy job. But in fact, there’s much more to development: it involves making sure that software does what it’s supposed to and keeps on doing it.

The five D's of creating software

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To do this effectively, you need a grasp of what we’re going to refer to as the ‘five Ds’.


Successful development starts by deciding what the software is going to do and what it will look like. A good design needs to be easy to understand so that it can be put into practice; it also needs to be flexible so that it can adapt as requirements change throughout the development process. In addition, it has to be capable of being maintained.


Actually producing the code comes under this heading. As well as creating the lines of code, it involves interpreting the design and resolving any inconsistencies within it. A good developer will structure the code in a clean, elegant way so that it’s easily maintained later.


This is an essential stage of the process. The software needs to be thoroughly checked to ensure that it functions according to the demands of the design. Many companies turn to an independent software testing service such as to ensure that the debugging process is carried out in thorough and methodical way.


Deploying new software is a crucial stage in the process. The code has to work on customer machines; that means it needs to be tested on different platforms to ensure it performs in the same way. Increasingly, it also needs to work on a range of mobile devices. This means turning to adaptive techniques to ensure it works across all systems.


All projects need a deadline. It focuses the minds of everyone involved in order to deliver. Software development is no exception. Fixing a deadline underscores the need to set out what work needs to be done, prioritise the different stages and allocate work to the appropriate members of the team. Without a deadline, there’s less incentive for people to deliver. Of course, deadlines need to be reviewed – and moved if necessary – as the project progresses, but it’s vital to have a defined target.

Richard Anderson


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