Being a tech-savvy person means that you are constantly in search of knowledge of different technologies, how they work and more importantly, how they came into being. If you are someone that has a flair for software development but isn’t a developer, you definitely must have thought of how the different software applications are created and how the developer is able to turn a creative idea into something functional. In order to understand this process with software developers, you need to understand Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).
What is SDLC?
The software development lifecycle is a series of iterative and multistep processes that are employed in building a software application. The SDLC ensures that the software developers can deliver an application with a high level of efficiency and with very little or no issues at all.
Before deploying a software, it goes from being a creative idea to being documented and creating a prototype and other processes up until the software is ready. The different processes involved in developing a software application from its inception as an idea to it’s created and ready for use sums up what the software development lifecycle is. The processes include creating a plan, designing, building the application, testing the application and deploying the application and maintaining it.
SDLC is basically the blueprint for developing software. Each software development project requires the appropriate methodology to execute the project. The methodology is an integral part of the software development as it gives the guideline for developing the software application.
There are 6 common models or methodologies of the SDLC. They are Waterfall, Lean, Iterative, Agile, DevOps, and Spiral. These models are different from each other in many ways but their purpose is the same; to ensure the developer builds high-quality software in the most cost-effective way and in the shortest possible time.
Having understood what SDLC means, what it entails, the processes and methodologies, we now look at the SDLC tools as shared by Johnson Katlyn, a professional software developer. Generally, these tools are helpful and are applicable throughout the entire Software Development Process.
Jira is a great SDLC tool most effective for developers using the agile model. It helps the developers to manage projects with ease. With this tool, team members can plan, track, and deliver powerful projects.
The tool lets agile teams come up with stories and issues, prioritize, release and improve team performance.
The good thing about Jira is that it integrates with other tools such as Bitbucket, Confluence, and many others seamlessly.
With Jira, all data is secured as the tool is invested in GDPR and Privacy Shield.
Another good thing about Jira is that it keeps your data encrypted during transit and is suitable for both agile beginners and experts.
The tool allows flexible planning for your agile teams; enables them to become more accurate and efficient.
Jira Software Features
Reporting: Agile teams can access tons of reports about their performance from sprint to sprint thanks to real-time insights.
Scrum boards: Scrum boards allow teams to concentrate on delivering iterative and incremental value quickly.
The scrum boards feature allows for team collaboration.
The Jira Scrum Board is purposely created to:
Enhance communication and clearness: All the teams work on a single goal from a single source. The good thing about this feature is that it can be accessed by all team members when needed.
Enhances spring planning and iterative development: The Sprint is the allocated amount of time within which teams are allowed to develop and release a product increment.
Enhances team focus and organization: The Scrum Board keeps teams focused and organized. Tasks are broken down into stages and reports are generated.
Jira Scrum Board is built for all teams to enable fast and efficient project management.
For instance, a Jira Scrum Board can be useful in the following areas:
“Marketing is an involving process where teams work together to accomplish one common goal”, says Andrew Johnathan, a marketing expert who works with the twiftnews providers in the Uk.
Sometimes marketers work on large and complex projects that require many teams and skills. The Jira Scrum Board can be useful when it comes to web development, content creation, and many other tasks.
Jira Scrum Board can help in the software development process where teams can view code, access requests and deployment status.
Other features of the Jira Software include roadmaps and Kanban boards.
Bamboo can be integrated with Jira Software and Bitbucket to allow teams to get complete traceability on builds, pull requests, distributions, etc.
This SDLC tool enables professional teams to connect automated builds, tests, and releases in a single workflow.
Bamboo can be used as a CI and build server during coding.
Given that testing is an integral process during the software development process, Bamboo is a powerful tool that allows teams to run automated tests to detect bugs easier and faster.
Teams can bank on Bamboo for continuous deployment of projects as well.
Other tools you can integrate with Bamboo to facilitate faster deployment of projects include Docker and AWS CodeDeploy.
Visibility: Visibility is key when it comes to the deployment of new releases. Bamboo allows you to trace Jira Software issues that could have been passed on from the previous releases.
Project releases: Bamboo facilitates the release of projects that have been built and tested.
Tech stack: Bamboo can be used in different languages and advanced technologies including Docker, Amazon S3, and AWS CodeDeploy.
Dedicated agents: The dedicate agent feature allows teams to run and fix bugs and vital builds immediately. An agent dedicated cannot be used by other activities that aren’t assigned for it.
The good thing about this SDLC tool is that it enables teams to build fast, release completed projects right away and release.
Software development teams and IT experts will find this tool useful when handling both small and large projects. The good thing about Git is that it’s free and open-source software that enables fast and efficient project management.
The tool is more powerful than other ones such as Perforce, Subversion and it comes with incredible features like multiple workflows, cheap local branching, and has a staging area.
Fast: Git is small and fast and lets teams handle all operations locally hence taking advantage of the speed on centralized systems that need to communicate with outside servers.
Git is software coded in C that’s why it has fewer overheads of the runtimes experienced when working with higher-level languages.
Branching and Merging: Branching and merging is a powerful feature that sets Git apart from other SCM available on the market today.
With Git, you can build multiple and independent local branches. This feature allows teams to:
Create a new branch and experiment to see whether it works. If it doesn’t work, teams can delete it right away.
Create a branch, try out an idea, when it does not work, revert to where you branched from.
Create new branches for different features to enable you to switch between one feature to another and then delete the branches once the feature is integrated into your main idea.
Staging Area: Git has another feature known as the Staging area. This feature enables teams to format and review commits before completing them.
This is also another amazing feature that makes Git stand out from the crowd as it enables you to stage a few of your files fast and commit them.
Distributed: Git being a Distributed SCM allows you to do a ‘clone’ of the whole source code instead of doing a ‘checkout’.
The good thing about this feature is that it provides several backups so every user has a complete backup of the main server. This means that in the event the main server is corrupted, or crashes one of the backup copies can be used as a replacement.
Data Assurance: Git uses a secured data model so your entire project is safe. Your project files and commits are scanned and retrieved by individual checksums so you rest assured to get what you enter.
Changing any commit message, date, or file in a Git repository is also impossible unless you change the IDs of the whole thing.
This means that you will retrieve your project in the same state you committed it.
Free and Open Source: Git works with an open-source license. That means everyone can use the software but with restricted usage of the logos and the term ‘Git’.
Confluence is also another powerful system that allows teams to work together to achieve maximum results.
The tool allows teams to create, collaborate, and organize work under a single dashboard.
This tool is powerful for knowledge, project, and employee management where teams can save time by working together by sharing announcements and driving instant feedback.
The good thing about Confluence is that it enables an open and connected structure that allows a seamless flow of information between teams within the organization.
The tool is also great when it comes to the sharing of great ideas through chat or transient notifications.
The tool through its social feature enables employees to share, contribute and get instant feedback on their progress.
A confluence is a powerful tool for teamwork due to the powerful features integrated within it.
Here are some of the greatest features of the tool.
Give your project a visual look: Confluence lets you create notes, marketing plans, HR policies by use of images, gifs, videos, etc. to make your work visually-appealing thanks to the customizable templates offered by the tool.
No wastage of time: Confluence lets you organize your work hence enabling easy and faster retrieval of information.
With this feature, you can organize and group related pages so everyone can access them fast at any time. The feature lets you organize your content in structured page trees so you can find your docs easily.
Integrate confluence with other tools such as Jira, Trello, and Team Calendars for Confluence, and Questions for Confluence.
Sourcetree makes it easier for you to use your Git repositories enabling you to focus on coding.
The Sourcetree’s Git GUI is simple to use so you can visualize and manage your repositories with ease.
The good thing about this tool is that it is built with beginners in mind although it is suitable for experts.
The elimination of the command line and the introduction of distributed version control make it an ideal tool for beginners.
What’s more, the tool improves the productivity of experts.
The latest Git status lets you stay updated on your code in real-time.
Another great feature is the Git and Mercurial that is available for Windows and Mac users.
The tool also lets you visualize your progress thanks to the detailed diagrams that make team collaboration a breeze.
The comprehensive tutorials make learning Git simple.
No list of the top SDLC tools can complete without mentioning Bitbucket.
This tool is built to enable professionals to accomplish tasks much faster and effectively.
With Bitbucket, you can plan projects, collaborate on code, test, and release.
Small teams of less than 5 can use the tool for free. The tool can also integrate seamlessly with Trello and Jira so you can keep your projects organized by creating Bitbucket branches from Jira issues and Trello cards.
For code collaboration, teams can pull requests and approve code reviews efficiently.
Another amazing feature is the Bitbucket Pipelines with Deployment that allows you to build, test and release completed projects.
With Bitbucket, security for your projects is guaranteed. The tool uses IP whitelisting to keep your code safe in the Cloud. You will need a 2-step verification anytime you want to access your code, plus access is restricted to certain users.
Bitbucket Data Center and Server let you control your source code fully.
But that’s not only what the Data Center offers. There are plenty of good features you can get such as smart mirroring for performance geographies and many others.
The good thing about Bitbucket is that it can be integrated with other tools to build better software.
Now that we have determined the top 6 SDLC tools, we take a brief look at the 6 major SDLC methodologies that these tools work with.
Waterfall” This is the oldest SDLC methodology with a straightforward approach that requires you to move to the next phase only after finishing the previous one because the next stage is based on data from the previous phase.
Although this methodology is easy to understand and manage, it is rigid and that’s its downside. There’s no room for revision after completing a stage and you can`t correct errors until you are at the maintenance stage. It’s not ideal for long term works that require flexibility.
Iterative: This model is repetitive. The designers don’t have to start the project with the full requirements, they can implement another software requirement, evaluate it and decide on further requirements to produce a newer software version.
Implementing changes can be less expensive but resources are quickly consumed by repetitive processes.
Agile: This model generates release cycles with very little accumulative changes from the earlier version. The designer has to test each model at each iteration. This model ensures that teams can find and address little problems with the project before they become something major.
Lean: Lean has 7 principles: eliminating waste, enhancing learning, take late decisions, deliver very fast, empower the team, create integrity and see everything.
This model doesn’t allow multitasking and teams have to focus on trying to cut out waste during the SDLC process.
Spiral: This model is also repetitive like Iterative but the project goes through 4 stages (planning stage, analysis of risk, creation, and evaluation) repetitively in a spiral till completion.
This model is ideal for large projects.
DevOps: This model requires developers & operations to work closely together to complete the project, accelerating innovation and deploying high quality, reliable software products. It also requires constant but small updates to the software.
So there you have it: The top 6 SDLC tools used in the Software Development Lifecycle are Jira, Bamboo, Git, Confluence, Sourcetree, and Bitbucket. These tools are useful throughout the entire software development process from planning to deployment.
The tools have different features meant to make the process simpler, manageable, and more effective.\