5 Benefits of Agile Software Development

Agile software development describes a unique approach to computer programming. The popularity of the concept really took off more than a decade ago in 2001 when a group of experienced software developers got together to document the best way to develop software. This effort culminated in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, a publication detailing the 12 core principles of this unique approach to creating software.

Over the years, the popularity of the agile approach is increasing as individuals, project teams, and entire companies recognize a variety of benefits.

A primary feature of agile software programming involves breaking projects into a series of regular, predictable iterations, or development time periods (also referred to as “sprints”). While the length of these iterations may vary project to project and team to team, they typically last between 7 days and one month.

Agile software development is often contrasted with the waterfall approach to programming. One of the major differences between the two approaches involves the issue of software testing. In the waterfall approach, software is created and then tested just before implementation. With agile, software testing is done on an ongoing basis, repeatedly throughout the coding process.

The scrum framework is another popular methodology used by many teams engaged in the agile approach towards custom software development. This is an organized, collaborative approach that encourages cross-functional teamwork, regular communication, and a clear focus towards well-specified common goals.

5 Benefits of Agile Software Development and Scrum

The popularity of agile software programming has grown exponentially over the past decade for a number of different reasons, and there are now many champions of this approach. Follow along to learn five benefits of the agile approach to software development:

  1. More Productivity – During agile software development, the workload is broken up into smaller chunks and the deliverables are completed in shorter iterations. This decreases the chance that programmers get too far off track on a project, and when problems do happen, they are more easily identified and corrected more quickly.
  2. Increased Morale of Programmers – Many computer programmers prefer to do their work in smaller achievable pieces, rather than big overwhelming tasks that may lack clarification. This helps people recognize accomplishments and better measure progress which tends to increase overall morale both individually and on a team.
  3. Clearer Communication – Both agile and scrum encourage clearer and more frequent communication between all of the business partners involved in a software project. The scrum framework establishes an organized process for daily communication and responsibility, creating tighter team bonds and greater project clarity.
  4. Higher Quality – Agile and scrum often lead to a better end product because the project work is divided into smaller units which are easier to test and validate along the way. In the end, this typically leads to fewer errors and higher overall quality.
  5. Predictable Costs – Because cost estimates are typically required at the beginning of each iteration in the agile software development work cycle, estimating costs tends to be easier and more transparent. Predictable costs also improve decision making about priority features and project changes.

While agile programming is dynamic and includes a range of approaches and preferences, the fundamental structure to agile software development yields some clear benefits for business leaders, software developers, project managers and others.

An increasing number of companies are seeking talented people trained in the agile and scrum approach and more software consulting and IT staffing firms are featuring career opportunities for individuals with these skillsets. Given the many benefits of this unique approach to programming and project management, it is likely that the popularity of agile for developing software will only continue to increase.

Things to Know About Software Development

Software development is in general a process, in which the client’s needs or the market orders are transformed into a software product. It includes extensive software engineering related to the objectives’ research and achievement. It is kind of hard to tell if engineering or marketing is responsible for the success or failure of a certain software product. The processes of global software development are based upon the clients’ requirements and are performed to the highest satisfaction of the market or client. However, these software products are programming codes written in various programming languages.

Custom software involves two main processes: marketing and engineering. You should note that you will get a good result only when both of these processes are being performed.Global Software development tasks are not always related to engineering of such things, like risk management, market research, budgeting, human resources, etc. It is a very complicated process, which requires the qualification in various marketing, programming, and development areas. All of the things, starting with simple designing to code generation, analysis, project management, management alterations, deployment and developing the needed software, has now become inseparable parts of each company, or organization.

As a matter of fact, any qualified software development company has its own technologies. For example, the ISO 12207 software is significant for choosing, executing and observing the life cycle. ISO 9000 software is mostly used for the procedures of documentation management. ISO 15504, or SPICE, is frequently implemented in administration, management, guidelines provision, and even software development. It helps to learn about the project on which an expert staff is performing software development. There is also Six Sigma, which is used to analyze the company’s statistics and improve its performance.

Domain analysis is referred to the process of starting any new software, free software, new application, or even a completely new system. This is a very significant stage to go through, since it helps to collect the necessary information about the customer’s needs. Then, the software developers start to work on the project, considering the requirements of a customer and displaying the working codes. This displaying will limit the risk doing anything wrong. Specifications are critical for all of the exterior interfaces that have to remain unchanged. The company that
provides software services is responsible for linking the hardware the best way under the supervision of IT consulting firms. The Implementation has to be done by coding, which is critical task for both software company and software engineers. Then, the software is tested. A supervising IT consulting company or the software company itself has to take care of documentation, since it is significant for maintenance and further development.

A lot of IT consulting companies support other development companies to take maximum use of the hardware and the software products to achieve the best results. The development process will fail, if it lacks a good team, appropriate planning, and the time needed to complete an ordered project. Software development companies must have curiosity and adequate inquiries together with their problems. This way, a company will get more opportunities to learn the necessary things about the project. Developing and maintaining software to an additional requirement or any new problem takes more time than the primary software development procedure. Any development process requires a lot of patience, since a lot of calculation, reflection, modification, and presentation issues have to be taken care of. In the end, the developed software has to be enough developed to maintain different problems that can come up later and it also should be enough flexible for any of further changes.

Offshore Software Development Trends in 2012

The Drivers of Offshore Software Development

The offshore Software development trend has been around for a while now and many IT as well as non-IT companies all over the world are engaged in outsourcing their software development needs to offshore software development centers due to the various benefits provided by the outsourcing process. One of the leading drivers of this trend has been the reduced cost factor associated with the outsourcing process in general. During the credit crunch caused by the global financial crisis, companies were focused on reducing costs and the offshoring process helped reduce overheads and improve the outsourcing company’s bottom line. In other cases, non-IT firms with no or minimalist IT departments also outsource their software development requirements as developing such software in-house often tends to be cost prohibitive. The lack of expertise of a company with regard to use of a specific set of software tools/platforms necessary for developing one or more applications is another driver commonly associated with such outsourcing. Such non-IT firms include industries from a wide range of sectors including but not limited to transport and logistics; education; healthcare as well as banking and financial services. Each of these sectors and even companies within the same sector, however, require unique solutions suited to their own needs. Many organizations also follow a blended approach by mixing outsourcing with in-house expertise to develop the necessary solutions.

Leading Offshore Software Development Priorities

Many companies across the world are currently engaged in developing new software products/applications according to the requirements of clients. New software development is expected to account for a major portion of the software revenue in 2012 and beyond. A close second is the requirement for companies to upgrade their existing software application by integrating new technologies/modules into their already deployed solutions. In 2012, the integration aspect is expected to gain more ground as new technologies/applications increase the benefits provided to organizations by the current solutions. The main benefit of such integration is the reduced deployment time for the company as well as the decreased cost of development as compared to in-house development. The consumerism of IT (CoIT) trend is also beginning to affect the market as users demand a superior user experience delivered by these solutions. As the market for solutions which go beyond delivering basic functionality expands in 2012 and beyond, the focus of many an offshore software development company is expected to shift towards using new technology to develop better User Interface (UI) and graphics for solutions, which were deployed earlier in the enterprise. Such development is often classified as custom software development, is also expected to witness robust grow among offshore development companies in the year 2012 as well as the recent future driven by increases demand across multiple industries.

Other key functional areas for offshore software development operations include performance improvement-based software development as well as the continued maintenance and support for existing solutions. As more and more companies deploy software solutions in order to gain a competitive advantage in the intensely competitive market, the number of performance enhancement contracts between organizations and offshore software development firms is expected to increase. Another software development area expected to witness rapid growth in 2012 is the development of dedicated mobile apps. The focus on developing apps for mobile is expected to continue in the recent future driven by increased enterprise mobility requirements and the growing adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) philosophy by enterprises. A related area which is forecast to grow in 2012 is the development of cloud apps for use by the enterprise as well as the development of improved security solutions to ensure superior data security and compliance with all existing regulations of data protection.

Leading Deployment Areas for Software developed at Offshore Locations

The requirement of software developed by offshore centers is not limited to any specific industry therefore the list of probable deployment areas is quite large and expected to grow further in 2012 as technological advancements open up new application areas. However, the development of data storage/management/Business Intelligence software is expected to be the leading business area for offshore software developers in 2012. Such solutions are deployed by a wide range of industries to cope with the explosion of digital data and facilitate an informed decision-making procedure, which is expected to propel continued growth of the Business Intelligence solutions market. Other leading deployment areas for software developed at leading offshore locations include applications required by the financial and healthcare sectors as well as solutions deployed for managing processes/projects and applications which are necessary to facilitate enterprise-wide networking and communications. Other areas of interest for these companies in 2012 include applications for facilitating the deployment of e-commerce, CRM, content (document) management platforms, online analytics etc. Overall, in 2012 and beyond, the industry is expected to witness robust growth as companies increase their IT expenditure with the intention of gaining a competitive advantage in the market.

Development Platforms Preferred by Outsourcing Enterprises

Among the available software/application development platforms currently in use today, internet/web-based development platforms are expected to dominate the offshore development market in 2012. However, enterprise application development platforms and SaaS/Cloud-based platforms are also expected to witness growth as more organizations issue contracts for new solutions based on these emerging platforms. The emergence of BYOD is also expected to result in the development of various mobile platform-based applications in the recent future, while desktop application and embedded platforms are expected to witness only marginal growth in 2012 due to the perceived restrictions inherent to these platforms.

Leading Offshore Destinations around the World

Over the years, India has traditionally been the leading offshore software development destination for firms based in the US and Europe. This situation is not expected to change in 2012 even though emerging players are expected to partially erode India’s current lead in the global offshore development market. Emerging markets, where organizations are currently outsourcing their software development requirements include Central and South America mainly Brazil and Mexico; various countries in Eastern Europe; China; countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam; as well as Russia and Ukraine. Over the next few years, these emerging players are expected to provide stiff competition to software development centers based in India. The key criterion for competition among these offshore development centers is forecast to include overall cost, development quality, project/client handling procedures and the total development time required. However, even in the face of such challenges, India is expected to retain a dominant position in the global offshore software development market in the year 2012 as well as in the recent future.