In any IT company, sooner or later two questions arise. The first is about the need to apply the DevOps methodology when the company release and maintain its products, and the second is whether to apply this tool on its own, using the existing infrastructure, or seek help from outside specialists in this field. And often it is the second option that turns out to be more attractive, both in terms of economic benefits and in terms of the timing of the project.
Often, despite the seeming simplicity of the task, the implementation of one’s own ideas and concepts is quite laborious without an independent analysis of the company’s infrastructure, assessing the risks of its context, and obtaining professional advice on solving problems. Therefore, it is the involvement of a devops consulting company that can help any product company achieve the desired success with minimal losses.
About the software lifecycle
Despite the obvious benefit of third-party specialists in DevOps, the employees of the product company themselves also need to know and understand the life cycle of any software project.
First, let’s recall that the software life cycle (SW LC) is the full path that a project goes through from the moment of idea to the moment when the software completely disappears, both from the market and from any sources of use. Why do you need knowledge of SW LC?
– To know where, what and when happens to the code.
– To understand at what stages of the life cycle DevOps comes into operation.
– To understand the essence of different work methodologies, when and which one to apply
The SW LC consists of several stages. Their number may vary in different life cycles, but the following 5 stages should be standard:
1 – Analysis of requirements. At this stage, the idea of the project goes through the definition and analysis of the various requirements for it. There are system requirements and user’s requirements, functional and business requirements. Sometimes the requirements of different parties may conflict with each other. All contradictions during the analysis should be resolved, and as a result, the final requirements for the software project should be formulated and documented.
2 – Design. This stage is carried out in order to form a preliminary vision of the future development. Based on the results of the previous stage “Analysis of requirements”, design specialists form a future project on paper. The output of this stage is the developed project documentation.
3 – Development. At this stage, the components of the software are programmed, the program code is written. All of this is created on the basis of the project documentation. At this stage, the design of applications and the design of services are also formed.
4 – Testing. The created product needs to be checked, and such a check is carried out precisely at the testing stage. This means that with the help of testing, the created product is checked for its compliance with what is described in the project documentation.
5 – Technical support. Sometimes this stage is called “operation”, sometimes – “maintenance”. This name of the stage does not at all imply an option in which a specialist from a product company advises users of the software on some product problems or gives advice on any issues related to the product during the entire period of its use. The essence of technical support is to constantly update software, if necessary, to maintain servers, to carry out various protections against attacks, etc.
Cascade life cycle model
It often happens that using only 5 stages is not sufficient for the SW LC. And then, depending on the company and business goals, other SW LC models can be used. Many companies, starting their journey in the field of software development, find it difficult to choose a life cycle model that will be most suitable for them. In such cases, by default, they can start by applying the same standard model that we discussed above. This model is called “Waterfall” and refers to cascade-type models. In fact, this name suggests that all stages of such models go strictly sequentially one after another, which is very reminiscent of a cascade of water flow. The peculiarity of the cascade model is that if the work done is already at some particular stage, then it is no longer possible to return it to the previous stages.
Cascade models of SW LC have both advantages and disadvantages. Their advantages include:
– transparency, clear deadlines and plans;
– detailed documentation;
– emphasis on quality;
– easy verification.
The disadvantages of cascade models are:
– immutability of requirements;
– the impossibility of “reverse motion”;
– rather late testing and release;
– the inability to verify the quality of the product before it enters the market.
From all of the above, we can conclude that “Waterfall” is most often preferred by large state-owned companies, in which the main emphasis is on the timing of the project.
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