Software development is a vast and dynamic field encompassing a range of methodologies, technologies, and approaches.
Understanding the different types of development is critical if your organization wants to hire the right software developers and pursue the development projects that will have the largest impact on its success.
This post will explore the different types of software development and explain how each caters to various business needs and objectives.
Whether you’re operating a startup or a large enterprise organization, getting familiar with the different types of software development will help your business choose the right custom software development services.
The Different Types of Software Development
Software development refers to a wide range of different disciplines, from embedded systems development to mobile app development. Understanding the various types of development will help your organization determine what services best fit its needs.
You wouldn’t want to hire mobile developers for embedded systems development, and you wouldn’t hire web developers to address the complexities of mobile development. When you understand software development in greater detail, your organization can make more informed decisions.
Let’s explore the different types of development and explain what they are in greater detail.
Web development is one of the most common software development projects businesses pursue. It involves building and deploying websites and web applications.
While web app development technically differs from developing websites, modern web development practices have gotten so responsive and capable that the line between web app and website is nearly non-existent.
Technically, a web app offers more responsive functionality than a website. However, most modern users would be unable to differentiate between web applications and websites since they are so similar and both are accessed through web browsers.
When it comes to developing websites and web apps, there are three main categories to focus on:
Deals with server-side logic and database interactions. Common languages are Python, Ruby, PHP, and Java, with frameworks like Node.js and Django. Back-end development focuses on developing the behind-the-scenes functionality and handling the web server.
Combines both front-end and back-end development, requiring a diverse skill set to handle both client and server software. Full-stack developers handle every aspect of web development. Full-stack development talent is often highly sought after since it is so versatile.
Mobile App Development
The abundance and widespread adoption of smartphones have made mobile development a must for nearly every business. While a wide range of mobile devices exists, two operating systems dominate the market: iOS and Android.
When developing mobile apps, your organization must decide whether it will pursue native app development, which is geared towards a specific mobile operating system, or a broader approach that will enable your organization to release the same app on both mobile platforms.
There are other approaches to mobile application development, such as hybrid development, which combines web and mobile development, but the most common approaches to mobile development include the following:
iOS development involves building apps for Apple’s iOS devices using the programming languages Swift or Objective-C. This is a type of native development geared specifically toward iOS and enables developers to take advantage of platform and device-specific features.
Android development centers around creating applications for Android devices, primarily using the programming languages Java or Kotlin. Like iOS development, this is a form of native app development.
Choosing between Android and iOS can be difficult for organizations trying to reach the widest possible audience. Cross-platform development utilizes frameworks like React Native or Flutter to create apps that work on multiple mobile platforms without requiring redevelopment.
Desktop Software Development
This type of software development involves creating software applications that run locally on desktop operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux. Languages used can include C++, C#, and Java.
Like mobile development, desktop software can be developed for a specific desktop operating system or as a cross-platform solution.
While desktop software development has waned in popularity as web applications and cloud services have become more capable and popular, it is still a worthwhile development option for certain types of software.
Security Software Development
Security software development focuses on creating software that protects against cyber threats. These software programs include antivirus software, encryption tools, and security protocols.
While security development is very valuable and delivers critical functionality to modern organizations, many organizations don’t pursue this type of software development for themselves.
Instead of building their own security solutions, most businesses utilize software tools developed by security professionals.
Cloud app development involves developing applications that run in a cloud environment. As more computer systems utilize cloud computing, cloud development has grown in popularity and usefulness.
Cloud developers must have skills using cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. These are by no means the only cloud platforms, but they are by far the most popular and widely used.
Embedded System Development
This type of development deals with software development for embedded systems like IoT devices. Today, many of the devices we use require computer programming, from televisions to washing machines.
The languages used for most embedded system development projects include C and C++. Developing embedded systems requires a strong knack for digital security, as these embedded programs often have fewer defenses than an application.
Final Thoughts on the Different Types of Software Development
Understanding the different types of development helps you appreciate the complexity and beauty of the tech industry. Each type of software development plays a unique role in solving problems and enhancing our digital experience.
While we have covered almost all of the different types of software development in this post, there are a few others that should be noted here, although you could make the argument that these types of development fall into one of the broader categories listed above.
Application Programming Interface (API), game, and Big Data development are often pursued by organizations. However, these development projects are likely sub-types of app and web development.
Remember, the field of software development is ever-evolving, so staying updated with the latest trends and technologies is crucial for any organization interested in this dynamic domain.
If you want to learn more about software development, contact an experienced app development partner like Koombea.