Building a program isn’t as simple as we think it is. Most people who have seen programming in action or have witnessed people code, know that building even the simplest piece of software is hard and that it takes a lot of effort and even more so, patience.

Software development is a whole branch of science dedicated to building software from scratch, from before it was even an idea in someone’s head. Like most complicated processes, software development has its own life cycle which is as follows.

The Phases of Software Development

Software development has multiple phases and they are as follows, in order of course.

Preliminary Analysis

A preliminary analysis is all about different design ideas, whether one thing works better than another, different solutions, proposed cost and overall planning.

Systems Analysis and Definition or Requirements

During this phase, clear goals of the software will be defined, according to known data, user needs and the constraints of the budget. This process is about gathering facts and considering issues and solutions in advance.

Systems Design

This part of the process focuses on describing and detailing all the functions and parts of the software that is about to be developed.

The Development

This part of the process is about writing the source code for the software.

Integration and Testing

All the various modules and parts are brought together into a single unit and the testing phase commences. The testing environment is often specially designed for that purpose. Error checking and correcting is done in this part of the process.

Acceptance, Installation and Deployment

This is the final phase of the initial part of software development, where the software is being put to use, to actually do the work it was intended for.


Software needs regular maintenance and this part focuses on changing initial code if necessary and making sure that the software isn’t obsolete.


This is a part that is often discussed when talking about software development. Some don’t consider it a part of the SDLC but others do. This part of the process focuses on the software and evaluating its progress and the way that it does or doesn’t do the job it was intended to do. Further changes can be made if necessary.


During this process, software and hardware is being disposed of, destroyed and removed, in adherence with company policies. Data which is necessary will be saved and stored accordingly, of course. During this stage, obsolete software is deleted, to be replaced by new software.

Different Names, Same Processes

Like most things in life, the SDLC has many names for its phases. This can vary from description to description, but the process remains largely the same, no matter whether you call one phase preliminary analysis or systems investigation. Have in mind that you run into different terms, that they might be referring to the same part of the development cycle. Terms change and adapt, sometimes for the worse, confusing new learners and already experienced veterans. 

Software development has its own cycle, called SDLC, where we analyze and define a piece of software, build, test and fix it, implement, maintain and eventually, dispose of the old and preserve the data for the new piece of software. The phases might have different names, but the process is largely the same.