How To Build A Real Software Product | 11 Steps Process
13 min read
So how you can actually build an app or website by implementing all the important processes and the ways in which probably these big companies and organizations do to build their once?
What are those things which you have to keep in mind while going through the development process so that your app or website can solve some real work problems which can impact people's lives on an everyday basis?
So either you are thinking to build an app that will be published on PlayStore or AppStore and will be used by many peoples or building a website that will be deployed and will be visible on the internet, I will try my best to give you step by step guide that how can you cover that idea into your head into a full-fledged product which can potentially server millions of people.
Hi 🙋🏻♂️, My name is Darshan and I provide software development services to businesses and professionals. And with the last 2 years of experience, I have managed to publish multiple apps on PlayStore with hundreds and thousands of downloads which are helping people every day and making their lives easier. So with all that I have decent experience in developing software products and I know some feasible ways to how you can push your ideas to real-world reality.
So if you are looking for someone to build a system for you or your company then I can be the solution for you and you can visit this link to know more about me. And if you are the one who wants to build something and wants to enter into the software development world that this post can be the solution for you. So let’s start!
Just a small thing to say, I also have a great video on this topic on my YT Channel where you can get a more virtual understanding of this thing, so do check it out :)
So before moving with the steps of how to build an app or website, let's first discuss some important points that I understand in the last 2 years and some time in the past due to a lack of understanding of these points I faces some bold issues and that's why I think that by sharing those points with you is important so that you can make your mind cleared with it before starting anything.
- Programming Language is Just a Tool
So first is to understand that a programming language is just a tool. So you may get exposed to this term called “Software Development” mostly in your colleges and most of the time you have been told that you just need to focus on the programming language to become a good software developer but that's not true.
In colleges, you have your semesters, and for that, you have to memorize the syntax of programming languages in order to get a good score and that's totally ok at the college level but in real-world development and building stuff, a programming language is considered as just a tool and the focus point is to build stuff in the most efficient way with minimal cost possible and in the least possible time.
And for that developer knowing the core concept of how any programming language works is more important than focusing on just one language. Because no matter which language you learn, it’s all about variables, loops, functions, conditional statements,s, etc. The rest of the small things gets figured out when you develop some stuff with it. And for that whole programming community hast build some online solution to get your problem solved such a StackOverFlow, StackExchange, Etc.
So the point here is that make sure you have focused on the core concept and foundation of how a programming language works at a core level of the computer. And once you have that thing cleared, then based on tech stack no matter which language you have got to work on, you can easily figure it out in the least possible time.
- First Version Will Be Buggy
The second is self-understanding that the “First Version Will Be Buggy”. So let’s consider an example that you want to build an app for some awesome idea you have in your mind. Now after you complete building an app and then when you publish it on let's say on PlayStore or AppStore, on the second day you realized that your app has a certain problem unfixed or maybe it didn't came in front of you while developing the app or maybe one of the users of your app gave feedback and that is the serious bug in your app which is unavoidable and needs to be fixed.
For eg: the very common stuff that happens in the first version of the app is while developing it you have tested it only on one device with one software version and now after publishing, you got to know that your app layout is not proper in smaller screen size phones. So these kinds of things will happen at the start of your journey
But as you will do it, again and again, you will start getting an idea about the bug that will come in the future and you will eventually start fixing them at the first point only. And slowly the intensity of bugs will reduce. I will not say that they will be gone completely but the silly ones will eventually get eliminated.
- Importance Of SDLC
Now, next is the importance of SDLC, SDLC stands for System Development Life Cycle
Now, this thing I learned in my graduation in one subject called Software Engineering. Really awesome subject I loved it at the time.
Now SDLC cycle is basically a global standard to build any production level system. And almost all companies and organizations follow most of their part in their development process. And according to my experience, I would say it’s really important to understand it first before starting anything. So, you can read about it on google or if you are interested in the subject and want to go deep into it then I will suggest two books to you, you can pick any one of them. first is Software Engineering by Ian Sommerville and second is Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach by Roger Pressman
And now lets the meat part that is the steps to build an actual production level app or website.
Step-1 - Idea
So everything starts with an idea. The idea can come from a problem, something you realize in your day-to-day life, or maybe by looking and analyzing things around you. Just make sure that whatever idea is in your mind is actually a problem and not just a fictional thing your mind has makeup because that is how you can predict that whatever you build has a high chance of getting more used by people and eventually becoming big. So you can either think to build a website or an app but just keep this clear that whatever you are building is with the perspective of people first and then with yours.
Step-2 - Applicability and Feasibility
The second is applicability and feasibility. So if your idea is a real-world problem then chances are high that subconsciously people need a solution for it but they didn’t realize it. So your job with this product is to make them realize that they need a solution and you are providing it.
So the best way I can tell you to check if your idea is actually a problem or not in the world is to discuss it with 5 people that you think will give the best possible answer. And once you get a green tick from them you can move ahead with it
Step 3 - Differentiation in Value
The third is differentiation in value. Now, whatever product or service you see around you has its own distinct and unique value which it provides to the user along with solving a problem. And that is the main reason that users are using that service, sometimes by also paying for it. And the only way your product or service will become big is when the value you provide with it is hard to replace or may be Irreplaceable in some cases. So make sure that this point is clear with whatever you want to build and that it has its own set of values for its users.
Step 4 - Is it a Long-Term Solution?
Fourth is Is it a long-term solution. So after getting the above points clear just think that what is your future plan with this product?. Are you building it with a scalable aspect? or it is bounded with time. So just make this thing clear. I hope you got the point!
Step 5 - Designing and Prototyping
Fifth is designing and prototyping. And from here you can say that the real development work starts, but keep in mind that without validation last four points I mentioned, you should not start with the real work because if you do, probably you will finish your product but then you will soon realize that above four points are actually more important then developing a product itself.
So in this part, you basically developed a blueprint of how your app or website is gonna look. how the workflow of your product will take place. This part covers all the things from how the UI will look, which colors you will choose how the control flow of the entire system will process, and there are many more tiny things that you will eventually learn after getting some experience.
So you can either do all these things with pen and paper or there are some tools available in the market which you can use. Form e.g Adobe XD, this is the one I personally use, then there is Figma and there is a one called as Sketch for mac only users. So you can check all these tools and can select the one which fits you.
Step 6 - Logic Building and Developing
Next is logic building and developing. and maybe you realize till this part that whatever you heard from the people or from your colleges about focusing on programming language only is not completely true. Before writing a single line of code, you have to first go through all these points if you working on the actual product.
So in this part, you work on the logic of the product and write code for it to make it work that way. And the programming language you use is totally dependent on the tech stack you are working on for your product.
Suppose if you are working on the android app then XML and Java will be used if it's an iOS app then Swift language is the thing to go through. and if you are working on a Website then which framework you are using to build it makes it clear which language you have to code in. So as you can see, learning just a programming language is not enough as all other things are also equally important.
Step 7 - Debugging
Next is debugging and this is the most tedious and time taking process in the entire development system but it's unavoidable. So in this part, your main focus is to correct all possible no matter small or big bugs in your code which can give problems currently or maybe in the future.
So you have to make sure that whatever code you have written in the development phase should be perfectly compatible in the scalability aspect and in future development aspects as well.
Another thing you will realize in this part is that you will go back and forth between this phase and the development phase. And it's a kind of a looping cycle until you feel that everything is perfect to go ahead.
Step 8 - Testing
Next is Testing. And I basically can’t explain complete testing in this post or any in any form of content. Because it all to gather a different field and one can pursue a whole carrier into it. If you work in any big MNC then they have different people which are not developers but only testers who just the apps and services developed by developers. So there is a lot in testing.
But in a basic sense, I can explain it as having a look at using your app or website from a third-person perspective which has considerably no technical knowledge and checking your product by that person's thought process and use-case.
There are many types of testing and as I said earlier, it's a complete field there are complete books just on testing, but for personal use, you don’t need to be at a pro-level to start. You just need to know two types of testing one is Alpha Testing and the second is Beta Testing which is the most popular way of testing any product.
Step 9 - Making Resources Ready For Explanation
Next is making resources for an explanation. So at this point, your app or website is almost completed and you are ready with final builds and results. So now you need to create the resources like video images and articles to explain your product or service to people. This step is important to get more footsteps at your product. So you can also say it is a marketing of your software.
Step 10 - Publishing or Deploying
Next is and the most awaiting one is publishing or deploying. And yes! it's a great feeling when something which came into your mind now actually exists and with all your effects of months, now you have presented it to the world. So now you need to share this news with each one around you and basically use all your social media account to make it known to people.
And after this point, your job for that particular version of the product is done. But at some point, the next job starts. Remember! I told you earlier that your first version will be buggy despite of all debugging and testing. And that takes us to the next and last phase of development and that is
Step 11 - Focusing on Feedback and Planning Next Version
Focusing on feedback and planning the next version At this point you need to focus on what users are saying about their experience of using your software. Maybe there will be a few users who will give you new ideas to implement in your product, there will be some who will post a certain bug which maybe you missed in the development phase and there may come some errors as well which you will eventually realize after some time of release.
So collect all that stuff in a document it and start planning for the next version of your product. And as you do this process cycle again and again your product starts becoming more refined and more stable and will eventually become something that is actually worth using.
So BEST OF LUCK.
So these were the steps or points you have to keep in mind while building any kind of app or website that will serve users.
And if you have reached till this point that means you are serious about building something and once you start building something, you will eventually get an idea that what challenges come along the path and how you can fix them one by one, and eventually, you will have your own set of experience about what needs to be taken cared of in any development journey.
So one bold thing I can suggest to you is that after getting all these things cleared just take the first step and just start building.
And once you build something just come back and share its link in the comment section of this post and I will surely check it out.
So give love to this effort by liking it and sharing it with your friends and family because,
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Also, don't forget to check the video ✌️
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