The Life Cycle of Software Solutions

Wednesday, 15 February, 2017

As a sign of good faith, to show our honesty, we have decided to share with you all the steps in our development process of custom software solutions. We walk with our clients through the whole journey of software creation, taking a step by step together. You guide us through your problem, and we will guide you to a solution.

A Short Note of Introduction

Once upon a time, an ancient Greek philosopher named Protagoras said that man is the measure of all things. We here at Gauss Development, we believe that man is also the measure of all software. Like a tailor whose goal is to make clothes fit a particular individual, so too do we tailor our custom software solutions to our client’s needs.

After an exhaustive list of questions, we sit and ponder on a carefully crafted solution to a client’s unique problem. We deconstruct and reconstruct every and each question and answer until we get to the heart of the issue in an utterly open dialogue. We care, as do a lot of other companies, for clients. At Gauss, we like to think that care is not what sets us apart or solves problems (nevertheless, it is a good start), but that comprehension and understanding are what, without a doubt, is crucial.

The Opening Chapter

Quite conveniently, the whole process starts with a quote. Our clients write the first sentence of our joint work. They reach us out. They strike a conversation. Once we start a dialogue and deal with formalities, we agree upon a meeting place. Nowadays, it is not unheard of for a meeting to take place via various digital subways. Nonetheless, the majority of meetings end up as eye to eye gatherings. Business, after all, is best discussed on a full stomach.

The Six-Stepping Stones of Custom Software Solutions

Flexibility is key, and adaptability its sister. It is a thing most crucial in IT industry. With each passing day, we see more new technologies pop up, and we find it imperative to keep up. This concise philosophy of ours has also rubbed off on our developers, and they follow this principle when approaching a new project.

Even though, as we’ve mentioned before, every new project and its problems are unique, there are some milestones in the project’s life cycle. In fact, we like to present them as The Six-Stepping Stones of Custom Software Solutions Development.

  1. The Long Talk

We meet, greet, eat, and talk shop. Usually in that order. Gauss counts great listeners among its ranks, and this particular trait is often at test here. After a client opens the soul of his problem, we start with the obligatory bombarding. We ask all the possible questions you might expect and even more of those you wouldn’t see coming. At this stage of negotiations, our goal is to get to know both the client and his problems as thoroughly as possible. It is not unheard of for a project to end here before it even starts, as not all problems require a custom software solution.

For businesses that explicitly know what they want, this step kicks off with their wishes and desires. All in all, this step is just another brick in the wall.

  1. Strategy Planning

Like in a good game of Risk, preparation is key. It is not just setting up pieces around the board what wins the game, but sound strategic planning. How do we approach the problem? What technologies do we use? All the likes of these questions need answers, and this is the moment where we send our QA crew to assess the situation.

At Gauss, the alphabet starts with Analysis – the Alpha of all our work. Everything is taken into account, even the most minuscule of things, to understand the problem thoroughly. Once we exhaust all options, we advise on the course of the project. We send a blueprint, and as soon as a client gives the green light, the next stage can begin.

  1. Concept, Documentation, and Design

Projects come in all shapes and sizes, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That is why we strive to define some form of a specification which will come either as a concept, framing, or a written document – depending on the project.

The design is set down in this phase as documentation isn’t sent alone. We offer a visual solution needs as the project can’t go forward without first appealing to your senses. A constant stream of communication flows between our designers and clients to achieve the most optimal visual solution. We take into account all the wishes, from optimal conversion rate through well-placed buttons and calls-to-action to an aesthetically pleasing design to tickle the artist in you. Just instead of rubbing a lamp, we rub our design team until the magic happens.

  1. Development

At this stage is where all the sorcery happens. We combine all of the individual elements from all the previous phases to create a functional solution. If there were an off-the-shelf solution that fit a client’s needs, he either wouldn’t be working with us, or we would’ve offered him to look into it. We are advocates of the agile development where iteration is the basis of all work.

Deploying the agreed upon technologies, our wizards are masters of this particular element. As the project moves forward in the development, a neat ebb and flow of constant feedback helps us to successively and successfully refine our labour of love. Our team of custom software developers finds pleasure in their work which is what has so far aided us in accomplishing feats that our clients just did not expect. The snowball effect is an uncommon occurrence here at the offices of Gauss.

  1. Quality Assurance

Tailor-made software solutions require as much patience as they do testing. At this stage we re-summon the Quality Assurance Crew to use their knowledge and experience to test for possible bugs. The first method used is automated software testing. To go back to the tailor analogy, you cannot use the same stitches for different types of suits. The colours might be off, or the stitch too thin or too thick. For the same reason, the QA team uses specific applications to test those custom-made. Some are tested using modified apps while some require a new testing app built from scratch. Whatever the case might be, our QA team has it covered.

Quality assurance starts early if you want a healthy growth.

It is important to note that the automated testing isn’t the only method deployed. Real-life testing is as important as automated testing. In combination with the latter, real users help us test the newly developed custom application to ensure a top-class quality. As soon as the finest and final details are taken care of, we can jump to the next stepping stone.

  1. Maintenance & Support

Every tailor-made piece of clothing can tear. Unfortunately, so can the tailor-made software. Fortunately, the fix is the same, or at least, bears the same name. We apply patches to fix all previously found bugs, and even though it is a final stepping stone, we aim to improve our custom solutions however we can. Building a long-term relationship with our clients plays an important role for us.

Maintenance includes extending the solution to meet new requirements, and in many cases we consider it a new task. Taking care of all of our custom business solutions with regular health check-ups is integral to its well-being, much like it is for us.

To keep it going sometimes is just not enough, and here is where our support shines the most. Troubleshooting and assistance are a bonus thrown into the complete package of software maintenance in the case a stitch goes astray.

Don’t worry, we got your back… :)

The Final Note

As Tolkien once wrote in the name of Legolas, “Yet beneath the Sun all things must wear to an end at last.” and so we come to the end of our custom software solutions life cycle.

We cannot stress enough the importance of an individual approach, or of any of the six stepping stones. Depending on the project, much is changed and still is subject to it. We put a strong focus on innovation, and if there is one non-personified trait which makes us stand out in the industry is our ability to cover all aspects, from technology consulting, custom software engineering, testing and quality assurance to system integration, support, and maintenance.

If there are yet any questions that you might have, either leave us a comment in the jibber-jabber box below or direct us a quote.

Hop on with us! But, remember: look before you leap!

Darko Šarić

Darko is a passionate digital copywriter at Gauss Development. His job is to create engaging reading material based on the understanding of his audience and to oversee and edit all other writings.

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