Software development is a vast field with more types and methodologies than you might anticipate. Not all of them are as widespread as others, so it’s usually enough to just know the core types you might encounter during MVP development or other projects for your startup.
Emphasoft is a software development company with a lot of experience, so we thought we'd share the seven most in-demand types of development from both our customers and the industry in general.
Web application development
Web applications or web apps are computer programs accessed via an internet browser, requiring a constant internet connection to use them.
It’s a common misconception that a website and a web app are the same, but it’s not the case. You type in the URL address to access both, but websites are basically a collection of static pages with content on them. Web apps, however, are highly customisable and can accommodate many more features and functionalities. With websites, we mostly consume the data that is published there, however, with web apps we create or upload data and work with it on the page. Canva (a photo editing app) and Mailchimp (a marketing automation platform) are web apps, not websites.
The web application development process includes a lot of things. For example, coding with a programming language, back- and front-end development, UI and navigation menu design, multimedia elements integration, troubleshooting, and more.
It is a complex process that requires experience in project management and skilled developers. So, most startups and enterprises would benefit from hiring a software development company to develop the web app rather than building an internal tech team to do the job.
Mobile application development
Mobile applications, as opposed to web apps, can’t simply be accessed through the webpage but have to be downloaded on the mobile device to function. Mobile apps usually require an internet connection to enable full functionality, but some of the features can be available offline. For example, games can be played offline, but some built-in modes and perks require you to connect to the world wide web.
Mobile app development is subdivided into:
Each type of development has its upsides and downsides. Native mobile apps are created specifically for a platform, for example, for iOS. They make the most use of the platforms’ specifics and can offer the most seamless user experience. But if you need your mobile app to function across platforms, going with the native approach gets expensive quickly, as you need to maintain separate teams of developers for each platform.
Cross-platform mobile app development is gaining momentum as a powerful alternative to native development. They manage to provide a near-native experience for all platforms with a single code, but might still lack the benefits that the native approach provides. React Native and Flutter are popular examples of cross-platform development frameworks.
Lastly, hybrid development is a mix of native and cross-platform approaches, and it attempts to take the best from the two worlds, but it can lead to mixed results if not executed carefully.
Data science development
Data is king nowadays, and data science development is turning into one of the most popular requests from clients.
It is a broad term that includes many types of solutions, from generating statistics and analysing data through reports to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL). Data science helps companies understand and work with clients better, but it also helps them optimise internal processes and improve performance. A lot of data science is centred around future prediction and making the best decisions based on existing data, potential trends, and risks in mind.
Data science is used by anyone and everyone, including tech giants like Facebook and Netflix, as well as companies like Home Depot and Walmart.
Security system development
Security development is all about protecting companies and individuals from unauthorised access to their data.
Security software was always a priority for some businesses, but with cybercrime booming over the recent years, many more decision-makers are realising how damaging data leaks and misuse are to their enterprises and societies as a whole.
The key goal of security software development is to protect us from digital dangers, but it also has to consider user experience and be as invisible as possible, so as to not disrupt the working process.
Embedded systems development
Embedded software is created from the integration of software with specific hardware. It is designed to sync software with specific servers, processors, and other physical infrastructure components and use all capabilities that the hardware has to offer. As a result, embedded systems are often low on resource consumption, require less storage memory, and can scale quickly.
Such systems are popular with industrial production, such as the automotive industry, but can be used in many other fields too. They are often complex and take a long time to develop, so you will typically see them in medium to enterprise-size companies.
Front-end development is work on anything that the end-user can see or interact with, so it’s unofficially called user interface (UI) development by many.
Front-end developers work in tandem with graphic and UI designers to build an intuitive interface and seamless experience that would keep users hooked on the solution. The front-end team also partners with back-end developers to ensure all the ideas they’ve come up with will work properly without bugs, errors, or freezes.
Lastly, the seventh type of software development is the back end. As opposed to the front end, the back end is all about the hidden structures and functions that users do not see but that enable the solution’s functionality.
Back-end development is sometimes considered more important and harder because it requires profound technical knowledge of programming languages. Yet, both front- and back-end are integral components of creating a successful solution.
Building a solution with a software development company
The software development types we covered today can be done by an internal team, a freelancer, or a software development company.
In-house teams will have their undivided attention on the project, but they’re hard to build and maintain, and they’re the most cost-consuming option. Individual freelancers and contractors would, in turn, be the most affordable route but they might lack certain skills and take longer to produce results.
Hiring an outsourcing company would give you the best price-quality ratio. You’ll get an experienced business partner that will be able not only to start working on the project at hand immediately but offer consulting and other services you might require down the line. Such companies invest in employees’ knowledge of the latest tools and technologies, so you’re guaranteed a high level of quality, and you’ll be able to focus on your primary business goals while your software is being developed by professionals.