What are 10 Types of Software Development?

If you have a project in mind, whether it be a new application, system, or website, and you’re thinking “what development expertise do I need to make my project come to life?”, you’ve come to the right place!

You should be aware of the 10 most common types of software development before you take the next step.

You may even have stumbled on this blog because you’re interested in becoming a developer, but you’re not sure what to focus on. The possibilities are endless!

Here are the 10 types of software development.

What is frontend development?

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When you’ve visited a website or used an app on your phone, everything that you see; including buttons, visuals, and the layout,  has likely been created by a frontend developer.

A frontend developer creates the User Interface (UI).

A frontend web developer may utilise markup and programming languages, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript to translate from design documents to a functioning interface and allow users to interact with the website.

If you’re looking for someone to create your website layout, you may want to think about hiring a frontend developer.

There are different types of frontend developers, that may specialise in a specific area, platform, or technology.

Frontend web developers specialise in the development of websites, or web-based applications, whilst a frontend mobile developer would specialise in the development of mobile application frontends.

Some frontend developers may have more focus, for example, they could focus entirely on iOS applications, as an iOS frontend developer.

What is backend development?

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Just like frontend development focuses on the front-facing user interfaces, backend development is what happens behind the scenes. Largely focusing on the implementation of business logic, persisting of data in databases, and the overall architecture of the application or website, making sure that all the little pieces fit together and communicate with one another.

Backend developers make critical decisions about how the frontend and other connected services communicate, often through the development and use of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

For example, our market-leading travel technology, Extrali, is a back-office travel reservation platform. It makes sure that data is captured and supports travel business operations.

What is database development?

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The database is an essential part of any project which needs to persist data or hold state.

Database development is the design, implementation and maintenance of databases. This includes tasks such as creating tables, indexes, and stored procedures; designing and implementing data models; optimising database performance; and troubleshooting any issues that arise.

A database developer is responsible for ensuring data integrity and may also be responsible for data security (making sure that data isn’t accessed improperly), data migrations (getting data out of the database into another system) and data integrations (pulling data from other systems into the database).

What is full-stack development?

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Full-stack development is the combination of all three areas we’ve already explored. A full-stack developer is a type of software developer who is able to work on all the layers of an application, from the frontend user interface to the backend server-side logic, and the databases.

A full-stack developer will be able to complete a full project, from design to completion, and have knowledge of the full tech stack, and experience with a wide range of technologies and programming languages, including web development frameworks, frontend libraries and frameworks, backend programming languages, and databases.

A full-stack developer can also handle the integration of different components and services, whilst being able to debug and troubleshoot issues that may arise.

At Koderly, our full-stack development team contributing to our market-leading travel technology platform, Extrali.

What is web development?

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Web development can often be an ambiguous term; sometimes being used to describe the development of a website frontend (or the User Interface) but can also be used to describe the full-stack development of a website. The commonality being, they both relate to websites, or web-based applications.

Web development is the progress of building, creating, and maintaining websites. It involves a combination of client-side and server-side technologies and programming languages.

The client-side (the frontend) uses technologies that typically include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The server-side (the backend), uses technologies that vary, depending on the project. It can include languages such as C#, Java, PHP, Python or NodeJS to name a few. Database technologies commonly used include the likes of MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.

Web development may also include tasks such as maintaining and configuring the server, including updates to the operating system or hosting environment, or opening ports on the firewall.

What is desktop application development?

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It’s pretty self-explanatory, desktop application development is software that is developed for desktops. Like Microsoft and Adobe products, software is built to run on computers and operating systems, namely Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Desktop applications development is used to create a wide range of software, including productivity tools, games, system utilities, and more and could be beneficial if you’re looking to build an internal business solution.

Desktop applications would typically involve the use of programming languages such as C++, C#, or Java, as well as frameworks and libraries specific to the operation system the application is being developed for.

Desktop applications usually don’t require a constant internet connection and would need to be downloaded onto a personal computer for them to run.

What is mobile application development?

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These days, you may come across mobile development more often.

Think about all those apps that you have in your phone (whether you use them or not!). A mobile application is software that is built to be used solely on smartphones and tablets.

There are a couple of different types of mobile application development, including:

Native mobile application development is when the application is developed specifically for a specific operating system such as iOS or Android. It typically involves the use of programming languages such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS, and Java or Kotlin for Android.

Hybrid mobile application development is when the application is developed using web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and then wrapped in a native container that allows the application to run on multiple operating systems. The developer will likely be using frameworks such as React Native, Ionic, or Cordova to create the application.

Mobile application development is used to create a wide range of software, including games, productivity tools, social media apps, and more. A mobile application developer should have a good understanding of the target operating system’s architecture, user interface guidelines and have knowledge of the user experience (UX) principles to design an application that’s easy to use and interact with.

What is software tools development?

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All developers need software, and software tools developers are the people that build it!

Software tools are used by developers and businesses in order to create, maintain, test, debug, build and support other applications and software. Software development tools can also be used to improve productivity, streamline workflows, or solve specific problems.

Software tools development typically involves the use of programming languages such as C++, C#, Python, and Java, as well as frameworks and libraries specific to the task or problem the tool is being developed to address.

Examples of software tool development may include:

  • Developing a tool to automate a specific business process, like invoicing or inventory management.
  • Developing a tool to help with website or application testing. We recently launched a test management platform that speeds up the software testing process.
  • Developing a tool to help with data analysis, data visualisation and data management.
  • Developing a tool to help with code quality and code review.
  • Developing a tool to help with project management, like time tracking, and task management.

What is cloud development?

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Cloud development refers to building, creating, and maintaining software solutions and services which run on cloud computing platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

We’ve recently launched a SaaS test management platform, Qucate, which is a cloud-native application and consisted of a lot of cloud development.  

Cloud development enables the creation of highly scalable, highly available, and cost-effective applications and services. Developers can take advantage of cloud-specific services such as storage, compute, databases, and networking to build and deploy their applications.

Cloud development requires a good understanding of cloud computing concepts and technologies, as well as the specific services offered by the chosen cloud provider. Developers must be familiar with cloud-based deployment and management tools.

If you’re looking to build a SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS platform, then cloud development is for you. You can also read more about testing in the cloud in our blog, “What is Cloud Testing?”.

What is security software development?

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Security software development focuses on creating software programs that are designed to protect systems, networks, and data from unauthorised access, attacks, and breaches. Ultimately, it’s building software to protect your organisation’s data from theft and access.

These type of software programs are built to provide security for a various types of systems, including computer networks, web applications, mobile devices, and cloud environments.

Some examples of security software development may include:

  • Developing a firewall software to protect a network from unauthorised access.
  • Developing a security software to encrypt data to protect it from unauthorised access.
  • Developing a software that detects and prevents malware and other malicious attacks.
  • Developing a software that monitors and analyses network traffic for potential threats.

A security software developer may also integrate security into software during design and development (Career Explorer).

A security software developer will need a good understanding of security concepts and technologies, such as encryption, authentication, and access control. The developer should also have knowledge of various types of cyber threats, attack vectors and the industry stand security protocols and best practices. Additionally, security software developers must continuously stay updates with the new trends in the field, such as advanced persistent threats, zero-day exploits, and cyber espionage.

Now you understand the most common types of software development, you can continue your development project, whether it be a website, application, or system.

If you have a project in mind, and you’re not sure whether you require an off-the-shelf solution, or a bespoke solution, we discuss the differences in our latest blog “The Differences Between Off-the-shelf Software vs Bespoke Software”,

At Koderly, we build enterprise grade, web-based, and cloud-native applications, digitise your internal processes, and make sure you have a seamless data migration. Learn more about our software development services, or contact us for more information.

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Rebecca Lawton

Our Head of Partnerships and Marketing, Rebecca, is responsible for the generation and management of digital marketing content. She is an accomplished copywriter and has experience in SEO. Rebecca also leads our community engagement programmes, and works closely with our key partners.