How to visualize the software using effortless diagrams!

Software visualization is essential in the software development lifecycle to realize how the software will be conceptualized, visualized, structured, understood, and implemented. Software visualization can be defined as the art and science of generating visual representations for the various aspects of the software.

The purpose of the visualization is setting a common understanding of the system for all stakeholders, for example, business users, development team, architects, designers, …etc.

It is a part of Software architecture and design which usually needs problem-solving and planning. This may include both a low-level component, algorithm design, and a high-level architecture design. The image below can summarize the types of visualization in the software architecture, for example, if we would like to present a system of two components, it can be visualized by text visualization or graphical visualization. I think all of us can conclude that the software requirements specifications document can be a textual visualization of the system. I think yes but not only as part of this textual presentation should include the design decisions and may have pseudo code in some parts.

In this article, we will discuss different types of graphical visualization for the software that are commonly used in the software development lifecycle. Therefore, We will discuss the following diagrams and their usage:

  • Context Diagram
  • Use Case Diagram
  • Activity Diagram
  • Class Diagram
  • Entity-Relationship Model

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Software Testing Fundamentals

Software Testing is vital for any software development life cycle, it is fundamental to ensure the software quality and to have a workable functional software at the end of the project.

“Testing is any activity aimed at evaluating an attribute or capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its required results” Bill Hetzel, 1988

The main motive for the testing is to ensure that all functionalities are working correctly as per the requirements. It is not only that this is the basic purpose of testing, while It is important to test how to break the system, how to simulate the abuse of the system by the quality team before someone else does that for you and it will be a disaster at this time.

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The Waterfall Model, a different perspective

What is Waterfall Model?

It is mostly known as the traditional software development process model, widely used until now, and the most popular SDLC model and the one you should avoid to use. Moreover, it was the first introduced presentation of the software lifecycle.

You can read this Wikipedia page to know the waterfall model history.

The Waterfall Model is a linear sequential flow. In which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of software implementation. This means that any phase in the development process begins only if the previous phase is complete. The waterfall approach does not define the process to go back to the previous phase to handle changes in requirement.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the waterfall, should we avoid it? when to use it? and the waterfall model pitfall, and why I see it as the father of the SDLC models.

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Quality Attributes, measurements, and implementation strategies

The system should be easy to use.
The system should be flexible and scalable.
The system should be secured.
….
….
The system should be portable.

Did you read any requirements document and found one of the requirements statement mentioned above? Then, you started to think, what does it mean to make the software ease of use, how can I make that feasible, if I implemented that feature would the software became more usable? would it be acceptable from the customer? What are the metrics and acceptance criteria for that? How to transform these intangible requirements into something tangible can be implemented and measured.

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What do you need to know about the Software Development phases

Software development life cycle models have different strategies and methodologies for the software development process and I wrote about the different types of development models, please review this article for more information, we also discussed how to select the most suitable model based on your project context.

Regardless, what model you have selected, these models are sharing mostly the same development phases with different arrangements, a more or a less phase. Furthermore, they can be implemented in an iterative and incremental model.

At this article, we will discuss the most common phases across all SDLC models. I will add other articles to discuss each phase in details 🙂 Read more

The best SDLC model

I received a lot of emails and comments regarding the best software development life cycle model. So, I had to write my opinion about that.

Actually, I think there is nothing called the best in absolute general, the best for me maybe not the best for you at this moment. Similarly, there is nothing called the best SDLC model in absolute general, you need to decide which one you need to use according to the software project context and what product or software you are developing, what about your competitors? And what are the team capabilities you have? Read more

Architectural Design Decisions

There is no doubt how the architecture is important to shape the solution and define its characteristics in the different architecture domains, and how this solution will be adaptable and dynamic to absorb new business needs and handle different stakeholders’ concerns.

In most architecture development processes, different decisions are taken in the different architecture domains. Architects may make different decisions, such as choosing a specific component, in the conceptual architecture and follow a specific architecture pattern.

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