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Learn about software development life cycle with online courses and programs

The software development life cycle can reduce costs and help teams work more efficiently. Are you interested in building digital products that meet customer expectations and organizational goals? Get started with courses delivered through edX.

What is the software development life cycle?

The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a process used to design, develop, and maintain digital products. Development teams map out their trajectory and split the project into phases. Each phase is split into tasks that must be completed before moving on to the next one. While there is no standard number of phases in the software development life cycle, a general approach may include steps such as: gather requirements, analyze, design, implement, test, deploy, and maintain.

With these approaches, teams can position themselves to reduce potential risks and deliver high-quality software that meets customer expectations.Footnote 1 The SDLC also helps teams by being continuous and iterative. This allows companies to build products that can be improved over time, and reinforces the importance of software development life cycle knowledge in any developer’s skill set.

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Software development life cycle tutorial curriculum

With the right software development life cycle tutorial, you can learn how to include all relevant participants and stakeholders in the process, from software engineers to business analysts. If you want to have a hand in developing digital products, an introductory software development life cycle course can explore the fundamentals and the cycle and explain how it compares to other development processes.

More advanced units could review the various phases of the SDLC, along with their goals, participants, and deliverables. In the later stages, you might also cover the common software development life cycle models that companies use to organize their phases. These include:

  • Agile model

  • Waterfall model

  • Spiral model

  • Iterative model

  • V-shaped model

  • Prototype model

  • Big bang model

  • DevOps model

Individuals who want to learn about the SDLC while building supplemental skills can find a bachelor’s degree program in IT or a related topic. Coursework may culminate in a final project that walks through the steps to execute a secure SDLC, where you integrate security into every phase of an existing model. Learners in a master's degree program may have additional opportunities to apply the SDLC to industry-specific situations, which can help them qualify for more high-level jobs.

Explore the range of learning opportunities offered through edX. From accelerated boot camps on topics like coding that allow you to upskill quickly to executive education courses designed for busy professionals on a leadership track, there are many options available to learners of all levels.

Explore jobs in software development

Learning about the software development life cycle can add valuable skills to your résumé. Whether you’re interested in working as a project or product manager, or you want to be the person responsible for writing the code that supports a product, there are many ways to leverage your SDLC knowledge.

Some jobs you can pursue after you learn software development life cycle processes include:

  • Product manager: Oversees the workflows in software development projects.Footnote 2

  • Software developer: Writes the source code for the product.Footnote 3

  • Quality assurance (QA) tester: Ensures that the product works as intended.Footnote 4

  • Product designer: Is in charge of the user interface (UI), user experience (UX), or both elements of the product.Footnote 5

  • Data scientist: Analyzes information about the product, such as usage metrics, for roadmapping.Footnote 6

  • Technical writer: Creates content pertaining to the development of software products.Footnote 7

You can also use the SDLC in your career to implement an effective approach to software development. For example, the waterfall approach works for products with many dependencies, whereas an Agile methodology is preferred for projects where requirements change often.

Start building the skills you need for your next career move. A product management boot camp could help you learn the planning and management skills you need to work within software development. Earning a bachelor’s in computer science may also provide you with the more technical expertise to understand the product itself.  Find the right course for you with edX and jumpstart your professional development today.

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