With 55% of technology companies increasing headcount this year and the majority of organisations embracing remote work, it’s no surprise that organisations are placing more importance on IT than ever. Tech is an ever-evolving industry, so it’s vital to keep up with the latest technologies and to be constantly upskilling yourself to ensure you’re an asset to any software development team.

As an software development professional, it’s no longer just about programming: if you want to land your next role in IT, you need to demonstrate that you can design, develop, test and optimise software for a user’s needs. A proven track record in software testing, software development, integration testing and a clear understanding of the development process is a great thing for prospective employers to see when hiring for roles of this nature.

That’s where SDLC methodologies come in and yes, we know what you’re thinking: what does SDLC stand for?

SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle or sometimes System Development Life Cycle models, and these are a variety of processes of design, development and testing that are used in the industry today. While there’s no best or standout when it comes to SDLC methodologies, so it’s essential to be across the most common models that can be applied to projects as companies are sure to have unique or specific software testing or SDLC process in place for their software development team.

Here are the top seven types of software development methodologies you should know about to help you optimise your software life cycle and software development cycle:

1. Lean Methodology

Lean methodology is focused on eliminating waste, making decisions as late as possible, delivering outcomes as fast as possible and focusing on the big picture. Project teams working with the Lean model find opportunities to cut waste at every step of the SDLC process – in other words, skipping unimportant meetings and reducing documentation as this is sure to streamline the software development process.

Lean methodology is cost-effective and empowers the entire development team in the decision-making process. However, with limited meetings and documentation, communication needs to be sound for senior stakeholders to stay in the project loop. Thankfully, by utilising an efficienct means of communicating for the team, you can keep everyone in the loop throughout each stage of the software development process without having to pull people out for meetings constantly.

2. Agile Methodology

Agile is a combination of an incremental and iterative approach, where the product is released on an ongoing cycle then tested and improved at each iteration. Fast failure is encouraged in agile methodology: the theory is that if you fail fast and early, you can solve minor issues before they grow into major issues.

Agile is one of the most common SDLC methodologies out there today but it’s technically more of a framework than a distinct model. Within Agile, there are sub-models in place such as extreme programming (XP), Rapid Application Development (RAD), Kanban and Scrum methodology.

3. Waterfall Model/Methodology

The Waterfall model and methodology is one of the oldest surviving SDLC methodologies. It follows a straightforward approach: the project development team completes one phase at a time, and each phase uses information from the last one to move forward.

While this methodology does make the needs and outcomes clear, and gives each stage of the model a well-defined starting and ending point, there are downsides in Waterfall’s rigidity. In fact, some experts believe the Waterfall model was never meant to be a working SDLC methodology for software development because of how fixed it is in nature. Because of this, the SDLC Waterfall model is best used for extremely predictable projects.

4. DevOps

DevOps is used by some of the biggest companies out there, such as Atlassian. A hybrid of Agile and Lean, DevOps evolved from the growing need for collaboration between operations and development teams throughout the SDLC process. In DevOps, both developers and operations teams work together to accelerate and innovate the deployment and creation of software. There are small but frequent updates and DevOps encourages continuous feedback, process improvement and the automation of previously manual processes.

DevOps methodology saves time and improves communication because both operations and development teams get to know about the potential obstructions at the same time. However, DevOps may open software to more security issues, as this approach generally favours speed over security.

5. Spiral

As one of the most flexible SDLC models out there, the Spiral model is used by the world’s leading software companies. Spiral enables project teams to build a highly customised product. Spiral methodology passes through four phases repeatedly until the project is finished: planning, risk analysis, engineering, and evaluation.

The biggest difference between Spiral and other SDLC methodologies is that it is focused on risk analysis, with each iteration it focuses on mitigating potential risks. The model also emphasises customer feedback, and as the prototype build is done in small increments, cost estimation becomes easier.

6. Iterative

The Iterative model is all about repetition. Instead of starting out with a comprehensive overview of the requirements, development teams build the software piece by piece and identify further requirements as they go along. As a result, each new phase in the Iterative model produces a newer, more-refined version of the software under development.

Iterative allows developers and testers to identify functional or design flaws early, and can easily adapt to the ever-changing needs of the client. Like Spiral, Iterative suits larger projects and requires more management and oversight to work well.

7. V-Model

Similar to the waterfall methodology where testing is done at the end of a project, with the V-model, testing happens at every stage of development. The next stage of the V-model starts only when the previous stage is entirely finished.

As part of the V-Model, a software tester has to verify if the requirements of a specific development phase are met. They also have to validate that the system meets the needs of the user, customer or other stakeholders, which includes both verifications and validations.

There’s no one size fits all solution when it comes to Software Development Life Cycle methodologies, so we hope this has helped you gain a better of understanding of the various SDLC methodologies and helped you find the right approach to suit your business.

Looking for your next software development role?

With a solid grasp of Software Development Life Cycle methodologies and strong technical knowledge, you’re well on your way to landing your dream role in software development and IT. If you want to take the next step, our team of recruiters is on hand to help. 

Take a look at our latest IT jobs with some of Australia’s leading companies, or get in touch with us today.

Are you earning what you're worth? Gain valuable salary insights with our latest Salary Guide and confidently plan your next career move.

Compare my salary

Salary Guide Australia

Discover your value with salary benchmarks across various industries.

Compare my salary

Boost your career performance

Sign up for job alerts

Stay on top of the job market and the latest roles with our job alerts.

Create job alerts

Looking for a new role?

Quickly find jobs that match your CV with our Job Match tool.

Upload my CV

Maximise your job search success

Join over 60,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.

Simplify your job search by downloading our new App

Download Our App Download Our App