The traditional and agile software development methodologies both aid in the development of a software. We can’t really say which one is better as both have their own set of pros and cons. The agile method is found to be a bit more advanced and accurate than the traditional method. However, we can’t afford to disagree that humans are better than machines when it comes to decision making. Before we go into the differences, let’s take a look at what exactly these two methodologies are:
Traditional Software Development
The traditional software development method involves a series of steps:
Assessment of requirements: – where the client requirements are documented
Planning and strategy: – where the general structure of the software and the coding process is determined
Building: – where the actual coding begins
Testing: – where the testing of the developed software happens. This is usually simultaneous with the development process
Deployment: – where the software is completed and is ready to hit the markets
Agile Software Development
This method doesn’t have so many steps like traditional software development. However, the developers keep visiting the previous phases again during the process. Also, importance is given to the compatibility and adaptability of the software.
Now, that we have seen the difference between the methods in terms of process, let’s see how different they are in terms of other aspects:
In traditional software development, the customers have to give their inputs in advance. They have no say during the process until they get the product in their hands.
However, in agile software development, the customer is involved in every phase of the process. They can opine about the changes they need. This also makes the job easier for developers as they can make the changes instantly avoiding additional work at the end. Also, he customers feel satisfied.
In traditional software development, the developer and business analyst have a role to play. The business analysts document the customer requirements and the developer starts coding according to that. It is a bit risky because if the communication between the two isn’t good, the project will fail.
However, in agile software development, there is constant customer involvement, where they directly communicate with the developer. So, this makes things easier for the developer and it allows functional and structural flexibility for them.
Traditional software development involves extended documentation, which is actually an advantage. The developers can review the documentation at each step of the development process to ensure that they are doing it right.
However, agile software development does not contain any documentation as such, except for codes where annotations and comments are added by the developer himself.
Traditional software development process deals with bulky, unilateral systems easily.
It’s fine to use large or medium systems to perform agile software development. However, large software systems are least affected when it comes to making iterative changes especially with the system design parts.
As mentioned above, the traditional software development involves customer involvement only before the development process starts. Therefore, the number of mistakes can be high and extra money has to be spent to rework them.
Since the agile software development involves customer involvement at each phase, the corrections can be made as soon as the defects are detected. This can help you to save lots of money.
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages, it is really hard to choose one method for software development. Therefore, the current software development lifecycle includes the best of both traditional and agile methodologies.