When coding any computer program or application in a given programming language, there are steps and a structure which is universal and applicable to all programming works and should be followed. This guide will explain such necessary steps by using the programming of a computer software as an example.
1. Programming Language.
The first step of programming a computer software entails identifying the most appropriate programming language. For beginners it’s vital that you choose a language which is easier to learn as well as to code and some of the popular ones include C & C++ although today C# is becoming more popular and most preferable, Java and Python.
2. Development tools.
There are various programming tools all which form what is called a coding or development environment. They include;
- Code editor. This is the writing application where all your coding instructions will go. A good example of the coding editor is Notepad which is available in all popular operating systems but there are other sophisticated code editors such as Notepad++ or JEdit which are loved by many programmers because they automate most of the tasks such as repetitive instructions.
- Compiler or interpreter. Compliers are needed so that they can compile the language before the code written can be executed. They also help at reporting any bug issues which may arise.
- IDE (Integrated development Environment). This is a program which has integrated the code editor, the compiler as well as the debugger into one program hence reducing the time of installing all these.
You must have prior knowledge of the programming language that you choose to use but if you are not good at programming or you are a beginner. You will need to learn and get relative experience about programming. You could join a programming school, join online programming forums or learn from online resources about the language that you prefer to use.
3. Design your software.
Here, it is advisable that you write up a sketch design first about the software. This sketch of the whole programming steps will be reference during the whole process. It should outline the objectives that your software needs to achieve when using the software to accomplish some tasks as well as describe the features of the software and how they should be implemented.
It should also have a flowchart indicating how a user of the software can get from one point to the next while at the same time defining the architecture and framework of the software.
4. Develop a Prototype for your software.
The prototype should be developed focusing on the main features of your software and the tasks that you need performed by it. The purpose of a prototype is to help you be able to make changes where need be as well as give an opportunity for some users to test out.
Therefore it should be developed to include the features of the software and should continue improving with time as you test its functionality. If it fails to work, troubleshoot it until you are sure that the working correctly.
5. Develop your software.
If the prototype works correctly and you are satisfied with its functionality, then it’s time to develop the software.
First create a pseudo-code base — This is kind of the parent framework of your software and will be referenced during future changes or improvements to the software. It has all the coding written but it’s never compiled but it’s used by developers to read and parse what should be happening with the code when a command is issued by a user of the software.
Code the software. — The prototype of the software should be used for coding by either making improvements to it or using the code used as part of a larger project. Start coding now and as you do each step make sure you you carry out compiles and test to ensure that each step is working as expected.
6. Testing the Software
Test every feature of the software to ensure that there are no errors cropping up. It’s vital to have several people to do the testing and also to have the software tested on different operating systems, regions etc so as to minimize chances of errors.
List assets and other system requirements needed for great user-interactivity with the software. These includes features such as sounds tones, artwork etc. Create the assets and incorporate them into the software making sure that they do not interfere with the correcting functionality of the software.