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10 Types of Software Development — Explained

There are many different types of software development. Often, the various kinds of developers work together to bring your project to fruition.

Facundo Molina

By Facundo Molina

Chief Business Development Officer Facundo Molina drives sales processes and BairesDev's fast growth pace while also improving company relations.

10 min read

Software development services

If you’re looking to hire a software development provider, you probably have a product or products in mind to create — such as an app, a website, or a program. But before you begin your search, you need to figure out what, exactly, it is that you’re looking for beyond what you’re building.

There are many different types of software development. Often, the various kinds of developers work together to bring your project to fruition. Here are just 10 of the many kinds available. Some of them overlap and can be found in a single professional, while others require a distinct skill set.


1. Frontend Development

Frontend developers work on the part of the product with which the user interacts. They are primarily concerned with the user interface (UI). For example, they might create the layout, visual aspects, and interactive elements of a website or app. However, their role isn’t identical to that of a UI or user experience (UX) designer. They also fix bugs and make certain that the UI can run on different browsers.

They must be highly proficient in programming and work closely with the backend developers to ensure that the two aspects of the product function cohesively. 


2. Backend Development

In contrast, a backend developer works with the part of the product users can’t see — the back end. This professional builds the infrastructure that powers the website, app, or program, focusing on functionality, integration of systems, and core logic. They will also deal with the complex, underlying structure, ensuring strong performance, scalability, and security.

As we mentioned above, the frontend and backend developers work closely together to create a final product.


3. Full-Stack Development

A full-stack developer works on all aspects of the product, including both the front and back ends. To be a successful full-stack developer, you must have strong programming skills, as well as a variety of soft skills that all tech professionals must have, such as problem-solving and critical thinking. At the end of the day, you — and perhaps your team — are responsible for creating a full, complete product.


4. Desktop Development

Desktop developers exclusively create applications that run on a desktop operating system, such as Windows, Mac, or Linux. This is opposed to developers that create applications that run on mobile, tablet, or other devices.

This type of specialization was more ubiquitous in the early days of programming, back before the days of mobile applications. However, they still have a place in today’s landscape.


5. Web Development

Web development is the process of building web applications. People use these apps through an internet browser on a multitude of devices. This is different from a mobile app, which runs on a phone or tablet and doesn’t necessarily require an internet connection to run.

Web development is an umbrella term encompassing both front and backend development. Professionals can also be full-stack web developers.


6. Database Development

Not to be confused with a database administrator, who typically works with daily database upkeep and troubleshooting and implements the system, a database developer is responsible for building the database, modifying and designing existing or new programs, and ensuring that they satisfy the requirements of the users. Sometimes, the roles of database administrator and developer do overlap — this depends on the needs of the client or employer.


7. Mobile Development

As is probably obvious from the name, a mobile developer builds applications that run natively on mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and some types of smartwatches. Usually, these professionals will specialize in either iOS or Android development but not both. 

It is possible to work with the two operating systems. However, many companies will work with developers who are experts in just one. That’s because they tend to be more knowledgeable about the intricacies of each type of development than those who dabble in both of them since the tools, frameworks, and languages tend to be different.


8. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing encompasses services, programs, and applications that run over the cloud. That means they can be accessed remotely from practically any location, provided the user has an internet connection and an appropriate login. They offer plenty of advantages, including scalability. 

Some developers specialize in cloud computing — that is, the creation of cloud platforms. They will build cloud applications and facilitate cloud deployment and migration, as well as manage cloud services and provide maintenance to users. 


9. DevOps Engineering

DevOps is a set of practices and philosophies that are focused on the quick, efficient, and customer-centric delivery of software. Related to Agile, this style has been widely adopted by software developers and teams around the world.

DevOps engineers work with teams that practice the principles. They participate not only in the development of the product at hand but also in quality assurance (QA) testing and eventual deployment. They must possess a wide range of skills, such as programming, integration, scripting, QA testing, and more. They also need to blend theory and practice to support and work with the rest of the team, which may include software developers and QA professionals.


10. Security Engineering

Everyone knows how important security in software is in this day and age. Security software professionals are dedicated to ensuring the security of various technological systems. They must have extensive knowledge of the methodology, practices, tools, and patterns cybercriminals employ to hack software so they can help prevent these attacks from taking place.

Ethical hackers are one example of this type of professional. They work with clients to attempt hack software in order to pinpoint and expose vulnerabilities, allowing them to patch them before they are exploited by cybercriminals.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the types of software development — the field is wide and varied. However, these are still some of the most important types you should understand when looking to hire developers and development teams to work on your next project — and build a high-quality product.

Facundo Molina

By Facundo Molina

Facundo Molina is BairesDev's Chief Business Development Officer and is responsible for maintaining and increasing the company's fast growth. He also works to improve internal sales processes while enhancing every customer and lead's experience with BairesDev.

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