Today ACM members were informed of all the ins-and-outs of software development from Jim Trentadue’s point of view. After going around the room and discussing our futures in software development and what we would like to accomplish, Mr. Trentadue began with an overall model of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The model divided the life cycle into its key phases and highlighted the positions and careers that are involved along the way.
The Project Initiation stage kicks off the project. This typically includes Project Coordinators, a Program Manager, and Project Managers. (A Program Manager oversees all of the projects within a department, and thus multiple project managers). We then have the Requirements stage where we find out the WHAT about the project – what needs to be included or excluded in the final product. This becomes the task of a Business Analyst who gathers the requirements by talking to the client one-on-one and communicates these ideas to a Systems Analyst for the technical details.
In the Design stage, we find out the HOW about the project: what the overall design of the project will look like and how it will meet the requirements laid out by the Business Analyst and client. This phase becomes the job of the Technical Lead, the Application Architect and perhaps also the System Analyst who spoke to the Business Analyst. The design comes in the form of prototypes, and this work typically is of more senior-level professionals. Once the design has been approved, the project then goes into the Construction/Coding stage in which the actually programming of the system is done. (A student coming out of college would typically work on bug-fixing of medium-priority level issues.)
Testing, the area that Jim Trentadue works in, handles a wide range of testing from unit, to system, to integration, to regression, to automated, to user acceptance, and performance (to find the breaking point of the project). After extensive testing, we then go into one of the later stages of Deployment which is very procedure-driven.
Another topic that Mr. Trentadue touched upon was outsourcing and how it is the concern of everyone in the field no matter what niche you may fall into. In an article by CIO.com titled 12 IT Outsourcing Predictions for 2012, Mr. Trentadue highlights some of the hot trends that we may see in the rest of the upcoming year to keep in mind during your job search.
Towards the end of his talk, he presented students with a to-do list of points to keep in mind after the presentation was over:
- Learn as many technologies as possible
- Enlist in professional organizations within your field of interest
- Get certified in different technical areas
- Subscribe to magazines like InformationWeek to stay up-to-date on the latest trends
- Ask when applying for a new job about their position on outsourcing and prepare yourself before going in with some facts.
- Find out what makes you stand out. Emphasize your processes, your documentation, and perhaps even that you do not mind travelling often. These are all aspects that may land you that perfect job!
- Remain energetic and fresh!