Top 6 Types of Software Development You Should Know

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Differentiating themselves from rivals and winning over customers in today's tech-driven market requires creative digital solutions. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that software development is in high demand, especially considering how often new products are released by firms. 

Some forms of software development have been around for a while, while others have only recently evolved to accommodate new technology (such as the cloud or wearables). 

Our research led us to conclude that the following six categories of software development are crucial for modern companies:

  1. Web development
  2. Mobile app development 
  3. Desktop software development
  4. Wearable software development
  5. Cloud computing
  6. Embedded systems development

What distinguishes these approaches to software development? Keep reading to discover.

Web Development

Internet and intranet website creation encompasses a wide range of activities. Both front-end and back-end development are necessary for the creation of a web application. 

  • Front-end development

Everything a user can see and do inside a web browser is considered part of the front-end, or client-side, of the application. Menus, buttons, navigation bars, etc., are all examples. In most cases, frameworks provide pre-made UI components and reusable functions, and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used to build the front end. Popular front-end frameworks include Angular, Flutter, jQuery, Ember JS, and React.

  • Back-end Development

The server-side, or back-end, of a web app, is the code that runs behind the scenes and is inaccessible to end users. Everything that people can access online is included in it. Its principal function is to facilitate the efficient operation of the client side by storing, managing, and organizing data. Servers, databases, and applications all come together to form it. Languages like Node.js, Ruby, Java, and Python are used in the backend.

Not only does back-end development involve coding, but there are two more crucial areas:

Database Development

Gathering and storing basic data is the specialty of a database system. Database developers should be familiar with databases and data management platforms such as Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, and Microsoft SQL Server.

API Development

A software mediator that allows two apps to communicate is an API or Application Programming Interface. Web services and web servers often form a two-way connection to ease data transfer and interpretation. 

Companies can connect systems to deliver internal and external value through the productive utilization of APIs, which accelerates innovation and growth. 

Mobile App Development

The term "mobile app development" refers to the process of creating and coding software specifically for mobile devices. In contrast to their web-based counterparts, mobile apps are browser-independent. On the contrary, users can't access them unless they download them from platform-specific app stores like Google Play or Apple's App Store. 

An age-old question in app development is whether it's better to target a certain operating system (OS) or to make an app that runs on multiple platforms. Because every approach has its pros and cons, the best course of action will rely on the specific goals you have set for your project.

  • Native App Development

The term "native" refers to the fact that an app is built specifically for one mobile platform, like iOS or Android. 

When creating an app for a native platform, developers use languages that are specific to that platform. While most iOS apps are built using Swift or Objective-C, Android apps can be built using Java or Kotlin. 

Because they are built using the platform's native language and application programming interfaces (APIs), native apps are often faster and more interactive than third-party apps. Consequently, providing a top-notch user experience while maintaining excellent performance. 

However, developing native apps for both iOS and Android might add up in price because you'll need a different crew for each platform. Furthermore, this greatly slows down the process of fixing bugs. Updating numerous native apps at once will increase the update time for critical and urgent updates. Customers are left with an unreliable app that could compromise their user experience or reveal dangerous security flaws till then. 

Apps that need to work offline and have complex features that may be customized to a high degree are best developed using native technologies. 

  • Cross-platform Development

Software developed using cross-platform techniques is compatible with more than just one OS, unlike native development. Because of their shared code base, they should not have to worry about spending too much time correcting bugs. Any changes made to it are instantly rolled out to all OS versions with little to no manual intervention. 

A cross-platform app ensures uniformity across platforms, is typically cheaper than native software, and development is typically faster. On the other hand, native apps just cannot be beaten when it comes to performance. To keep the app looking the same across all platforms, developers often have to streamline features like screen layouts and images, which might lead to less UI/UX design. 

Also, apps that focus on cutting-edge and platform-specific technology aren't the best fit for cross-platform frameworks because they don't always have access to the latest upgrades and features for iOS and Android.

Startups looking for a low-risk solution can consider cross-platform development due to its cost-effectiveness and speedy development pace. Consider looking into Xamarin, Flutter, or React Native, three prominent cross-platform frameworks.

  • Hybrid Development

One way to look at hybrid apps is as a combination of native and web-based features. They are created by incorporating web-based technologies (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) into native apps with the help of plugins like Apache Cordova, Ionic's Capacitor, etc., so that the native features may be accessed. The fact that they use WebViews to show content is what makes them "hybrid"; think of them as little browser windows embedded into your mobile apps.

Hybrid apps, similar to cross-platform apps, use a single set of source codes to run on different systems. When your app is hosted on a server, they can also help with updates, so you won't have to wait as long for Google and Apple to approve new versions. Still, when compared to native apps, they fall short in terms of speed and security.

If your intended users are spread out over many devices and platforms, this style of app development is a good fit. 

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

The progressive web app (PWA) was introduced by Google in 2015 to connect web and mobile apps. A progressive web app (PWA) is built using web technologies, similar to a hybrid app, but it has additional features like access to APIs (geolocation, camera, offline support, etc.) or push notifications through Google Cloud Messaging. You can release your PWA without going through any sort of approval procedure. One way to make them public is to install them from an app store. Another is to upload them to a website. 

Their many benefits over native and hybrid apps have led to their adoption by market leaders such as Twitter, Alibaba, and Starbucks, even if they are still in their early stages. 

Progressive web apps (PWAs) have several benefits, including native-like performance, higher availability, and improved search engine ranking. Delivering a smooth and frictionless omnichannel experience is possible because the app is accessible from any device or browser. 

Desktop Software Development

Software developed for desktops (or laptops) is considered native, meaning it can run independently of the Internet. Users are obligated to download and install desktop programs on their PCs. 

With an 80% market share, Microsoft Windows, 15% for Apple macOS, and 3% for GNU/Linux-based operating systems are the three most popular choices for personal desktop/laptop computers.

  • Windows Development

To create desktop applications for this OS, developers frequently utilize Visual Studio, WPF, UWP, and.NET. 

  • macOS Development

Apps for macOS should ideally be built using Swift, Xcode, and Apple's software development kits (SDKs),

  • Linux Development

The two most popular desktop environments for Linux are GNOME and KDE.

Wearables software development

The term "wearable technology" refers to a subset of electronic devices that are both Internet-enabled and designed to be worn on the body or garments. Wearable technology has largely been dominated by smartwatches.

Wearable technology has expanded beyond fitness trackers and mobile wallets. Their skills now encompass gaming, productivity, and social media. The current state of wearable development is limited to only native languages:

  • Samsung Galaxy: Native C, Tizen. NET 
  • Apple: Swift
  • Fitbit Sense: JavaScript

Cloud computing

Computing in the cloud, in its simplest form, is transferring and storing programs and data via the Internet rather than on your local hard drive.

The three primary types of cloud-based applications are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

With SaaS, you can get all the software you need with simple pay-as-you-go pricing. Any Internet-connected device, such as a laptop or mobile phone, can access and use apps stored in the cloud. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office 365 are common examples.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Developers may access the tools they need to build, test, launch, and customize applications through APIs with PaaS. Amazon Web Services' Elastic Beanstalk, Salesforce's Heroku, and Google App Engine are examples of popular PaaS technologies.

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

IaaS allows customers to move their workloads to virtual machines by providing them with a virtual server, storage, and application programming interfaces (APIs). A virtual data center is the simplest way to describe Infrastructure as a service. Many popular IaaS platforms include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and IBM Cloud. 

Next, you'll want to consider the four main types of cloud deployment models: public, private, community, and hybrid. These will depend on the nature of your cloud-based applications. 

Public clouds

Any user with an internet connection can access resources stored in public clouds. Despite the lack of capabilities for significant modification, they provide fast installation, high scalability, and reasonable pricing. You can use this software for:

  • You will need more capacity during busy times.
  • Applications with lower sensitivity levels that use a variety of resources

Private clouds

A private cloud is built specifically to meet the needs of a single company. These solutions are pricey, but they provide a more personalized experience, which means better data control and more customization. 

For infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) projects, organizations can choose the data storage location and design the infrastructure any way they want, giving developers access to a pool of computing capacity that grows on demand without compromising security. 

Community clouds

Many businesses can pool their resources and data in a community cloud. To accomplish a common goal, policy, or compliance, this deployment strategy is ideal for large enterprises that want to work together in a certain domain. 

Hybrid clouds

Hybrid clouds combine elements of both public and private cloud computing. While private clouds are reserved for mission-critical or sensitive applications, enterprises can use public clouds to handle workload surges or demand spikes. With a hybrid cloud, you can automate and scale your system to take advantage of public cloud infrastructure's many advantages while also protecting your data from unauthorized access.

Embedded Systems Development

One more common form of software development that works well with embedded hardware is embedded systems development. Typically, they are designed to carry out a certain task in tandem with other components, such as CPUs and microcontrollers.

Additionally, they are engineered to function in settings when memory or storage space is at a premium. Additionally, they are flexible and scalable, which means they may be easily implemented on other types of devices. 

Wrapping Up

One more common form of software development that works well with embedded hardware is embedded systems development. Typically, they are designed to carry out a certain task in tandem with other components, such as CPUs and microcontrollers.

Additionally, they are engineered to function in settings when memory or storage space is at a premium. Additionally, they are flexible and scalable, which means they may be easily implemented on other types of devices. 

Understanding the diverse landscape of software development is crucial for navigating the dynamic tech industry. The top six types highlighted – web development, mobile app development, desktop application development, embedded systems development, game development, and database development – collectively form the backbone of modern technology. Each type presents unique challenges and opportunities, catering to different aspects of user interaction and system functionality. By familiarizing themselves with these facets, developers can broaden their skill set, stay adaptable, and contribute effectively to the ever-evolving world of software development. Embracing this diversity ensures a well-rounded approach, fostering innovation and excellence in the continually expanding digital realm.


What are the top 6 types of software development?

The top 6 types of software development include web development, mobile app development, desktop application development, embedded systems development, game development, and enterprise software development. Each type serves specific purposes and requires unique skill sets.

How do I choose the right type of software development for my project?

The choice depends on the nature of your project and its goals. If you need a website, web development is appropriate. For mobile functionality, opt for mobile app development. Consider factors like platform, target audience, and project requirements to make an informed decision.

What skills are essential for a software developer in these different types of development?

Skills vary depending on the type of software development. However, some common skills include proficiency in programming languages (JavaScript, Python, Java, etc.), knowledge of development frameworks, problem-solving abilities, understanding of databases, and familiarity with version control systems. Specialized skills may be required for specific types of development.

Are there any emerging trends or technologies in software development that I should be aware of?

Yes, the field of software development is dynamic, and several emerging trends are worth noting. These include the rise of low-code and no-code development platforms, increased adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the growth of containerization and microservices architecture, and the continuous evolution of cybersecurity measures in software development.

How can I stay updated with the latest developments in software development?

To stay informed about the latest in software development, you can follow reputable blogs, attend conferences and webinars, participate in online communities like GitHub or Stack Overflow, and join relevant social media groups. Additionally, regularly updating your skills through continuous learning is crucial in the rapidly evolving field of software development.

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