Web Development

Introduction

It has been almost impossible to escape the growth of the Internet ever since the web came to life in the early 1990s. With people so drastically shifting to the web, businesses and organizations view the web as the new frontier for international marketing and business transactions. It is not all words and thoughts as the web does hold the potential for all this and more.

Businesses and entrepreneurs view the web as a potential to present themselves with seemingly boundless opportunities. This route is considered in the hope of gaining that ever elusive edge over one’s competitors.

Amidst all the maelstrom, there is a critical role being played by certain developers. This is the role of the web developers who face enormous pressures to build high quality websites in the nick of time and that too with a very limited amount of formal web development methodologies to pick from to aid them in the process. This is where S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. has an edge over many other competitors in the market.

The team of web developers of the company are not only superior at what they do, they are also always learning and growing to become better every day. The web developers at the company recognize that with the growing market, the demands of the consumers have also increased and expanded. In turn, the developers have to utilize different skill sets during the development process to create what is required.

Web Development at S.T.A.R.S

When working on something as extensive as web development, it is not uncommon to forget minor details and tasks over time. However, S.T.A.R.S (Pvt) Ltd. is known for the steady standard that it provides for the clients who work with the company. As it is of great importance to the company to maintain the high standard that the clients of the company are used to, there is a certain flow that the company follows to ensure that the work being delivered is one of a kind.

One thing that the team members at S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. never skip out on is how the code is developed. The code that the developers develop is always very clear and readable. It is simplified enough for it to be revisited without any confusion. To increase the efficiency of the code, the code is always commented on so that if any different coder views the work that is being produced they can work on the code as well. This allows the work to carry forward without any lags and if a developer is not available for any reason, other developers can easily check the code and correct it.

With a vast variety of technology out there, it is essential for developers to make sure that the product is responsive. S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. has a set pattern to help the developers ensure that all the designs that get created are responsive across the array of devices that the users will be using. The team has researched these devices and the requirements of these devices so that the design and functionality of the website does not become scattered when it is used from different systems.

 This is not done out of thin air, the team members of the company have a detailed discussion with the client about which devices their users are likely to use. A list of different devices is created. The design and functionalities are made responsive according to these devices and the different versions available in these devices. This way the clients work has a uniformed image being displayed out in the marketplace.

Flow of Work

This flow of work being followed by the developers of the company was not created randomly by scribbling down some points on a piece of paper. The flow of work was designed on the basis of a combination of available knowledge and the experiences of the company over the many years that they have spent in the field. The years of experience are a gold laying egg for the company. It is the techniques and the ways that the company has learned over time that one cannot learn elsewhere.

Some people believe that having experience can be problematic as well, as this makes you become stricter in the preconceived ideas that have been true for you in the past. This also makes people create redundant products. However, here at S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. this has never been the issue. The team members involved in the creation of the flow of work have always been open to new ideas and innovative new methodologies that can assist in the process and streamline it without causing a negative effect on the end product.

Testing the Flow

At S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. the work of the client is of the utmost importance which is why none of the ideas that are floated around are accepted blindly. The team members tend to sit and brainstorm for hours on end about the ideas to come up with a fool proof method that can be used in the long run.

Once the flow of work had been developed, it was then given to the team of developers for evaluation and testing. This is probably one of the most important steps that the company took when creating the workflow as a lot of things that work in theory may fail in practicality. This also provided additional indications to the team about how useful the flow is on a practical level and what changes need to be made to ensure that none of the details are missed out.

The flow of work followed by the web developers of S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. is as follows:

Step One: Analysis

Before the actual web development takes place, there is an important step that is taken by the team member. This first step of the process is concerned with the creation of a strategy for web development. This step entails the strategy and the way in which this strategy can be successfully implemented on the webs application that is being created.

S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. realizes the two main concerns involving the failure of software projects. These issues are the lack of top management commitment to a project and misunderstanding the system requirements. In this initial step of web development, both these problems are being catered to. This step is focused on the reduction of these risks by setting in place certain tactful goals and objectives and then creating a system that assists in achieving them. The web developers also play a part in the formulation of the flow of work as they are well equipped with the required knowledge and they can provide a practical opinion on the best practices of web development.

A document is created about the strategy that will be followed by the developers which provides an outline of three core elements that describe the main goals and purpose of the site being developed. Outlining and describing these elements are useful to guide the developers in the rest of the process. The first of these three elements is a well described statement of where the organization wishes to be or in other words, what is the goal of this development. There has to be some achievement or end point that one wishes to reach by getting a website developed. There has to be some purpose in getting the site designed and running.

The second core element that is discussed is an assessment of where the company is now in the present moment and the third core element is how the organization can go from where they are to where they want to be. These parts of the analysis are iterative as the strategy that has been laid down by the management may have a few unrealistic goals or visions. This is why S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. also takes the opinion of their developers when it comes to the creation of the strategy.

These parts of the analysis clear out the workflow a bit more and make sure that the company is aiming for achievable goals and not overpromising any clients by being overzealous. The second and third core elements of the analysis serve as an implementation plan that provide a more guided approach to how things will be done. The second and third part of the analysis are very critical in this method of work as the errors that are made here can become very costly later on.

The S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. team is well aware of how crucial these early steps are which is why they are provided ample time so that nothing is rushed and a very secure and stead blueprint is created of the journey of creating the site.

Step Two: Defining Goals

When the team members have thoroughly done the analysis of the web development and a tactful planning document has been created, the manner in which development will acquire the goals can be identified. At this point, the web development team gets completely involved with running the project and uses their expertise along with current technologies to work towards the completion of the project.

S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. prefers to have everything well organized and documented to avoid any confusion in the long run. So an objective document is made at this point that defines the objectives of the web being developed along with any other important points that could be essential for the development of the web.

Step Three: Objectives Analysis

In this third step, the predefined objectives and available resources are analyzed to see where the objectives are achievable and if yes then to what extent. The analysis can be divided further into sub tasks. First sub task is technology analysis which entails the identification of all technological components and tools required to construct, house and support a website. Second subtask is information analysis in which any information that the user may require is noted. This is not bound by the type of website, whether it is static or dynamic.

The third and fourth subtasks are identification of different skills that are needed for project completion and identification of all intended users. These are vital steps and very time consuming as the range of users and technologies used by the users may differ considerably.

After that the cost analysis is done to estimate development cost of the site or an estimate of what is achievable in a provided budget. Once the budget has been calculated, risk analysis is conducted to check whether there are any major risks involved in the site development.

Once all these different sorts of analysis are completed, a more refined set of objectives can be documented. Any objective that cannot be achieved in the moment is jotted down separately which will later form part of the iterative process.

Step Four: Design

Once the team of S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. is done with the analysis phase of the project, they move into the design phase of the work which is driven by the objective document created initially. With the increase in websites out in the market, any website that lacks in terms of good design architecture can swiftly become very unmanageable.

The site design should be created with the knowledge that the work is likely to have divisions and sections that will be added to it over the years as technology changes and the work grows. So the website is designed in a manner that is flexible. The design is done by initially creating the designs for the preset web pages that the client wants to be part of their site and then by ensuring that the screens colors layouts and animations are all designed in a manner that they complement the work that is being done on the website.

The output of this process is a detailed design document that describes structure of the website, data structure and databases that require development along with the visual designs for the website being created and all the graphic design work that has been done for the client.

It is very cost effective to conduct testing at this stage of development before it goes for development. This involves the testing of the website design against the goals and objectives that were defined in the previous three steps of development. By doing so, the team members at S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. become ascertained whether the system can produce the information that will be required by the user. During these phases anything that is removed from the objective list is jotted down in a separate list for the team to go over at the very end.

Step Five: Generation

In this step the generation of the website begins and the website starts to take form. To start off the process, all the required resources are selected. This involves the software and the communication links etc. At this point the team members may integrate a number of servers and applications so that the technical specifications can be examined for compatibility.

At this point the team members of S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. start developing the entire website according to the objectives and the designs that have already been created. Over the years, the team members have realized that the designs of the website must always be prepared beforehand. This is important to do the work in a more time efficient manner.

When the designs are created before the development starts, the designs can be completely tested to make sure they cover all the requirements and objectives of the project. In this manner, when the designs are passed over for development, there is no point that goes missing and all the functionalities are catered to.

Step Six: Testing

One thing that the company is always focused on is the quality of the work that is being produced for output. Which is why testing is seen as a critical part of the development process in the company. Once the website is completely developed and finalized, it is then sent for testing to the team to ensure that everything is in place and nothing is missing from the objectives.

Testing a web is one of the most complex and lengthy areas of any web project that is handled by S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. it is a lot more difficult then it may seem at first sight however, it is a process that requires the team members to go over each and every point of the site and ensure that all the details, no matter how big or small, are all covered in the project.

The website must be tested against as many environments and combinations of technologies as possible in order to take the potential audience to the maximum level.

Step Seven: Implementation

Each and every step taken by the company is purposeful. Every part of the development is well sorted and organized by the team members. This last step of testing is called the implementation phase. Unlike most other steps, this is an ongoing step and runs throughout the cycle of the development process. It seems like one of the most simple yet one of the most integral points of the development process.

The team members at S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. first implement the site completely, making the target audience aware of its presence. The site is registered with major search engines and other marketing methods are also implemented as discussed with the client.

Some of the clients need maintenance work at this point of time and wish to get the website maintained with new entries being added. As the site grows and the traffic on the site increases, the need for maintenance also increases in the site. The team ensures that the site can handle the expected workload and traffic that it will receive.

Once the website is fully developed and ready to be handed over completely to the client, a final evaluation is conducted by the team of S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. to make sure that the development is up to the standards that the company is so well known for. An objective review is conducted. This is done with respect to the objectives that have been outlined in the first phase of the development process.

The company believes that web development can be a very messy task if not handled properly. The team prefers to work in a manner that is iterative and the methods used by the company are all utilized in a non-linear manner. This allows the developers to have a very clear path in front of them and makes it easier for the task to be processed through development with the least amount of re-dos and bugs.

Conclusion

S.T.A.R.S (Pvt.) Ltd. understands that there is not even a single method that can claim that it has no limitations of any sort. No matter which method is used, it is not entirely perfect. These methodologies do however, offer a useful crux for the developers and act as the checklist which can be used to reassure that the work that is being developed is done by following the proper practices and that the product is not lagging in any of the essential requirements.

The team members of the company also realize that like everything else this method also has a flip side of the coin that needs to be considered. Although this process helps to streamline the process of the work and the development, it can potentially limit the team of developers while making an attempt to successfully complete the web development.

As a team these methodologies are constantly being perfected and all the loopholes that are highlighted over the time period are then worked on and solved. Making it easier for developers to get the work done in a strategic manner. The team members understand that the methods utilized by the company are not set in stone and they may change over time. It would be naïve to believe that the method of work will provide some sort of universal panacea. The way that the company operates has made it stand out in the market and allowed the company to retain their clients.

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