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Which are the Types of Software Development?

July 12, 2023
types of software development

How many apps do you use on your phone every day? And how about on your Smart TV? You might also run some apps on your computer, either for work or for leisure. That’s all software. And that software requires an entire team behind it so that it works flawlessly. This is accomplished through a software development process. There are different types of software development, according to the expected final product.

There are three main groups, which can then be further broken down into smaller ones. Let’s take a closer look.

Three types of software development, easily explained

Software can be summarized as different pieces of software which instruct a given system what it should do next. As mentioned, there are three main groups:

  • System software: this is the one that handles basic operational functionalities of a certain machine, such as managing the drives or hardware.
  • Applications software: it refers to applications that are required, for example, for posting photos or videos on social networks, as well as to those used for handling large amounts of data.
  • Programming software: these are the tools that developers use to accomplish their work. For instance, debuggers or text editors.

Yet, software development can apply to a great range of fields. Since there exist a few types of software development, there are several professionals who have the required expertise to handle those different kinds of programming. Let’s take a deeper look.

Mobile app development

Without a doubt, smartphones are the devices that most people use for running apps. As such, mobile app development keeps on growing, as well as the demand for specialized mobile app developers. 

There are many types of devices, with diverse operating systems and different display sizes. Therefore, expert professionals are always required.

Mobile applications certainly demand the user to download them to be able to use them. They also require an Internet connection to do so. There are three types of mobile applications:


This means that they were designed for an operating system and that they were built and developed by using the specific tools for this platform.


These applications are intended to be used on different devices and channels, keeping a similar experience.


Hybrid apps aim to incorporate both the benefits of designing a native application as well as a cross-platform one. 

They are easy to create and deploy, but may have certain performance errors.

Web apps development

Are you used to surfing the Internet? How about browsing apps in the browser on your computer, tablet, or smartphone? All of those applications are called web applications. 

These types of apps are dynamic, and don’t need the user to download them before they can use them – they just need a stable Internet connection to do so.

To complete a web app development project, it is necessary to have different professionals working together. That way, they will achieve optimal results. Within these developers, we find:

  • Front-End developers: they are responsible for the design and development of all the elements with which an end-user will interact.
  • Back-End developers: refers to all the development that remains on the server side. This is what the server requires to get the app up and running, and for the front end to be displayed to the user. 
  • Full-Stack developers: they are those with cross knowledge which allows them to work with and understand all aspects of a digital software product. 

In addition, for a web app to work properly, it needs to have databases developed, and APIs to connect the app with other software.

Desktop software development

Any software meant to be installed on a PC or laptop is desktop software.

The way of building them, and the programming languages the developer uses, will depend on what operating system the software is being designed for. 

To develop for Windows, professionals must know C# profoundly. While for MacOS, the developer should have knowledge of Swift (Apple’s native), or Python, for example.

Types of testing in software development

To make an app function perfectly for the end users, it has to be tested at every step of the way. Since there are many types of testing in software development, there also exist different testing professionals dedicated to analyzing specific instances. There are three main groups of test types:

Functional testing

These tests aim to verify if a certain app’s features or characteristics perform as they should. For example:


Testing whether the integrations run smoothly is key to obtaining a high-quality product for end-users. Such tests look for bugs in the communication interface and the data flow.


Unit tests are performed on a specific unit and are often carried out by developers in the initial phase of building an app.

Non-functional testing

The purpose of non-functional testing is to understand the operation of non-functional aspects of an application. Here are some examples:


They seek to ensure the application’s stability, and that it has a low response time. For instance, load testing tries to determine what is the response time when loading the app or a feature.

Usability testing

UX is very popular these days. Usability testing attempts to understand what the end-user experience is like. They seek to establish whether it’s easy to navigate, simple to comprehend, and the E2E user experience with the software.

Other types of software testing

In addition to functionality-specific, or non-functional testing, there are other things to test before deploying an app. For example:

Compatibility with different browsers

Used specifically in web app development to ensure that the software will work and display correctly in any browser, and on any operating system.

Given the increasing usage of technological devices, it is highly likely that the types of software development will continue to evolve in the coming years.
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