||Weeks of debugging work can save hours of design.
In the year that the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, one in
four bridges completed that year collapsed. Since then civil engineers have
developed bridge analysis, design, and construction techniques that greatly
reduce the likelihood of a collapse.
Software must also be analyzed, designed, and constructed like a building
or a bridge. Just as blueprints are used by architects for design, methods
are used by software developers to aid in building software. The C201 text
outlines six steps that are part of all but the smallest program
development. Just as bridge blueprints follow a formal notation, scaling,
etc., software development methods have also been formalized.
The steps and methods are designed to help in problem solving using the
computer. For small problems as that those in a class, these methods appear
to be overkill, much like preparing blueprints for a yard swing. For larger
programs these methods are essential.
There are six main steps to the Program Development Cycle:
- Analyze : Define the problem.
- Design: Plan the solution to the problem.
- Choose the interface: Determine how the program user
will provide input and receive output.
- Code: Translate the algorithm into a programming
- Test and Debug: Locate and correct any errors.
- Complete the documentation: Organize all the material
that describes the program.