Typical software development workflow consists of more than one environment to facilitate development, testing, deployment and releases of software application smoother and hassle free.
This model typically consists of development, staging and production environments, sometimes it is also called DSP, the whole idea of having separate environments for different phases of software development is to assist development of application at various phases such as development, testing and releases.
In modern software development world, the software development and release workflow is automated by DevOps, a technique that combines software development and information technology operations to speed up and automate software development and release workflow. There are a number of advantages of having separate environments such has following.
- First, it makes it productive by parallelizing the workflow between project team such as developers and testers by providing separate environments such as development and testing. On development environments developers and test their set of changes without disrupting the testers' workflow, by pushing breaking changes to make the environment unstable.
- In the development environment developers can push their features change sets to verify in an integrated environment, while on testing environments testers and run their test cases, stress testing, performance testing and regressions without stepping on each other toes.
- It helps in minimizing downtime for certain groups of peoples in software team, typically testers. In typical team environment the most common complaint from testers is environment is unstable because one of developers push code with bugs which unstable the environment, and we are blocked, having multiple environment eliminates this possibility by restricting changes till integrated development environments and give testing team to selectively promote or deploy changes from development to testing environment as needed.
- The multiple environments improve product security by restricting access and deployments rights to certain groups of peoples enhances the security of product and data. The multiple environments in software development project promotes new ideas and innovations as developers don’t have to worry of making integrated environment unstable, and they can try new ideas with product which improves the software quality and reliability. New ideas can be evaluated with feedback from other members of teams which helps healthy team environment and feedback system.
- Software training is an essential part of any software system used in real-world to get uses of software familiar with features of software product. There are various methods of software training on-site training, online training and e-learning, either one of these can be used depending upon the users of software application. The ideal time to conduct training is at user acceptance testing or with beta version of the product.
- The timing of training is subjective in some case it makes sense to do it with beta version while other cases on real production version after release. Preparation of software training is somewhat part of development process, how features are development and documented along with source-code, and release notes. In an ideal software development environment, the source-code written to build feature should contain code comments which can be used as release notes and help in condition trains for marketing and customer support teams.
- The user acceptance testing (UAT) is the first form of user training performed on limited number of users to get their valuable feedback. The beta version of software is typically used to conduct trainings to various groups of users, the training can be on-site, off-site or distance e-leaning methods depending upon the audience and their geography. Software training is performed on the production version of application once after release to all users, this formal is training is usually in the form of interactive tutorials and videos etc.