10 Types of Software Development

10 Types of Software Development
10 Types of Software Development

There are many different types of software development. Some of which are well-established, and some are only just emerging as new technologies are established.

We’ve outlined 10 of the many kinds of development available. Some of them overlap and can be found in a single professional, while others require a distinct skill set.

Front-end Development

The front-end contains all the parts of the product that the user interacts with. This is mostly comprised of the user interface (UI) including the visual and interactive elements of a website or app. The frontend is developed with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with frameworks providing basic templates and components. However, front-end development also includes bug fixes and responsive design.

Front-end developers must be highly proficient in programming and work closely with the backend developers to ensure that the two aspects of the product function cohesively.

Back-end Development

Unsurprisingly, in contrast, a back-end developer works with the part of the product users can’t see. This is made up of the infrastructure that powers the website, app, or program. Usually focusing on functionality, integration of systems, and core logic. Back-end developers will also deal with the complex, underlying structure, ensuring strong performance, scalability, and security.

The back-end is quite extensive, featuring the database, web server, operating system, framework, and server-side languages including Python, PHP, Swift, Objective-C, JavaScript, Ruby, Kotlin, C#, C++, GO, and Dart. As we mentioned above, the frontend and backend developers work closely together to create a final product.

Full-Stack Development

As opposed to just working on just the front or back end of development, a full-stack developer works on all aspects of the product rather than specialising knowledge in one aspect of development over the other. Therefore, they must have knowledge of many different languages, frameworks, and system designs. They are basically are responsible for creating a full, complete product.

A full-stack development approach can be highly beneficial, providing end-to-end oversight and continuity over development, which can save time and money. However, if an organisation places too much on one or two developers, work can pile up and lead to delays or risk points if that employee leaves or has time away.

Desktop Development

Desktop development refers to applications that run on a desktop operating system, such as Windows, Mac, or Linux. This is opposed to developers that create applications that run on mobile, tablet, or other devices.

This type of specialisation was more common in the early days of programming, before mobile applications were introduced. However, they still have a place in today’s landscape.

Database Development

This type of development includes the building the database, as well as modifying and designing existing or new programs. This is not to be confused with a database administrator, who typically works with daily database upkeep and troubleshooting and implements the system. Although, the roles of database administrator and developer can often overlap depending on the needs of the client or employer.

The process of developing a database – the system for storing and accessing electronic data, which can include your web app code as well as collected data. A database developer should have knowledge of building and managing data in popular systems such as MySQL, MongoDB, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, or Redis.

API Development

APIs (Application Programming Interface) are software that allow two applications to speak together. This creates a bridge between two systems (how it works, what it accesses) and leverages programming languages of the platform, device, service, or site in question.

Effective use of APIs can support innovation and growth, allowing organisations to tap into and connect systems to provide internal and external value.

Web Development

As is suggested by the name, web development is the process of building web applications. These apps are primarily used through an internet browser Therefore they can be accessed on multiple devices that have access to an internet connection.

Unlike a relatively static and simple website, a web app is dynamic, changing the display based on user inputs or actions. Web development encompasses both front and backend development. Professionals can also be full-stack web developers.

Mobile Development

Mobile development is the building of applications that will run natively on mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and some types of smartwatches. Unlike web applications, mobile applications don’t always require an internet connection to run. However, some apps, such as Instagram will requires a connection to load new content.

Usually, professionals will specialise in either iOS or Android development. Though it is possible to work with the two operating systems, companies tend to work with developers who are experts in just one. This is due to the intricacies of each type of development. Developers who specialise in one of the two will be more knowledgeable of the tools, frameworks, and languages.

Given the plethora of devices and operating systems available, it is important for companies to decide whether the application should focus on a single device platform or if the application should be created to work across any target platform.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the creation of cloud platforms, including services, programs, and applications that run over the cloud. This means that providing the user has an internet connection and an appropriate login, they can be accessed remotely from practically any location.

Developers who specialise in cloud computing will build cloud applications and facilitate cloud deployment and migration, as well as manage cloud services and provide maintenance to users.

Popular mainstream cloud platforms include Amazon Web Services (AWS), iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, IDrive, and DropBox.

There are many advantages to cloud platforms, but the most notable is its scalability. Developers interested in cloud computing should know how to use platforms such as Java, JS (NodeJS), Python, Erlang, and Go.

Embedded Systems Development

Embedded systems are a computer system (hardware and software) that is designed for a specific function as part of a complete device. For instance, a microprocessor is an example of an embedded system.

Today, embedded systems are smaller and more inexpensive than ever before with applications in consumer electronics, telecommunications, aviation, home automation, electric vehicles, medical devices, and the entire “Internet of Things.” Most embedded systems will rely on embedded Linux, VXWorks and Windows CE and rely on knowledge of Embedded C, Assembler, Python, Adruino, or Java.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the types of software development as the field is wide and varied. However, these are still some of the most important types you should understand when looking to hire developers and development teams to work on your next project in order to build a high quality product.

It is estimated that there are over 23.9 million software developers worldwide, a number that is set to grow to 28.7 million by 2024.

At Cyber, we build bespoke software, mobile applications and websites. Our team of expert software developers create bespoke software products, apps, operational systems for SMEs, enterprise, funded startups and the public sector. If you know what you want but don’t have the team – or if you have an idea and need some guidance on where to take it – we’re here to help.

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