Iterative Development

What Does Iterative Development Mean?

Iterative development is a methodology of software development that divides a project into many releases. The main idea of iterative development is to create small projects that have a well-defined scope and duration and constantly do builds and updates as soon as possible.


Techopedia Explains Iterative Development

The mantra is to release early and often. The thinking is that no matter how well you plan, you can’t encompass every scenario, nor can you completely envision how users will react with the end product. By getting code released earlier, a dev team gets feedback quicker, and can theoretically react faster with bug fixes, improvements, etc.

A critic of iterative development would say it is simply releasing sloppy code done without proper planning. Iterative development is the opposite of a waterfall methodology and most closely aligned with agile development or extreme programming.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.