The term “iterative” basically means “doing something over and over again, with the aim of improving each time.”
Imagine you’re learning to throw a basketball into a hoop. The first time you throw the ball, you might miss the basket. So, you try again. Each time you throw the ball, you adjust your aim, your strength, the angle of your throw, learning from the previous tries. Slowly but steadily, you start to get better. Each throw is an iteration, and the process you’re using is iterative – you’re repeating the same action (throwing the ball) over and over again, learning and improving with each iteration.
In software development, an iterative process works in a similar way. Developers create a basic version of the software, then test it. They find some issues, fix them, and test the software again. They add new features, test again, find new issues, fix them, and so on. Each cycle of this process is an iteration. The goal is to improve the software with each iteration, just like you’re aiming to get better with each throw of the basketball.