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In this digital age, wherein technology is integrated into everything we do, software plays a bigger role than what we imagine it to be. It is present in our mobile phones, computers, transportation systems, and even industries like telecommunication that affect our lives on a day-to-day basis. Immaterial it may be, its value is never to be undermined by how it has progressed with us today. But many are still unfamiliar with it, so here's a short introduction to software and its future.
What is Software?
In simple words, software is a set of instructions or programs that makes a computer run. It dictates how it looks, feels, and functions on our devices. Even the newest and greatest hardware can be considered useless if there's no software to interpret it. This is not to say that software itself is sufficient, but rather, to point out that one is as important as the other. In other words, good software can maximize the hardware to the best of its functionality.
What is Software Development?
Software development is the process of creating, maintaining, and implementing programs and applications. It aims to provide efficiency, both in our personal lives and businesses alike. Software development is automation itself—evolving the initial uses of a computer or other forms of technology there is. This can either mean products made entirely from scratch or even from already existing software.
However, software engineering is often confused with software development. To remove the confusion, listed below are some key differences:
- Software engineering is about creating the tools that develop software, while software development is about utilizing existing technology to generate a set of instructions according to one's requirements.
- Another thing to remember is that software engineers work with other system components, such as hardware. In contrast to software developers who write the whole code from scratch or work with an existing one.
- It also might come in handy to remember that software development is a subcategory of software engineering.
The Life Cycle of Software Development
As easy and pleasing as it may seem, we only get to see and use the finished products. Just like managing a cable network infrastructure, software development undergoes an undeniably rigorous approach. Here's a sneak peek at the whole process:
- Identifying and analyzing the needs of the requirement.
- Planning and developing a design that fits best for the requirements as identified in the first step.
- Constructing code according to the appropriate programming language and demands.
- Testing what has been made to see if everything is functional. If not, codes are reconstructed until errors are removed or "perfected."
- Deploying the final set of code into the software for the targeted audience to use.
- Maintaining the developed product and providing support to the users in case of future errors or problems.
Reasons Why It’s Important
1.It is pervasive.
Software is everywhere. Its presence varies from menial tasks such as contacting a loved one, ordering food and other necessities online up to the platform we use at work, centralized records in the government, etc.
Undeniably, it is deeply woven into our lives now that opting out of its benefits will do us more hassle than good. And so, by developing more software, we also enhance our way of life.
2.It boosts productivity and efficiency.
The invention of smartphones can either be the best example of this if one does not take advantage of it. Almost everything can be done by scrolling and clicking because of varying developed software: paying bills remotely without having to wait in line for hours; calculating a month's expenses without having to track them the old way manually; searching for an available apartment without having to spend days or weeks house hunting and many more. These days, we can do much in a great deal of time at the tip of our fingers!
3.It promotes businesses of any kind.
There is no denying that it is easier to set up a business and promote it through the use of technology, specifically software. Employers can quickly spread the word if they're hiring through job-hunting-related websites or applications.
Aside from that, they can use such platforms to promote the very essence of what they do and boost engagement. There is no discernment whether it is a startup store that sells thrift clothes or a multinational company focused on providing information worldwide; software can help you build a name in the industry.
4.It is a door to accessibility.
As software is predominant in our daily lives, it may also lead to accessibility one wouldn't have imagined possible just years before. Developed programs and applications had come in handy during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when restrictions were set, which disrupted our then-usual lives. If not for them, we wouldn't have been able to have our groceries and other basic needs delivered to our doorstep, be able to contact our loved ones and the workers we seek help from, or keep up with the news and updates that were vital in such moments of confusion. We were given access in a lot of ways, which is why software itself can be considered as a form of gift during those tough times.
The very reasons listed above are the same answers to why software development is our future. It should pose no question as to why the future should be pervasive, accessible, productive or efficient, may it be from an individual or business point of view. And as humans are continually evolving, so are our ways of living. By keeping up with one aspect, which is to say a major one, the betterment of our systems leads to the improvement of our future.