WHAT IS A SOFTWARE?
Software is a collection of instructions and data that tell the computer how to work. This is in contrast to physical hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work.
Software comprises the entire set of programs, procedures, and routines associated with the operation of a computer system. The term was coined to differentiate these instructions from hardware—i.e., the physical components of a computer system.
TYPES OF SOFTWARES
The two main types of software are system software and application software. System software controls a computer’s internal functioning, chiefly through an operating system, and also controls such peripherals as monitors, printers, and storage devices. Application software, by contrast, directs the computer to execute commands given by the user and may be said to include any program that processes data for a user. Application software thus includes word processors, spreadsheets, database management, inventory and payroll programs, and many other “applications.” A third software category is that of network software, which coordinates communication between the computers linked in a network.
Software is typically stored on an external long-term memory device, such as a hard drive or magnetic diskette. When the program is in use, the computer reads it from the storage device and temporarily places the instructions in random access memory (RAM). The process of storing and then performing the instructions is called “running,” or “executing,” a program. By contrast, software programs and procedures that are permanently stored in a computer’s memory using a read-only (ROM) technology are called firmware, or “hard software.”
WHAT IS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Software development refers to a set of computer science activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software.”
Types of Software Development
Software Development is core activity in the IT Industry, Software Development, Software Testing and Software Operations/Production and software maintenance all are related processes.
1) Application Development
Software Applications that perform specified business operations on Desktop operating systems, such as MS Windows, UNIX, Linux, Mac etc.
Development Technologies: COBOL, C/C++, Java, C#, VB.NET, Python.
2) Web Development
Web application development is the process and practice of developing web applications.
a) Web Development – Client side
In web development, ‘client side’ displayed or takes place on the client, this includes what the user sees, such as text, images, and the rest of the UI, along with any actions that an application performs within the user’s
b) Web Development – Server side
“Server side” means everything that happens on the server, instead of on the client. Nearly all business logic ran on the server side, and this included rendering dynamic web pages, interacting with databases, identity
Server-side programming is writing code that runs on the server, using languages supported by the server, such as Java, PHP, C#; etc,
3) Database Development
A database is an organized collection of data, The database management system (DBMS) is the software that interacts with end users, applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze the data.
Develop new applications for database, or convert existing legacy applications to work with a database setup.
Database is required for almost all software applications, SQL is used to created and manage databases and NoSQL for unstructured Data.
Popular Database Management systems are Oracle, MS SQL Sever, MySQL etc, and they include SQL as database language.
4) Mobile Software Development
Mobile Development described as “App Development” and involves creating applications that run on mobile devices,
Most popular OS’s are built with their own programming languages but some traditional languages are being used as well.
Mobile Development Technologies: Android, Swift (for iOS), Objective C, HTML5, Java, C#
5) API Development
API Development, or Development of Application Programming Interfaces, Developers build programs that act as puzzle pieces, across different operating systems, on desktop, mobile and the web.
They allow 3rd-party developers to interact with the tools or functions the API relates to.
API development is the laying of a foundation of standard procedures, types, tools, GUI interaction methods, and database access rules that programmers building other applications can use for that particular API.
6) Embedded Systems Development
The embedded software is specialized for the particular software that your machine or device runs on.
Development Technologies: Embedded C, Assembler, Python, Java etc,
7) Security Software Development
Is this really a type of software development?” Yes, and it’s a critical field to be working on these days.
Penetration Testers and cyber-security experts work together for the good of companies and their systems and data.
The cyber-security team develops software to keep important company assets safe from theft, viruses and other malicious attacks.
The Penetration Tester, then tries to ‘hack’ into the system to find where the vulnerabilities, or weak spots, are. This way, there’s less chance of your actual malicious hacker getting into your important data.
8) Software Tools Development
This type of development builds software tools for other software developers to test their code with. Beyond simply testing, developing this software will ensure other developers’ code conforms to industry standards and remains maintainable.
Developing programs to test other programs is no easy task, tech giants like Microsoft and Google employ software developers to design applications for testing other projects on-the-go.
Development Technologies: C++, Java, Python etc,
9) Data Science
Large data sets provide no value to anyone unless you know what to do with them. That’s where data scientists come in – they are able to find value in data.
In order to pull out valuable actionable insights, data scientists need to mine through and manipulate loads of data using analytical approaches.
Think crunching large data sets, potentially using some cluster-computing approach, and developing a scientific application based on the findings of your data.
Machines need large amounts of data to “learn” from, in order to ‘make their own decisions’ on given situations, and data science ensures this data is presented in the correct form to be used in AI applications.
Development Technologies: C/C++, MATLAB, Python
10) Cloud Computing
Local storage for files has stuck around in some parts of the world, the notion is slowly changing, and cloud computing services are becoming more prevalent.
Cloud computing services use networks of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store and manage data rather than using a personal computer or local server.
Developers involved in cloud computing software development develop the software that powers cloud storage applications, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), OneDrive storage and GitHub.
Development Technologies: Java, XML, R, Erlang, Google’s Go!, Clojure and others
What Does a Software Developer Do? A Deep Dive into the Career
Who is a software developer, exactly?
You know that smartphone app you rely on? That computer game that kept you transfixed for hours as a kid? That program that helps you budget and track expenditures? Software developers created all of them.
Software developers are the creative, brainstorming masterminds behind computer programs of all sorts. While some software developers may focus on a specific program or app, others create giant networks or underlying systems that help trigger and power other programs. This is why there are two main classifications of developers: applications software developers and systems software developers.
What do applications software developers do?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), developers in this sector are responsible for designing computer or mobile applications.1 The nature of their work is largely focused on creating for consumers. This involves understanding user needs, developing software solutions, monitoring performance and modifying programs as needed.
What do systems software developers do?
These professionals are focused on operating systems-level software, compilers and network distribution software, as outlined by the DOL.1 This role is geared more toward designing solutions for enterprise organizations. This includes developing software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific and general computing applications.
What are some common software developer job duties?
Much of the actual creation of software programs happens through the writing of code, and software developers oversee that. Depending on the company where they work, a software developer will analyze the needs of the user and then create, test and develop software that will solve a problem, provide entertainment or simply make life easier for its intended audience.
After mapping out the design, creating flowcharts and drafting out each step of the process, developers will build diagrams and models to instruct programmers how to write the code for the program.
Other job duties include mapping out the software to have on record for future upgrades and enhancements, testing the software, and collaborating with other computer specialists to make sure the software is top notch and functioning properly.
What are some important software developer skills?
Software developers must have a healthy balance of hard and soft skills. Not only are software developers in charge of outlining and creating the code and design for a program, but these types of careers generally involve a lot of collaboration between various stakeholders.
Top technical skills for software developers
In such a complex role, these professionals inevitably need to have some precise technical know-how. We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 1 million software developer jobs posted over the past year.2 This data revealed the top technical skills employers are looking for:
- Software engineering
- Microsoft® C#
Top transferable skills for software developers
Mastering the skills above is only half of the equation. The best software developers have certain transferable skills to complement their technical knowledge.
1. Problem-solving ability
The whole point of developing software is to create programs that solve the user’s problem. If you’re the type who tends to identify issues and figure out the best way to approach a solution, you may be a perfect fit for a software development career. Not only that, but programming alone is often an exercise in problem-solving and troubleshooting—being able to patiently and strategically tackle potential bugs or issues in code is a big part of their work.
Contrary to what’s commonly assumed, software developers aren’t secluded at their desk with no contact with the outside world. In reality, they spend a lot of time teaming up with other developers and programmers to create a prime product for the user. Great communication, empathy and a knack for collaborating with others is a must.
3. Analytical and strategic
Coding and software are enigmas of a sort, and if you’re someone who likes solving a mystery by looking at the big picture as well as the smaller steps along the way, you’ll be right at home developing software. There’s a lot of thoughtful planning that goes into creating these types of programs. If you can figure out the fastest or most efficient path from point A to point B, the world of software development will welcome you with open arms.
4. Intrinsic motivation
Creating software can be tricky, tedious work, so it’s important that you don’t get bogged down or discouraged when you don’t succeed the first time you try something. If you’re the type of person who is naturally determined to finish everything you start, you’ll be well-suited for a career in software development.
Where do software developers work?
Job opportunities for software developers are vast and varied. Application software developers held just over 944,200 jobs in 2018, according to the Bureau of labour statistica BLS).3 There were about 421,300 positions for systems software developers in that same year, equating to more than 1.3 million opportunities for software developers.3
So where are these opportunities, exactly? The skills of software developers are needed in a variety of industries.
Top fields for application software developers3
- Computer systems design and related services
- Finance and insurance
- Software publishers
- Management of companies and enterprises
Top fields for system software developers3
- Computer systems design and related services
- Finance and insurance
- Software publishers
- Engineering services
As you can see, a variety of industries rely on the skills of software developers. There are also several options when it comes to the work environment, as well as the type of work a software developer may end up doing. Many work in a traditional office environment, but there is also opportunity to work in agency settings or to telecommute. This variety allows you to tailor your career to fit your personal preferences.
What is the typical software developer salary?
In today’s digital economy, virtually everything is revolved around technology. This means qualified software developers are a hot commodity.
The BLS projects careers for application software developers to grow 26 percent through 2026, which is more than five times the national average for all occupations.3 This is largely due to the growing desire for businesses to produce new mobile device applications.
The outlook for systems software developers isn’t quite as favorable, but it is still projected at the faster-than-average rate of 10 percent.3 Although this type of work isn’t as prevalent, it does typically come with higher compensation.
Application software developer salary
The median annual salary for application software developers in 2018 was $103,620, as reported by the BLS.3 The lowest 10 percent earned less than $61,660 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $161,290. Some of the top-earning application software developers were employed at software publishing companies.3
Systems software developer salary
The median annual salary for systems software developers in 2018 was $110,000, as reported by the BLS.3 The lowest 10 percent earned less than $66,740 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,960. Systems software developers employed at manufacturing companies tend to have higher earning potential.3
Create your career in software development
The future is bright for software developers of all kinds. Now that you’ve had a closer look at this critical role, you can better discern if you’re programmed to work in software development.
If you’re ready to start developing your career in this field, start planning your next steps.
What skills do you need to be a software developer?
Key skills for software developers
- Mathematical aptitude.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Programming languages (different types of developer role require different languages)
- Excellent organisational and time management skills.
- Accuracy and attention to detail.
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