Software is a series of instructions that tell a particular computer how to operate. This is compared to physical hardware where the machine actually does the work and is put together by various software developers. The term ‘software’ is now widely used in a lot of contexts, though it was used earlier by people to mean something like an application. Over time, however, the word has become more generic and is applied to a wide range of things. A software engineer may design one single piece of software, whereas a software developer may create many different programs designed to do various different things.
Software engineers then specialize in making programs for a number of different types of companies. They are responsible for writing code that is executed by a particular computer system. Many different types of computer hardware are used nowadays, so it can be complicated to write a program for a specific kind of machine, and so experienced software engineers often need to develop programs for different types of machines. Even the smallest details of a program have to be carefully coded so that they’ll run correctly when the specific computer system on which they’ll be used is installed.
Software development is an interesting field in itself. In this main article we’ll discuss three main areas where software engineers are working these days. The first one of course is video games, and this is an incredibly important and exciting area. Video games are hugely popular, and computer hardware manufacturers have made great progress in the last few years, so it’s not at all difficult to develop games for consoles. However, developing video games can be a very expensive business, so it’s good to look for free software if you want to try your hand at this kind of thing.
The second area in which the software industry is advancing is in the area of programming languages. Programs written in a specific programming language are very valuable to software developers because of their code complexity and their effectiveness. Computer programmers are always looking for ways to make their programs easier to understand and to use, and many of them have been successful in doing just that thanks to the work of those that came before them. One of the main articles that I like to read about this subject is Steve Yaryan’s Programming Language Patterns. This book explains a lot of these patterns, and over the years I’ve seen many people implement some of them into their own projects.
Finally, I’d like to talk a bit about the hardware side of things, and what is happening there. Application software for the computer is getting more complicated each year as hardware is becoming more complex and demanding. Hardware is generally more stable than the applications, but there’s always the risk of something going wrong at some point, which has led to a huge amount of research being done into the problems that software engineers face when trying to write a program for a specific piece of hardware.
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the world of software and hardware engineering. I hope I’ve been able to give you some food for thought. Software is still very much a part of our lives, and it’s almost impossible to think of the world without it. In fact, computers and their hardware are usually used on a daily basis. So please be thinking here.