Technology is all around us at home and in the office. But did you ever think about how those cell phones, TVs, computers, and tablets work? Behind all of our favorite electronic gadgets is a lot of software and software development to make them operate.
Learn more about the different kinds of software below, as well as basic definitions.
What is software all about? Software is a lot of programs, procedures, data, and instructions that tell your electronic device what to do and how to do it. This is how your cell phone knows how to do certain tasks, such as opening your favorite app when you tap on it.
Software is different than hardware, which is the physical device itself, such as your iPhone. Your iPhone would be less useful than a brick if it didn’t have all that highly complex software on it telling the device what to do.
Software works by giving your device or gadget instructions on how to do its assigned tasks. The instructions are written in special computer code that the device can understand. At the core of the software, there is logic and the general idea of input, followed by process, and then output.
The computer program needs specific information to operate. This is the input, such as tapping the app symbol on your phone. Then the program wants to know what should happen when that button is tapped. Perhaps it’s supposed to print a page when a particular app is tapped.
The output is what happens when the software is given the instructions it needs to complete the task. If you tapped a button for a page to print, the printer will turn on and print that document.
Every key you press on a keyboard and button you tap on a phone app has to be controlled with software so it provides the right kind of output.
Kinds of Software
There are many kinds of software that software developers work on every day so the devices around us can function. Below are the most common ones.
System software runs the application programs and hardware on a computer. It also handles the coordination of many functions and activities of software and hardware. Also, it controls how the computer hardware operates and offers a place for the other types of software to work in.
Your phone’s operating system is the clearest example of system software; it manages all the computer programs and apps on your phone.
This is the most common kind of software, which is a package that does a certain function for the consumer or user. It may also do a function for another computer or device application.
Some common examples of application software include graphics software, database management software, Internet browsers, and word processors.
This is also commonly known as device drivers, which are also widely recognized as software responsible for managing various devices connected to a PC or other devices. These drivers enable the devices to carry out their designated functions.
In the context of system software, device drivers play a crucial role. They act as intermediaries between the operating system and the connected hardware, facilitating seamless communication and ensuring the proper functioning of each device.
For any peripheral or hardware component to operate with a PC, it necessitates at least one specific device driver. This means that devices like printers, keyboards, headphones, and game controllers all rely on the appropriate software to function correctly within the system.
Software programmers use this kind of software to craft computer code. Programming software and various tools allow software developers to write, develop, and test all kinds of software programs.
Some examples of programming software are compilers, debuggers, and assemblers.
It’s clear that software is essential to operate all of the technology we rely on every day. Software will continue to evolve and improve, and the future looks bright as technology will continue to get better with software leading the way.
Also, now that you understand the different types of software, you can figure out which could help your company or employer improve its performance. Many people find they can do their jobs more effectively and efficiently when they have the correct type of software to help them.