What does Software mean
The term was created by American computer engineers because of the similarity with ‘hardware’.
Software is defined as the set of programs, instructions and computer rules, data and documentation that allow you to perform different tasks on a computer.
In other words, it is the logical and intangible part of a computer, and is what makes interaction possible between the user and the hardware, i.e. the tangible part of the device.
The aforementioned logical components are computer applications, such as the word processor, which allows the user to perform tasks related to text editing.
The software is developed through several programming languages, which allow controlling the behavior of a computer.
These languages are a set of symbols and syntactic and semantic rules that define its structure and the meaning of its elements and expressions.
The use of a programming language is what provides a way to run a program for a precise combination of software and hardware.
Generally, we could classify software types as follows:
- Computer programming tools: are the tools that the programmer uses to be able to develop computer programs. For this, the programmer makes use of different programming languages.
As an example, you can take compilers, computer-aided design programs, integrated packages, text editors, linkers, debuggers, interpreters, among others.
- Application Software: This software consists of all those programs that make it possible for the user to perform different specific tasks.
They are programs that the user uses on a daily basis, such as word processors, spreadsheets, editors, telecommunications, numerical and symbolic calculation software, video games, among others.
- System Software: allows the user to interact with the operating system and also control it. This system consists of several programs that manage the resources of the hardware and, at the same time, give the user an interface.
The operating system facilitates the use of the computer to its users since it gives the possibility to determine and to manage the resources of the system.
For example, some operating systems are Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, among others.
In addition to operating systems, the system software integrates diagnostic tools, servers, utilities, device drivers and correction and optimization tools, among others.
The first theory about software was proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay on computable numbers, with an application for the purpose of making decisions.
During the first generation of computers in the late 1940s, programs were written in such a way that the concept of software as an “independent” part of the hardware was still a long way off.
The term software was first used by John W. Tukey in 1958. The study of the academic fields of software was divided into computer science and software engineering.
In the forties and fifties, there were no software licenses. The software was free and the programs were exchanged as is done with cooking recipes.
With the advent of ARPANET (the precursor of the Internet) in the late 1960s, the emergence of the first global community that stood on the values and principles of free software began.
From the sixties on, we talk about the evolution of software, because from this time, the dynamics of software growth began to emerge until what is nowadays.
In the sixties, the evolution software gains popularity, due to starting this age, started to appear dynamic and of the rising of the software until what it is now in modern days.
Because the programs were increasingly considered part of the firmware and hardware, in itself was made smaller, cheaper and faster thanks to Moore’s law.
So the elements of computing that were first considered as software, become what we call computer hardware.
Nowadays, most hardware companies have more software programmers than hardware designers, since software tools have facilitated and industrialized many of the tasks of circuit engineers.
Like the automotive industry, the software industry has grown because of a few visionaries operating in their garage building prototypes. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were the Henry Ford and Chevrolet Luis of the time.
In the case of software development, the final upgrade is usually accepted with the publication of specifications for IBM Personal Computer in the 1980s.
The software industry then became the world’s economy. The techniques of the fourth generation change then the software community.
Software engineering is a discipline made up of a variety of methods, tools and techniques used in the development of software.
This discipline transcends the programming activity, which is the fundamental pillar when creating an application.
The process of creating a software can become very complex, depending on its appearance, characteristics and criticality of this.
For example, creating an operating system is a task that requires project, administration, a large amount of resources and a disciplined work team.
On the other hand, if it is a simple program, this can be done by a single programmer (even by an amateur) comfortably.
Therefore, they are usually divided into three categories according to size or cost, and these are ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’.
Considering the large ones, it is necessary to perform complex tasks, both technical and management, a strong management and various analyzes (among other things).
The difficulty of this has led to the development of a specific engineering to deal with its study and creation, which is known as Software Engineering.
The software development industry has become an important trade within the global economy, because it produces millions of dollars a year.
The largest software and popular company in the world is Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. This company managed to transcend thanks to its Windows operating system and its Office suite of office programs.
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