Since the ‘80s era of the 20th century, technology and the rapid advancement of it, has been the leading driver of human society and development. What started as the innovation in personal computing, has now evolved to enterprise computing to mobile and cloud computing – all while shrinking the physical size of the devices performing the tasks. Information and Communication Technology, together with the quick pace of the growth of the Internet across the world, has modernized and positively disrupted virtually all areas of economies, whether small or established. Socially, too, ICTs and the web have improved our standard of living and led to countless lifestyle improvements through consistent innovation in consumer tech.
One of the biggest achievements of technology nowadays is to be simple to use by people, while performing complex tasks and meeting stringent requirements to solve various problems. To get this done, there has been a boom in the industries that make all the above possible. These niches are primarily software development and programming. While they’re related to each other and share certain concepts and methodologies, they’re nonetheless distinct professions that each provide the complexities posed to tech, to be solved effectively, with the least complication to the user. Consider software development and programming as members of the same family tree – cousins, effectively. Related to each other like sales is to marketing. Let’s evaluate software development first, as we appreciate the status of technology in today’s modern era.
In general, software development is the theoretical evaluation of tangible application of the use of computer based technology to solve a criteria of problems, in an effective, efficient and cost-effective way. To do this, a team of software developers come together and map out the overarching challenge to get a clear and detailed understanding of it. This mapping can be in various graphical forms like tree diagrams or spider diagrams etc.
Once the issue is identified, it is then established what methods are best used to address the issue. These are tabulated and weighed against each other, to further fine tune which avenue produces the most impact in the most optimum way. The main proponents are then focused on exclusively and used as the foundation of the development of the software. Before programs are written, the entire process is still carried out hypothetically and on paper, to test all possibilities and scenarios of the software operating. When the best strategy of tools to be used and methodologies have been singled out, only then will technical work physically begin. The creation of software is only begun after the team leader has then assigned the different parts required, of the project, to team members best suited for the role, based on their skillset and experience. So, an HTML5 and PHP script developer will be assigned to work on the web based database aspect of the software, for example, that communicates and operates with an external website of an organization. A simple example of this is enterprise based cloud computing, where professionals of a firm in, say, Denmark need data from a database in New York and this request needs to happen seamlessly. This is a typical example of software development requirements for many of today’s leading businesses and it’s not at all unfamiliar in the software development world. Upon having created the software, it is then tested against a small user base and in different scenarios, to properly gauge its capability and integrity. The testing is carried out in phases, where more and more users of the client organization, get to use the new software, in every expanded phase. Once a critical mass of users have used the software in normal operation, with no problems, the software is then ready for full organizational implementation and the software development process comes to an end. Due to organizational needs changing regularly, a software development firm often stays with a client after successful project completion, in order to upgrade and/or customize the software to newer requirements in the future. Good software development companies therefore often get a good deal of repeat business from existing clients while also enjoying a lot of referrals. In the tech space especially, the more awesome you are, the more guaranteed you’ll have job security and the chance to shape an entire industry by your expertise. Let’s now address programming.
If you like, programming in itself is an aspect of software development. Programming is the nitty gritty of actually getting a software to perform a task that solves a problem for a user. In technical terms, it entails the initial brainstorming, analysis of the challenge to be met, creating/verifying algorithms and coding. Holistically speaking, that’s all programming essentially deals with. It is therefore not just an integral component of software development, but also a very niche vocation in tech development. Common activities related to programming are testing, debugging, implementing and documenting software performances against given environments.
To combine these areas together, one can see how tech advancement is largely due to the growth and prosperity of both software development and programming. They have given rise to major revenue earners worldwide like mobile app development (an incredibly lucrative and booming market), enterprise computing (with solutions like SharePoint) and cloud computing, just to name a few.
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