We all know about software and we use it all the time. However, we don’t really know, unless we are developers doing the job, what software development is and how it works. We use software all the time, but rarely think about software development as a whole.

It is an entire branch of  computer science dedicated to the development and design of software, which is a very general topic at this point. Here is what you need to know about software development.

What is Software Development?

Software development, to put it simply, is an entire process of specification, identification, design, programming, documenting, testing, killing bugs and of course, maintaining software, applications, frameworks and such.

Software development includes anything from thinking about a project to the final step in the process, using the code. So, any step in between the idea of software to realizing and maintaining the software is software development.

It is a branch that powers most of our daily lives, giving us working and maintained software that often gets better with time. 

Types of Software Developed

Software development can focus on various types of software. They are not the same, even though we use most of them on a daily basis. There are four main types of software.

System Software

Having talked about operating systems, by now you should be familiar with what they are and how they operate. System software focuses on just that, operating systems, designing and maintaining them, anything from kernels, memory and disk management, to the upper layers, which interact with the user.

Programming Software

This is very important for developers of all kinds. Programming software focuses on tools that developers typically use, such as compilers, libraries, frameworks and text editors. Programming tools make actual software development and writing and executing code much easier. It is one of the more important parts of software development.

Application Software

This is the type of software that we use on a daily basis, like Discord, Spotify, browsers, video games and everything in the furthest upper layer of applications, namely user applications. Mobile apps also fall under this category, so anything that the user interacts with, any application, is being built and developed by this subgroup. 

Embedded Software

Embedded software plays a vital role in our daily lives, comparable to the parts of our nerve system which control the autonomic nerve system. We do not think about breathing most of the time, let alone controlling our heartbeats. These things happen on their own and it is a good thing that they do.

Networking solutions, phone antennas, all systems not considered computers are handled by embedded solutions and software. 

Engineers, Developers and Programmers

The three are not the same, believe it or not. Engineers focus on general solutions such as applying engineering principles to find a way to solve a more general problem. Developers take the solutions that the engineers offer and strive to find specific ways to solve a single problem. They also deal with software maintenance and testing. Programmers do the coding, basically writing code that will do the work for that specific piece of software.

Software development is a large and complex process that takes time and effort and is responsible for the software part of the technology that we use daily, often without knowing it.