Every day, we come across different types of computer software that helps us with our tasks and increases our efficiency. From MS Windows that greets us when we switch on the system to the web browser used to surf the internet or the games that we play on our computer to the calorie burn counter on our smartphone, are all examples of software. In this world of technology, we even come across various software development trends that help our business grow. We are surrounded by all this software which is determined to make our lives easier. By definition, Software (also abbreviated as an SW or S/W) collects data, programs, procedures, instructions, and documentation that perform various predefined tasks on a computer system. They enable users to interact with the computer.
In software engineering and computer science, the software is nothing but information processed by a computer system and programs. The software includes libraries, programs, and corresponding non-executable data, such as digital media and online documentation. Computer hardware and software need each other, and neither can be convincingly used on its own. The amalgamation of the hardware and the software gives control and flexibility to modern-day computing systems. Without software, computers would be of no use. For instance, without the help of your web browser software, you will not be able to surf the Internet. Similarly, without an operating system, no application can run on your computer.
Today there are abundant high-end technologies and software accessible to us that outline the way we lead our lives and house our continuously changing and increasing needs. The endless number of software types can be overwhelming for anybody, especially when one does not understand the various types of software and their users thoroughly.
Different Types Of Software Development
The golden child of the current and future generations of coders, developing for the web means coding those many web pages you browse through over your morning coffee. It’s diverse and ranges in complexity, from a <h1> “Hello World” </h1> to many dozens of related files only the original developer knows how to organise.
Web development today is exploding thanks to the emergence of new web technologies and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which let websites “plugins” to other useful features. The Web today can deliver ‘apps’ that feel native because browsers now are so much more than a URL bar and an Ad-blocker these days. If you’re looking to get started as a web developer, check out HyperionDev’s part-time online course in Full Stack Web Development.
This one probably was unheard of 9 years ago, but today it’s all the rage. Mobile Development could better be described as “App Development” and involves creating applications that run on mobile devices, such as iPhones, Android devices, and recently, the Windows 10 platform. Most popular OS’s are built with their programming languages, but some traditional languages are also being used.
The versatility of mobile development allows anything from Candy Crush games to console-like quality games in the palm of your hand. Games aren’t the only thing to focus on either; there are all sorts of apps for pretty much anything, from the ordinary, like finding a restaurant for lunch or catching up with news, to the random, such as reminding you to drink water throughout the day or morphing your photographed face into a zombie.
Data is the new gold! Large data sets provide no value to anyone unless you know what to do with them. That’s where data scientists come in – they can find value in data just as much as the everyday person finds value in gold. To pull out valuable, actionable insights, data scientists need to mine through and manipulate loads of data using analytical approaches. Think crunching large data sets, potentially using some cluster-computing method, and developing a scientific application based on the findings of your data.
The applications of this are more excellent than you think: it’s actually what and how machines think. Machines need large amounts of data to “learn” from to ‘make their own decisions’ on given situations, and data science ensures this data is presented in the correct form to be used in AI applications. HyperionDev’s Data Science Short Course teaches you the basics of data science.
This is the “original” type of programming. These are ‘standard’ applications that perform their duties on traditional desktop operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, or Linux. It’s often considered a programme, executed on demand by the user, that opens its interface in the confines of the OS that it’s running in. Application development is creating a computer program or set of programs that can assist the daily functionalities of the user or business.
Back-end development is the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure the front-end program churning away does so without bringing half your computer to a standstill.
The back-end, or “server-side”, of a website, is where the data is stored, and it usually consists of three parts: a server, an application, and a database. Back-end developers need to understand databases, as well as server programming languages and architecture. If an application keeps crashing or is mind-numbingly slow, or keeps throwing errors at you, it’s likely to be a back-end issue.
Finally, database management is a prime aspect of back-end development. Database management is the backbone of any system that holds large amounts of data. Think companies’ client databases, such as Facebook’s; one billion users’ details must be organised somehow, and back-end developers make this their job.
Software Tools Development
Not used by most consumers but critical in the software development industry, this type of development builds tools for other software developers to test their code with. Beyond simply testing, developing this software will ensure other developers’ code conforms to industry standards and remains maintainable. Developing programs to (amongst other things) test other programs is no easy task. Still, tech giants like Microsoft and Google employ software devs by the bucketload to design applications for testing other projects on the go.
API Development, or the development of Application Programming Interfaces, is the art of building something extensible. Developers build programs that act as puzzle pieces across different operating systems, desktop, mobile and the web. They allow 3rd-party developers to interact with the tools or functions the API relates to. API development lays a foundation of standard procedures, types, tools, GUI interaction methods, and database access rules that programmers building other applications can use for that particular API.
Embedded Systems Development
With the rise of the “Internet of Things” and just about everything but the kitchen sink being connected to the internet these days, embedded systems development has boomed. This software development deals with the coding skills needed for embedded systems like Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, Beaglebones, etc. The embedded software is specialised for the particular software that your machine or device runs on.
Security Software Development
Otherwise known as hacking. You may be asking yourself, “Is that a type of software development?” Indeed, it's a required field to be working on these days. Penetration testers (“white-hat” ethical hackers) and cyber-security experts work together for the good of companies and their systems and data. The cyber-security team develops software to keep essential company assets safe from theft, viruses and other malicious attacks. The pentester, or penetration tester, then tries to ‘hack’ into the system to find where the vulnerabilities, or weak spots, are. This way, there’s less chance of your “black-hat” actual malicious hacker getting into your essential data.
Everyone knows how important security in software is in this day and age. Security software professionals are dedicated to ensuring the safety of various technological systems. They must have extensive knowledge of the methodology, practices, tools, and patterns cybercriminals employ to hack software so they can help prevent these attacks from taking place.
Ethical hackers are one example of this profession. They work with clients to hack software to pinpoint and expose vulnerabilities, allowing them to patch them before they are exploited by cybercriminals.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the types of software development — the field is wide and varied. However, these are still some introductory classes you should understand when hiring developers and development teams to work on your next project — and build a high-quality product.
We’ve discussed ten different types of software development in this piece, as well as what you need to know to be successful in each field. Software development is an increasingly lucrative and in-demand field, and getting your hands dirty in any of the above types of software development will offer promising career prospects. You are interested in learning more about software development and whether it’s the career for you? You can register for a free trial on any of HyperionDev’s online coding boot camps in Web, Mobile and Software Development.
Different Types Of Software With Examples
A system software aids the user and the hardware to function and interact with each other. It is software to manage computer hardware behaviour to provide basic functionalities that are required by the user. In simple words, we can say that system software is an intermediary or a middle layer between the user and the hardware. These computer software sanction a platform or environment for the other software to work in. This is the reason why system software is essential in managing the entire computer system. When you first turn on the computer, it is the system software that gets initialised and gets loaded in the memory of the system. The system software runs in the background and is not used by the end-users. This is the reason why system software is also known as ‘low-level software’.
Some standard system software examples are:
It is the most prominent example of System Software. It is a collection of software that handles resources and provides general services for the other applications that run over them. Although each Operating System is different, most of them offer a Graphical User Interface through which a user can manage the files and folders and perform other tasks. Every device, whether a desktop, laptop or mobile phone, requires an operating system to provide the basic functionality. As an OS essentially determines how a user interacts with the design, many users prefer to use one specific OS for their device. There are various operating systems such as real-time, embedded, distributed, multi-user, single-user, internet, mobile, and many more. It is essential to consider the hardware specifications before choosing an operating system. Some examples of Operating systems given below:
- Mac OS
- MS Windows
It is a type of software that controls particular hardware which is attached to the system. Hardware devices that need a driver to connect to a plan include displays, sound cards, printers, mice and hard disks. Further, there are two types of device drivers: Kernel Device Drivers and User Device Drivers. Some examples of device drivers are:
- BIOS Driver
- Display Drivers
- Motherboard Drivers
- Printer Drivers
- ROM Drivers
- Sound card Driver
- USB Drivers
- USB Drivers
- VGA Drivers
- VGA Drivers
- Virtual Device Drivers
Firmware is the permanent software that is embedded into a read-only memory. It is a set of instructions permanently stored on a hardware device. It provides essential information regarding how the device interacts with other hardware. Firmware can be considered as semi-permanent as it remains permanent unless it is updated using a firmware updater. Some examples of firmware are:
- Computer Peripherals
- Consumer Applications
- Embedded Systems
Programming Language Translators:
These are mediator programs on which software programs rely to translate high-level language code to simpler machine-level code. Besides simplifying the code, the translators also do the following :
- Assign data storage
- Enlist source code as well as program details
- Offer diagnostic reports
- Rectify system errors during the runtime
- Examples of Programming Language Translators are Interpreters, Compilers and Assemblers.
Utility software is designed to aid in analyzing, optimising, configuring and maintaining a computer system. It supports the computer infrastructure. This software focuses on how an OS functions, and then accordingly, it decides its trajectory to smoothen the functioning of the system. Softwares like antiviruses, disk cleanup & management tools, compression tools, defragmenters, etc., are all utility tools. Some examples of utility tools are:
- Avast Antivirus
- Directory Opus
- McAfee Antivirus
- Piriform CCleaner
- Razer Cortex
- Windows File Explorer
These kinds of software are available to users with the source code, which means that users can freely distribute and modify the software and add additional features to the software. Open-Source software can either be free or chargeable. Some examples of open-source software are:
- Apache Web Server
- GNU Compiler Collection
- Mozilla Firefox
It is software that is freely distributed to users on a trial basis. It usually comes with a time limit, and when the time limit expires, the user is asked to pay for the continued services. There are various types of shareware like Adware, Donationware, Nagware, Freemium, and Demoware (Cripplewareand Trialware). Some examples of shareware are:
- Adobe Acrobat
- PHP Debugger
Application Software, also known as end-user programs or productivity programs, is software that helps the user in completing tasks such as doing online research, jotting down notes, setting the alarm, designing graphics, keeping an account log, doing calculations or even playing games. They lie above the system software. Unlike system software, they are used by the end-user and are specific in their functionality or tasks and do the job they are designed to do. For example, a browser is an application designed specifically for browsing the internet or MS Powerpoint is explicitly used for making presentations.
Application Software or simply apps can also be referred to as non-essential software as their requirement is highly subjective, and their absence does not affect the system's functioning. All the apps that we see on our mobile phones are also examples of Application Software. There is specific software that is exclusively made for app development, like Meteor and Flutter. These are examples of Application software too.
There are various types of application software:
These applications for documentation. Along with that, it also helps IN storing, formatting and printing of these documents. Some examples of word processors are:
- Apple iWork- Pages
- Corel WordPerfect
- Google Docs
- MS Word
This software is used to create and manage a database. It is also known as the Database Management System or DBMS. They help with the organisation of data. Some examples of DBMS are:
- MS Access
It is the software that can play, create or record images, audio or video files. They are used for video editing, animation, graphics, and image editing. Some examples of Multimedia Software are:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Media Monkey
- VLC Media Player
- Windows Media Player
- Windows Movie Maker
Education And Reference Software:
These types of software are specifically designed to facilitate learning on a particular subject. There are various kinds of tutorial software that fall under this category. They are also termed academic software. Some examples are:
- Delta Drawing
- Jumpstart titles
- Tux Paint
As the name suggests, Graphics Software has been devised to work with graphics as it helps the user edit or make changes in visual data or images. It comprises picture editors and illustration software. Some examples are:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Autodesk Maya
- PaintShop Pro
These applications are used to browse the internet. They help the user in locating and retrieving data across the web. Some examples of web browsers are:
- Google Chrome
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Edge
- Mozilla Firefox
- UC Browser
Other than these, all the software that serves a specific purpose falls under Application Software.
However, there exists one more classification of the software. The software can also be classified based on its availability and shareability.