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Types Of Software Development & Their Components.

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It takes several ingredients to bake a pie. But the baker doesn’t make all the ingredients from scratch. He doesn’t grind the flour from wheat, and he doesn’t have the hens that lay the eggs. Granted, there may have been a time in our history when that was needed, but now with the influences of the hundreds of other cultures in our world it is virtually impossible to grow or make all the ingredients that go into a single recipe.

Let’s face it. Just thinking about all that work makes the pie making experience less appetizing.

In the tech world, we are facing the same problems. Where once a developer could create a whole software project from point 0, this is no longer feasible or even desired. It is just too cost prohibitive and time consuming.

Component Based Development

As such there is a new development design methodology used, and this is called component based software engineering or component based development.  This is software engineering that emphasizes the separation of functions in any software system. The purpose in developing like this is to gie components reusability.


Definition of Software Components

These are individual components or software programs that deals with a certain set of functions or data. These separate components are then joined to be a larger cohesive system; each component communicating with each other via an interface.

But with an important attribute that each of the components be substitutable for another. As such, components can be updated or alternated without breaking the rest of the component system.

How are These Components Developed

Well depending on the type of software these are developed to carry out specific functions. These defined by the needs of the business or user. So for instance, a developer designing a software program for a library, might need one component to search for specific titles of books, while another might need to keep track of the library classification codes, and another the titles and codes from books that are out on loan.

Types of Software

Now despite most software programs being developed in components or modules that are later joined to create one software interface, there are still just a few types of software created. These include:

  1. System software
  2. Utilities
  3. Applications

System Software

This is software designed to control the computer components; these are the hardware devices inside a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For example there is a certain software that a user to control the way the computer display views, another to control sound, another that makes use of the memory and processor, and an infinite other software programs that make the overall device work the way a user wants. Typical complete system software packages made up of different components include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Utility Software

This is software that helps system software perform better. Typically these take the form of antivirus software, firewalls, disk defragmenters, disk cleanup tools and recovery tools.

Application Software

These are also colloquially called apps and are used both on PCs and smaller mobile devices like tablets or phones. Essentially this is a software program that offers better functionality for a certain task or set of tasks. This can include things like voice recognition software, accounting software, web browsers, digital image manipulating software, medical software and the list goes on and on. For many people, these are the only reason they own a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Generic or Bespoke

All of these types of software packages can be generic or bespoke.

Generic refers to software built for the masses; to be used by many different users in varying fields of specialization or on different devices. Examples of this type of software are Microsoft Office, popular games, Adobe system software. Generic software is usually sold as a package and updated frequently to meet the needs of its users. And because there is a larger consumer use, the cost of creating the software is offset by the large number of users. Additionally this is software that is immediately available to users and there is no need to wait for development times.


Bespoke is customized software that is used for a specific industry or even a specific business. It’s made to automate or fix a problem that is recurring within the business. It has a specific purpose and is used within a specific environment. This type of software solves a specific need so it is very customized which is nice for some businesses. But the drawback here is that a business or user must wait for the development and test phases to complete, and this could take several weeks or months, depending on how complicated the tasks the software addresses are.

Do software Engineers Specialize within a Certain Category

While most software designers and engineers are taught to develop in a component environment, a computer software designer is more effective and sought after when he or she specializes within a certain category of software. In other words, within system, utility or app design. Even then there are categories that are immense, such as app design. It’s then that a developer will want to specialize even further within a particular niche; for example game design, oil and gas developing, manufacturing,  consumer apps, business and even child


Today's Software Development

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Have you heard of the term ¨”Jack of all Trades.” For decades it was a word coined for blue collar workers; especially those employed in all areas of construction, one day working on one project and another on something else.

But today this is a term that well defines the software developer. In this day and age, software developers need a breadth of skills that most of their predecessors never even considered.

Sure, we could say that software developers don’t have to worry about things like coding to minimize RAM consumption, and there´s no need to worry about WAN connections timing out at 14.4 kilobits per second, but there are also many, many other obstacles that the modern day software engineer or designer needs to know that older professionals didn’t need. It is a set of required new skills and areas of expertise that did not exist in the past; and worse, this past is not as long ago as you might think. By past, we refer to anywhere from 3 months ago to twenty years ago.

The list of skills you need depends on how well you´ve kept up with tech advances in the software industry. Still knowing what you need is important, so we’ve gone searching to find what this list of top skills is. A few of these might be something you might want to add to your existing knowledge.

The Use of Pre-Packaged Class Libraries

A new skill for software developers is the ability to make use of huge pre-packaged class libraries and templates. These are commonly used in languages like Java, Python or C++. A few years ago you simply had to learn the language and some system calls or math calls to program the software you needed. Now that’s changed. You have to string library calls together and figure out how to hold them together with your magical coding glue. Understanding the language alone won´t solve all of your problems or give you the full set of skills you need to create viable software.


Knowing Where to Look

Software developers of today have to hone their networking skills. They need to network with other designers and programmers to learn of tools and code they can use to facilitate the software creating process. More and more programming resources are made available online for free all the time, but developers need to know which of these are the most useful and where they can find them. By the same token, you want to learn from the code you do find. It won´t do you any good to simply learn to copy and paste code, as that won´t ever help you advance your coding skills.


Today, software developers, programmers and engineers also need to specialize in usability. They need to work on easy user interface design and information architecture, and think of how the consumer will use the product. These are skills that are not from the engineering fields, but instead come from graphic design. Still without these skill sets software development is significantly limited.

Asynchronous Programming

The move to the Cloud has definitely changed things for programmers. The use of web-based interfaces makes more development processes feasible through cloud computing. In fact, today, most applications require some type of asynchronous cloud programing, because of AJAX. Developers now have to fully understand cloud and mobile applications and how to integrate them into the development process.

The Jack of All Trades Skills

Developers still don’t understand that someone else usually cares for the code they write. They don´t understand about release management, risk assessment and failure analysis in the system infrastructure. These are all things that happen after they write the code. Coders now need a breadth of skills that understand how the user will access the software. They need to understand the customer’s usability. They must know HTML, CSS, APIs, server side frame works, Testing and QA  as well as most other programming languages.

Types of Job Skills Asked For

Today, a computer software developer must be a whiz at varying fields; he has to continually develop his skill set and specialize within a specific sector. For instance, many of the new jobs listed require subject matter expertise in addition to software coding knowledge.

The following are just a few skill requirements of this nature:

  • Speech recognition for non-visual users
  • Software designers  for large screen mobile devices that have no hard disks
  • Location responsive application designers
  • Software developers that specialize in alternative energy or oil and natural gas exploration.
  • Specialists in the design of medical devices

Collaboratie and Agile Development

Developers also need to be aware of collaborative effors and of agile software development processes. Modern developers use a collaborative method of delivering software.  This allows for faster and more efficient results.

The learning to incrementally grow a software system helps lower costs and sustain the developing needs for most businesses which allows for continuous integration, delivery and refactoring.




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