So far we had seen what exactly is a computer and how do we interact to it? That is by means of passing our input data and receiving the output data in the form of binary. Remember, as an end user (a person sitting outside the computer without knowing its internals) we never get to see the binary form of the data at any point of time. But internally that is how the data being supplied by the user is converted and manipulated. It is all for the easy manipulation of data and it is left to the computer’s internal architecture.
We know for sure that no matter in what format, language we enter the data for processing, it is actually getting converted into binary and from there on all the other relevant processing until the final output, the data is getting manipulated in the form of binary only. Again, during the final output when it is displayed to the user, it is again converted into the language the user had fed in the data.
In this article we can see what is a software? You might have definitely come across the term ‘software’, ‘software industry’, ‘software engineering’, ‘software people’ etc., all associated with the term ‘software’.
What exactly is a software?
It is nothing but an application developed and gets executed with the help of a computer or any such similar device. What is so special about it, you might ask. Yes, an application is a functionality to process the input data and to produce the output by doing some manipulation.
For example, we may take a calculator. What it does? Any mathematical operation you would like to perform, you feed in the data (in terms of number and the operation you want to perform say addition, multiplication , etc.,) and press a button (typically a button with the letter “=”). You get an output in the window for display, can also be called as a screen. This is an application which receives your input, does some processing and gives you the output.
The same thing if we develop with the help of a computer, it is called as a software. The benefits of developing using a computer is well known to you by this time and I am sure about it. If not, just recall the very first article, what is a computer. You would appreciate the benefits you get in terms of faster processing.
On a whole, a software is an application getting executed with the help of computer. The people who are working in the software are called as Software people or Software Engineers (based on their degree in education, engineering). The entire set of people and companies who derive certain norms, regulations is called as Software Industry. The branch of engineering which deals software is called as Software Engineering.
I guess this is fair enough to give an understanding of what is a software.
What you can develop as a software? Well, typically there is no limit. Whatever we feel like we can represent the real time operations, we can develop it as a software by writing an appropriate application that deals with the actual processing.
You would wonder how come I can write an application to instruct my grinder or pressure cooker?
. Still it is possible, with the help of another word called Hardware.
We will see it in the next article.