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The history of software development

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You have the whole world wrapped in your hands. I know it is controversial and you may shake your head right now, but it is true. I will restate it in a way it will sound closer to the reality:  the ubiquitous laptop that you could never let go of, all those mobile apps you keep switching between for hours would mean nothing without software. All those game nights with your friends would not be possible without this amazingly technological change in software development.

Computers have been around for so long we can’t even remember our lives before the technology explosion happened. But you may be wondering what “software” really is. Well, I found, by simply googling it, 5.120.000.000 results in just 0,54 seconds and I chose the simplest and yet complete statement: A software is a set of programming instructions that tells a system how to execute a task. 

Instructions have evolved in recent years so that they are easily understood by humans but are converted into computer understandable code (low-level machine code). Based on this evolution, more and more companies are offering IT outsourcing services.

Photo by Karl Pawlowicz on Unsplash

When was software invented?

The first time a piece of software was written and successfully executed (in “only” 52 minutes) was on June 21st, 1948, at 11 a.m. and it was written by Tom Kilburn, an English mathematician, and computer scientist, and it calculated the highest factor of the integer 218 , by repeated subtraction. The computer that held in its electronic memory the code was the Manchester Baby computer or, more completely said, Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM).

After this, the programming was made with punch cards. Their holes denoted different low-level machine code instructions. A higher-level of programming language was Fortran, published in 1957, followed by BASIC, C, Pascal. The actual word “software” was first published in 1958 by the statistician John Tukey.

The revolutionary emergence of personal computers

As the years passed by, the personal computers arrived. The software for VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet software for PCs, was written in assembly language, published in 1979 and was the killer app of the amazing and innovative product Apple II.

It didn’t take long for IBM company to release the IBM PC, in 1981, which was selected as the Man of the Year by Time magazine, just one year later, for its pivotal role in computing history. The next on scene were AutoCAD and the applications from Microsoft such as Microsoft Word, Excel. The internet allowed humankind to use open-source software in the ‘90s. Eight years later, C and C++ programming languages had awakened the interest in open-source software by publishing the Netscape Navigator browser’s source code.

I did not forget about the mobile devices, don’t you worry. Did you know that the first cellphone call was made in 1973?  PDA’s were brought on the market in 1996, just three years later than the first “smartphone”, released by IBM. The market was in shock when Apple released the first iPhone, in 2007. From then on, the mobile applications suffered a massive growth, using Java or Swift.

AROBS supports software development

As time goes by, we notice the importance of software development. For this reason, AROBS is continually working even during the pandemic. Because we are fighting for the wellbeing of our team, our clients and the community as well, we have taken some measures such as working from home. AROBS was founded in Cluj Napoca in 1998 and till now it has proven to be a reliable partner, open to the needs of clients. We stand out by the quality of the services and by the fact that nothing stops us from reaching the objectives.

Nowadays, we cannot find our life purpose without software. It is used in places we cannot even imagine, as satellites, nuclear submarines. Cobol and C, some oldish programming languages are still in use but are losing terrain in front of newer languages as Java, Python or Apple’s Swift. It is said that “change is the only constant on this planet” so we are looking forward to innovations in the ongoing software development. The dramatic growth does really motivate the developers to work hard and bring amazing trends to the industry (Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things).