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Rated: E · Essay · Business · #2120724
Without it nothing would happen.
Software, you cannot touch it or weigh it, the weakest child can carry vast amounts of software.It's invisible. It can be copied multiple times and each copy is identical. Without this ingredient the most powerful machines in the world can do nothing. It is truly like magic. The most powerful can be commanded by a few simple words. What is more those words can be uttered in some distant place. The language of software is like magic runes - unintelligible to the uninitiated. Yet surprisingly easy to use for those who have the gift.Archimedes said "Give me a lever long enough and I will move the Earth." Well we have created that lever. A small child with the right software can do the equivalent.

Software can be written in many languages from the binary notation of the machine, machine language, assembler code, up to Basic and through the more complex languages with curiously short names - C, B, Ada, C+. Some of the names indicating a link to an earlier language others apparently random reference to the creators or obscure reference by them. All have some way of being translated into something understandable by the machines they control.

It's a little like the story of the Golems (Pratchett is my source. Others may prefer ancient Hebrew and Aramaic texts.) An inanimate creature brought to life by words on a scrap of paper. The words written on the paper by anyone with the right knowledge, The words also had to be written using exactly the right spelling and syntax else the creature might run astray.

If this magical, intangible thing we call software is essential to making our machine work and allow us to use them then who are the people with the skills to create these powerful spells? Modern usage prefers programs to spells. Magic is only to mystify the uneducated. Interestingly magic is full of secrets and programming is totally open. Both require careful use of the language and a level of skill. So who creates this software?

There are two groups of skills required to create software.The first set of skills are analytical and are used by analysts. These are the people that understand what computer programs are and what they can do. They also understand how things in the real world work and can create models to demonstrate the relevant aspects of the world. These skills are essential in being able to create the necessary commands to control the machines in the real world. Both can be abused and both can have chaotic and disastrous effects. See the Sorcerer's Apprentice for misuse of magic and any one of many space exploration missions for misuse of software.

The second group are the programmers. These are the men and women who dedicate their lives to translating the analyst's carefully built models into the languages the machines can understand. The programmers will select a language appropriate to the machines being used and suitable for the tasks the machine must carry out. The programs themselves, sometimes referred to as code, can be a few words or run into thousands if not millions of lines of code. It may take one person to write or many thousands. For it to work perfectly it must contain no errors that it cannot handle. So teams of analysts and programmers are required to maintain the code.

Without analysts and programmers the world as we know it today would not exist. The ability to create and understand software is essential to the well being of the world. To ensure that the software is good software creation requires the correct governance. Part of that governance is to set standards for analysts and programmers to work to.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2120724