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  5. The Evolving Role of Software

The Evolving Role of Software

  • Software takes on a dual role: product and at the same time, the vehicle for delivering a product.
  • As a product, it delivers the computing potential embodied by computer hardware, or more broadly, a network of computers that are accessible by local hardware.
  • As the vehicle used to deliver the product, software acts as the basis for the control of the computer, the communication of information, and the creation and control of other programs.
  • The role of computer software has undergone significant change over a time span of little more than 50 years.
  • Dramatic improvements in hardware performance, profound changes in computing architectures, vast increases in memory and storage capacity, and a wide variety of exotic input and output options have all precipitated more sophisticated and complex computer based systems.
  • The programmers are asked some questions when modern computer-based systems are built:
    • Why does it take so long to get software finished?
    • Why are development costs so high?
    • Why can’t we find all the errors before we give the software to customer?
    • Why do we continue to have difficulty in measuring progress as software is being developed?
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