As our collective society moves on to better standards of living, many industries that used to be necessary are starting to become obsolete. In a world of self-driving cars and full automation, we focus less on the development and maintenance of archaic machines and hardware and focus more on the data and designing the software that runs them. Our tech-savvy culture practically runs on software, and it is so ubiquitous that software is used in almost all industries, from business to manufacturing to healthcare.

As a matter of fact, even when society grinds to a halt, as is the case during the Covid-19 pandemic, software development seems to be the only industry that not only survives unscathed, it thrives. We see the impact software development has had in our world, but do we truly understand why software development is important? Today, we’re going to learn just that.

What is Software Development?

In simple terms, software development involves the creation and maintenance of computer programmed software by skilled programmers. These programs are used to help people achieve different objectives, goals, or processes that will normally take too much time when done manually. These tools are used to help improve productivity by automating certain jobs, which then opens up time for other tasks, or even free time for leisure to use on other software driven platforms like video games. Software development requires expertise in computer programming and is carried out by a software programmer or software engineer.

There are two types of software, namely general purpose and tailor-made. General purpose software is used the same way regardless of where it is downloaded. Examples of this are Microsoft Word, Grab, and video games. Tailor-made software is created for a very specific task, usually unique to one person or company, and generally can’t be used elsewhere.

How Software Development Keeps Our Society Afloat

The recent pandemic has just demonstrated how our society can be easily ground to a halt, with large-scale shutdowns pretty much turning even major cities into absolute ghost towns. Mobile apps and other similar software, such as Shopee, Grab, Zoom, Google Drive and more acts as a lifeline for many people. These apps have allowed them to function far better than previous generations who had to undergo similar large scale shutdowns of society.

These services will need to be updated, improved, and expanded in order to better serve a growing customer base. Even better, software development can be done remotely, which allows these lifelines to function normally and provide services relatively uninterrupted during the pandemic. With further software development, such support could only improve, giving us a better standard of living in future pandemics or similar events.

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only shown the importance of software development and our dependence on mobile services but has also amplified it. Even as we transition into the “new normal” of post-pandemic life, the need for software development will also go up.

In particular, food and drink delivery apps, such as Grab have seen a large increase in usage compared to the same period in 2019. New installations have also greatly increased, showing that the market in these apps are steadily expanding into new customer bases as well. This heavy usage of apps isn’t just limited to food and delivery, but also to apps that provide entertainment.

Gaming apps in particular have seen a 130% jump in the number of installs in March this year, compared to the same month in the previous year. Video streaming services have also seen a similar rise in the number of installs and overall usage.

Of course, since many people are forced to stay at home, apps that help companies with having their employees work remotely have increased in use as well. These software have acted as a lifeline to businesses the same way food delivery and entertainment apps act as lifelines to the regular people.

Business apps like these have seen a huge increase in usage, with up to 105% increase compared to the same period last year. Installations have also increased by around 70%. Business apps themselves have become a lucrative source of revenues for software programmers, as many of the companies that use these apps prefer to use their premium version. This has led to an increase in revenue by 75% for the developers.

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