Information technology is affecting culture and society in many important domains.
Information technology means using computers and computer software to acquire, convert process, transmit, protect and retrieve data. Computer science includes many fields, such as programming languages, computer graphics, hardware, and networks.
In 2006, some magazines rated software engineering as the best job in US. This appreciations in made in terms of growth, stress level, pay, creativity, flexibility in hours, working environment. It is also easy to enter in advance in the software engineering field.
Information Technology include many subfields, one of the most important is networking. The most common is the LAN (Local Area Network). This network covers a local area. It is designated to be used in offices, group of buildings, office, college, home or libraries. Usually, LANs are using Ethernet or Wi-Fi technology. The TCP/IP protocol is universal, and switched Ethernet is the most common. The public knows the Internet connection, the largest public network.
A spectacular and easy to use network is the wireless LAN or WLAN (wireless local area network). Wireless means that two o more computers are linked without cables. Radio waves are making possible the communication between computers in a restricted area, named basic service set. A laptop or PDA user can change his location without losing the network connection. An access point is facilitating the permanent connection. This type of network becomes more and more popular; it is really efficient to use laptops and PDAs without losing the Internet connection and enjoying the mobility advantages in the same time.
But the most attractive part in the computers’ world is computer programming. This means writing a set of commands or instructions that can be interpreted or compiled, transformed into an executable file. This can be execute, giving or no the expected results. Programming requires logic, first of all. But important knowledge of mathematics, science, physics, engineering, and art are required. Why art? A well designed menu in a customer application is more attractive and easy to use than a ugly one, even everything is correct and logic. And what about web design? It means imaging, animations and presentations. Without a good taste in arts, a web site will never attract visitors, and it is its main function.
In software engineering, programming is only a phase in the custom application development process. A computer can execute only the machine language programs. At the Information Technology beginnings, programmers worked only in machine code. It was very difficult and it was rapidly replaced by p-code, for example, used in the popular Java programming language, from Sun. The well known Microsoft software producer is also using the byte-code in the .net language family.
There are many programming languages. Some are already history, like COBOL or FORTRAN. Some are intensively used, like C and its versions. C is a compiled programming language. It was designed to create Unix, a popular operating system. C++ is a compiled programming language too. As its name is indicating, it is based on C and is great advantage is the object oriented programming. Is developed by Bjarne Stroustrup and one of its major advantages is the use of anew paradigm, the classes. Java, popular, easy to learn and having the ability to be run on many platforms, such as Linux, Mac OS and Microsoft, is an object oriented interpreted programming language. Not as popular as the other programming language, but spectacular and often used in Artificial Intelligence domain, Lisp is many times scripted too. Very popular, easy to learn and almost perfect to design customer application, Visual Basic is designed and developed by Microsoft. Every new version is bringing more functions.
But only a professional programmer can design customer application only with a good knowledge of one or more programming languages? The answer is no. System analysts are establishing the projects main functions, its concepts and the completion and implementation phases. The project must remain in its intended course and within its budget, delivered in time. Also very important is to have a friendly interface for unprofessional users and have a good relation with the customers even after the project is implemented.
Customer relationships management, human resources management, fleet management, web based systems can be accessed from any Internet browser on any platform. Fully integrated web based applications are now specifically developed for small or big enterprises. A major advantage is to provide reliable and secure communications, a lower cost for the infrastructure, a shorter time to market and flexibility of operations. Custom applications are designing software for a specific function or need. The difference between customer applications and packaged applications is that a general set of features never can be customized to fulfill every function or requirement. Custom application can design any feature the client needs, at low costs. In our days, offshore programming is making custom application affordable and efficient. Time and money are not anymore limiting factors.