What’s It All About?
Software is the term for programs that direct computers on how to perform tasks. Software programs can vary wildly in complexity. They include programs that guide the entire user experience, such as Microsoft Windows for desktop computers or Google Android for phones. A stopwatch application on your phone or desktop is a simpler example of software.
Software is created with programming languages. These can be understood as a structured set of instructions that allow a user to send instructions to a computer. There are a broad range of programming languages, all with strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most popular languages are Java, C++ and Python.
While they are called languages, using programming languages to communicate with a computer is a very different intellectual task to learning a second language to talk with people. Programming is an extremely logical process, requiring excellent problem-solving skills and patience.
Software in Ireland
Ireland is the world’s second largest software exporter and has international recognition as a leading location for the software sector. Ireland is Europe’s premier destination for software development. Sixteen of the top 20 global technology firms operate in Ireland including Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook.
With so many leading software companies located in Ireland a high level of expertise and a deep pool of talent has grown in the sector. This has led to a strong growth in indigenous firms. Ireland is home almost 1,000 software companies, and these firms are generating €16 billion of software exports annually. Key players in Ireland’s software industry include IBM, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook.
Ireland’s membership of the EU and the fact that it is the only English speaking country in the euro-zone has made it an attractive location for multinational companies. Ireland’s close ties with the US has also played a role in attracting some of these large companies to our shores.
Skills and Knowledge
To work in this sector, you need to acquire technical skills and knowledge. It is also very important to be able to think logically and have solid mathematical skills. Creativity is an important element of software design as software developers and engineers design and build software programs to develop a product.
IT professionals work on teams so having well developed soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills is essential. Paying attention to detail must be adhered to at all times when working in IT; making the slightest mistake will affect how a website appears or how a program runs.
Having a genuine interest and enthusiasm for IT really helps as the sector is constantly changing and those who are committed to learning and keeping abreast of change will be the most successful.