Developing a software program is much different from developing hardware. While software development is focused on software and the user experience, hardware is more concerned with creating innovative products. While software is a major component of a computer, hardware development involves a much more complex process. Iterations in software development include writing new code and fixing bugs. However, new features are typically implemented over many iterations. This allows for significant updates to a feature quickly and cheaply. In contrast, the process for developing hardware is lengthy and expensive. In addition, the development of new hardware parts requires coordination between engineers and designers.
The first piece of software was written by computer scientist Tom Kilburn, and ran at 11 a.m. on June 21, 1948, in Manchester. He worked with colleague Freddie Williams to build a machine called the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, or “Baby.” It was programmed to perform mathematical computations, including the greatest divisor of two to the power of eighteen.
Software is much more widespread than hardware, which is more costly and complex. Nevertheless, both can be used for the same purpose, and they each have their own unique benefits. For example, software is more flexible, while hardware is more flexible. It can adapt to different environments and work with different algorithms. Integrated circuits (ICs) are designed for local adaptation, while software is more universal. In addition, it does not require constant administration, unlike hardware.