five ways that technology has changed education. Today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the five ways that software has changed our daily lives--specifically, the tools that have fundamentally changed the way the world will function moving forward.
The Cloud and SaaS SoftwareThe cloud was, of course, a given on this list. Without SaaS software, though—the cloud would simply be a bunch of empty server space with nothing to do. SaaS software is what really makes that cloud useful. SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is basically subscription software—it lives in a central location, like the cloud, and users can tap into it when they need it—typically for a fee.
3-D Imaging and PrintingIn May (2014), Metropolis magazine posted this great article about how 3-D imaging works. Today we use 3-D imaging for everything from modeling buildings to ensure that they will match the 2-D plans we have drawn up in CAD (or by hand). 3-D imaging has also proven tremendously helpful in the field of medicine and patient diagnosis. And it is only a matter of time before 3-D printing catches up.
People are already using 3-D printing to create all sorts of wonderful and sometimes terrifying things. What strikes us most about 3-D printing, though, is the potential it has within the fields of science and medicine. CNN recently reported about doctors who used 3-D printing to create a splint that helped save a fourteen month old baby’s life. In another case, doctors used 3-D printing to diagnose and figure out how to properly treat an infant’s heart after 2-D imagery failed to reveal anything conclusive.
The GNU ProjectAfter 30 years, the GNU project is easy to take for granted. Without it though, “open sourced” software programs would have never become such an important part of our society. And, without the ability to create and release software via the open source platform, we wouldn’t have Linux or the Android OS, which is slowly but surely taking over the world. The number of software programs and apps that we use daily that can be traced back to GNU is amazing.
Enterprise SoftwareEnterprise software is software that is built to serve a company or a group instead of an individual. For example, the servers that join your office computers—those likely run on enterprise software. Banking software—the software that tells you how much money is in your account within seconds of your making a withdrawal at an out of network ATM machine—is also enterprise software. Enterprise software and SaaS software (which we’ve already talked about) are also closely linked.
TCP/IPUNIX, we already know, is one of the building blocks of our modern world. What we thought was worth a mention was one specific software algorithm within it that has fundamentally changed everything about the way we communicate: the TCP/IP algorithm. This is the stack that allows your computer to talk to the Internet and for the Internet to talk back to your computer. Without this, we’d still be corresponding long hand and few things on this list would have ever been possible.
Should our list have been longer? What do you wish we had included?