10 Best Types of Software Every Developer Needs to Know

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What is software and how does it work? Software is a set of instructions that helps your computer, phone, or other devices to operate. These instructions are usually found in the form of lines of code written by programmers.

There are many different types of software that can be used on devices with all sorts of purposes.

This article will focus on some basic types to give you an idea of what they do.

What is Software?

Software is a series of instructions or commands to perform a task. It can be used to automate tasks, organize data, and for control systems.

Software is mostly discussed in terms of its function, which is hardware-independent.

It is essential to the operations of modern communication devices, including computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

How does software work?

Software works using a set of instructions. The instructions are written in code by programmers and will operate to perform tasks on your device.

Software can be used for all sorts of purposes to automate tasks, organize data, or control systems.

10 Best Types of Software

10 Best Types of Software Every Developer Needs to Know

1. Application Software

Application software, also known as an “app”, performs a specific task. An app can be found on any kind of device such as laptops and phones that lets you do what the computer or phone does like surf the internet, play games, watch videos, etc.

While there are different types of apps for all devices they usually perform similar tasks across platforms (for example; one game might work on both an Android cell phone and iPhone). Some examples include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

2. Firmware

Firmware is a set of instructions written onto a chip that helps your hardware operate correctly with other pieces of software.

It makes sure everything works together smoothly so your laptop or other device runs without problems.

Firmware is essential to the operations of modern devices such as computers and smartphones.

3. System Software

System software, also known as an operating system (OS), manages hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs.

It can be found on your laptop or phone which controls how you experience it like scrolling through menus, opening apps, etc.

An example would be Windows on a PC and iOS on iPhone and iPad along with Android OS for phones and tablets by Google Inc.

They all provide similar experiences across different types of devices using touch screens but are made differently so that each optimizes its features just right depending on what device it’s running from.

Some examples include Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.

4. Programming Software

Programming software is used by developers to create computer programs. It can be found on your laptop or phone which helps programmers write code and make apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Some examples of different types of programming languages are C++ (pronounced see plus plus), Python, Java, HTML (used for websites) etc.

5. Driver Software

The driver interacts with the device hardware components that help everything run together smoothly.

It makes sure all devices communicate properly with each other using the same language without any problems along with system software.

An example would be a mouse’s input/output drivers connecting it to your laptop so you can use its buttons on screen while typing an email etc. making them work well together as a team.

Some examples of different types of drivers are keyboards, printers etc.

6. Freeware

Freeware is software that can be downloaded free from the internet which gives you a way to access the program without paying for it by using trial periods or limiting its functionality in some other way.

An example would be Google’s search engine toolbar where they offer a similar service as Microsoft Bing but at no cost and with additional features only available through their product.

7. Shareware

Shareware requires users to pay after trying out a limited version usually over 30 days then deciding if they want to keep using it.

While this may sound like freeware there’s one big difference; when you use shareware sometimes your computer will act differently in a way that makes it hard to use your computer normally without the program.

This is called “nagware” or “scareware”; all of this is done in an effort to get you to buy the full version which can be very annoying when trying to work on something important.

8. Open Source Software

Open-source software allows anyone who wishes to access, modify, and share its design with others so they can improve upon it collaboratively.

And at the same time allowing companies and developers alike to create new applications based on their code for any purpose whatsoever including commercial ones if desired using most types of licenses where everyone involved gets royalties from sales etc.

Some examples include Android OS by Google Inc., Linux Kernel, Firefox web browser, etc.

9. Closed Source Software?

Closed source or proprietary software is created by one organization and kept private so that no one else can access, modify the program’s design which limits collaboration.

They are usually very expensive to buy while not giving back any royalties for others’ use of their code etc. but it mostly depends on what type of license was used when making them.

Some examples include Microsoft Windows operating system, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

10. Utility Software

Utility software provides services above and beyond other types like registry cleaners (helps your computer run faster), file recovery programs (helps you recover files after a crash without losing data), etc.

Some even do things like defragmenting your hard drive automatically in order to help keep everything running smoothly without your input.

An example would be “CCleaner” which can help delete unnecessary files that take up space on your computer while protecting you from the dangers of identity theft etc. by making sure all traces are gone when it’s finished running its task.


In this article, we covered 10 types of software every developer needs to know about. We also talked about what software actually is, and how does it work. I hope you liked the article! Cheers!


What is software?

Software is a sequence of instructions used to perform a task. It’s usually stored on a device’s hard drive or can be downloaded from the internet and stored on your computer for easy access.

How does software work?

Software is categorized into four main types: system, application, firmware, and programming.

System software encompasses all the programs that run your computer, like your web browser or video player;
Application software includes games or drawing programs;
Firmware is needed to make sure hardware components like multimedia cards work properly (it also controls what you see when starting up);
Programming software covers things like compilers which take high-level code in one language and turn it into low-level code in another language.


Nemanja holds his master's degree in economics, and he's been writing and delivering helpful guides right at your feet for years! With an audience that counts in millions, he writes an article a day to keep stupidity away.

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