Open Source Software – an Educator’s Overview

I have always been keen on taking advantage of free offers. Given the choice between a fast food meal with a freebie or one without, I’ll plump for the mystery envelope every time. It’s human nature, and marketers know it well.

Even in 1979, when I bought my first home computer, there were user groups who supplied type-in listings for a nominal charge. When I bought the first of a series of Atari ST computers in the ’80s and ’90s, I was a regular customer and contributor to a public domain (PD) software library. Fast forward to the end of the ’90s and I was distributing the source code to a number of simple educational flash games to other teachers over the internet.

So that’s my credentials. Like many others, however, I have received much more from open source software than I have ever put in. For the uninitiated, it is worth explaining a few definitions here:

Shareware Software: is free to try, but there is a moral obligation to register your software with its creator and receive upgrades and support in return for a fee. The evaluation period may last for a reasonable length of time after which some features of the software may become unusable.

The Public Domain: if the creator of a work relinquishes all his rights to his intellectual property, it enters the public domain and can be used by others to create derivative works or profit from it without payment of any fees or need for some form of license.

License: many creators who wish to share their intellectual property with others will give away limited rights that allow the user to do a range of things – but still maintain overall control of the way their work is used. Many open source software developers will use the GNU Public License (GPL) as a framework for stating how their work can be used.

Open source software does not have to be synonymous with poorly written undocumented utilities that nobody else wants. Here are a few of my favourites:

Open Office: a fully-fledged office suite, word-processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and graphics package. The fact that these programs will export both PDF format to be read by Adobe Acrobat reader and SWF flash files for use on the web makes them incredibly useful to me. They are the main application software that I use on my laptop.

The GIMP: an image processing package with enough features to rival Photoshop. For younger artists, my daughters love Tux Paint with its variety of stamps and special features.

Moodle: an open source content management system specifically designed for educators. There are plenty of other open source CMS packages available for blogging or running your own web portal.

The Advantages of Interactive Software Development

Businesses looking to consolidate their brand image and expand their horizons, need look no further than interactive software development for support in achieving this goal effortlessly. It helps connect businesses to their customers like never before. Not only is it informative and educative, it is also incredibly engaging and interesting. The latest technology for interactive software includes touch screens which increases the level of customer engagement with the software and indirectly, to the business or brand as well. It also helps to embed information in the minds of people very effectively and effortlessly. That is why businesses around the world are investing in this to leverage the power of technology to further their brand and increase business revenue.

Interactive software development can include touch screens, gesture recognition, etc. This goes a long way in impressing audiences around the world, from those that are tech geeks to those that are not! Not only touch screens, but touch tables are the latest in interactive software development. These can be deployed anywhere from restaurants to hotel lobbies, casinos to game lounges, etc. In fact, they can be successfully used in a variety of different industry verticals and not just for entertainment. They can be used for spreading information and education in a novel and engaging manner. These kinds of interactive experiences are attractive to people of all ages irrespective of gender, economic or educational background, interest level in technology, etc. There is no limit to what you can do with interactive software technology as the only limits are those set by your own imagination.

The interactive software that is installed in a number of locations can be easily managed, controlled, updated, and customized from a central hub of operations. This central hub can control the screens in different locations irrespective of the number of screens that are there. Interactive software can be used very successfully in business, from conference rooms to seminar halls, from engaging potential investors to attracting future customers.

Interactive screens that run on this technology can be seen in a variety of places all over the world. They can be seen in gaming zones to hospitals, the educational sector to the entertainment sector, from airports to aquariums and zoos. Interactive software-enabled screens never fail to attract the target audience, which is why it makes sense for businesses to deploy them in their business initiatives, whether it is a casual customer-centric approach or a more serious investor-themed application.

Endless Career Opportunities In Software Development

Software development – The name says it all. Software consists of programs, which enables a computer to execute certain specific jobs. For example: the application software such as word processors perform productive tasks for users, and the operating systems, coordinates with hardware to run the necessary services for user-interfaces and applications. Software developers are involved in the process of the production of software products by writing the code, interacting with content providers, graphics creators, and programmers to produce the end product.

Qualifications required: An employer would prefer a software developer to hold an engineering degree which can be in any field, but if he is from a computer science background it will be a plus point. It can be noted here that there are no specific academic criteria for software developers.

A software developer is typically involved in coordinating all phases of projects that are likely to be benefited from courses or a degree in computer science, business management, finance, English, psychology, sociology, and graphics design, etc. Sooner or later, these engineers may proceed to become project managers, business analysts, managers of information systems, or chief information officers.

A few of the computer software engineers with an experience and expertise of several years may be presented money-spinning opportunities to work as systems designers or independent consultants. Later on they may even start their own computer consultation firms. There is a huge demand for computers and software professionals in the IT industry and it is estimated to increase multifold in the near future.

Software development jobs: Jobs for computer software engineers are expected to grow rapidly. A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is considered most favorable as the computer systems design and related services industry, employs the most number of computer software engineers. Most of the employers will definitely need computer professionals with strong programming, systems analysis, interpersonal, and business skills. Every company wants to computerize their business activities and this is the reason for the demand for software developers and computer science engineers.

The demand for Internet technologies and the volatile growth in e-commerce, which is involved in doing business on the Internet, has resulted in the rising demand for computer software engineers. These engineers are responsible for the development of internet, intranet, and World Wide Web (www) applications.

Attractive remuneration: The salary always depends upon the experience and the educational qualification of an employee. Considering a fresher who is a computer science engineer and just out of college can expect salary between Rs.12,000 – Rs.20,000. This amount can rapidly grow in a short span of six months to a 20% growth or even more every year. This growth again depends on the ability of the candidate and the growth of the company he or she is working for.

Each company has its own policies and their payment depends on the annual profits. There are companies, which pay Rs. 18,000 – Rs. 30,000 for a fresher who has passed out from the top level institutes in the country. As you grow in this industry there is ample amount of growth in salary as well as your career. Since most software are developed for foreign clients, the candidates also get frequent opportunities to travel abroad all over the world to understand client requirements and execute projects.