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Difference between system programming and application programming
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Posted 30-06-2009Reply

A little while ago a friend asked me what kind of programming I was interested in. I ended up explaining the difference between system programming and application programming:

In application programming programmers build applications. Application programs include websites, video games, iPhone applications, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Web browsers and other programs that people use for entertainment, communications, accessing information, organizing, and getting work done. Application software interacts with people or users.

Systems programming is creating technology that programmers use to build applications. In order for an applications programmer to build an application, he needs an operating system, a programming language, and other tools to get the application built, tested, and working.

System programming includes creating and working on:

operating systems database systems programming languages software libraries software that controls hardware very directly Software exists in layers. Application software runs on top of and interacts with system software. System software runs on top of and interacts with the physical hardware. Another way of looking at it: People make application software do work. Application software makes system software do work. System software makes the physical machine do work.

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