Information Technology is used to term a large growing technological industry into simple words. To basically define it, it is the analysis, design, execution, support or administration of computer-based information systems, mainly software applications and computer hardware. It deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, guard, manage, convey, and retrieve information. To trace the beginnings of Information Technology systems, it can be categorized into four periods: premechanical, mechanical, electromechanical and electronic. The premechanical age was defined as the time period where basic input methods were used. This included writing and the alphabet, the development of papers and pens, books and libraries as permanent storage facilities and the first numbering systems which included the abacus. This was followed by the transition into the mechanical age were the first printing press was introduced. This era also gave birth to the term computer, simple computing devices and rulers and general measurements. The electromechanical age is predominated by the discovery of electricity and its use for communication. This era gave early beginnings to the telephone, telegraph, Morse code, the first radio and the earliest electromechanical computing devices such as punch cards. The electronic age, which started from the 1940’s up to today, began with the introduction of the first computer vacuum tubes. This period includes our present advancement in computers which includes the introduction of high-speed processors, operating systems, networking options and communication software. The branches of Information Technology are data or database management, information systems, computer science and engineering, computer programming, information security, cryptography (digital signatures), networking or the use of networks as communication, digital library (storage of information in computers), pattern recognition, data management, data storage, technology assessment (improvement of corporate computer systems), information technology infrastructure library, information technology governance, and telematics (integrated on the global positioning system).
A number of skills can be acquired and developed to be able to understand and work in the field of Information Technology systems, since it is a very large field of expertise and is categorized into different areas depending on the type of programming work done. These include UNIX programming, which is the main language of the internet and a crucial skill in the field of IT. JAVA is an object- oriented programming mainly used by web developers and once learned, it can be used to run in any familiar computer platform. Linux operating system is very much like the UNIX operating system that is used by corporations and this is mastered by those who want to work as system administrators. C++ programming is another high- level skill that one can develop to be a software engineer and it is widely used commercial applications. Perl programming is used in networking and web site development by system administrators. HTML or hypertext mark-up language is greatly used by web designers and can be easily learned and mastered. These and many more skills in the field of information technology are obtained by undergoing a formal training and certifications from the different qualified institutions in the field of technology.
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