As I write this article the UK is in lockdown in attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Never in my lifetime did I think I would see something so momentous. I feel like I’m living through history. What I took for granted just over a week ago, like going to work, is now no longer possible and already feels like a lifetime ago. In this very unprecedented and uncertain time I’ve seen the worst in people but also the best in people. Neighbours helping each other and companies once in competition working together. It’s collaboration on a completely different – and phenomenal – scale.
Software is proving to be a huge enabler in all this.
How software is helping us all through this health crisis
At this moment in time, many people are trying valiantly to work from home – juggling kids, worrying about loved ones and thinking about when they need to buy toilet rolls (we’re down to 10 – is it time yet?). It’s technology and, ultimately software systems, that are allowing people to keep in touch, entertain children and themselves, buy essentials and carry on working. And who doesn’t love a telephone or video conference with the obligatory dog barking, kid shouting and doorbell ringing. I even had Alexa join in with my web demonstration! That was a first.
If there was ever a time to be stuck indoors it really is now. I am so fortunate to live at this moment in time.
I can work from home (thanks to our incredible IT Director). I’m lucky enough to be able to watch TV and films whenever I want – though I hasten to add not when I’m working! I can listen to music and audio books. Though I do have to admit that audio books always send me to sleep and I constantly have to backtrack! (I much prefer the gentle whack of a paperback – sometimes a tablet which is not so gentle – landing on my face as I doze off for the 5th time reading the same paragraph.) But again, this is all possible thanks to software.
Then there are the medics and scientists who are using many different pieces of equipment, devices and software systems in their battle to save lives. And every piece of software plays its own very important role. From the medical devices used by staff on the frontline to the LIMS, instruments and storage systems used by researchers who are collecting and analysing samples in an attempt to find a cure.
Recognition of collaboration and teamwork
As software designers, creators, implementers, trainers, testers and supporters we play a small, but important, role in supporting the people who together will conquer this health crisis. And it is together that we’ll keep the country (and world) functioning, stay in touch and achieve our common goal – the defeat of COVID-19.
Stay home. Stay safe everyone. Help the NHS and frontline services.