Software development involves the process of conceiving, defining, designing, programming, documenting, and testing the applications and framework of a software component. Over the past few decades, Bangladesh has made significant advancements in the software development sector, leading to the most recent expansion.
In Bangladesh, the size of the software development industry is small when compared to the 150+ million massive population and GDP of the nation.
Nonetheless, the software business industry in this nation has started to grow quickly and contribute much more than it did in the last few years. It has made a significant contribution to the country’s national income and has helped eradicate unemployment issues.
Currently, there are about 4500 software and ICT companies registered in Bangladesh, and these businesses employ over 300,000 local software developers and ICT specialists. These businesses collectively supply the local industry’s need for software valued at US$ 1.18 billion.
Government’s support to the software development industry
Through its aim of a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021, the Government of Bangladesh significantly contributes to the expansion of software development in Bangladesh. The government is creating the digitization of Bangladesh in every field possible to bring services to people’s doorsteps, from building ICT-based infrastructure and research centers to waiving tax for software-developing enterprises.
For Digital Bangladesh, the Respectable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has established four crucial goals:
- Educating personnel about the digital age;
- Connecting individuals in ways that matter to them;
- Providing services at the doorsteps of the populace;
- Using digital technology to help the private sector and industry become more skilled and effective.
The government gave funds to Bangladeshi software development firms during the coronavirus pandemic so they could continue working on projects during the most difficult months of 2020, from April to September.
Organizational support for software development in BD
• Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services
A national organization including software and information technology enterprises, the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) was established in 1998. The association now has over 1031 registered members, an enormous increase from the association’s original 82 members in 2003.
• Bangladesh Computer Samity
• Bangladesh Computer Council
Software development through freelancers and companies
Some of the benefits of the software development sector in Bangladesh include low labor costs, high programmer productivity, and broad English literacy. (Source: BASIS)
Because of the abundance of young, ambitious, and educated businesspeople in Bangladesh who are enthusiastic and passionate about software development, this sector will surely continue to expand for several decades to come.
42 governmental and private universities, in addition to other colleges and institutes, offer academic programs in information technology, computer science, and computer science and engineering, according to a survey by Paul Tija (CSE). Each year, it’s projected that 3000 students graduate from these institutions. There are also several IT training facilities, some of which are international franchises. It is estimated that these centers enroll about 12,000 students yearly.
Basic technical proficiency is generally accepted in Bangladesh. Additionally, graduates from BUET, Dhaka University, as well as other private institutes have won competitions for computer programming on a national and international level.
About 500,000 active freelancers out of 650,000 registered freelancers in the country work regularly, earning a combined total of $100 million per year.
Some students begin their careers in software development as independent contractors. Freelancing has gained popularity among Bangladeshi youth, especially those in their twenties, as the gig economy gets more and more popular.
According to the Oxford Internet Institute, Bangladesh has eclipsed the United States and positioned itself as the second-largest supplier of online outsourcing force (OII).
• Software Development Companies
Over 300,000 local software developers and ICT specialists are employed by the approximately 4500 software and ICT firms that are now licensed in Bangladesh.
The industry’s contribution to the government includes its collaboration with Access To Information (a2i), the centerpiece program of the Digital Bangladesh Agenda, and government organizations to develop an innovative and dynamic portal, corona.gov.bd, that informs users of the most recent information on the coronavirus pandemic.
Popular categories of software development in Bangladesh
One can enter the field with generalized knowledge, but in order to launch a career right away, one should acquire training in a specific area of software development and gain hands-on experience in it. Following this practice, many freelancers launch their careers while enrolled in college or even sooner, right after completing their HSC or A-Levels.
• Web Development
Approximately half of the nation’s registered ICT enterprises offer Web services such as web design and development, according to BASIS. This is a result of the enormous demand for web development from companies who are increasingly concentrating on developing an online presence to reach the constantly growing online audience as more Bangladeshis move closer to technological dependence.
• Mobile App Development
Every day, people spend an average of 3.25 hours on their phones all across the world.
Previously considered an extravagance, mobile phones have become a necessity in every home and are one of the most dependable ways to communicate quickly and effectively.
They now assist our social connections, communications, entertainment, and finances thanks to multiple social media apps, greater connectivity features, and other software components embedded into the phone.
Mobile app development has grown to be a common and essential component for a flourishing business. They meet the needs of both clients and business owners by offering a powerful marketing tool that reaches a larger audience.
A mobile app may make buying products simple for users with user-friendly features and secure payment platforms like Bkash, Nagad, etc. This results in an elevated experience for the consumer.
The effect of Covid-19 on software development
According to BASIS, the coronavirus outbreak has had a substantial influence on both domestic and foreign markets for software development in Bangladesh. At least 70% of the sector’s overall worth has been lost to the virus.
Out of all the organizations that are registered with BASIS, about 175 are software companies that export software and outsource the development work. However, according to a Daily Star investigation, 74% of international customers ceased making purchases during the Covid-heavy months. This is because the two main markets for Bangladeshi software exports, the United States and Europe, were both under attack from the viral pandemic.
To help the software development companies in Bangladesh maintain their operations as well as pay employees’ salaries and office rent from April to September, BASIS asked the government for approximately Tk. 660 crores last year.
Bangladesh’s software industry is quite significant and can progress both the nation’s economy and level of technological development to that of a developed nation.
It can influence the nation’s security, health, and education, improving the quality of life for its people. Technology has been used by nations like Sweden, Germany, Japan, the United States, and others to foster innovation and research that has opened up countless new possibilities for the future.
The Bangladeshi government is making investments and building the necessary infrastructure, but there is still a long path of hard work ahead before software developers can have a significant impact in crucial sectors and areas of the country.