Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus from December 2019 till date, the whole world is adversely impacted by the induced pandemic which has forced on every form of the established system, a drastic change in the day-to-day lives of the people belonging to different strata of the society. The socio-economic setup that was prevalent throughout the world, is already significantly shattered, and hence calls for the conceiving as well as establishing a new system wherein the various functionalities may ensure the smooth and orderly execution of different aspects of the human society can be reinstated keeping in mind the robustness of this system against a pandemic like situation such as these.
This COVID-19 infested pandemic has exposed major loopholes and faulty perceptions regarding the various domains like, healthcare sector, financial institutions & bodies, educational establishments, research & developments bodies as well as public welfare organizations, as a result of which the whole world community stands not just clueless but also helpless in grappling with the current catastrophe.
a) Impact of Covid on the domain
The viral outbreak at a massive global scale has forced governments across the world to impose hard lockdowns and travel restrictions thereby compelling the shutdown of offices that offer varied services related to several sectors. Furthermore, at an individual level, people need to maintain a safe distance and be physically covered (especially facial areas) at maximum times when outside. This has invariably impacted interpersonal communication greatly.
Considering all the above factors, a computer/smartphone device, internet connectivity and a relatively stable power supply has come to the rescue of people in many ways. Professionals associated with the computer science & engineering domain are able to maintain various sorts of data in large bulks securely and meticulously with the help of different technologies. Furthermore, with the advent and development of the internet infrastructure, an abundance of virtual space can be created and managed for warehousing these data. Various applications are these days widely used via handheld devices to serve day-to-day purposes like product or food delivery, cab or train booking, hotel booking, seat reservation at any event, online academic courses, online mails, messaging and meeting and so on.
With this current pandemic prevailing all over, the usage of the above online applications is greatly amplified as these software-based utility tools are proving to be beneficial in running the various sectors simply while sitting at home. More and more people are continually seeking online services and demanding applications that will make it possible in every way to handle various business or commercial activities, smoothen the functioning of the education and healthcare sector and providing real-time support to travel as well as transport services. Even in the entertainment industry and also crime investigation & forensics, complex application development with easy user-friendly outlooks are ever-growing.
In short, the computer science & information technology domain has invariably become even more lucrative, prospective and ever-growing field as the pandemic has forced majority of the services to go “online”. Interestingly, a number of professions has by this time become obsolete and many individuals lost their jobs except for some cases such as this domain. These days the most important and valued element is data on various things and this data is available in such large quantities that it needs organized storage and management. While attempting to find a robust and effective solution to the COVID-19 virus, several amounts of data are being recorded and used. Efficient handling and accessing of such data is thus necessitated which is realized by the applications developed by various professionals who are experts in the computer science field.
b) New trends
As mentioned earlier, several sectors across the world are either closed down or grappling to survive by somehow managing to lift their face up the troubled waters of the pandemic crisis. An interesting trend of relying on online services is being noticed among such sectors.
Education: With almost all academic institutions physically shut down, this sector has shifted to online mode of admission, lecture delivery, examination conduction, assignment delivery, subject-wise note sharing and student evaluation. These activities require the support of some multimedia-enabled devices having a camera, microphone and speaker, online document preparing web services, and virtual (cloud-based) storage space. There has emerged a vogue of online coaching and academic preparation via the use of mobile apps like Byju’s Classes, Unacademy and so on which have reduced the dependency on availing tutors. Altogether, all these necessitate the development of software-based applications that require the expertise of domain professionals.
Healthcare: Currently as the majority of the professionals in this sector are the frontline ‘warriors’ in this battle against the pandemic, naturally, they are highly exposed and vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus attack. Despite the extreme precautions taken, most of them even are losing their lives to this deadly virus given the highly contagious environment they are working in. This has led to a fear of psychosis among the general public to avoid visiting the doctors and other medical professionals for a routine health checkup. As a result, the growing demand for online health checkup from home has led many software and app developers to build such dedicated applications that aid in routine healthcare and delivery of medicines. Some of the prominent apps operating in India are DoctorOnDemand and PharmEasy.
Business, Commerce, Banking & Industry: Several commercial and industrial workplaces are physically shut thereby causing losses and job cuts. A growing need has propped up for automation of industrial machinery and online support to various financial services as well as transactions, remote ordering, selling and purchasing, delivery of items. Some of these applications are realized by popular app services like Yono app (State bank of India), PolicyBazaar, Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Myntra.
c) Areas of research
Unlike other domains where research and development include extensive needs for laboratory or enterprise-level facilities and field works, pursuing research in the computer science domain requires just three things at home: a good quality computer system/workstation, internet connection and access to research-level online repositories. There are several open-source development tools that can be downloaded and utilized for effective research. Some of the major domains where computer science has pervaded are Medical science, genetics & genomics, microbiology, transport technologies, core industrial & engineering, basic sciences. Researchers under this domain by sheer knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are gradually succeeding in presenting automated models for determining the nature and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although the concept of Artificial Intelligence is not new (coined in 1956 by John McCarthy), the extensive development and the need for massive automation across several fields has uplifted the status of this concept that has led to enhanced research in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. In short, a professional equipped with such domain knowledge easily feels valued and almost indispensable across several multi-disciplinary fields.