Computers operate using a combination of hardware and software. However, without user interaction, most computers would be useless machines. Therefore, "peopleware" is sometimes considered a third aspect that takes into account the importance of humans in the computing process.
Peopleware is less tangible than hardware or software, since it can refer to many different things. Examples of peopleware include individual people, groups of people, project teams, businesses, developers, and end users. While peopleware can mean many different things, it always refers to the people who develop or use computer systems.
While the term may not be as widely used as "hardware" or "software," peopleware is an important part of computer technology. It is a good reminder that the role of people should not be overlooked by any business or organization.
Updated: August 10, 2009