Due to the rapid development of computer, communication and microelectronics technologies, the trend of distributed computing systems is to become more distributed. Because the characteristics of distributed computing systems are significantly different from those of traditional computing systems, different approaches are needed to effectively address the design issues related to the characteristics of software for distributed computing systems. In this paper, the methods currently used to develop the software for distributed computing systems are classified into three approaches: dataflow-oriented; communication-oriented; and object-oriented. Their applicabilities to various applications for distributed computing systems are discussed, and object-oriented approach is identified as a more promising approach to developing distributed software. The future trends and research directions of software development techniques for distributed computing systems are discussed.