What is computer programming?

Computer programming is the process of creating code to enable specific actions in a computer, application, or software program and instructing them how to perform. A computer program is a set of instructions in a programming language for a computer to execute. It is one component of software, which includes documentation and other intangible components. Programming, also called coding, refers to the process of writing instructions for computing devices and systems. A computer program translates those instructions into a language that computers can understand. It is a technological process for telling a computer which tasks to perform to solve problems. Programming is a collaboration between humans and computers, where humans create instructions for a computer to follow (code) in a language computers can understand.

Types of Programming Languages

  • Procedural programming languages

A procedural language is a type of programming language that executes a sequence of statements or commands in a specific order to produce a desired output. These languages consist of one or more procedures, which are a set of instructions that the program follows to accomplish a task. Some commonly used procedural languages are C and C++, Java, Pascal, and BASIC.

  • Functional programming languages

Functional programming languages are different from traditional programming languages in that they prioritize the output of mathematical functions and evaluations over the execution of individual statements. Each function is a reusable module of code that performs a specific task and returns a result. The outcome will vary based on the data inputted into the function. Some examples of popular functional programming languages include Scala, Erlang, Haskell, Elixir, and F#.

  • Object-oriented programming languages (OOP)

Object-oriented programming treats a program as a collection of objects that consist of data and program elements such as attributes and methods. These objects can be reused within a program or in other programs, making it a popular language type for complex programs. Due to the ease of code reuse and scalability, many object-oriented languages are commonly used, including Java, Python, PHP, C++, and Ruby.

  • Scripting languages

Scripting languages are used by programmers to automate repetitive tasks, manage dynamic web content, or support processes in larger applications. Common scripting languages include PHP, Ruby, Python, bash, Perl, and Node.js.

  • Logic programming languages

Logic programming language operates by expressing a set of facts and rules, which guide the computer to make decisions instead of directly instructing it. Some examples of logic languages include Prolog, Absys, Datalog, and Alma-0.

How to write a computer program?

The general steps for writing a program include the following:

  • Requirement analysis – understand the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Design a solution.
  • Draw a flow chart.
  • Write pseudo-code.
  • Write code.
  • Unit testing – test and debug.
  • UAT – Test with real-world users.
  • Release program.

How does computer programming work?

Computer programmers create instructions for a computer to execute by writing and testing code that enables applications and software programs to operate successfully. They use specialized languages to communicate with computers, applications, and other systems to get computers and computer networks to perform specific tasks. A compiler converts each line of code into a language a computer can understand. Then, the computer scans the code and executes it, thereby performing a task or series of tasks, such as displaying an image on a webpage or changing the font of a section of text.

Why programming is important?

Programming is essential for automating tasks, creating new technologies, and developing more efficient systems. With the ever-growing importance of technology in our world, learning to program is becoming more and more necessary.

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