Think of it this way, we have our less than intelligent friends called computers that can do nothing without been given instructions.
Hence programming is an attempt to get a computer to carry out specific tasks without making mistakes, a perfect example is an ATM transaction, we want the ATM to give out money, check balances, take in money and print out input to the user.
A person who gives out these instructions is known as a programmer, as a programmer, your superpower is to make “dumb” computers seem smart and carry out sophisticated tasks.
It is important to note that programming is not as simple as giving instructions to a fellow human being, as machines only understand binary (which is known as machine language or base two notation), every instruction given to a computer is converted to 1’s and 0’s and interpreted by the computer to carry out a task.
Each program is composed of millions of 1’s and 0’s, so we have to translate these binary digits into human-readable code and vice versa, using programming languages.
Think of programming languages as a translator, it is simpler for us to learn these programming languages than to learn machine code, the human brain is not designed to comprehend numbers and characters extensively.
We have different types of programming languages, which serve various purposes, languages such as Java, Python, C++, C# are multipurpose languages and can perform a variety of computational tasks.
While languages such as HTML, CSS, SQL are designed for specific purposes such as web design and database.
We can also measure programming languages by power (how similar are they to machine language). We have low-level languages that are closer to binary and high-level languages that are further to binary.
How Do We Write Code?
We know what programming is how do we give instructions to the computer, we cannot just write random stuff to the computer and expect it to understand, hence we have a tool known as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
An IDE is similar to any other program that runs on a computer, the only difference is the IDE is used to write, debug and compile code.
They are able to convert code into machine language and run it through the computer, they also have error checking, auto filling and project hierarchy features to help out programmers.
In the olden days programmers wrote code on punch cards and fed it into computers, which consumed a lot of hours and was very frustrating.
Integrated Development Environment
Our friendly developer tool has two sections, the main part were we carry out our coding and console part which outputs information back to us.
This particular IDE is known as Pycharm and is mainly used to develop programs using Python. Through these useful tools we are able to write and compile computer code smoothly.
When writing literature we follow grammar and punctuation rules, same applies with writing code, we follow rules known as syntax.
Each programming language has it’s own syntax and disregarding these rules will result in an error.
Take this sentence as an example;
doug im still waiting for you
The sentence above follows zero punctuation rules and makes hero sense to anyone reading it, similarly programming syntax makes zero sense to a computer.
Thankfully an IDE lets you know when there is a syntax error in your program, and tells you were it is and how to fix it.