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What is coding?

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There are books dedicated to teaching coding that don’t even mention computers once. Even though there are hundreds of different coding languages, the fundamental ideas behind them are all the same. In a word, yeah. In order to illustrate the principles of computer coding, the culinary arts are often used as an analogy. (I also mean “programming” when I say “coding.”)

What exactly is this coding thing?

A common definition is:

According to the definition, “A computer program is a collection of instructions…”

That seems really imprecise to me.

A computer program is essentially just a list of individual instructions that are executed in order. By separating out certain parts of a bigger concept, you are providing the computer with instructions.

Simply simply, coding is directing a machine how to do a task via the use of explicit, textual instructions.

In spite of their lack of intelligence, computers are remarkably compliant servants. As long as you show them the proper way to accomplish things, they will faithfully carry out your every command.

Some have compared learning to code to learning a new language, or more accurately, a new language family.

The numerous programming languages available today all serve certain purposes. C is a “low level” yet quick programming language that is useful for visually heavy tasks like games; Javascript is a language developed for working with online material; and Perl is a multi-purpose language that is often called the “swiss army knife” of programming.

What do these commands comprised of?

A program may be made up of numerous smaller parts, such as an addition between two numbers, the display of text, the creation of forms, the creation of shapes with varying colors, etc.

The computer will then swiftly carry out your instructions. It’s difficult to understand today, at least for me, but that’s how games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush came to be. Simply said, it’s a matter of stringing together a number of far more basic sets of instructions.

In other words, computers are obedient to commands.

What this means is that your directions had better make some kind of sense.

The term “statement” is used to describe instructions. And they resemble English phrases in structure.

Words, numbers, and punctuation are used to convey a single idea in each statement. The majority of code statements are often just a few words long. Now, the letters, digits, and dashes you employ are specific to the language in which you’re writing the program.

Computers, essentially, are like very (almost impossible to imagine) well-behaved dogs. They are obedient to your every word. Again, the precise form of a command is language-dependent.

What’s the big deal about learning to code?

Code is the fuel that drives the Internet and other digital systems. Code is essential to the functionality of every website, app, computer program, calculator, or even microwave. As such, programmers are the modern world’s equivalent of architects and constructors.

It is predicted that there will be 1.4 million open positions in the field of computer science during the next decade, but only around 400,000 graduates with the necessary skills.

Jobs unrelated to computer science, but nevertheless requiring at least some familiarity with programming and coding, include finance, medicine, and journalism. 

So learn to code, if you want a better career.

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