Programming is characterized by instructions that are specific and sequential. In this video learn how programming connects us with technology.
- What is programming? Well, when you pick up your phone and check the time, respond to a message, or comment on a friend's picture, you're experiencing the results of what someone programmed your phone to do. Programming is the process of converting ideas into instructions that a computer can understand and execute. These instructions are specific and sequential. You can think of it a bit like a recipe. Let's say you wanted to bake a cake. You would first need a list of ingredients and then the set of instructions. For our ingredients, we have flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and so forth. If you've ever baked a cake, you know that the amount of each ingredient can dramatically affect the outcome. If you accidentally use a full cup of milk instead of 1/2 a cup, then you'd have runny mess on your hands. Or what if you swapped the baking soda for salt? The cake would never rise. In a similar way, the instructions we provide to computers need to be specific so that we can get our desired result. Computers are very literal. They try to execute our commands exactly. When we give them bad instructions, we might introduce bugs or even make the computer crash. In programming, a bug is when something unexpected happens, whereas a crash is when your program stops early or freezes, just like if you use the wrong ingredients in your cake. Instead of a fluffy, moist cake, you could have a flat, runny disaster. The other characteristic of computer instructions is that they're sequential, just like the steps in a recipe. The order of the steps will impact your final product. If we mix the baking soda in before the eggs, we can cause our cake to be dense, or adding the milk with the butter may cause the dry ingredients to clump and leave us with a lumpy cake. Order matters. The same thing can be said about programming. It's all about giving computers the right instructions and the correct sequence of steps to produce the desired result. This is important because programming is just as much about finding errors and preventing crashes as it is about writing the instructions or code that the computer understands. So, to recap, programming is how we communicate with the digital world. It's characterized by having instructions that are specific and sequential. And when we get our code right, just like in a recipe, the end result is a program that helps us to enjoy a bit more of our world.
- Writing source code
- Basic statements and expressions
- Working with numbers and strings
- Writing conditional code
- Increasing your efficiency with functions
- Working with comments
- Making decisions in code
- Troubleshooting errors
- Learning about other languages