An Overview of Computer Programming

A sentence is a blueprint of an idea. When we write or speak sentences, we are using a structure others understand that allows them to receive the thoughts and ideas we would express. That also describes computer source code. It is the blueprint of a working process and it is expressed to a computer that then represents the idea in working form. That is your goal with programming.

When writing a speaking, you have to know words, symbols, and sequence of such. It is the same way when putting a program together. A program is a complete thought from beginning to end. Within this thought are symbols, numbers, and sequence of these things that map information into action to produce information. Actions, referred to as operations, are transitions from one set of information to another. A succession of transformations follow to produce outcomes.

When writing a program, you are defining an overall blueprint filled in with many details. Like the blueprints building architects use, these blueprints have to be specified according to a specific language. Programming languages have rules that, when followed, allows you to build a blueprint out of data and operations. The blueprint is your intention. The blueprint is not the actual program, it is the intentions for how the program should be.

The actual program is a mass amalgamation of binary digits. A blueprint, the source code, is fed into a program called a compiler that reads the blueprint and uses that to create the actual program that can run in a computer. The compiler, and sometimes an additional tool called a linker, actually writes the program whereas you wrote the blueprint that tells the compiler what program to write.

That is the overview. Many other concepts come to your aid to improve the quality of the blueprint. Ideas such as data structures, algorithms, analysis, unit testing and many others.

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