Remember, computers are like dogs. They listen to what you tell them. How do you communicate with them? Through a programming language.
What is a programming language?
There are lots of programming languages out there. But there is actually just one computer language. Let me explain, computers run on a CPU. And CPU’s only understand machine code. Machine code is very difficult to write and would take hours.
Luckily, there have been programming languages developed to make it easier to give directions to the CPU.
I’ve asked many people this question and consulted loads of programming resources across the web. When it comes down to it, what matters most when learning a language is what you hope to do with it. AKA your goals.
For me, I have a few end goals. Sure, I would like to be more employable in places like tech startups. I also would love to be able build an entire website from scratch without needing to rely on WordPress themes or the help of a more tech-savvy friend.
In the last post, I talked about how programming is built upon logic and problem solving. There are entire books that teach programming without even discusses computers. And while there are 100s of programming languages in existence, the key concepts remain constant.
Okay, but what is programming?
A definition frequently throw around is:
“A computer program is a set of instructions…”
To me, that sounds very vague. Like cooking a meal or something?
Programming is more than just knowing a computer language. Being a skilled programmer is built on having finely tuned logic.
It’s the thinking, not the language itself, that’s important in programming (as the video above clearly demonstrates.)
It’s possible to understand programming fundamentals using real world instances rather than computers. For instance in the book How To Think Like A Programmer:
The focus is on developing algorithmic solutions to real-world problems.
I always did well in school.
I worked hard and it paid off. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and was one of the top, if not the top, student in my program.
Nonetheless, as a history major at a small liberal arts college…
…my employment opportunities looked bleak.
Initially I thought I wanted to go back to school and move into the field of Economics. Ideally something pertaining international development.