Welcome to computer programming! You are about to discover an interesting and exciting world – a world of computer programming.
In this unit, we introduce you to the concepts of basic computer programming . You will study the terms and concepts used in computer programming. We will then describe the five steps in computer programming.
At the end of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Understand the programming process
2. Define computer programming, program, programmer, and programming language 3. List and describe the steps involved in the programming process
Introducing Programming Concepts
How do you prepare on programming a computer? Are you going to create a simple calculator? a document editing application? a multi-functional interactive game? something else? Whatever your plans, the road ahead is an interesting one. Computer programming is a challenging and rewarding discipline.
Computer programming is defined as telling a computer what to do through a special set of instructions which are then interpreted by the computer to perform some task(s). Programming is the process of creating programs. It is the process of providing specific instructions that tells the computer what to do. Programmer is the one who is involved in the creation of computer programs.
Computer Program is a series of instructions that tell a computer how to carry out processing tasks. These instructions can be specified in one or more programming languages including Java, C, and C++. Programming Language/Computer Language is an artificial language used to write a sequence of instructions (program) that can be run by a computer.
A computer goes through a set of steps whose purpose is to achieve something. These steps are instructed to the computer by computer programs. Essential ly, computer programming is the process by which these programs are designed and implemented. There are many advantages to learning computer programming such as gaining new skills, being able to tell the computer what to do, and becoming better familiar with computers. Whether you are a computer hobbyist, a student, an IT professional, or ar e just curious about programming, learning how to program a computer will be highly beneficial.
Understanding the Programming Process
A programmer’s job involves writing instructions, but a professional programmer usually does not just sit down at a computer keyboard and start typing. The programmer’s job can be broken down into five programming steps:
Define/understand the problem
Plan/design the logic
Code the program
Compile, debug, and test the program
Document the program
The process goes in cycles. You start with understanding the problem, design, and try to write code to implement that design. As you write the code you may come across problems that send you back to the design stage. Once you have code written you try to compile it. If there are errors or other problems you go back to editing the source code and eventually try again. If your code compiles you try to link it. If that doesn't work you usually have to go back to editing the source code again.
Here's a rough outline of what happens at each step.
1. Define/understand the problem – reading the requirements carefully, clarifying the exact purpose of the output, and identifying & analyzing the input, process, & output. Consider the following:
a. Know the boundaries of the problem
b. Know the constraints on the solution
c. Know what actions are allowed
Really understanding the problem may be one of the most difficult aspects of programming. Programmers must first understand what it is the users wants and needs.