What is computer programming? How to learn programming?

What is computer programming?

Here you go with a simple definition and explanation about what is programming. Computer programming is a process of giving instructions to the computer by converting these instructions into computer understandable format. It is technical as well as analytical. A programmer is a person who does programming. A programmer should have strong technical and analytical skills. He should have good knowledge of design.

The computers do not understand humans or natural languages like English, Urdu, Arabic, French, Spanish etc. To make these languages understandable for computers, these are converted into zeros and ones. We create instructions in form of code which are compiled by compilers and converted into low-level languages like Assembly language. The assembler converts these instructions into binary to make them understandable for computers.

Programming is not less than pain for beginners because the code looks strange. However, as soon as you start practising, you start enjoying. There are standards and rules to be followed for programming. Every programming language has its own syntax. This defines the structure of a statement in the program. The purpose of the programming language is to convert given instructions into executable format in order to accomplish a task.

A human can not feed binary instructions to computer rapidly. Programming is a process of automation. It automates the feeding of instructions in a specific way to the computer. It is different from coding. In coding, you don’t need design or analytical skills. You can simply follow the pseudocode and convert it into code.

What is programming language?

Let’s take an example of HTML and C. In C language, you can tell the computer to do something by processing. However, HTML is used to structure the data, it does not do processing on data. So, HTML is markup language, not programming language while C is a programming language. A programming language does some processing to provide results. (Don’t worry about the people who claim to hack a computer using HTML….they are genius 😃 😃 Ignore them. LOL).

What programming language should I learn?

When you decide to adopt programming in your career, the first question arrives in your mind is “What programming language should I learn?”. There are different opinions regarding this query. First of all, computer programming is not a small area. It has a big range of languages and options available for programmers. But what to choose is completely dependent on your decision about your career. Following is the list of few careers which can be adopted:

  • Frontend Development
  • Backend Development
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Software Developer
  • Android App Developer
  • iOS Developer
  • MEAN Stack Developer

and many more.

What is front end programming?

Front end programming means to make the user interface for software, website or app through which the user can interact with the computer, mobile or tablets. If you want to start your career as front end developer, you should learn front end programming languages and data structure languages as given below:

  • JavaScript
  • HTML
  • CSS

There are many frameworks available in the market for front end development like Bootstrap, Materialize, jQuery etc.

What is backend programming?

Backend programming is the part of an application which contains the code of functions and their interaction with file and database hosted on servers. The programmer writes code for different functions of applications to fetch data from databases, performs various operations to process this data. This data is sent to the front end where the user can interact with the application via the user interface. If you are interested in perusing your career in backend programming, you may learn the following backend languages:

  • PHP
  • Java
  • MySQL
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • .NET

There are various backend frameworks available in the market. Laravel is a highly demanded PHP framework, similarly, Django and Flask are highly demanded frameworks of Python. MySQL is a database. You can use MSSQL, MongoDB, Redis, PostgreSQL, Oracle or any other available database.

What programming language should I learn first?

If you are an absolute beginner, you should choose your first programming very carefully. The selection of first programming language may not synchronize with your career decision because being an absolute beginner you will need the easiest and simplest language to learn. A few years ago, learning programming concepts was not so easy as today because most of the universities and institutions was choosing C language or C++ as the first programming language for the students.

But now, MIT has launched “Scratch” for the absolute beginners. Scratch helps you in understanding programming concepts without paying attention to syntax, once you have done learning core concepts of programming, you can start with low-level languages like C or C++. Scratch develops your programming basic concepts related to variables, conditions, loops, scope, events and files. Once you have understood these concepts, you can choose any programming language and focus on learning its syntax.

How to learn programming?

Everyone has a different opinion about learning. It’s completely upto your aptitude. Some people prefer to join the school for learning, some take self-paced online courses, some take courses led by instructors, some people prefer to learn from books. Therefore, it is completely up to you. Following methods are available to learn:

You can:

  • Take online self-courses.
  • Watch video tutorials on YouTube.
  • Read articles and blogs related to tutorials.
  • Join online classes led by instructors for learning programming.
  • Try teaching apps and simulations.
  • Buy some good programming books.

 

Author: Arslan ud Din Shafiq

Alibaba Cloud MVP, Alibaba Cloud Technical Author, Dzone MVB, Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Designer, Web Engineer, Web Developer, Web Designer, Database Designer, Database Developer, Cloud Computing Specialist, Linux Expert, Servers, 3D Modeling, Blogger, Facebook Map Editor, Google Map Editor

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