What is programming?

"Programming is how you get computers to solve problems".

There are two key phrases here which are important:

  • You: without the programmer (you), the computer is useless. It does what you tell it to do.
  • Solve problems: computers are tools. They are complex tools, admittedly, but they are not mysterious or magical: they exist to make tasks easier.

Computer programs (or software) are what make computers work. Without software, modern computers are just complicated machines for turning electricity into heat. It’s software on your computer that runs your operating system, browser, email etc.

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What is programming?

futurelearn.com

When you create a program for a computer, you give it a set of instructions, which it will run one at a time in order, precisely as given. If you told a computer to jump off a cliff, it would!

1. turn and face the cliff
2. walk towards the cliff
3. stop at the edge of the cliff
4. jump off the cliff

To stop computers constantly falling off cliffs, they can also make choices about what to do next

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