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Deepak Chhitarka
Deepak Chhitarka

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Introduction to Programming — What is Programming?

When beginners starts programming, they often tend to directly start learning about the programming languages and technology stacks instead of first understanding what is programming. Even though it does not have a such a huge impact but it does help to better the foundation of programming.

In this Introduction to Programming series, I will first of all explain what is programming, followed by programming languages. I will try to cover 10 to 15 most used programming languages in the upcoming articles so that everyone can get an understanding of different languages and see what fits them the best.

What is Programming?

Programming is an art. It is a way to talk to computers. Computers does not understand human language. So, to talk with them, to instruct them to do something programming is used. It is the process of creating a set of instructions for a computer to work on.

We can find a lot of different definitions of programming online. The definition does not matter. What's important is to understand the meaning behind it.

The word programming refers to writing programs, which are the instructions the computer performs. Softwares, Mobile Applications, Desktop Applications, Games all are programs which instructs the computer to perform certain tasks.

The process of writing these programs is programming. And writing these programs is the job of programmers and we use programming languages to write these programs.

Programming, Programming, Programming

It is everywhere.

Just like we human communicate with each other using languages like Hindi, English, Spanish, etc, we use computer programming languages such as C, C++, Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript, etc., to communicate with computers. And the process of communicating with computer is programming.

Programming is step by step instructing the computer to perform an action. Computer are way faster and efficient than human beings but they do not understand human language. So, programming is used to bridge the communication gap and help us solve our problems.

Programming Languages

Computers only understands 0s and 1s. Earlier, we used to manually type 0s and 1s to instruct the computer to perform certain tasks. It was tedious, error prone and very difficult as well as time consuming.

To solve this issue, programming languages were created. Even though computer still only understands the binary codes(0s and 1s) but we can write the programs in programming languages and then convert them into machine code or byte code which the computer understand.

Programming languages have come a long way since the late 1950s when the first programming language was created. Now, there are 100s of different programming language for different tasks and fields but their main motive is still the same i.e. instruct the computer to perform certain tasks.

Some of the most widely used programming languages are:
• C
• C++
• Python
• Java
• JavaScipt
• C#

In the next article, I will be explaining about the different programming paradigms and the respective programming languages based on that paradigm. Stay tuned!

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