Today, most people don't need to know how a computer works. Most people can simply turn on a computer or a mobile phone and point at some little graphical object (icon) on the display, click a button or swipe a finger or two, and the computer does something. An example would be to get weather information from the net and display it. How to interact with a computer program is all the average person needs to know.
But, Bob Longhurst wants to learn how to write computer programs, which means his job will be to instruct the computer to do something. This will take him much practice and training. The following gives a “small” insight into the coding part of programming.
Basically, writing software (computer programs) involves describing processes, procedures; it involves the authoring of algorithms. Computer programming involves developing lists of instructions - the source code representation of software The stuff that these instructions manipulate are different types of objects, e.g., numbers, words, images, sounds, etc... Creating a computer program can be like composing music, like designing a house, like creating lots of stuff. It has been argued that in its current state it is an art, not engineering.
One thing that you will learn quickly is that a computer is very dumb, but obedient. It does exactly what you tell it to do, which is not necessarily what you wanted.
Programming will help you learn the importance of clarity of expression.
Computers operate on machine coded instructions - to the left is a picture of a dump of a computer’s memory, which shows the language the computer understands.
A programmer writes English type statements or instructions upon which a compiler translates into an executable file - the files that have exe as their extensions.
An exe file contains the kind of numbers you see here.
The picture opposite summarises the process of moving from what a programmer writes into something the computer understands i.e. can execute.
Examples of compiler software are: C++, BASIC, Java, Perl.
We’ll use Java Script. Alongside HTML and CSS, Java Script is one of the three core technologies of World Wide Web content production