Computer Programming Fundamentals You Should Know
Quick! Can you tell me how to prepare a bowl of cereals with milk? Too simple, right? You can probably give me a series of no-brainer instructions that I can perform in less than a minute. Now try telling a computer to do just that. What began as a simple task has now become complicated. It’s not just a matter of dumping a cup of cereals in a bowl and pouring milk in. With computers, it’s so much more than that. Sounds exciting? It should be. Because that’s what you’ll expect once you begin learning computer programming fundamentals.
Computer programming is a whole new world of possibilities. Believe it or not, programming actually began in the 1200s, when simple machines were designed to execute simple mechanical tasks. It has grown both as an art and as a science since then, providing us with the technologies that have made many aspects of our lives easier and faster.
Once you start learning computer programming, some of the basic stuff you’ll encounter include:
– The basic understanding of the discipline
You’ll need a good background in the field in order for you to understand how it really works. With a solid foundation built on knowing the basics of computer programming, it will be easier to comprehend its details, including procedures, steps and other instructions.
– Understanding the types of programming
Essentially, there are two basic types of programming, each of which has its own uses and set of advantages and limitations. Procedural programming, while older, is quite useful particularly because it is a much simpler way to tell a computer what to do. It is also the heart and soul of many computer languages. Basically, it’s an input-output operation, where a user or programmer inputs a set of instructions and a computer reacts to it by executing those instructions. Learning procedural programming helps new programmers understand elements such as sequence, selection and iteration.
The other type of programming is object-oriented, which is relatively newer. This type of programming treats instructions as a set of objects, something that is more convenient in many of the programs that are in use today. With object-oriented programming, you’ll learn an object’s properties, event handlers and methods.
You’ll learn both types of programming as part of a fundamental or basic course. These will help you understand how to design codes that are easy for a computer to understand and effective enough to execute. Using the cereal and milk analogy, for example, you will be able to write a code that will tell a computer how to pour the right amount of cereal into a bowl and how much milk to use, in that order. And if you’re truly good, you can even tell the computer what specific type of cereal and milk to use.
– Understanding the nature of the code
Another important basic knowledge you must learn in programming is understanding codes. While their functions are generally the same – that is, to power a computer program – codes differ in design and use depending on the language. Codes are at the heart of a computer program and will be one of the basics you will learn in programming.
– Learning problem-solving
Much of your time as a first-time computer programmer will be spent poring over problems – how to create a source code for a desired end result, how to fix a bug, how to solve a glitch, how to put things together or in sequence so they work. You’ll learn how to look at a problem, break it down to its solvable components and come up with ways to solve it.
– Thinking logically.
If you’re not a fan of mathematics and logic, you’ll be dismayed to know that many of the computer programming fundamentals you’ll be learning will require you to think in numbers, figures and sequences. However, these basics are easy to learn, provided you have the patience to follow the right steps. Once you’ve trained your mind to think like this, you’re well on your way to a great career as a computer programmer.