Computers are running our world; they help us in school, connect us with our friends and family, and fit in our pockets! But what controls these amazing machines we use every day? Understanding the basics of what makes our computers function the way they do is powerful information. That is where the world of computer programming comes in. Simply put, computer programming is a way to instruct a computer to complete various tasks. Let’s break down this area of STEM a little more so we can understand how a major part of our world works.
If we break down a computer, they can really only understand two types of data, on and off. Essentially this means when communicating with this type of technology we are relaying different combinations of on and off switches to result in different outcomes. Confused yet? This might be difficult to understand, but we have a lot more information to help you out.
The combination of on and off switches is known as binary code, which can be written using 1s and 0s. Binary code is grouped into bytes which are groups of 8 digits representing 8 transmitters (the collection of on and off switches).
The Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Programs
Low-level programming languages are closer to binary code and high-level programming languages are a lot less similar to binary code and much easier to work with typically. This means the high-level programming languages are closer to english, so they are easier to work with. That is why most of the programming languages used by software engineers today are high-level.
How to Create a Command?
How do we take all of this information and turn it into real results? What does this process look like, and can anyone do it? Well the answer is creating a program/line of code to instruct a computer is fairly simple, and yes anyone can do it. In its essence, a code is simply a text file written in a given coding language. This means to write code all you need to do is write the code in a text editor like notepad, and save it to your computer. How you actually implement this line of code into your computer varies depending on the coding language you are working in. Some languages operate under a certain software that will implement the code, and some save a separate accompanying binary code file that your computer can directly run.
Fields that Involve Coding
Coding and computer programming may seem like a faraway and foreign practice, but coding is starting to influence and affect every industry. This includes fields outside of STEM such as art and design. A huge part of the art and design industry includes web design, and this, of course, goes hand in hand with coding. Software engineers and designers collaborate in order to make highly effective and aesthetic websites. This career clearly affects technology in a big way, so there is no surprise that coding is also a huge part of the healthcare industry. The technology and tools behind the health care system are often created and managed in collaboration with software engineers because they involve computers. Finance is also heavily affected by coders, which includes creating the websites in which people complete online banking.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to the beautifully complex world of coding and programming. Every field is evolving and moving the direction to need code. Computers control our future, which means coding will control our future in a big way. Do you want to be a part of that change?