“Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.” -Martin Fowler
Before the 1980s, having a computer was simply reserved for internet developers and silicon valley geniuses. The common folk did not have computers at home with the internet as they do today. Shortly after, however, the world exploded and the digital age was born. Wunderkinds such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates worked tirelessly to make computers an indispensable household item. And, the rest is history!
Although there are a lot of disadvantages to the frequent use of technology such as smartphones and computers, the pros outweigh all of the cons and we have a lot of brilliant to thank. Such as? Computer programmers! Wait, what?
It's true that the majority of us use our electronic devices without thinking twice about how they were made and who developed the programs; that how's addicted we are! But, it's necessary to state that everything we access on our phones or PCs were previously created by programmers.
Therefore, to instruct curious individuals about the field of computer programming, in today's article we shall examine the basics of what computer programmer dedicate their lives to doing. Let's get learning!
A Brief Definition of Computer Programming Tasks
If you're like me, you've heard of computer programming and are aware of its necessity yet have no idea how it works. Well for starters, computer programming can be defined as the process of designing and building an executable computer program to complete a specific computing result or distinct task.
Therefore, programmers use code or programming to design and create patterns that are recorded to execute tasks on apps for our phone, computer games, internet websites, etc.
Since computers do not have minds of their own and were created by humans, they need direction to know what tasks need to be completed next. The directions received by the computer and created by the programmer are known as code. This "code" acts as a language that electronic devices are fluent in. Therefore, programmers code instructions directing the computer to handle tasks as they come about.
In most situations, programmers gradually create code to maintain the software and predict some potential problems that may arise. However, on the other side of the spectrum, for immediate emergencies caused by shutdowns, bugs, or performance glitches, programmers diagnose the problem at hand and urgently create code. Emergency coding is accomplished to keep the software running 24/7 and ensure that we, the users, are continuously content with the performance.
Also, last but not least, modernizing the platform, creating new tools for users, and further development for future expansion is a common task of computer programmers who work for software or internet companies.
Some duties completed by computer programmers and that are part of the wheelhouse of programming include the following:
- Source Code Maintenance,
- Building Systems,
- Management of Artifacts.
Programming tasks, such as the ones we have mentioned in today's article, are often confused with software/system development since they are an aspect of that much larger field. For instance, system development is much more general whereas programming or coding is more specific and reserved for the actual writing of code and not other tasks that software engineers undertake.
All in all, computer programmers are masters of code and they dedicate their lives to creating something that is viewed and used virtually by tens of thousands of UK-based or international users.
Nonetheless, have you ever stopped and wondered, what types of code or programming language do programmers use? Keep on reading to find out more!
Types of Programming Language
The diversity we experience in today's world is amazing and worthy of celebration. There are so many different tongues, cultures, and lands. And, since we are well-advanced into the digital age, the assortment we experience in computer programming can be likened to our world: vast and plentiful. How's that?
For many of us who do not thoroughly understand the world of computer programming, we might think that there is only one type of code or programming "language." However, that couldn't be farther from the truth. The worldwide web is so extensive now and to meet the demands of customers, companies, and software, computer programmers are fluent in various programming languages.
Programming languages are different since they are specific and unique to the type of work that needs to be accomplished. Different language styles are known as programming paradigms and they range from difficulty based on how much work needs to be done by the programmer manually without the help of AI.
For instance, at the easiest part of the spectrum is "low-level" language programming that is much more machine-oriented and a lot of code is completed automatically. However, on the other hand, are "high-level" languages that are sometimes more abstract yet easier to use; they require more time to compute. Which languages are easier to program? Most programmers would agree that "high-level" languages are much more straightforward than "low-levels."
Now, what are some of the names of the types of programming languages? The following list highlights both imperative and declarative computing paradigms:
- Procedural Programming Language,
- Functional Programming Language,
- Object-oriented Programming Language,
- Scripting Programming Language,
- Logic Programming Language.
The previously mentioned languages are general programming languages that complete essential tasks. However, there are some differences between the various codes/programming tongues. The following list marks the languages that could be encountered when programming:
- Perl Language,
- PHP Language,
- LISP Language,
- Scheme Language.
In all honesty, we could create a series of articles for each of the previously mentioned computing languages; however, for lack of time we can't. But we highly recommend that all those who are sincerely interested in the world of coding and computer programming take a look at the various options available and decide upon which one(s) they would like to become fluent in.
And, if you are on the fence about deciding which programming language you should learn, it would be wise to consult with a tutor or attend computer science classes to make the right choice.
Nevertheless, it is worth stating that the top programming language that is most commonly requested by companies and employers is Java with over 16% of programmers using it more than others.
Computer Programming: Invaluable for the 21st Century
Are you in the last years of secondary school and having to make a career choice? Are you sick of your dead-end job and looking to opt for a job that has a future and potential for growth? Look no further than becoming a computer programmer!
As we have previously discussed in today's article, we are living in the middle of the information age and online jobs are booming more than ever. Also, an additional push and overall reliance on technology were created in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, while Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, and Google House Party were around and established before the coronavirus, they have all become necessary to social survival. Because in a year when everyone is told to distance themselves from other individuals, everything has moved online from socialising to banking and working to exceeding.
Therefore, the need for computer programmers to keep the masses entertained and satisfied has surged. It comes as no surprise that the majority of lists highlighting the most popular jobs of 2020 are mostly filled with technology and computer science positions. For instance, in January 2020 US news website NBC announced that the top 5 jobs of 2020, and the future, are as following:
- Front-end Engineer/Developer,
- Java Developer,
- Data Scientist,
- Product Manager,
- DevOps Engineer.
Whether you like it or not, disagree or agree, the results are crystal clear: the best jobs on the market today can be found in the systems development industry that encompasses coding and programming. Also, although the previously stated facts are from the United States, they are merely a shadow of global trends that are occurring in the UK too.
So, to be attractive to employers or to find a job more quickly, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have coding or programming as a skill to offer. So, why waste your time gaining abilities that will not be used? Get ahead of the curve and take classes to know some of the basics of computer programming.
In conclusion, it is important to state that educating ourselves about computer programming is a must in the 21st century. With how the global job market is rapidly advancing, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the majority of the workforce moving to online platforms in the next 10 years. Welcome to the future, my friends!
Check out our article about how to find a computer programming tutor near you!