What is Programming ?(Part – I)

Do all of you believe programming just involves heavy duty computer languages and boring nerds typing away on their keyboards all day?  No way !

Read on to discover our secrets…

|programme | verb | ˈprəʊɡram/  gerund or present participle: programing|

  • provide (a computer or other machine) with coded instructions for the automatic performance of a task.
 “it is a simple matter to program the computer to recognize such symbols”
  •  arrange according to a plan or schedule.

“we learn how to programme our own lives”

“she tried to programme her day into housework and study”

Even the smallest task we carry out in our daily lives is biologically programmed in our brain neurons. If I want to lift a glass I do not sit and calculate the tensile strength of the glass, the tension on its surface, the friction between the fingers, the amount of force required or the angle of elevation etc. I just pick up the glass. This is possible because of the default programming that provides all this above information and takes care of the background processing.

In short programming is a way of life.

In explicit technical terms a program is a set of written instructions that is processed as a standard input on a machine to carry out the desired output.

Before we see what a computer programming language looks like, let’s use the English language to describe how to do something as a series of steps.  A common exercise that really gets you thinking about what computer programming can be like is to describe a process you are familiar with.

Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Rather than write my own version of this exercise, I searched the Internet for the words “computer programming sandwich” using Google.  One of the hits returned was http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/2166.html.  At the link, Deb Sweeney (Tamaqua Area Middle School, Tamaqua, PA) described the problem as:


Students will write specific and sequential steps on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.



Students will write a very detailed and step-by-step

paragraph on how to make a peanut butter and jelly

sandwich for homework. The next day, the students will

then input (read) their instructions to the computer

(teacher). The teacher will then “make” the programs,

being sure to do exactly what the students said…


When this exercise is directed by an experienced teacher it is excellent for demonstrating how careful you need to be, how detailed you need to be, when writing a computer program.  Here is teacher/mentor support material.

Programming in a natural language, say the full scope of the English language, seems like a very difficult task.


Read part – II to know more about computer programming and the programming languages used today.



Saleem Ahmed

Coder, Algorithm Designer, Growth Hacker. Ubiquitous Problem Solver, #NodeJs #AngularJs #MeanStack Listening to Bach helps me concentrate on building things. Passion for anything related to technology, especially interested towards application of AI and machine learning to solve real world problems.


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