A Beginner’s Guide To Computer Programming

Hi there! I’m Ashwin Joy, and I believe that computer programming is one of the high-income skills that you can develop to change your life. Software developers are impacting the world in all areas. If you want to make this world a better place with your coding skills, I can help you, even if you haven’t written a single line of code.

If you’re a complete beginner, it’s really essential to understand the basics before you learn a programming language. All the programming courses directly start with writing code, without clearing the fundamentals that a non-technical person might not know.

So, if you aren’t a technical person and you feel intimidated by computer programming, let’s understand some basics before we start to learn to code.

What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is a tool that we can use to communicate with the computer. Human beings communicate with each other using different languages. But, unfortunately, a computer can’t understand our language.

To communicate with the computer, either we should know the language of computers or computers should understand the language of humans. The only language that a computer can understand is the binary language, also known as the machine language.

Then, one thing we can do is that we can learn the binary language, which consists of only 0s and 1s. Each character or digit we know can be represented using the binary language.

For example, the letter “A” can be represented as 01000001, “B” is represented as 01000010, and so on. But, it is almost impossible to remember all these zeroes and ones for all the characters that we use, isn’t it?

So, it is very difficult for us to learn the binary language and use them effectively. Then, what can we do? To solve this problem, some amazing coders developed different programming languages.

Programming languages are comparatively easy to learn. So, if we learn the syntax of a programming language, we can use it to communicate with the computer.

A Beginner’s Guide To Computer Programming

We can write code in a programming language, and some language processors (compilers or interpreters) then convert the code we write into binary language, which the machine can understand. That’s how we communicate with the computer.

In simple words, a computer program is a set of instructions given to a computer, and the language that we use to provide the instructions is called a programming language.

Different Phases In Programming

Programming is all about problem-solving. Let’s see the different steps that we can take to solve a problem using computer programming.

  1. Problem identification
  2. Deriving the steps to obtain the solution in simple words: This step-by-step solution is called algorithm/pseudocode. These steps can be represented pictorially as well (using flow charts/flow diagrams). This is optional if you can directly write the steps using code.
  3. Implementation of the steps in a programming language (writing the actual source code).
  4. Translation of the program into the binary format- Compilers or interpreters will help us to do this. After a successful compilation, we get a program fully constituted by machine language instructions.
  5. Debugging- The errors that we get after compilation are called bugs (or syntax errors), and the process of correcting these errors is called debugging.
  6. Execution and testing- Apart from syntax errors, we might also get logical errors, which are caused due to mistakes in the logic of the program. Compilers or interpreters can’t catch these errors. To correct the logical errors, we should execute and test the program.

How To Become A Computer Programmer?

Now, it’s time to level up your game by learning a programming language. Which programming language should you learn? Well, all the languages have their pros and cons, and I can’t say that one language is better than others.

However, I would suggest you learn Python since it is an easier language to learn. Also, it has a lot of capabilities. Why not start with the easy one? Let’s learn Python as your first programming language.

Do not just stop when you finish learning the syntax of Python. Go and build an app with it. Building an app will give you a lot of confidence. One easy way to build apps is by using the Tkinter library of Python. You can follow the following resources to learn Python and build apps.

  1. Python beginner’s guide – Learn the basic syntax of the language.
  2. Python OOP – Learn object-oriented programming with Python.
  3. Tkinter – Learn to use Tkinter and build 3 awesome apps.

After you complete these, you can choose either web development or data science. You can use the following resources to learn any of these two.

It is important to build a lot of projects to become a great developer. So, build as many projects as you can and make your portfolio awesome. You can use the following resources to find project ideas and tutorials.

Check out more articles on the site. Happy Coding!