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Computer programming

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Programming is telling a computer how to do certain things by giving it instructions. These instructions are called programs. A person who writes instructions is a computer programmer. These instructions come in different languages; they are called programming languages. Sometimes programmers use special software which helps them to make programs, such as IDEs, and sometimes they use simpler software, called a text editor, which only gives them a place to type.


A program is a set of instructions for the computer to follow. Making these instructions in "computer form" would be tedious and difficult, so instructions are written in a language similar to English, which has to be turned into "computer form" instructions so the computer can follow them. A compiler is what we call the translator from the half-English language to the computer language. Some languages, called interpreted languages, use interpreters instead of compilers.


Once a program has been compiled, the instructions in "machine form" are written into a file that contains a series of numbers that the computer can understand. These files are generally called "executables". These machine-instructions will be loaded into the computer's memory so that the CPU can run them when the executable is opened. In the event that data is not transferred correctly, it can result in data loss.


A variable a piece of the program that can be changed. Variables can include information added by the user, or answers that are found as a result of a calculation.