Beginner's Guide to Programming -

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Can I figure this programming stuff out?

Although much of the material you might pick up in a bookstore or see on the internet seems very dense and hard to understand, programming isn’t all that difficult. Anyone who can follow a set of rules and use logic to solve a problem can program. Anyone functioning in society today is capable of that! Programming highly complex projects obviously gets more difficult, but let’s not put the cart before the horse.

To program successfully, you need to be able to write instructions in a programming language (rules), and order those instructions to achieve the results you desire (logic). You do this every day: To cook food (even if you microwave), you take ingredients, follow some steps, and get the result of the fully prepared food. To get ready for bed at night, you do a few tasks a certain way – brush your teeth, change clothes, get in bed, etc. – and in a certain order to achieve the result of being ready to properly sleep.

If you can think these things through, you can program. The rest is just semantics.

One overriding concept to keep in mind – programs cannot read your mind. When programming, the computer will only do exactly what you tell it, no more, no less. If the program has a result that is not what you intended, you either forgot to tell it something it needed to know or do, and told it to do something incorrectly or in an unintended way. This may seem to be a simple concept, but it is very important to keep in mind when thinking through your program writing.