Programming explained: what is it and what is it good for

Coding & Tech
Oct 12, 2023

Programming involves instructing a computer what to do in order to solve a problem. Its main purpose is communicating an algorithm to a machine.

In our modern world, programming allows us to interact with computers in a way that wasn't possible before. It helps us to conduct research, design new products and services, manage finances, communicate with others worldwide, and much more.

Students should develop computer coding skills early on to be competitive in today's increasingly digitalized world. These transferrable skills allow children to learn relevant and competitive abilities while establishing a problem-solving mindset. In this article, we collected everything you need to know about programming.

What is programming?

Computer programming involves writing instructions that tell a computer how to conduct a particular task. This can be done using a variety of computer programming languages, such as Python or JavaScript.

Young adults learning programming together at an online course

History of programming languages

One thing is for sure, programming languages have come a long way in a relatively short time. Below is the timeline of coding languages, highlighting the most important milestones:

  • The first programming language was developed in 1883 for a primitive mechanical computer.

  • Autocode was developed in 1952. This is considered the first compiled computer coding language that could be translated directly into machine code.

  • In 1957 FORTRAN was created. This is a computer coding language for working with mathematical, scientific, and statistical projects.

  • In 1972 C was developed. It is closer to human language than code language, so it is considered the first high-level programming language.

  • Objective-C was created in 1983 as the primary language for writing Apple software. In the same year, C++ was developed. This is an extension of the C coding language, which is the 2nd most used language in the world.

  • Python was developed in 1991.

  • Java was formed in 1995 alongside PHP and Ruby.

  • In 2000 Microsoft developed C#, a combination of C++ and Visual Basic.

  • In 2003 Scala was created.

  • In 2009 Google developed Go.

  • In 2014 Apple developed Swift.

Today's programming languages are based on concepts used in previous coding languages.

Why is programming important?

Programming allows you to browse your favorite websites, connect with friends or order food through various applications, and scroll social media in your free time. It also helps businesses and even space discovery to operate more efficiently.

  • Specific programming languages such as C are used in robotics and to build computer operating systems.

  • Many languages are used for building websites, games, and mobile applications, e.g. Java or Html. They are also used for medical technologies and automation, in these fields C, SQL, R and Python are the most important.

  • Java handles innumerable records and drives analytics over vast data, alongside being the main tool for Android phones.

  • R and Python are being used for driving advanced analytics and data science. These programming languages allow the creation of high-end artificial intelligence-based machine learning models.

Benefits of programming

Programming is the new literacy. Learning it from a young age helps in the development of critical and logical thinking. Partaking in a coding class is also a great way to develop several other important soft skills, such as logic and communication skills, can help children learn to collaborate, work in teams, navigate social environments, and perform better academically.

Writing computer code involves making errors, testing work, trials, and correcting mistakes that help children to be more persistent and better problem solvers. Coding encourages the breaking down of complicated ideas and issues into manageable steps, which evolves problem solving skills, too.

In order to take advantage of these benefits, it is worth starting to learn programming at a young age.

Future of programming

Computer programming has been innovating all industries and is changing our everyday lives. As a result, coding knowledge opens many doorways for job seekers. Software program developer jobs are anticipated to grow by 21 percent by 2028.

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly relevant in the field. More and more organizations leverage technology to speed up their operations since many tasks can be automated this way. This might change the coding industry, but there will still be an increasing need for agile professionals in the field.

Programming teaches kids invaluable skills that they can use in their school studies and later in their career. If you are ready to take the next step, you can find age-appropriate coding classes for kids at Logiscool.