What is Computer Programming

I wanted to make sure that the new folks coming into Tech have a clear understanding of what Computer Programming is, if you are an advanced Software Developer, skip to Chapter 6.

Computer programming, also known as coding or software development, is the process of creating software applications or computer programs by writing instructions that are executed by a computer.

These instructions, written in a programming language, enable a computer to perform specific tasks or solve specific problems.

Computer programming involves designing, coding, testing, and debugging software applications. It requires a deep understanding of programming concepts, algorithms, data structures, and problem-solving skills.

Computer Programming

Programming can be done in various programming languages, such as C++, Java, Python, C#, JavaScript, and many others.

The process of computer programming typically involves the following steps:

  1. Problem Identification: 

    Identifying the problem or task that needs to be solved by a software application is a crucial step in the software development process. It involves understanding the pain points and challenges faced by users and finding a solution that addresses those needs effectively.

    By identifying a genuine problem to solve, software engineers can ensure that their efforts are focused on developing a valuable and relevant product.

    When looking for problems to solve, it can be helpful to start with personal experiences and frustrations. As a software engineer or entrepreneur, reflecting on your own challenges while using certain software can lead to valuable insights. By examining your own pain points, you may uncover opportunities to create software that solves those problems and improves the user experience.

    However, it's important to not rely solely on personal experiences and assumptions. Validating the existence and impact of the identified problem is crucial.

    This can be done by reaching out to others who may have similar challenges and gathering their feedback. Engaging with potential users and understanding their needs, frustrations, and desires will provide valuable insights into whether the identified problem is widespread and worth solving.

    When discussing the problem with others, it's important to ask the right questions and phrase them in a way that encourages honest feedback. Merely asking people if they would use a potential solution is not sufficient.

    [Book Recommendation]: "The Mom Test" by Rob Fitzpatrick

    It's crucial to dig deeper and understand the pain points they are experiencing, how it affects their work or daily life, and whether they would be willing to pay for a solution. This helps in validating the market demand and potential viability of the software application.

    By following this process of identifying problems, validating their existence, and understanding the willingness of users to pay for or use a solution, software engineers can mitigate the risk of building software that doesn't resonate with users. It ensures that their efforts are directed toward solving real problems and building valuable applications that users actually need and want.

    If you're interested in expanding your knowledge and connecting with a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about software development and entrepreneurship, there are several online platforms you can explore. Two popular communities that focus on indie hacking and startup discussions are Indie Hackers and the Indie Hackers subreddit.

    1. Indie Hackers (https://indiehackers.com/): Indie Hackers is a community and platform that aims to help independent entrepreneurs succeed. It provides a space for founders and developers to share their stories, learn from others, and get advice on building and growing their own businesses. The platform features interviews, podcasts, forums, and resources related to entrepreneurship, product development, marketing, and more.

    2. Indie Hackers subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/indiehackers/): The Indie Hackers subreddit is a part of the larger Reddit community. It's a dedicated space where indie hackers, startup founders, and software engineers come together to discuss various aspects of building and launching software products. Users share their experiences, seek advice, and engage in discussions on topics like idea validation, marketing strategies, revenue generation, and more.

    Both platforms offer valuable insights, stories, and discussions related to software development, entrepreneurship, and building successful software applications.

    They provide opportunities to connect with others who are on a similar journey, share experiences, and learn from their successes and failures. Engaging with these communities can expand your network, expose you to different perspectives, and provide inspiration and support as you navigate the world of software development and entrepreneurship.

    Remember to actively participate in discussions, ask questions, and contribute your own experiences and insights. By engaging with others in the community, you can not only gain knowledge but also build valuable relationships and potentially find collaborators, mentors, or even customers for your software applications.

  2. Design

    Planning and designing the structure, flow, and functionality of the software application. This includes defining the user interface, data structures, algorithms, and overall system architecture.

    One of the open-source tools you could use online is https://draw.io, which allows you to draw a diagram and map classes of your application Architecture without requiring you to log in.

  3. Coding: Writing the actual code in a programming language based on the design. This involves using the syntax and rules of the programming language to create the instructions that the computer can understand and execute.

  4. Testing: Testing the software application to identify and fix any errors, bugs, or issues. This involves running various test cases and scenarios to ensure that the software works as expected and meets the requirements.

  5. Debugging: Identifying and fixing any errors or issues that occur during testing or when the software is running. This involves analyzing the code and identifying the root cause of the problem, and then making the necessary changes to resolve it.

  6. Documentation: Documenting the code, design, and other aspects of the software application for reference, maintenance, and future development.

  7. Deployment: Preparing the software application for release and deploying it to the target environment, such as a server or a mobile device, so that users can start using it.

In a very simple form, computer programming is basically writing computer instructions in the form of code,  these computer instructions or code are then compiled into an application that runs as a program on the computer.

Computer instructions can be written/coded using many different languages called “Programming Languages”. There are many Programming Languages that can be used to write a program, to name a few:

  • Java
  • C-Sharp or C#
  • Python
  • C
  • C++
  • JavaScript

The above-named Programming Languages can be used differently depending on the task needed to be completed. For example, many Software Developers or Computer Programmers prefer to use C-Sharp or C# as a Server-side Programming Language.

We will look at the three stacks of Software Development in the coming chapters. Every programming language has that one thing that a Computer Programmer likes, for example, we might conclude that the reason why most Software Developers like programming in C#  is because of its rich intelligence or friendly programming environment.

This goes with many languages too, other Software Developers would prefer to use Java because of its Cross-Platform nature. As mentioned, every Programming Language has its pros and cons.

Computer programming is a constantly evolving field, with new programming languages, frameworks, and tools being developed regularly. It requires continuous learning and improvement to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

Programmers work in various industries, including software development, web development, mobile app development, game development, and many others, to create a wide range of applications that are used in our daily lives.

Computer Programming

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