Monday, October 20, 2008

Learning Computer Programming

I regard computer programming as the most interesting subject to learn on the earth. But to my dismay, most of the freshers I come across exhibit programming skills much below my expectations.

I think this happens because students miss the right approach to learn programming. Also, surprisingly, most of the programming courses I have seen begin abruptly, without addressing this first.

So, in this article, I will attempt to give a needed start to the students, so that they catch the train smoothly. Everyone who is thinking to learn programming should read this article.

What is Programming?

In simple terms, programming is teaching somebody how to do a task. Obvious examples are
  • teaching a child how to add some numbers
  • teaching a housewife how to prepare some recipe
  • any teaching under the earth that you can imagine
For programming human beings, we use some language, such as English, French, Hindi. For programming computers, we use some language the computers understand. Some examples of computer languages are C, Pascal, Python, Java.

Human beings are very intelligent and hence human languages like English are extremely complex. The same statement might mean different things in different scenario in English. In contrast, computers are the stupidest beings in the world, and so the language used to teach them are quite simple. So, for a human being like you, learning a computer language is really easy and fun. And, once you know one computer language, learning another is as easy as knowing few more words.

Enough theory. Now, let´s dive into and attempt some computer programs. We shall be using the C language. However, you need not know C. Of the programs that I shall be presenting, just focus on whatever we discuss and ignore the undiscussed parts. Our objective here is not to learn programming, but to learn the approach to learning programming, so that you can learn programming from any other course material smoothly.


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