What is computer programming?

African American man learning computer programming

Whether you’re starting your car, streaming your favorite show, or even ordering takeout, computers are the tools making it happen. And, at the heart of every computer, there is a program making sure everything you want to do, watch, or experience, happens without a hitch. If that doesn’t already sound amazing, can you imagine building a career out of all of it? That’s right! You can make a rewarding career out of computer programming and join a tech industry that’s rapidly growing. So, let’s decipher what computer programming is and what it takes to make a successful career out of it.

Where It All Started

Many historians agree the first published computer program was created in the 19th century by English mathematician, writer, and countess, Ada Lovelace. Through her studies of English mathematician Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, which was a proposed general-purpose computer, Lovelace recognized that computers could be capable of many more applications than just calculation. This led her to writing and publishing the first algorithm for a machine of this nature which, in turn, made her the first-ever computer programmer. As time and technology continued to advance, computers became less rudimentary and highly complex. This progress led us all the way to computer programming as we know it today.

Computer programming, or coding, is essentially the process of creating instructions for computers to follow. A computer programmer makes those instructions using a programming language and the computer turns them into actions, solutions, features, or any other computing outcomes. Computer programmers devote their careers to learning these programming languages so they can create computer programs in more efficient and functional ways.

What Makes a Great Computer Programmer?

As you can imagine, computer programmers are highly skilled professionals. Their job is to maintain the instructions they create through a very involved process that begins with the conceptualization of a program, its creation, a testing process, and solving any issues that may appear. These tasks are crucial in software development and require a set of skills that every computer programmer should possess.

Even some of the newest tech companies out there have sizable teams dedicated to propelling their efforts forward. This means computer programmers must be able to work effectively with their teams. This, of course, involves great communication and listening skills. As you can imagine, problems with a project can arise out of nowhere. When they do, the best computer programmers remain calm and demonstrate composure and perseverance.

“At the end of the day, computer programming is coming up with a solution for a problem and then building that solution on a computer. All programming solutions build upon those that have come before, which is why some of the best skills that an aspiring computer programmer can have are the curiosity that is necessary to solve new problems and a strong foundational knowledge of computer science concepts.”

-Nico Alfonso, Academics Program Specialist at Kenzie Academy

So, What Are These Computer Programming Languages?

There’s a big chance you’re beginning to see there’s a correlation between computer programming languages and computer programmers, and you’d be absolutely right! As you begin your journey toward a future in computer programming, you’ll likely have a few languages you prefer to work with or excel at. Let’s first take a look at what programming languages are.

Take English, for example — it has its own grammatical rules, alphabet, and other factors that make it different from Spanish, Japanese, or many other languages. However, it also has a few characteristics that aren’t too dissimilar from German, French, Dutch, etc. The same applies for computer programming languages. They have their own grammatical rules, also known as syntax, but can potentially have plenty of similarities between each other.

There are countless computer programming languages around and some languages are more popular than others. At the top of the list you’ll see languages like Python, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, C#, PHP, among others. Remember, each of these are different in their own way and can provide you with benefits that may make your life easier as a computer programmer. Recognizing and familiarizing yourself with these languages can make it easier to choose the one that will benefit your career the most.

Where Will You Go?

You’re probably wondering just where computer programming can take you in terms of a career. As a programmer, you can work at a startup, a large corporation, a nonprofit organization, and even a government agency. Not to mention, once you’re in a role you love, you can take part in challenging and exciting projects. For instance, you can begin work on mobile apps that make learning new skills easier, have a pivotal role in a video game’s development, or take the lead in implementing new features on a website.

With a complete set of skills, full understanding of the field, and professional preparation, you’ll be able to build a strong career in programming. As a computer programmer, you can choose to excel in that position or decide to expand your skill set, further your education, and complement your experience to become a software engineer. Or, you can begin your journey as a:

  • Full-stack developer
  • Programmer analyst
  • UX/UI developer
  • Software developer
  • Web developer

Your Future Begins With Kenzie Academy

A new career must sound exciting. But there’s a big chance you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of taking the first step. If you’re doubtful about how much time getting a job in tech can take, or if you’re wondering if coding is hard to learn, the real answer is up to you. You are in charge of how much time you will put into a new career and how much effort you’ll give your new adventure. Fortunately, no matter what career in tech you decide to pursue, Kenzie Academy will be there every step of the way. Our team will support you if you need help understanding a concept and commit to helping you succeed in your job-searching experience as you search for your dream career.

Our affordable programs are collaborative, mastery-based, provide a real-world environment, and designed by industry experts to give you the skills you need to become an integral part of any company you join. At Kenzie Academy, your success is our priority. If you’re ready to take that first step, complete your application or get in touch with us today.

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