Introduction to Programming

Any job given to a computer finally gets translated into calculations. For example, consider the addition of the following two numbers.

10 + 20

The moment you see the symbol ‘+’ between the numbers 10 and 20, you will understand that you have to add them. Though the above figure would make sense to us, it would be of no use to a computer. In other words, you have to provide the computer with a set of instructions to solve the problem at hand. This set of instructions is known as a program.

Definition of Programming – A program can be defined as an organized list of instructions that, when executed, causes the computer to behave in a predetermined manner.

In order to write a program, you need to know one of the following programming languages,

  • Machine language
  • Assembly language
  • High level language

Machine language:

It contains instructions to the microprocessor. These instructions are in terms of 0’s and 1’s and can be used directly by a computer without any intermediate processing.

Assembly language:

It contains symbolic machine language instructions known as mnemonics. Using mnemonics frees the programmer from having to remember the numeric codes of a computer.

High-level language:

It contains a set of instructions, which are simple English like statements, similar to spoken languages and are easy to use. C, C++, Pascal and Basic are some examples for high-level languages in which English words are used as instructions.

The Figure given below shows how the computer’s hardware, machine language, assembly language and high-level language are related to each other.

Once you write a program to solve a specific type of problem, it can be used again and again to solve the same type of problem. For example, if you write a program to calculate the average of the marks obtained by n students in a class, the same program can be reused whenever you want to calculate the average marks of any set of n students. That is why programming reduces the workload of the user.

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