In the modern world, technology is becoming more and more intertwined with society. However, oftentimes, the ideas behind what computers and programs are lost through changing language and terminology. During the rise of the personal computer during the 90’s, computers would run “programs,” which were specialized to one's purpose and would often times lack a user friendly interface (Salt 2013). Then, as technology advanced and those programs became larger, they became known as “applications,” which would solve multiple solutions and have robust algorithms. With the coming of the mobile platforms, the short term of “app” became popular, largely due to Apple’s rise to fame with the iPhone. Despite the name changes, programs, applications, and apps all have underlining code behind them. Even video games, cars, and common household phones have code behind them. Therefore, one can claim that programming relates to most fields, not just computers, and is thusly important.
The code is effectively the language that computers understand. When humans communicate, they must use common structures and words that everyone understands. Communicating with a phrase like “million master circle posing” (Word n.d.) would confuse the everyday Joe. Likewise, a programmer must communicate with a widely known syntax, a language. Like human languages, there are different computer languages. If an individual came up to the American and started rambling in Korean, most Americans would simply stare at that person with no idea of what is going on. Computers and other devices act in the same way. For instance, a computer aboard a car will reject a program written in COBOL (a popular programming language in the 80’s) (Adams and Charles 1999). Just like human language, computers (more accurately the compilers) will only understand a language if it is written in a form that they will understand, use the proper grammar, or syntax that they have been programmed to understand.
Adams, Scott, and Larry Charles. Dilbert | Y2K. Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. 03 05, 1999. http://www.hulu.com/watch/25138#i0,p8,d0 (accessed March 3, 2014).
Salt, Charles. computer science. stack excahnge inc. December 11, 2013. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4431819/what-are-the-differences-between-a-program-and-an-application (accessed March 3, 2014).
Word. n.d. http://www.watchout4snakes.com/wo4snakes/Random/RandomWord (accessed March 03, 2014).
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