In this category, you'll find information about what is becoming a critical part of modern society: computer programming. So much technology relies on programming to function, making it a skill in high demand. Even elementary schools are beginning to teach the fundamentals of programming to kids! For the rest of us, it helps to at least understand the importance of programming, if not how to actually do it. Whatever level you're interested in achieving, we have programming articles to cover the background of the field as well as the details of how to gain the skill yourself.
Origins of Programming
Programming is not limited to computers; in fact, it didn't originally start with them. Any device is “programmable” if it can automatically complete a specific task. The very first programmable devices were actually musical instruments. They used pegs placed in certain patterns to tell the instruments how to play songs by themselves.
As for computer programming, the first program is considered to be an algorithm from 1843 that allowed a machine to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers. Over the next 150 years or so, programming became more advanced and ubiquitous. In the 1980s, programming languages were improved and adapted for more modern use. And with the rise of the internet in the '90s, additional new languages had the chance to be created and rise in popularity. Changes in the world of computers only continue to happen at breakneck speed, so check out the programming articles here for doses of current events and periodic updates.
Modern Programming and Relevant Articles
Today, programming is the main method of developing software and performing tasks in primarily electronic environments. It not only outputs certain automatic information, as with the musical instruments, but also can take in inputs which determine what they output. Any modern program should be reliable, robust, efficient, easy to use, widely implemented, and well-maintained.
This means making sure it's easy for programmers to write programs that accomplish the task at hand. It also means that as the task changes or encounters problems, the program can adapt to fit the new standard. Because there are so many programs to choose from in this day and age, any program which does not meet these requirements will fall behind and be lost in the abyss.
We have gained thousands of programming languages that tell machines how to carry out their programmed instructions. Each language specializes in certain types of tasks and styles of programming. Picking which one to use is dependent on considerations that range from the goal of the final product to the personal preferences of the programmer.
Similarly, C and C++ are long-standing languages that programmers still use for many high-performance applications and embedded systems. For a more user-friendly language, Python has clear and intuitive syntax while still remaining versatile. The list really goes on (and on, and on). Reading programming articles can help introduce you to the many languages and pick the ones that will be most useful for you.
Most Common Uses
Besides playing musical instruments, programmers frequently apply their skills to developing and testing software, maintaining its source code, and debugging any problems that emerge. Alternatively, programmers can use their skills for hacking. Hacking as a general terms just means overcoming problems with the skill of programming, but can carry some negative connotations regarding nefarious security breaches. You can get an idea of the vast applications for programming by reading the programming articles here. You'll see that the field continues growing more and more every day.
Careers and Helpful Articles
Being fluent in various programming languages and tasks can make you a solid computer programmer with many job opportunities. Alternatively, having a specialty can really help you stand out in a specific niche of the field. And not all programming is software-specific: Computer hardware programmers make physical computer systems and hardware pieces to optimize the programming and development side. Think of them as the architects of computer technology. Another “architect” in the area is the computer network architect, which works on the conceptual work behind implementing data communication networks.
Whatever type of programming interests you, a career in the field is likely to pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates consistent growth of jobs in the field, with a median salary of over $80,000. Even the lowest 10 percent still earned over $45,000, and the highest 10 percent over $130,000. Check out the programming articles in this category to see some of the best options available.
Programming Articles on Developments and Advancements
Everything technology is constantly changing at a breakneck pace. Moore's Law, for example, is based on the observation that the density of integrated circuits doubles every two years. With the decrease in physical size comes increased computing power and speed. This makes computers capable of taking on more tasks via programming.
Thus, part of the job of programmers will be providing the appropriate level of programming for the given platform. They will be focusing more on video on the web and see an increase in console development over PC's. Data security and data analysis are of course gaining more and more traction as well. Programming is also reaching a level where humans aren't the only programmers; now, humans have the help of machine learning algorithms that are close to doing most of the heavy lifting themselves.
If that wasn't enough, even more is in store for the field. These days there is plenty of talk about fully autonomous cars, net neutrality, data security breaches, space exploration, cloud computing, and more. Some people even suspect that humans will soon merge our minds with the cloud itself. Maybe you're one of them, in which case you've got some work to do! This category will be here for you and whatever information you need along the way.
These days, everyone and their dog seems to be able to program. Even little kids are learning the basics of programming in elementary school, which just seems unfair to those of us who weren’t given such early introductions. But, if anything, this just shows that anyone can do it. If you put your mind to it and use the programming books found in this category, you can reach whatever level you’re aiming for.
Speaking to Machines
Computer programming is a method of telling computers how to do certain tasks through the use of programs. Originally, a computer was anything that computed: from people to wooden machines that could play pre-written songs. Now, they're complex machines with equally complex instructions that give the advanced results we have come to expect. These instructions are programs written to tell the computer what it needs to do and how to do it. In this category of programming books on Direct Knowledge, you can learn everything from the basics of programming to tips for helping those already in the field reach new heights.
Programming Books to Start Off With
When finding the programming book that's right for you, keep in mind that lower-level languages focus more on the machine and providing faster execution. Higher-level languages take longer to execute, but they're easier to use. If you're new, you'll probably want to start off with a high-level language such as Python or Java. In any given programming language, you'll start off learning basic structures and “grammar.” Then, you'll move on to learning how to tell computers to do complex tasks.
Getting Technical (And Practical)
The more complex tasks in programming involve analysis and making algorithms, all of which can be logic- and math-heavy. Thus, having strong skills in these areas can be a great edge in the field. Some programming books in this category do cover the math and logic behind programs. But reading up on math itself could also be a good idea to get ahead in the game.
Besides writing the programs themselves, programming also consists of working to improve them. Often times, they can have some problems that cause them to run poorly, thus needing “debugging”. There is also maintenance of the original code to keep up with updates and changes in technology.
Computer science books such as The Missing Link: An Introduction to Web Development and Programming really focus on all these practical aspects. It guides beginners from concept to completion covering everything from the history of digital trends to fundamentals of development. Through it you'll be able to follow clear steps for practicing web development and solving a range of programming problems.
You'll need to be good at working on code at all stages in order to be a skilled programmer in high demand. You can also increase your demand in the field by learning many languages. The more you know, the more useful you'll be. So take a look at the selection of programming books here to see where you can improve.