Schools Training

A Quick Take on Computer Programming

9 APR 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology

Learning a programming language is actually very similar to learning other languages. From BASIC to PERL, various programming languages are adept for different purposes. HTML, incidentally, is not a programming language. In IT and Computer College, the term “coding” is usually used interchangeably to the act of programming. This is because all programming involves is creating instructions that a computer can read to determine its behaviour.


There are many ways to learn to program. Computer courses are offered as early as middle school, and options like Visual Basic allow for an early introduction in a GUI (graphical user interface) system. There are also software packages for recreational game building that let the user create games through a simplified interface. Many people are quite taken with programming as a means of creative self-expression and will voluntarily spend hours of their own time learning to code and creating their own projects.


While, as mentioned, HTML, CSS or other languages that determine the appearance of what is displayed in a browser are not programming languages, these days the web has integrated enough executable programs that web design courses will usually introduce users to some easy programming to get their feet wet in the subject manner. Some languages are better suited to certain operations, for example running a call centre server versus guiding industrial machinery in a factory.


The earliest programming was done via things like punch cards. The mechanics of a computer mean that in simplified terms, it is a box full of switches, with patterns of off and on (0 and 1, or binary code) being used to represent various concepts like numbers. A very simple computer with about the computational power to play ticktacktoe can be built out of building toys. Since binary and hexadecimal (another code, useful for things like representing exact colours) are far too complicated for the average programmer, programming languages are an interface that runs over top of that. And because most people don’t want to manually type out all the instructions every time they want to execute a command, operating systems do the heavy lifting.


People who did well in math are a good fit for a computer college program, since computer courses require typical analytic talents, but if you have a knack for the grammar side of language acquisition, you also have one of the skills that may be helpful. The latest trends on computer use have definitely got to be the blurring between browser and operating system.


With computers connected at all times to the internet, people are increasingly, from a user side, relying on a browser bases program for everything from word processing to email. This has led to an explosion in web design courses.

Visit Oulton College for more information on computer courses.