What is Programming?

What is programming? Let’s answer that questions by looking at how a computer is different from a toaster.

Basically, we can sum up the concept of programming by looking at a simple machine, the toaster. The mighty toaster does one thing very well: it heats up bread. At the end of the day, however, that one function (heating bread) is pretty much all a toaster can do.

The computer, on the other hand, is a much more complex machine and can do almost anything that we can tell it to do — the key here being, we have to tell it what to do in a way that it understands what we want. This is where programs comes in!

Programs are how we can communicate to computers what functions we want to be carried out. Programs are written in many programming languages, including Python, Java, Ruby, etc., and give the computer a precise sequence of steps to carry out. We can execute billions of these steps in one second.

In Intro to Computer Science, you’ll learn how to write programs in the programming language Python. You’ll learn by doing, which means that as you learn fundamental computer science concepts, you will practice them by programming your own web crawler as you move through the course. You’ll also program a social network as your final project!

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