A computer program is a series of organised instructions that directs a computer to perform tasks. Without programs, computers are useless.
A program is like a recipe. It contains a list of variables (called ingredients) and a list of statements (called directions) that tell the computer what to do with the variables.
Programming is a creation of a set of commands or instructions which directs a computer in carrying out a task.
Later these commands or instructions will be compiled and/or interpreted and then transformed to executable instructions that a computer or electronic device can execute or run.
A programming language is a set of words, symbols and codes that enables humans to communicate with computers.
It is a language used for writing computer programs, that direct a computer to perform computation and to organise the flow of control between mechanical devices.
EXAMPLES PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE
Hundreds of programming languages exist today. Each language has its own standard or rules for writing the commands and/or instructions.
Examples of programming languages are:
BASIC (Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)
Program Development Phases
The five main phases of program development are as follows:
1. PROBLEM ANALYSIS PHASE
During the problem analysis phase, the programmer will interview the client to find out what the client’s needs are.
For example, the client might be a school that wishes to set up a school registration program. So the school administrator might tell the programmer that they need to record students’ data such as name, date of birth, gender, class, parents’ names, address and contact numbers.
2. PROGRAM DESIGN PHASE
Based on that, the programmer will design a flow chart that represents the needs of the client, which in this case is the school registration program.
3. CODING PHASE
Once the flow chart is confirmed, the programmer will perform coding.
4. TESTING AND DEBUGGING PHASE
The school registration program will be tested by the users at the client’s site. In this case, it will be the school office administrators. If there are any errors, the programmer will do a debugging of the program.
5. DOCUMENTATION PHASE
After this, the programmer will complete the documentation for the program; this includes the user manual, a clear layout of the input and output records and a program listing.