Computer programs are the instructions that guide a computer to accomplish a particular task. For example, a program may tell a computer to read temperature sensors and display the results on the screen. A simple program can be as straightforward as adding two numbers. But a complex program might take players on a multi-layered journey in a video game.
Programming involves creating and implementing algorithms, generating new code, and testing and debugging the result. Depending on the type of program, a computer program can be interactive, batch, or portable. Depending on the platform, a program can be written in a language that is compiled for the target hardware.
Object-oriented programming refers to a compiled language that allows the program to be abstracted to a certain extent. This also allows the programmer to write richer programs that are more customizable. Many compiled languages support a mechanism for calling shared libraries. These libraries can be useful for incorporating the latest Apple technologies into the program.
In the early days, programs were entered through a punched card. Today, programs are entered through a text editor. Usually, a language translator is used to convert a program into machine language. Once the language is compiled, the programmer can then specify calculations.
During the process of debugging a program, the programmer will run through the code several times to identify any errors. If a bug is detected, the programmer will fix the error. The bug may be a syntax error, a logic error, or a runtime error. It is important to fix all of the errors before the program runs.
Post-mortem debugging can be done by analyzing the memory dump of a program, examining the output, or tracing the program to discover its behavior. A stand-alone debugger usually uses the command line. Some text editors allow the invoking of GDB.
Maintainability, on the other hand, is the ability of a program to adapt to changing environments. This includes the ease with which a program can be modified or upgraded, as well as fixing security holes. Also, robustness relates to the strength of a program to withstand a wide variety of errors. Examples include user error, incorrect data, and unexpected power outages.
Programs are typically stored in the storage area of a computer. They are organized into groups that indicate the logic of the program and how the program should be executed. Often, these groups are called classes. Classifying a program into one of these classes can help to avoid mistakes in the future.
Developing a program is a lengthy and complex process. To be able to complete it successfully, a program needs to be designed and tested properly. Various standards are in place for pseudocode, flowcharts, and other tools to be used by programmers. Most companies also have their own documentation standards for programmers.
There are dozens of professional certifications available for computer programmers. However, most positions require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. As such, it’s important to choose the right type of programmer for your needs.