What is coding?

Back in the early noughties, I taught Computer Architecture and Web Site Administration at Lisburn College (later, SERC). In the latter module was a mix of students. – some from Computing, some from “Business and IT”. When I showed them HTML markup, the latter kicked up a storm. – they had been assured there would be no programming in the course. It was tricky to break the truth to them; HTML markup wasn’t code. But that course would absolutely require them to use code. Not necessarily write code, but be unafraid of it.

Coding is the writing of instructions that makes the computer do as it’s told. In contrast, markup just changes the appearance of content it surrounds.

<strong>This is bold text.</strong>

Compare this with some ‘pseudocode’;

for(int i = 0; i =< 1000; i++)
{
printf (i);
}

The first example, just makes the text within the HTML tags “bold”. The latter example prints out every number from 1 to 1000. Note in the first example, I had to type out the text by hand. In the latter “code” example, the computer will do all the work by printing out the letters.

The former is much more readable to a novice. But when you know a little code, code becomes a lot more readable.

Have you learned anything? Probably not much, but that’s why you should come along to the dojo.

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