Programming is something that can allow you to turn little letters and numbers into a piece of software. While this seems like a strange idea, the very fact that you’re on a computer right now is the result of someone who knew how to program. If you’re interested in learning how to do software programming or you want to simply learn what a programmer does, it can help to follow three simple rules. (Oh, and don’t go outside for a while. That will give you a better understanding of what a programmer’s life is like.)
Learn Programming Rules First
First, you need to learn the language of programming before you can use programming in your life and your work. There are a number of programming languages that are used by programmers today, including:
- Visual Basic
- C++ – 54%
- Unix Shell Scripts
You can pick up books on these programming languages or you can take courses to help you master these programming styles. Each will help you to create a specific kind of program, so learning as many as possible is a good idea.
Run Tests Frequently
Once you write a computer program, it’s a good idea to test it as often as you can. This will help you learn whether the program is working or whether is needs to be adjusted. You can run these tests before and after major changes to see if what you did broke the program or made it work the way you want it to. If you don’t run tests frequently:
- You won’t be able to find mistakes – You might run a test three hours into programming and then have no idea where you made the mistake.
- You will have to start over – Yes, when you completely forget to test your program, you might get to the end, run it, and then find out the whole thing is wrong. A nightmare.
- Someone else will find your mistakes – When writing a program for someone else, you might find that you are told to correct the program, though you have no idea where to look for the mistakes.
Think Like a User
When writing any software program, it’s a good idea to think like the user that is going to be working with the program. What do they want? What do they need? In doing this, you will be able to create a program that is user-friendly or at least useful to the user. Think about what you would want from this program and then make sure those features are included. Take a look at popular software like the xvid media player and take note of what make them good. It can help to start by making a list of all of the features the program needs to include.
Programming is much more complicated, to be sure, but the more you can focus your thoughts on learning the languages, testing your program, and thinking like a user, the fewer mistakes you will have.