What is Computer Programming For Kids?

Computer programming is the act of writing and sending specific instructions to a computer to execute and perform specific tasks. These instructions are written in a specific language that the computer can understand. This is called coding or programming. 

Computer programming is communicating and thinking like a computer and sending the instruction to the computer to solve lengthy and repetitive tasks quickly. The person who writes the code/instruction for the computer is called a programmer. People also use different terminology for a programmer which includes coder, software developer, and developer. 

As children are growing in the fast-changing technology world nowadays. It is beneficial for them to get introduced to digital literacy at an early age. Some schools have started teaching digital literacy from grade 1. Many after-school programs offer coding and computer programming for kids programs either in person classes or online classes.

Let’s talk about programming in general and look at what components are involved in programming and how does a programming language communicates to a computer? What is a computer programming language?

Computer Hardware vs. Computer Software 

There are two different sides to our devices and computers. Like we have computers, phones, or tablets as hardware and then we install apps on them. 

Hardware is a physical component and there are many different hardware parts in a device. All the components accept inputs, process that input, and send outputs. A device/computer will have the following components. 

  • Motherboard which has A central processing unit (CPU).
  • Random-access memory (RAM) for short-term storage.
  • A hard drive for long-term storage.
  • A screen.

Software/Program is the electronic instructions that tell the hardware what to do. Some types of software include:

  • OS – Operating systems. This is the foundation for device interaction.
  • Word processors like Microsoft Word.
  • Spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel.
  • Web browsers like Google Chrome etc.

What is software or a computer program?

A program is writing a set of instructions for a computer to do certain tasks. When you send the instruction to a computer then it is compiled in a format that the computer understands and then it is run by a user. 

How does a program run on hardware?

Now we know that each computer has a central processing unit (CPU). It runs each instruction in the program line by line. The function of the CPU is to retrieves and save information, manipulate and calculate data and display information on the screen, etc.

Essential Parts of a computer program

The most basic program will do one or more of the following tasks:

Input – It will accept an input from a keyboard, mouse, or any other device which is capable of sending input like a sensor, etc. to a computer.

Processing – It includes performing logical and mathematical calculations.

Output – it includes display information on the screen, Saves data on the file or prints a document, etc.

What is a programming language?

Computers have a different language that they understand. When we write the program in a language which computer can understand then it performs task based on giving instructions. The language which we use to write is the code is called programming language. There are a ton of different computer languages available and each of them has their pro and cons. Some of the most popular languages are Python, Java, C#, etc.

Each programming language has a different syntax however once you learn a first programming language then learning others will be easier as they share many similar ideas.

Most of the programming language let you write instruction in a way that is readable and understandable by human and once we run our program in these languages then computer compiles the program on the background and provide output. 

Finally, learning computer programming at an early age improves logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Children start learning coding with tools that are easy and age-specific. They have fun learning to program as they can see the output right away and trouble shoot the program if there is an error.