What is Programming?

What it is and how it works

What in the World is This?

Programming is basically telling a computer what to do. In programming, there are "ingredients" called variables. A list of directions, or statements, tell the computer what to do with the variables. These components make up a program.
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Why do I have to Type so Much?

Computers are made of lots of little electronic switches, which are either on or off. Different combinations do different things. If you were to type using the computer's "programming language", you would type a 1 for on and a 0 for off, for every last switch that the computer is made of. But that would take forever. So people came up with programming languages that, using something called a translator, change what you actually type into the "101" computer language. Here's where I pulled out the information. Click the following link:
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It's not "Pearl", People!

There is a programming language (they are explained in the text above the link) that is used within another translator-type thing, called Perl. In it, each program you use Perl in, you must type the first line as follows:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl

This line tells the computer to run the file through Perl. Then, each line of command has to end in a semicolon. And, you can add lines of comment, that must start with the "#" sign.

Why Won't my Computer Do This?

The dealeo is, if your program doesn't say "do this", then your computer won't do it. That means that you have to tell it to do the following: get input (that's a fancy word for "whatever your program gives the computer"), do something with it, and present the result (the fancy name is output) in some way, that usually meaning to screen (that means the computer shows something on the screen or makes a sound) or to print (that means that the computer prints out something).