Top Programming Terms and Definitions for Kids

Remember how we were taught Alphabets before moving to words? What was its importance? Why can't we learn words directly without understanding alphabets? The answer to every question is basics, Without basics, you can move forward and learn a new thing but it will be not effective as knowledge becomes deeper when we give value to basics. Try to understand it like this; you are learning Multiplication in Maths but what if you don't know how to add two or more numbers? Then while learning multiplication you will face problem will take time as you didn't understand the basics clearly. Similarly, In programming, if you know and understand some basic terms it helps you in building your programming knowledge. So here are we for your rescue we will discuss some basic programming terms that could help one to make their basics stronger.

Algorithm

In simple language, we can say the algorithm is a set of instructions to solve a definite problem. whether it's how to make pizza or traveling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, we can write an algorithm for anything. It can be understood by taking an example- Algorithm for making pizza will be;

  1. Take the pizza base.
  2. Spread the cheese and add all the vegetables evenly.
  3. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Ready to eat!! Enjoy.

Thus it defines step-by-step how a work is to be executed to get the expected results. Also, algorithms designed are language-independent which means they are just plain instructions that can be executed in any language and results will always be the same. Different languages have different syntax but it doesn't change the main logic of the program.

Argument

An argument is referred to as the input provided in the functions. For example, you have created a function find_square which calculates the square of a number. When you pass an argument or input in this the variable takes the input and applies the function's calculation to this input and returns a solution.

If we pass 4 as an argument in the function find_square(4), we will get the answer as 16, and similarly, when we pass 6 as an argument we get 36 as an answer.

ASCII

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interexchange. Formally it is defined as a standard that assigns letters, numbers, and other characters different slots, available in the 8-bit code. The total number of slots available is 256. The ASCII decimal number is created from binary, which is considered the language of computers. Each character and number has a particular ASCII decimal number assigned like the lowercase "h" character (Char) has a decimal value of 104, which is "01101000" in binary, and the uppercase "A" has a decimal value of 065, which is "01000001" in binary.

In simple language, ASCII provides the codes of letters, numbers, and different characters a binary number whose length is predefined as 8 bit(length of number or code is 8) which is understandable by machines thus helping us in changing our code to machine understandable code for proper functioning.

Source Code

In computer programming, source code is any collection of code, with or without comments, written using a human-readable programming language(high-level programming language). The source code is often transformed by an assembler or compiler into machine language that can be executed and understood by the computer.

Programmers can use a text editor, a visual programming tool, or an integrated development environment for creating source code. Any changes in source code could lead to different results thus it is a core and fundamental term used to represent the whole functionality of the program.

Boolean

In computer programming, boolean refers to mainly two values TRUE or FALSE. Many programming languages have boolean as a datatype which means it represents that the variable they are declaring and using can have only two values(True or False). Also, boolean expressions use AND, OR, XOR, NOT, and NOR operators with conditional statements in programming, search engines, algorithms, and formulas. Boolean expressions are also called comparison expressions, conditional expressions, and relational expressions.

Bug

In software programming when expected and actual behavior is not matched usually we say a bug occurred. Thus an unexpected error or defect in hardware or software, which causes malfunction( not proper functioning). It is said to be a programmer's fault where they intended to implement a certain behavior, but the code fails to correctly adhere to this behavior because of incorrect implementation in coding. It is also known as a Defect.

Bugs could lead to bad results thus we need to rectify these bugs and there comes the application of testing which leads to identifying and correcting the various bugs programmers encounter while testing.

Compile

Generally, compile means putting together. You must have heard your teacher say compile the assignments and submit them. And similarly, in programming, some compilers compile the human-readable language(high-level programming language or source code) to Machine-Readable language(Machine language), and these codes are often called executable codes.

Constants

Just like variables, Constants are also used to store values but unlike variables, values in the constants do not change through the execution of programs. Also, a Constant cannot be altered and will remain fixed, and a constant can be a number, character, and string. Understand it with an example, let 'a' be a constant with value 4 and we pass this as a parameter in the function then the value of constant a cannot be changed in this case whereas if it was a variable we could change it.

In different programming languages, we have a different way to declare the constant. Mostly, we use the const keyword for this purpose.

Exception

An exception is an event, which occurs during the execution of a program, that disrupts the normal flow of the program's instructions. Generally, we define an exception as a person or thing that is excluded from a general statement or does not follow a rule. Similarly, In programming, an exception occurs when we want to access a file or any image or anything but it has been deleted then a "File Not Found" exception may occur.

Some kids must be confused between bug and exception but a bug is considered as an error in the code that produces an incorrect result - which may or may not raise an exception. Also, the bug leads to the wrong output but the program doesn't get execute many times if an exception occurs.

Front-end

As the name suggests it represents how a website look. Sometimes, we often call it User Interface. When you visit any websites the look you get is designed by front-end designer and their main motive behind the designing is to make the task simpler for the users. Not only, websites but the Mobile phone we use and various application in it are all easy to use because of Front-end developer.

Front end web developers use three primary coding languages to code the website and web app designs created by web designers:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript

Backend

It is the term used for the behind-the-scenes activities that happen when performing any action on a website. For example; It can be logging in to your account or purchasing a dress from an online shopping site. Everything is made easy for our use and all the complex functionality implementation is named as backend. Thus backend developers are mainly responsible for connecting database to websites and for providing all other functionalities to application .

The most common example of Backend programming is when you are reading this blog on the CuriousJr website. The fonts, colors, designs, images, etc. constitute the frontend of this page. While the content of the article is rendered from a server and fetched from a database. This is the backend part of the application. Similarly, you can guess the front-end and backend parts of the various websites when you visit them.

High-Level language

It is a type of programming language that is designed to simplify computer programming. It is said high-level as many tasks are eliminated from this language and high-level source code contains easy-to-read syntax that is later converted into a low-level language, which can be recognized and run by the computer.

Example of languages that are considered high-level is python, PHP, Java, and javascript.

Low-Level language

It is a type of programming language that contains basic instructions that are understood by computers. Code written in low-level language are not human-readable and are mainly of two types: Assembly language which is considered one level down to high-level language and machine language which is considered lowest level of computer language it contains binary code which are understood by computers.

Markup-language

It is a type of computer language that consists of easily understood keywords and tags, that are used to format the overall view of the page and its contents. It is called so, as it marks up the text. This language has specific predefined tags that provide markup, and styling of the page. The most common markup languages are Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and Extensible Markup Language (XML).

Scripting-language

All the scripting languages are programming language, the main advantage of this language is it need not to be compiled and are further interpreted. It is designed for integrating and communicating with other programming languages. The most common examples of scripting language are Node js and Ruby.

Runtime

It is the time period during which a program is running or executing on a computer. Thus we often call it execution time. For better understanding, we can say it is the time between when the program begins running and until it is closed by the Computer or the user.

Operand

An Operand is a term given to objects which can be manipulated using the various operators. Let us understand this with an example; A+B here A and B are operands, we can also say operands are the variables on which we can use different operators for getting various outputs.

Operator

An operator is a term used to denote the object which can manipulate different operands. In the expression "A*B-C" here ' * ' and ' - 'are operators whereas 'A', 'B', and 'C' are operands. Examples of different operators are + (addition), = (equals), != (not equal) and >= (greater than or equal to).