Thursday, June 12, 2008


Computer programming is about writing codes or commands that is understood by the computer for it to perform a certain task. It is about a place or situation where the absence of a single curly bracket or a presence of a semicolon can destroy everything you are trying to do.

To some of us, high-level programming can be like mathematics or music, whereby it brings order and harmony out of chaos. There is a fundamental sense in which everything is clearly identified as right or wrong – positive or negative, yes or no, pro or con. A musical note is either in tune or it is not. A solution is either correct for an equation or it is wrong. There is no room for in-betweens

What about a computer program – well, it may fails to work. But with some debugging or “meddling” here and there, eventually some will work right, and when they do there is an extraordinary great feeling of achievements and satisfactions by the programmer concerned.

In this way, programming is more like physics than pure mathematics, because if you apply the right logical or mathematical formula to your input, what comes out is not merely satisfying on its own terms but appears to rule the world as well.

The worst of it is that even this kind of programming has a corrupting fascination, like a videogame you can’t give up. There is always the hope that one more round of changes (or debugging) will take you through to the next level. And this brings pleasure to the programmers concerned.

The difference between a sentence of computer codes that works and one that doesn’t can be quite as large and important as the difference between a computer program that works and one which causes a satellite to crash for want of a semicolon ! Ever heard of infinite looping ?

Now, who says computer programming is easy …

1 comment:

Muhammad Maharoff said...

Refer to ur sentences:
"which causes a satellite to crash for want of a semicolon". Do you really mean the word "WANT" in the sentences or "ONE"?