An Introduction to Computer Programming

Computer programming has grown in complexity and dimension to the point that there is probably no single person who can claim expertise in all of its areas. Those areas are principally defined by computer languages: the PC world has become a virtual United Nations of programming languages. Many are similar, some stand alone, but all of them together present an enormous amount of knowledge. Some of the more popular computer languages include C++; Visual Basic; COBOL; Perl; SQL; XML and Java. This is a small sampling and there are variations on some of these in use as well, such as Visual Basic.net and JavaScript.

So very quickly one can get lost in the assortment of programming tools that is used to create applications. However the concept of programming, the basics of assembling an application maintains continuity throughout this assortment of options. Because you are programming on a Microsoft platform or a UNIX platform, some basic standards are always in play. At this introductory level, computer programming can be clearly explained and taught. Once you grasp the basics, it becomes a matter of utilizing different tools in the same work space.

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Introductory programming is taught at virtually every institution of higher learning in this country. However there is no better place to pursue an understanding of programming than online, on the instrument for which programming is created: your computer. There are a number of tutorial sites on the internet that provide instruction from individuals versed in one language or another.

Despite the free advice, the best way to learn computer programming online is through an online college, where professional teachers develop courses that are clearly presented. Learning programming through an accredited institution will also get you a certificate of proficiency or a degree in computer programming, which will be critical for a job search.

Finding the computer programming classes you want may be an exercise in semantics. Some people in the field view the term “computer engineering” as including the programming profession. For example, Colorado Technical University has an online master’s degree program in computer engineering that lists these areas of focus: advanced software development; testing evaluation; database management; and software engineering. A case can be made that this degree is really about computer programming. Some in the industry maintain, however, that computer engineering is the science of designing software, and that programming is the task of writing the computer code to make the program work.

An Introduction to Computer Programming

In either case, you don’t need a master’s degree to get into programming. Kaplan University has online programs for an associate’s degree in programming as well as a bachelor’s degree in programming. If you have college credits to transfer, obtaining these degrees might be possible in thirteen to eighteen months for the associate degree, and two to three years for the bachelor’s. Even without previous college experience, online degrees can be achieved more quickly than at traditional universities. Kaplan also offers a certification program entitled Introduction to Computer Programming, which can be completed in a matter of months.

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You can begin your computer programming education at any level. It all adds up and, in this field, experience is often just as important to prospective employers as formal education. Breaking into the industry with an associate’s degree so that you can obtain on-the-job training is a great way to begin a programming career.