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Updated: November 20, 2023, Reading time: 4 minutes

Computer science has become a popular topic for kids and adults alike to learn about, since computers are so prevalent in our lives. However, for those who are just getting started in computer programming, there are so many foreign-sounding words and phrases that it can be intimidating. A good first step is to acquaint yourself with some of the most common and important terms used in the field and what they mean.

GSC_Programming and Coding - fact 1

Accessibility: Taking the varying abilities of all users into account while designing products, devices, and services

Binary: Representing information while using only two options, usually 1 and 0

Byte: A common unit of digital data

Code: Instructions created by a programmer that is used to tell a computer what to do

Command: A section of code that tells the computer to do one thing

Data: Information

DNS: The Domain Name System, which translates URLs to IP addresses

Function: A piece of code that accomplishes a specific task. Once it is written, it can be used over and over again.

Input: The way a computer receives information

IP Address: A number assigned to every device that is connected to the Internet

Output: The information that comes out of a computer when a program is run

Pixel: The smallest units of a digital image, pixels are typically tiny squares or dots that contain a single color to make up a larger image.

Program: An algorithm that has been coded by a programmer into something that can be run by a device

Programming: Coding or creating a program

URL: A Uniform Resource Locator, an easy-to-remember name you can use to find a specific Web page

Once you have a basic understanding of the common words in coding and programming, gaining more knowledge in computer science is simple. There many different kinds of programming languages, but there are also activities and educational resources to help you learn about each and every one of them.

You’ll be able to find your niche and eventually create something with a programming language that you may have once thought was impossible.

Web Languages

Web programming languages focus on the writing, markup, and coding necessary to develop a website. HTML, XML, and JavaScript are three of the most common languages used to create websites. HTML is not technically a programming language; it’s actually a markup language, and its job is to organize the contents of a page and determine how the page looks.

JavaScript provides the interactivity necessary for users. XML is similar to HTML in that it’s a markup language, but it’s designed to carry data and focus on what the data is, while HTML focuses on how it looks. These different languages work together in harmony to create user-friendly websites.

Software Languages

Software languages are artificial languages used to develop software systems. Unlike Web languages, which are focused on creating a user-friendly website, software languages are specifically created for the process of designing and writing code for computer operating systems, apps, and other devices. C++, Java, and Python are three of the most essential languages for programming.

Java is an all-purpose language that can work on multiple different platforms, especially in Web development and smartphone application development. Python is a high-level programming language for app development. Python may not run as fast as Java programs, but algorithms in Python are shorter. C++ is an object-oriented language for high- and low-level functions.

It’s not too difficult to learn and works on all types of operating systems to develop software, extract data from large data sets, and display video game graphics.

K-12 Games

Anybody can learn how to code, even kids. It’s beneficial to teach kids at a young age how to code because it prepares them for a potential future career and helps them develop communication skills, creativity, and a better understanding of the technology around them.

Using online games and activities can be a great way for kids to get interested in coding in a way that is fun and entertaining for everybody involved.

Adult Hands-On Learning

Kids aren’t the only ones who can play coding games to hone their programming skills. There are also plenty of more advanced games out there aimed toward adults to help with acquiring and practicing coding skills.


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