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Foundation of Computer Languages

Video Description

The way that programmers control a program is through language. This course is on the basics of how language relates to computer processing. We will cover:
  • Language Basics. So how does code get written? There are many styles, but the following is an approximation of how programmers produce code: 1) Determine input, output, and algorithms, 2) Enter code on keyboard, 3) Desk check code, 4) Compile code into an executable format, 5) Unit test code with simple input and output, 6) Integrate test with other modules, and 7) Analyze results and see what changes need to be made. After you analyze the results you can go back and make corrections wherever needed. Code exists in two separate forms: source code and executable code. The compiler takes the source code and converts it into an executable code.
  • Language Constructs. Each computer language is different. Some things are typical of every computer language some of the common constructs, including language constructs, assignment statements, if-then-else statements, do until/while loops, and call procedures.
  • Language Conundrums. There are many ways to create faulty coding. Some of the more obvious ways that are discussed in this segment include the infinite loop, deadly embrace, buffering read statement, and locking large amounts of data without periodically releasing some or all of the data.
  • Language Debugging. We cover the steps in language debugging including identifying the error, finding the line of code the error occurred in, locating the data the system was working on at the moment of error, repeating the error to verify what is happening, isolating the data and the code that caused the error, inserting special messages showing what variables had what value, making sure you can see what has been executing, and enlisting the aid of an experienced person.
  • Language Dynamics of Execution. Most programmers look at the code from the standpoint of purity of logic, such as “Does the code do what it is supposed to do?” This segment covers dynamics of execution as well as the different performance dynamics associated with each line of code.
  • Language Example. We cover the basic logic in a typical computer language. We start with the first activity of accessing a record and finding values, then inserting and deleting records.
  • Language History. Computer languages have been around a short time but have an interesting past with an evolutionary impact on other languages. This segment covers from the beginning where there was a computer, and in order to make the computer do anything useful it was necessary to program the computer in machine language. We cover the first forms of input, which were punch cards, paper tape, and wire boards. Then move on to assembler, ForTran (FORmula TRANslation), COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language), PL1 (Programming Language 1 by IBM), SQL (Structured Query Language), and FOCUS (a fourth generation language by IBI). We also cover some of the modern languages including C, C++,, and Java.
  • Language Management. A different level of skill is required to manage code than is needed to write code. This segment covers language management, including the two types of code: source code and executable code.