Is coding complicated?

Published Oct 26, 2017

I think there might be some fear out that there the coding is super complicated. When words like "polymorphism" and "recursion" start getting thrown around like they're the greatest thing since apple pie it can sound intimidating. But for a first time coder I see that almost everything breaks down into simplistic bits. Those bits generally fall into one of the following areas:

  1. Variables. These just stored data. Sometimes the data is complicated, sometimes its not. But in the end its data. Data can be manipulated... which leads us to #2.
  2. Functions. Functions manipulate the data stored in a variable. A super simple function might be "add". When you use the "add" function on a variable that has a number stored in it you can increment that variable. So add(variable,3) would take your variable and add 3 to it.
  3. Loops. Loops can be seemingly simple or overly complex. It depends on how they are setup. A loop is used to repeat an action repeatedly. Maybe you are repeating an add function on a variable (see where this is going?). So lets say you have want to add 1 to a variable 10 times, it's just loop 1...10 add(variable,1). Easy.
  4. If/else. These just control the way your program flows. Put inside of a loop you might execute a function for one scenario and a different function for another.
  5. Subroutines. Subroutines/procedures/objects... all they are is a mini program. In general a subroutine is specialized, it probably contains a couple of variables, maybe a function or two, and probably a loop.
  6. Lastly you'll have your overall program. This will usually consist of a main or a beginning area that will probably setup some variables, then execute a loop and that loop will call subroutines multiples times.

Everything builds on one another but when you drill down it becomes manipulating some piece of data. Somebody like me who's a "back end" developer is usually manipulating database data. But somebody who's a "front end" developer may be manipulating some text on a web page so it looks presentable.

Hope this helps somebody.

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