We live in a technologically advanced age where self-driving cars, laptops, smartphones, and other smart home appliances are all around us. At the heart of all these technological marvels is a mysterious world that most of us find too complex to comprehend – the world of programming. It’s akin to an arcane language, understood only by a select few who we call programmers. These individuals, armed with their knowledge of coding, have the power to create, innovate, and shape the future.
Coding or programming is the backbone of all the applications and platforms we use in our daily lives. But how does it work? How does a series of typed commands transform into dynamic websites, intelligent algorithms, or interactive mobile apps? While these questions might seem daunting to the uninitiated, they are the bread and butter of computer programmers.
In this blog, we will delve deep into the captivating world of programming. We will unravel its mysteries and share some intriguing, if not mind-boggling, facts about computer programming. So, whether you’re a seasoned programmer, an aspiring coder, or someone simply curious about how technology works, read on. Prepare to be amazed as we decode the realm of programming!
14 Intriguing Facts About Programming and Coding
Programming Has 700 Unique Languages
Swift, on the other hand, is Apple’s preferred language for iOS application development, known for its speed and safety. Python, another popular language, is prized for its simplicity and readability, making it a favorite in fields like data analysis and machine learning. This linguistic diversity allows developers to choose the most appropriate language for their specific projects.
There are Languages That Coders Hate
Despite the wide range of programming languages available, Perl, Delphi, and VBA often find themselves less favored among programmers. The reasons for this disfavor could be manifold.
Perl, for instance, although powerful, is often criticized for its complex syntax. Delphi, while once popular for Windows GUI applications, has seen a decline as developers move towards more modern languages. VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), while useful within Microsoft Office applications, is seen as outdated for more complex programming tasks. These languages highlight the rapid evolution in programming trends and preferences.
There are More Coders Hired Outside the Tech Industry
Coding has broken free from the shackles of the tech industry and made its way into various sectors. Today, about 70% of coding jobs are found outside the tech industry. Industries such as finance, healthcare, entertainment, and education have begun to recognize the power of programming in optimizing operations, improving service delivery, and driving innovation. This cross-industry presence of coding underscores its versatility and universal applicability.
The World’s First Computer Programmer is a Woman
The foundations of programming were laid by a woman named Ada Lovelace in the 19th century. Working with Charles Babbage on his mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine, Lovelace wrote the first algorithm intended for machine processing. Her contribution marked the birth of programming, and she is celebrated as the world’s first computer programmer.
A Coder Helped End World War II
The strategic importance of programming was highlighted during World War II when British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing decoded the Nazi’s Enigma machine. His groundbreaking work, which involved creating a machine to automate the decryption process, significantly contributed to the Allies’ victory. Turing’s achievements underscore the transformative power of programming and its potential to shape world events.
Computer Viruses Were Made By Accident
The world witnessed its first computer virus, dubbed “Brain“, in 1986. Created by two brothers in Pakistan, the virus was not designed with harmful intent but as a means to protect their medical software from piracy. This event marked the beginning of a new era where programming could be used for both constructive and destructive purposes.
Coders Have High-Level Languages
In the 1950s, programming took a significant leap forward with the creation of FORTRAN (Formula Translation), the first high-level programming language. Developed by a team led by John Backus at IBM, FORTRAN was designed to simplify the programming process, making it more accessible and efficient. This pioneering language revolutionized the field of programming and set the stage for the development of many modern languages.
Video Games Helped Pave The Way for the Creation of iOS
It’s fascinating to note that many tech giants, including the likes of Apple’s co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, were fervent video game enthusiasts during their formative years. This early exposure to technology, coupled with their passion for gaming, served as a crucial stepping stone into the world of programming and tech entrepreneurship. Their journey underscores how hobbies can ignite curiosity and pave the way for groundbreaking innovations.
For Programmers, Not All Hackers are Bad
In the cyber world, hackers are as diverse as the tasks they undertake. They can be categorized into three types based on their intentions and actions: Black hats (malicious hackers who exploit security vulnerabilities for personal gain), White hats (ethical hackers who use their skills to improve system security), and Grey hats (those who operate in-between, sometimes breaching systems without permission but revealing the vulnerabilities to the parties involved). Each type plays a unique role in shaping the landscape of cybersecurity.
Computer Programming Was a Woman Job
Traditionally, computer programming was perceived as “women’s work.” In the early 1940s, the field was predominantly female. Over time, stereotypes about the field shifted, and computer programming came to be seen as a job better suited for men than women. As late as the 1960s, many people still considered computer programming as a natural career choice for savvy young women.
The First-Ever Computer Game Created by Programmers was a Flop
The first-ever computer game, “Spacewar“, was a groundbreaker in its time, yet it didn’t generate any profit for its creators. Despite this, it played a monumental role in setting the stage for the thriving gaming industry we witness today. It’s a testament to how pioneering efforts, even those that don’t reap immediate financial rewards, can trigger industry-wide transformations.
NASA Still Uses a Vintage Code from the 1970s
NASA is known to continue using code from the 1970s in their spacecraft. The reason behind this seemingly surprising decision is the need for highly reliable and rigorously tested software for space missions. Updating the code could introduce potential errors and result in escalated costs. This practice underscores the importance of dependability over novelty in critical applications.
The Word ‘Bug’ was Coined From a Literal Insect Trapped Inside a Computer
The term “bug” in programming has an intriguing origin story. It was coined when a literal moth got trapped in a relay of a Mark II computer, causing the machine to malfunction. This incident led to the term “debugging”, which now refers to the process of identifying and rectifying errors in code. It’s a remarkable example of how real-world incidents can shape technical jargon.
The Space Shuttle is Made Up of Less Codes Than Your Smartphone
Despite being one of the most complex engineering marvels, the Space Shuttle operates on less code than many modern gadgets. This highlights the principle of ‘less is more’ in programming, where simpler code not only makes the system easier to understand and manage but also reduces potential points of failure, thereby enhancing reliability.
The Fascinating World of Programming and Coding
There you have it—a journey through 14 riveting facts that shed light on the captivating universe of programming and coding. As we continue to forge ahead in this era of technological advancement, the future is sure to reveal even more fascinating aspects of this dynamic field. So keep your spirit of curiosity alive, and continue delving into the boundless potential that the digital realm has to offer.