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What Is Programming?

by Simon Allardice

This is an accessible, language-agnostic course on the fundamentals of programming. Learn how to get started programming - in any language.

What you'll learn

If you want to begin programming, start here. In this fast-paced and entertaining course, What Is Programming, you'll learn the fundamentals, the essential ideas, and the concepts for success in any programming language. First, you'll learn how to write a computer program and learn how to get the computer to understand it. Next, you'll learn all about the syntax - or rules of programming languages. Finally, you'll explore how to make real-world programming easier, from libraries to frames, to SDKs and APIs. By the end of this course, you will not only be on your way to becoming a software developer, but will also have learned how to work with them, manage them, or live with one.

Course FAQ

What is programming?

Basically programming is writing instructions that tell a computer what to do and how to do it. There are several languages that can be used for programming, such as JavaScript, C, and Python, each with their own specific set of rules, but also following many universal programming principles.

What is programming used for?

Programming can be used for an almost endless list of things, but ultimately it helps automate tasks and perform them quickly, effectively, and accurately. Programming languages are used to develop softwares, websites, applications, and so much more.

What will I learn in this course?

In this programming basics course you will learn about:

  • What code is and how it is structured
  • How to get a computer to understand you
  • The rules of programming languages
    • Syntax, case sensitivity, whitespace, commenting, keywords, etc.
  • Working with data
  • Managing program flow
  • Making things modular
  • Programming in the real world
  • Much more
Who is this course for?

This course is for absolute beginners to the world of programming! If you've never written a line of code in your life, this is the place to start. Also for those who just want to review the basics of programming.

Are there prerequisites to this course?

Absolutely not! This course assumes zero prior knowledge of or exposure to computer programming. Start learning basic computer programming here!

About the author

Simon is Creative Director and Principal Author at Pluralsight. With over three decades of software development experience, he's programmed in every discipline: from finance to transportation, nuclear reactors to game development. Prior to joining Pluralsight, Simon was the principal developer author at His first video course released back in 2002: since then, his popular courses have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of developers. His current focus is both on the new — the latest... more

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