Programming is Easy

Learning how to program is just learning how to give clear instructions. Here's a program:

Run around outside with your pants on your head until I tell you to stop.

Here's another program:

Whenever I tell you to do something, think about whether it's a good idea, and then do it.

It's easy once you get the hang of it. In case you hadn't noticed: a program is just instructions!

The tricky thing about instructing a computer is that there are arbitrary rules you have to follow. For example, maybe you have to use really short sentences:

Put pants on head. Go outside. Run around. Continue until I say.

Maybe you aren't allowed to use words like ‘it’:

X is something for you to do. When I give you an X, think about whether X is a good idea and then do X.

Sometimes people make a bunch of those rules, put them together, and call it a Programming Language. Here are the rules for a language you'll be able to try later:

You can edit the program below to try this language out:

In plain English, there are a lot of ways for you to tell someone how to draw a few rows of circles. In the Circle Language, there are far fewer, but they can be just as fun.

Rules Change!

There are many Programming Languages! This next one lets you use the word ‘square’, but now ‘circle’ won’t work:

Programming Languages do unexpected things when you don't follow the rules. If you use the wrong words in the Circle or Square languages, you get the wrong shapes entirely!

You might want a language that lets you make both circles and squares. Sorry, you'll have to make it yourself one day.

To be continued

For now, you'll have to search the web for more information about programming. I haven't written the rest of this page yet.