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Portal:Computer programming


Introduction

Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program for accomplishing a specific computing task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, generating algorithms, profiling algorithms' accuracy and resource consumption, and the implementation of algorithms in a chosen programming language (commonly referred to as coding). The source code of a program is written in one or more programming languages. The purpose of programming is to find a sequence of instructions that will automate the performance of a task for solving a given problem. The process of programming thus often requires expertise in several different subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, specialized algorithms, and formal logic.

Related tasks include testing, debugging, maintaining a program's source code, implementation of build systems, and management of derived artifacts such as machine code of computer programs. These might be considered part of the programming process, but often the term software development is used for this larger process with the term programming, implementation, or coding reserved for the actual writing of source code. Software engineering combines engineering techniques with software development practices.

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The Antikythera mechanism (/ˌæntɪkɪˈθɪərə/ ANT-i-ki-THEER or /ˌæntɪˈkɪθərə/ ANT-i-KITH-ə-rə) is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck. Its significance and complexity were not understood until decades later. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and 100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity and workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe.

Selected biography

Ada Lovelace 1838.jpg

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron, was an English writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine; as such she is sometimes considered the "World's First Computer Programmer".

She was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron (with Anne Isabella Milbanke). She had no relationship with her father, who died when she was nine. As a young adult she took an interest in mathematics, and in particular Babbage's work on the analytical engine. Between 1842 and 1843 she translated an article by Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea on the engine, which she supplemented with a set of notes of her own. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program—that is, an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine. Though Babbage's engine has never been built, Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.

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