Here are some popular terms associated with computer programming 


Programming is the process of giving instructions to computers on how to solve a particular computation task.

Check  programming at a glance to see the various processes that make up computer programming.


a program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language for computers to execute in order to accomplish a specified task.

Instructions here  refers to logical step by step actions that if undertaken will lead to reaching the required solution  in order to solve the problem at hand.For example, consider if you were to give  a person instructions on  direction to take, you might use statements like

  1. Turn left
  2. Keep straight till you see the hospital then turn left.
  3. Drive half a kilometer 
  4. At the corner  of the road you will see a red building 

This is much like how we give instructions to computers only that the instructions involves computation and needs to be much specific and accurate since computers will not try to reason what you might have meant , it will instead do exactly what you tell it.


Someone  who writes and maintains computer programs. They are also involved in debugging,testing and troubleshooting to ensure that the program is working as expected.

Programmers are also referred to as, coders, software developers  or software Engineers.

programming language

This is a set of  predefined grammatical rules for instructing a computer on how to perform various tasks.The most basic type of  programming language is machine language.Other languages include Python , Java, C++.


This are a set of  rules  that defines how various symbols and words should be used to form correctly structured statements or expressions in a specific programming language.

It is the language's way of doing things and forms it's vocabulary. 


This a reserved word in a programming language that is used to perform a certain  basic task such as printing values or variable declaration.Keywords cannot be used as variables .
Keywords in python includes return, print, str etc


A text editor is a  program which is used to write and edit the source code.Most modern text editors provide real time code highlighting and syntax correction.

There are some editors which are language specific and others which support multiple languages.

Integrated Development Environment ( IDE)

An IDE  is a software which combines common development tools into one  graphical user interface.Some common tools that most IDE offers includes a text editor ,a compiler or an interpreter and a debugger.

Source Code

This is the human readable form of a particular program,it is written in the syntax of a particular programming language through a text-editor and saved in a file.

Machine Code

Machine code is a sequence of computer instructions  in binary form i.e a series of zeros and ones.

Computers can only understand machine code,and can respond to them directly with no need for translation.


This is a special program that is used to translate all instructions in a source code to their equivalent machine code.


An interpreter unlike a compiler translates source code of a program into the equivalent machine code one instruction at a time.


An algorithm is  set of rules formatted in a step by step basis which if followed will  solve a particular computation problem.

Data structures

a data structure is a suitable way that data can be organized and stored  in the memory of a computer  for easy retrieval , manipulation and processing.


a paradigm is an ideology on how  various computation problems should be tackled. Check programming paradigms to see discussion on some popular programming paradigms.


A part or lack of it in the source code which causes the program to crash or malfunction.


The process of locating bugs in the source code and doing the necessary changes.


An  unexpected condition or error  that is encountered during the execution of a program.An example of an exception is when a program tries to open a non-existent file or when a part of  a program tries to divide a number by zero.Most programming languages offers try blocks so that a program  can escape the error that will be returned when an exception is encountered.


This are raw unprocessed facts , formalized in a way that is suitable for interpretation and processing by a computer.

Data in it's unprocessed form is not useful , it needs to be processed in to usable information.

Data processing in a computer goes through  three basic stages which are also known as the data processing cycle:


In this part , the raw data is converted into a machine readable format then fed to the processing unit.This can be achieved by using the various input methods such as entry trough a keyboards, microphones, scanners etc.


In this stage , the entered data is passed through various data processing methods in order to generate meaningful output.The processed data  in it's useful form is known as information.


The processed data is finally transmitted to the final user in a readable form such as tables, graphs, audio, video ect.This is achieved through the various output methods such as console(screen),loud speakers, printers ect

the processed data can as well be stored for reference or further processing.


This is the processed, meaningful and useful form of data.


A pseudocode is description of a program in terms of a natural language . Pseudocodes are not written in real programming languages and , therefore, cannot be compiled  or executed by a computer. They are purely meant to make a human understand  program's purpose better.

We cannot exhaust all terms associated with programming, we have just covered the ones which you will  encounter regularly when programming.