Writing programs (or programming) is a very creative and rewarding activity. You can write programs for many reasons, ranging from making your living to solving a difficult data analysis problem to having fun to helping someone else solve a problem.
Our computers are fast and have vast amounts of memory and could be very helpful to us if we only knew the language to speak to explain to the computer what we would like it to “do next”. If we knew this language, we could tell the computer to do tasks on our behalf that were repetitive. Interestingly, the kinds of things computers can do best are often the kinds of things that we humans find boring and mind-numbing.
In a sense, you need two skills to be a programmer:
- First, you need to know the programming language (Python) – you need to know the vocabulary and the grammar. You need to be able to spell the words in this new language properly and know how to construct well-formed “sentences” in this new language.
- Second, you need to “tell a story”. In writing a story, you combine words and sentences to convey an idea to the reader. There is a skill and art in constructing the story, and skill in story writing is improved by doing some writing and getting some feedback. In programming, our program is the “story” and the problem you are trying to solve is the “idea”.
The new programming language has very different vocabulary and grammar, but the problem-solving skills will be the same across all programming languages so, once you learn one programming language such as Python, you will find it much easier to learn a second programming language.