Here's a challenge for the dev community. 😀

How would you define programming in as fewer words as possible?

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28 answers

Writing instructions for a computer.

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I think @theonlyrealtodd has put it in a very succinct way — Programming is just moving data around to solve problems.

I have a slightly different way to express the same thing, though!

Programming is the process of creating "black boxes" which accept an input, and return an output.

As a programmer you write programs ... design black boxes, with specified rules to convert given inputs into specific outputs!

Moving data around and operating on it to solve problems.

EDIT: Technically, programming is only "moving data around to solve problems."

This has been proven by Stephen Dolan, PhD: and put into actual application by Christopher Domas from Batelle Memorial Research Institute: Computers actually just move data around.

EDIT 2: Btw, That Chris Domas talk is absolutely amazing and I HIGHLY recommend everyone check it out... he's definitely one of the smartest, if not the smartest computer scientists on the earth right now.



not precise enough, still one of the best answers so far.

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Programming is to describe/formulate ways to solve/do specific tasks and/or achieve certain goals and/or implement certain behaviours.

Usually done in a formal language... but that's a detail :P we can program just by speaking to each other and give each other instructions.

So programming could be seen as a form of communication to pass on information, but this can leads to more abstract theories ;D ...

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Programming: getting an extra wish from a djinn without spending an eternity in the lamp.

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