12 Coding Definitions Every Kid (and Parent) Should Know in 2018

3. “Programming Statement”

Because the terms “instructions” and “commands” were used quite a bit in the previous explanations, I thought it best to next define “statements.”

Basically, the way you tell a computer to do something is by giving it instructions or writing statements to explain a desired action. Again, it’s similar to writing sentences in English, but with words, numbers, and punctuation added in depending on the programming language you’re using. So to bring it together, a program is written through a sequence of one or more statements.

Think about it like giving a friend driving directions—“Go straight for one mile. Turn left. Go straight for another two blocks. Stop at stop sign. Turn right.” The task you want to achieve is getting your friend from point A to point B. You break up that task through a number of individual statements to make it happen.

4. “Data Type”

Artificial intelligence may one day change this, but currently, computers can’t differentiate between letters or numbers. So, computer programmers must establish a data type. This is a classification of the type of data a variable or other object can be assigned in a computer program.

Variables in programming are like those you’ve learned in math class, with the difference being that a programming variable can represent more than just a number. Meaning, it could, for example, hold an alphabetic character like “c” or a whole word or phrase like “Hello World”, commonly called a string or a Boolean (more on “Boolean” below).

Data types are present in virtually all computer programming languages, including Visual Basic, C#, C++ and JavaScript. Some examples of data types include:

  • Boolean (e.g. True, False)
  • Character (e.g. Z)
  • Date (e.g. 06/29/2018)

Understanding data types allows programmers to design better applications.

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