“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.” — Bill Gates
We at DEPCO invite you to celebrate Computer Science Education week by learning more about computer programming and coding! Computer programming is necessary in today’s world to maintain the functionality of the systems and gadgets we use every day. Programming languages make it possible for people to communicate with machines and direct them to carry out necessary tasks. Programming languages are essential for enabling humans and computers to communicate.
The history of programing begins in the nineteenth century with the works of Ada Lovelace. Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer who was born on December 10, 1815. She is also regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. Her works were influenced by The Analytical Engine, invented by Charles Babbage. Lovelace first met Charles Babbage when she was 17 years old.
After being inspired by Babbage, she came across an article on analytical computers by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea. This discovery led to her making giant strides into the world of programming. Lovelace researched his work further and published her own paper in 1843. She stated that if the machine is fed a series of operations using signs and numbers, it can competently solve a variety of mathematical problems. This was the beginning of programming!
Alan Turing and his computer, The Bombe, made the next major advancement in the world of coding after Ada Lovelace’s work. Germany began to communicate using secret coded messages in the 1920s, thanks to their famous machine, The Enigma. The British hired Turing during World War II to break through these codes and interpret the messages. Turing’s machine was able to break through the constantly changing code, reducing the manual effort and time required for code-breaking.
Turing then created the “Advanced Computing Engine,” a more flexible and advanced machine. It was dubbed “advanced” because it performed its functions using “abbreviated computer instructions.” This was arguably the first computer language used, and it served as the focal point at the start of the modern programming world. The Imitation Game, a movie from 2014, depicts Turing’s story.
Since then, the world of programming has become more sophisticated and more accessible. For example, it doesn’t take a PhD to begin learning. There are many ways to enter that world at a young age! To celebrate Computer Science and Education Week, Google has provided online activities that introduce users to the concept of coding. Check out those lessons here!
Programming with DEPCO!
DEPCO’s Programming Basics curriculum introduces students to the Kano Computer Kit which features the Raspberry Pi 3, a lightweight, powerful brain. Students use a uniquely designed operating system, Kano OS, as well as the Linux command line to complete programming techniques using the Scratch language and textual programming techniques using the Python language.
Learn more about our Programming Basics module here!