Computers are amazing, but they can’t think for themselves (yet!). They require people to give them instructions. Coding is a list of step-by-step instructions that get computers to do what you want them to do. Coding makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps and websites.
Coders, or programmers, are people who write the programmes behind everything we see and do on a computer. When children learn to code, it helps them to develop essential skills such as problem solving, logic and critical thinking. Through coding, children can learn that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and that simpler and more efficient solutions are often better. Learning to code encourages children to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology they use.
What is an algorithm?
You use code to tell a computer what to do. Before you write code you need an algorithm.
An algorithm is a list of rules to follow in order to solve a problem.
Algorithms need to have their steps in the right order. Think about an algorithm for getting dressed in the morning. What if you put on your coat before your jumper? Your jumper would be on top of your coat and that would be silly! When you write an algorithm the order of the instructions is very important.
What is code?
When you learn to code you can make things happen on your computer. You can make anything you want with code. It could be a game, some pictures or a film.
Computer code is a set of rules or instructions. It is made up of words and numbers and when you put them in the right order it will tell your computer what you want it to do. You can program lots of things with code.
What is debugging?
Programmers write computer programs in a language we call code. However, because no one is perfect, computer programmers sometimes make mistakes when writing their code. These mistakes are known as ‘bugs’. An important part of programming is testing your program and 'debugging' (which means removing the bugs).
What makes a good computer game?
You could say that computer games are simply games that you play on a computer. But there is more to it than that.
In the UK, computer games are a multi-billion pound industry. There are games for all age ranges and interests. You can play games on lots of devices including mobile phones, tablets, computers and consoles.