Did you know that there are more than 200,000 computer programmers currently working in the United States? This is just one of the many facts about coding that just about any budding programmer would likely be interested in knowing.
The history of computer programming is absolutely fascinating and its impact can be seen all around us. Without the skills and work of computer programmers, we wouldn’t have smartphones, laptops, digital cameras, video games, and so much more.
If you’re interested in becoming a computer programmer, then there are several facts that are worth knowing. These facts will both give you a greater context about what exactly it means to be a computer programmer and some of them can even help you become a better programmer.
Are you interested in learning more? If so, then keep on reading and we’ll take you through everything you’ll want to know!
The First Computer Programmer Was a Woman
In the early 1800s, a man by the name of Charles Babbage came up with the idea for an “Analytical Engine.” If he had the proper equipment, he would have built a big machine with punch cards, gears, and levers.
However, it was Babbage’s friend, Ada Lovelace, who took his idea and added extensive notes to the engine’s abilities. In these notes, she was able to explain how the machine worked more clearly and even came up with an algorithm that could have been considered the world’s first computer program.
The First “Computer Bug” Was an Actual Bug
In the world of technology, a “bug” is a glitch or flaw in a system. Even Thomas Edison reported bugs in his inventions.
However, the first computer bug was discovered in 1947. And it was caused by an actual bug.
A team at Harvard University noticed that their computer, the Mark II, kept delivering errors. When they opened the hardware up, they found a moth inside. Sadly, the moth didn’t survive to tell the tale.
The bug had become trapped inside of the computer and was disrupting the electronic connections.
Many Professional Programmers Utilize Regex to Speed Up Their Coding
Regex is short for regular expression. It’s a useful way to make patterns that can help programmers manage, find, and match text.
A regex cheat sheet can be helpful. But when you’re just starting out, you first just need to know where to use regex and you would want to use it.
If you have used HTML before, then you can think of a regex expression like markup. It uses flags, classes, operators, quantifiers, and anchors to help you find what you’re looking for in the text.
The First Computer Viruses Weren’t Meant to Be Harmful
Computer viruses have been around for several decades now. Practically all of them have spread through the internet. These days, viruses are mainly designed to disable a system or steal a person’s information.
However, the first computer viruses were mainly for research and experimental purposes. The very first computer virus was known as the “Creeper system.” It was an experimental and self-replicating virus that was developed in the early 1970s.
The virus was made to fill up a hard drive until the computer couldn’t run any further.
The first computer virus for MS-DOS computers was made in 1986 and called “Brain.” It would overwrite floppy disks and stop computers from booting up. It was written by two Pakistani brothers and was originally meant to work as copy protection.
The first widespread computer virus was “The Morris.” This virus was released in 1988 and it was designed by Robert Morris. Morris was a graduate student from Cornell University and he used the virus to determine the size of the internet.
His approach utilized security holes in email as well as weak passwords. However, due to a coding error, the virus spread too fast and started to impact normal computer operations. In less than one day, the virus infected thousands of computers, which was most of the internet back then.
All Computers Use Binary Code
In binary code, 1s and 0s represent ON and OFF, respectively. In a transistor, a 1 would represent electricity being allowed to flow. A 0 would represent no flow of electricity.
In this way, numbers are represented physically inside the computing mechanism. This allows for calculation.
There are several reasons why binary is still the main language that computers use. First off, binary is simple and easy to understand and communicate.
The 0 and 1 binary code makes it easy to detect an electrical signal’s on or off state. The negative and positive poles of magnetic content can also be translated quickly into binary.
In computer programming, there are high-level and low-level coding languages. A lower-level language resembles binary code. A higher-level language is easier for a beginner to code in.
Learning to code is a lot like learning a new language. And the most popular programming languages that are being used today are high-level languages.
The Importance of Knowing Facts About Coding
As we can see, there are a lot of fun and interesting facts about coding. Many professional programmers got into coding by just doing it as a fun hobby. Hopefully, these facts have taught you a little bit about coding and inspired you to start learning.
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