1.2 A type of language

Another way to look at coding is to compare it to learning a language. If you wanted to learn a new language you will need to learn the vocabulary and its structure. This is also so true of coding. There has many similarities.

But before this puts you off as you shout ‘I am no good at languages!’. There are some fundamental differences. The coding language is actually written in a form of english, even if it can look like a lot of gobbledygook. Some coding languages are very people friendly (e.g. Python or Scratch).

However, you cannot just talk to it as you would another person. You have to speak to your computer in a language that it can understand. It actually wants you to talk to it in machine code which is all 1’s and 0’s. This would make coding very, very difficult indeed. So people take those 1’s and 0’s and turn them into a language that you can use, at least begin to understand.

This means that you will need a clever bit of software that translates what you have typed into machine code so that the computer can use it. That is why there are so many different coding languages. People are creating them all the time for a specific purpose or just improve old ones.

The beauty of nearly all coding languages is that they have a relatively small vocabulary (keywords), they have a simple sentence construction (syntax). Nearly all coding languages have a similar vocabulary and syntax, which means if you learn one language well, all the others are a relative doddle.