Computer Programming: Algorithm Development

19/03/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result. Programming involves tasks such as: analysis, generating algorithms, profiling algorithms’ accuracy and resource consumption, and the implementation of algorithms in a chosen programming language (commonly referred to as coding). The source code of a program is written in one or more languages that are intelligible to programmers, rather than machine code, which is directly executed by the central processing unit. The purpose of programming is to find a sequence of instructions that will automate the performance of a task (which can be as complex as an operating system) on a computer, often for solving a given problem. The process of programming thus often requires expertise in several different subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, specialized algorithms, and formal logic.

Tasks accompanying and related to programming include: testing, debugging, source code maintenance, implementation of build systems, and management of derived artifacts, such as the machine code of computer programs. These might be considered part of the programming process, but often the term software development is used for this larger process with the term programming, implementation, or coding reserved for the actual writing of code. Software engineering combines engineering techniques with software development practices. Reverse engineering is the opposite process. A hacker is any skilled computer expert that uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem, but it can also mean a security hacker in common language.

How to Select Programming Language?

Choosing the right programming language is an essential decision for any software development project. Here are some steps to help you choose a programming language:

  1. Understand Your Project Requirements: Start by understanding the specific requirements of your project. Consider the nature of the application you want to build, the target platform (web, mobile, desktop), expected software system response time, number of simultaneous users, security needs, maintenance requirements, and compatibility with various devices.
  2. Consider Your Familiarity and Team Skills: Assess your own skills and the expertise of your development team. If you have experience with a particular language or your team is proficient in a specific language, it might be more efficient to choose that language for the project.
  3. Evaluate Language Features: Each programming language has its unique syntax and features. Research and compare different languages to find one that best aligns with your project requirements. Consider factors like ease of learning, code readability, performance, libraries, and community support.
  4. Check for Library and Framework Support: Consider the availability of libraries and frameworks in the language. These can significantly speed up development and simplify complex tasks, saving time and effort.
  5. Analyze Long-Term Support: Look for a language with good long-term support and a strong community. Regular updates and active community forums ensure that your chosen language remains relevant and well-maintained.
  6. Scalability and Performance: For large-scale applications or performance-critical projects, consider languages known for their scalability and high-performance capabilities.
  7. Check Industry Standards: Consider industry standards and best practices when choosing a language. Using widely accepted languages can make it easier to find developers, resources, and tools.
  8. Budget and Time Constraints: Assess the budget and time constraints of your project. Some languages may require more development time, while others may have licensing costs associated with them.
  9. Future Proofing: Try to choose a language that is versatile and can adapt to future requirements and advancements in technology.
  10. Test and Prototype: If possible, create small prototypes or test projects in different languages to get a hands-on experience of each language’s strengths and weaknesses.

An algorithm is a well-defined procedure that allows a computer to solve a problem. Another way to describe an algorithm is a sequence of unambiguous instructions. The use of the term ‘unambiguous’ indicates that there is no room for subjective interpretation. Every time you ask your computer to carry out the same algorithm, it will do it in exactly the same manner with the exact same result.

Consider the earlier examples again. Spell checking uses algorithms. Financial calculations use algorithms. A search engine uses algorithms. In fact, it is difficult to think of a task performed by your computer that does not use algorithms.

How Do Algorithms Work?

A very simple example of an algorithm would be to find the largest number in an unsorted list of numbers. If you were given a list of five different numbers, you would have this figured out in no time, no computer needed. Now, how about five million different numbers? Clearly, you are going to need a computer to do this, and a computer needs an algorithm.

Below is what the algorithm could look like. Let’s say the input consists of a list of numbers, and this list is called L. The number L1 would be the first number in the list, L2 the second number, etc. And we know the list is not sorted – otherwise, the answer would be really easy. So, the input to the algorithm is a list of numbers, and the output should be the largest number in the list.

The algorithm would look something like this:

Step 1: Let Largest = L1

This means you start by assuming that the first number is the largest number.

Step 2: For each item in the list

This means you will go through the list of numbers one by one.

Step 3: If the item > Largest

If you find a new largest number, move to step four. If not, go back to step two, which means you move on to the next number in the list.

Step 4: Then Largest = the item

This replaces the old largest number with the new largest number you just found. Once this is completed, return to step two until there are no more numbers left in the list.

Step 5: Return Largest

This produces the desired result.

Notice that the algorithm is described as a series of logical steps in a language that is easily understood. For a computer to actually use these instructions, they need to be written in a language that a computer can understand, known as a programming language.