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What Is Coding and What Is It Used For?

a close up image of coding in yelling black and grey for a redAcademy article

What is coding? Learn how coding works, and explore everyday uses of the skill for creating websites and apps.

Electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, and tablets require code to function properly. Coding allows humans to communicate with these devices. Modern technology such as traffic lights, calculators, smart TVs, and cars use internal coding systems.

Since computers do not communicate like humans, coding acts as a translator. Code converts human input into numerical sequences that computers understand. Once computers receive these messages, they complete assigned tasks such as changing font colors or centering an image.

Read on to learn about how people use code to communicate with computers and develop electronic devices, machines, and other technologies.

How Does Coding Work?

Computer programming languages, developed through a series of numerical or alphabetic codes, instruct machines to complete specific actions. Computer coding functions much like a manual.

A programmer or developer writes instructions describing the information and tasks needed to create a visual or to perform a task. Computers scan extensive coded manuals very quickly, executing the tasks that create and run a successful website or application. Displaying an image or section of text, changing font styles, and opening emails all require instructions included in the coded manual.

Users interact with websites and apps with the help of these coded instructions. The code itself does not show up on the screen. Instead, people see the words and images a developer or programmer asks the computer to display.

Coding tells a machine which actions to perform and how to complete tasks. Programming languages provide the rules for building websites, apps, and other computer-based technologies. Each programming language helps humans accurately communicate with machines.

Types of Programming Languages

Binary code comprises a series of zeros and ones, used to communicate instructions. This code is a low-level programming language. Each digit in a coded sequence connects to a switch in your computer. Each switch connects to an action, and together thousands of switches operate a device.

High-level code, a computer communication process that works much like human language, allows programmers to operate entire systems simultaneously. High-level programming languages convert human language from programmers into binary code that computers understand.

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