#Code. #Coding. #Coder. What is Code?

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IBM_1620_Model_1

This is an IBM 1620. I didn’t learn to program on this computer, but it was my first computer. My first project was to program the game of dots. I programmed the game in Fortran using recursive algorithms. Fortran did not support recursion: FAIL. My second projects was a graphical simulation of a four-bar linkage. FAIL AGAIN.

This was 1964 and these were ambitious projects, even for a freshman at MIT. Both recursion and graphics were still research topics for machines designed for bookkeeping and sometimes used to replace rooms of calculators. Recall that calculator originally referred to a person (aka mathematician).

Here we are a half-century later and all of a sudden, (as in deja vu all over again) the people in charge are interested in computers. Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are rising in power and both the Millennials and Boomers feel the pressure to understand whats it all about.

Well coders, programmers, software engineers, or computer scientists have earned their reputation as asocial elitists. If you are wondering, I love to explain it to you, but old habits die hard. But give me the benefit of the doubt, maybe there is not simple explanation.

Here is a pretty good explanation: http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-ford-what-is-code/

It is so good, I wouldn’t attempt to compete with it. The catch? It is about 40,000 word, plus exercises, so a longish novella. Go on intrepid explorer, give it a try. It is excellent.

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