Last updated 2023-03-02 23:56:53

What Is An Environment In Programming?

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An environment in programming is a term used to describe everything from software to hardware needed to run a software system. This includes the state and specific configurations in which all these components need to be in to run the software.

Use Cases and Examples

For example, say we wanted to make our web application accessible to end users over the web, we will need a computer to act as a server [→] which will be our hardware environment. We will also need a combination of web server software, a database, and maybe an interpreter [→] to complete our software environment.

Sometimes you will also hear a developer say "I am setting up my local environment". This means they are setting up everything they need to get the software running on their computer so they can continue developing and testing it.

The word environment can also be paired with other keywords to point out that those keywords are about what is needed to get a setup going. For example, environment variable refers to variables that store unique information that will cause a piece of software to behave differently compared to the same software running elsewhere with different environment variables. Examples of environment variables include configurations specifying where logs should be stored or providing database details.


In summary, an environment can be likened to a spacesuit in that it contains everything needed to keep a person alive while in outer space, in the case of software, its everything needed to get a software system running.

Here is another article you might like 😊 "What Is An Integrated Development Environment IDE?"