Last updated 2022-11-05 03:50:45

What Is Code?

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In simple words, code is a set of instructions written down using a programming language [→], meant to be processed by a computer.

Use Cases and Examples

When a programmer writes a "Hello, World!" program in the C programming language, the code looks like this:

01: #include <stdio.h> 02: int main() 03: { 04: printf("Hello, World!"); 05: return 0; 06: }

Similarly, the code for writing a "Hello, World!" program in the Java programming language looks like this:

01: class HelloWorld 02: { 03: public static void main(String[] args) 04: { 05: System.out.println("Hello, World!"); 06: } 07: }

This is saved in a text file-like file usually with a special extension at the end of the file, for example, our C program above can be saved as hello_word.c.

Another alternative term used for code in the programming world is source code [→]. Usually, software developers will reserve the term source code to mean a group of "code files" that make up a piece of software and use the term code to just refer to one file or a line of instruction.


Also, the act of writing software is sometimes referred to as coding.

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