In this module you will learn what a computer program
is and the environment in which it performs its work.
We will explore what a program looks like to the programmer, what it looks like to the computer, and how it gets from the language of the programmer to the language of the computer.
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Define computer programs
- List and describe the components of a computer
- Describe the role of an operating system
- Describe what happens when a computer program is executed
- Explain what machine language is
- Explain what compilers and interpreters do
In the next lesson the concept of computer program will be explained.
A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer.
A computer requires programs to function, and typically executes the program's instructions in a central processing unit.
A computer program is usually written by a computer programmer in a programming language like C++ or Java.
From the program in its human-readable form of source code, a compiler can derive machine code, a form consisting of instructions that the computer can directly execute. Alternatively, a computer program may be executed with the aid of an interpreter. A part of a computer program that performs a well-defined task is known as an algorithm.
A collection of computer programs, libraries and related data are referred to as software.
Computer programs may be categorized along functional lines, such as application software or system software.