Kodables Lesson in Sequence – a Little break from SCRATCH

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Flow Control Structures

In computer programming, flow control structures are the programmer’s means of influencing a computer program’s decision-making process and movements, ultimately altering the computer’s adventure. In programming, sequence is the first of three basic flow control structures.

Programming Flow Control Structures:

  1. Conditions
  2. Loops

What is Sequence?

Sequence is the very first concept a student must understand when learning to code. Also known as order of events, a computer will execute commands exactly in the order or sequence they are written. As a programmer, it is important to make sure that the commands given to a computer are in the right sequence, otherwise a program might not run as expected.

Sequence in Programming:

When learning sequence, it is first important to understand how a computer reads and translates code. Remember the brilliant Choose Your Own Adventure series? Interestingly, a computer reads code the exact same way that we would read a Choose Your Own Adventure game book.

If you elect to walk into the cave, turn to page 24.
If you want to open the mysterious door, turn to page 77.
 If you choose to enter the forbidden wilderness, turn to page 90.”

A computer program translates code just as humans read written text: line- by-line, top to bottom, and left to right. However, when a computer interprets code, it is making a string of decisions that influence the flow of code, or the path that a program takes.

Like a reading a Choose Your Own Adventure game book, a computer program is constantly making decisions along its journey that send the computer backwards, forwards, and in circles. A programmer orchestrates all of these movements and decisions, ensuring the successful execution of the program.

Sequence and Algorithms

What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a sequence of logical instructions or steps needed to finish a task. An algorithm can be performed with or without a computer.

In programming, an algorithm is required in a sequence queue. Sequence is important in a computer algorithm because the correct order of steps is needed in order to make the algorithm work.

Coding an Algorithm: Pseudocode

Computers are not as smart as humans and need very specific instructions to perform a task. Providing instructions to a computer is completely different from giving the same instructions to another person.

Pseudocode is an informal method of writing an algorithm for a computer program using plain English. Primarily used for planning, pseudocode uses the structural conventions of a programming language, but is intended for human reading rather than machine reading. Pseudocode serves as a middle step between human-speech and computer code, helping programmers translate written algorithms.

Sequence Vocabulary

Terms and Definitions

  1. Sequence: Also known as the order of events, commands that are executed by a computer exactly as they are written. The sequence must be in the correct order for the program to run properly.
  2. Flow Control Structures: The programmer’s means of influencing a computer program’s decision-making process and movements. There are three flow control structures in programming: sequence, conditions, and loops.
  3. Command: A specific instruction given to a computer in written code from a programmer.
  4. Code: The language written by humans to communicate with computers to complete a process; programming language that gives instructions to a computer.
  5. Computer: A device for storing and processing information, responds to instructions in programming language that is written by humans.
  6. Computer Science: The study of computers.
  7. Internet: An electronic communications network that connects computer networks around the world.
  8. Program: A sequence of instructions written in a code that a computer can interpret and execute.
  9. Programmer: A person who writes code and communicates instructions to a computer.
  10. Robot: A device that sometimes resembles a human and can be programmed to carry out complex tasks.
  11. Algorithm: A sequence of logical instructions or steps needed to finish a task. Can be performed with or without a computer.
  12. Pseudocode: An informal method of writing an algorithm for a computer program using English and not code. Used for planning and is intended for humans to read it, not computers.
  13. Syntax: The spelling and grammar of a programming language.
  14. Bugs: Errors, or mistakes, in the syntax of a programming language.
  15. Debugging: The process of finding and fixing errors (bugs) in the syntax so the computer program will run properly.
  16. Technology: The use of science to solve problems and invent. A machine, piece of equipment, idea, or method that is carried out by human communicating with machines.

One response

  1. Charles

    Thank you for the clear definition of pseudocode. I always got caught up on how to explain it.

    February 6, 2018 at 10:16 am

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