What Is Basic Programming?

BASIC programming has a long history as the computer programming language of choice for beginners. It has been used since the 1960s to simplify communication between the programmer and the computer. This computer language has been widely imitated and altered, and it is currently most well-known as Visual Basic. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

BASIC Programming

Programming languages have been in use longer than computers have, as a way for a user to give a machine a series of commands to perform a set of functions. When computers were first developed, only mathematicians and scientists had the ability to program them. The creation of BASIC opened up computer programming to more people.

Important Facts About Basic Programming

Work EnvironmentOffice setting
Possible CareersComputer Programmer, Web Designer, Software Developer
Median Salary (2018) $84,280 (for all computer programmers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -7% decline (for all computer programmers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Creation of BASIC

Two computer scientist from Dartmouth College created Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) in 1964 to help students learn a simplified version of computer programming and give computer access to non-science students. Programming languages like BASIC allow programmers to interact with a program's source code, or source. Through this communication, programmers can give the computer complex sets of instructions to accomplish tasks.

Function

High-level programming languages like BASIC filter many details out so that the programmer can access simpler, more consolidated data and actions. Low-level programming, by contrast, presents raw data directly from the source. Because of this, low-level languages are more efficient, but they also are more difficult to sift through. Thus, high-level programming languages that emphasize symbols, the way BASIC does, are useful for beginners.

Later Development

BASIC has inspired many imitative programming languages, known as dialects. Most notable among these dialects is Microsoft's Visual Basic, which allows for more event-driven and object-oriented programming, making BASIC even easier to use.

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