What is a program?
Today in class, we learnt what a program was; but in terms of real life situations. My partner (Mia) and I first had to guide each other to the closest door, but the other person would be blindfolded. We had to give instructions like how many steps to walk and how much to turn in which direction. First, we used oral instructions as we went, but after the first run through, we had to write down instructions without testing them first, and then read them out.
Once I tested my written instructions, I realized that programming is actually quite difficult. My instructional steps weren’t specific enough, which caused me to reconsider my steps as I ran the program.
One thing that I can improve on in the future is considering all the variables. If I don’t consider or control the variable, then I can make major miscalculations in the program, which can lead to it failing. I have learnt that when it comes to writing programs, everything needs to be put under consideration.
Something else that we did this lesson was teaching people how to tie shoe laces your way. Because the shoes I was wearing that day didn’t have any laces, I had to borrow one of Ms. Mok’s shoes in order to complete the activity. Her shoe had laces.
The main task of the activity was to teach other people how you tie your shoes your way. Since there are many different ways to tie your shoes, people can teach each other their methods.
Once again, this activity kind of represented a program because like in the guiding a partner activity, I had to first write out instructions so that when someone else reads them without me there to guide them, they can understand what I’m trying to say and successfully tie their shoes with my method.
This was also like a computer program because in a computer program, the computer only runs what you’ve inputted, and not anything else you say to supplement it afterwards.
Surprisingly, I found this extremely challenging because even for such a simple task such as tying shoes, its hard to convey and put it into words exactly how to do it. I am fluent with tying my shoes since I do it multiple times a day, but to me, its kind of like one of those concepts that is extremely easy, but yet difficult to explain.
From this activity, I learnt that being able to put your thoughts into words is very important. If you can’t translate what you want to do into instructions, then you can’t complete the task.