5 Basic Elements Of Programming

Elements of Programming

Elements of Programming

Process to develop various sets of instruction is known as programming. To develop any instruction there are some elements needed or we can essentially present in all language. So any programming language is made up of 5 basic elements of the instructions that we are going to discuss in this page.

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5 Basic elements of Programming

  • Variables: variables in programming tells how the data is represented which can be range from very simple value to complex one. The value they contain can be change depending on condition. As we know program consist of instructions that tell the computer to do things and data the program use when it is running. Data is constant with the fixed values or variable. They can hold a very simplex value like an age of the person to something very complex like a student track record of his performance of whole year.
  • Loops: we can define loop as a sequence of instructions that are repeated continuously till a certain condition is not satisfied. How a loop start understand this first a certain process is done, to get any data and changing it after that applied condition on the loop is checked whether counter reached to prescribed number or not. Basically a loop carry out execution of a group of instruction of commands a certain number of times. There is also a concept of infinite loop which is also termed as endless loop is a piece of code that lack from functional exit and goes to repeat indefinitely.
  • Conditionals: conditionals specify the execution of the statements depending on the whether condition is satisfied or not. Basically it refers to an action that only fulfil when the applied condition on instructions satisfied. They are one of the most important components of the programming language because they give freedom to program to act differently every time when it execute that depends on input to the instructions.
  • Input/output: the element of computer programming allow interaction of the program with the external entities. Example of input/output element are printing something out to the terminal screen, capturing some text that user input on the keyboard and can be include reading and writing files. Let’s take a language example to understand the concept of input and output. C++ use streams to perform input and output operation in sequential media in terms of screen, the keyboard or a file. We can define stream as an entity that can insert or extract characters and there is no need to know details about the media associated to the stream or any of its internal specification. We need to know about streams is that they are source or destination of characters and the characters are accepted sequentially.
  • Subroutines and functions: the element of the programming allow a programmer to use snippet of code into one location which can be used over and over again. The primary purpose of the functions is to take arguments in numbers of values and do some calculation on them after that return a single result. Functions are required where you need to do complicated calculations and the result of that may or may not be used subsequently used in an expression. If we talk about subroutines that return several results. Where calls to subroutines cannot be placed in an expression whether it is in the main program where subroutine is activated by using CALL statement which include the list of inputs and outputs that enclosed in the open and closed parenthesis and they are called the arguments of the subroutines. There are some of the rules follow by both to define name like less than six letters and start with the letters. The name should be different that used for variables and functions.

Elements of a Computer Program


Welcome to today's lecture on the "Elements of a Computer Program." Computer programs are integral to today's digital world, facilitating the functionality of every app, website, or software tool we use. But what exactly makes up these programs? Let's dive in and explore the fundamental components.

1. Algorithms:

  • Definition: An algorithm is a finite sequence of well-defined instructions used to solve a particular problem.
  • Characteristics:
  1. Unambiguity: Every instruction should be clear and distinct.
  2. Finiteness: After a finite number of steps, it should terminate.
  3. Effectiveness: Each step should be basic and achievable.
  4. Generality: Applicable to multiple inputs for a particular type of problem.

2. Variables and Data Types:

  • Variables: Named memory locations that store data. The data can be modified during program execution.
    • Examples: int age = 25;, string name = "John";
  • Data Types: Define the type of data that can be stored in a variable.
    • Common Data Types: int, float, char, string, boolean, etc.

3. Control Structures:

Facilitate the dynamic flow of execution by responding to conditions and loops.

  • Sequential: Default mode where instructions are executed line by line.
  • Selection/Decision Making: Execute an instruction based on a condition.
    • Examples: if, if-else, switch
  • Loops: Execute a set of instructions repeatedly.
    • Examples: for, while, do-while

4. Functions/Procedures:

  • Group of related instructions that perform a specific task.
  • Modularizes code, making it more readable and maintainable.
  • Types:
  1. Built-in Functions: Predefined and available for use.
  2. User-defined Functions: Created by programmers as needed.

5. Input/Output Operations:

  • Input: Getting data from external sources like keyboard, mouse, file, etc. Example: scanf(), cin.
  • Output: Displaying results or data on an output medium like screen, printer, file, etc. Example: printf(), cout.


  • Non-executable lines in a program that provide explanations or annotations for understanding.
    • Examples: // This is a single line comment in C++, /* This is a multi-line comment in C */

7. Errors and Debugging:

  • Syntax Errors: Violations of the programming language's rules. Examples: Missing semicolon, unmatched braces.
  • Runtime Errors: Errors that occur while the program is running. Examples: Division by zero, accessing out-of-bound array index.
  • Logical Errors: The program runs but doesn't produce the expected output due to incorrect logic or algorithms.
  • Debugging: The process of identifying and fixing errors in a program.

The elements of a computer program are akin to the building blocks of a structure. Just as a solid foundation ensures a building's stability, understanding these elements is essential for creating efficient and effective programs. As we continue our journey into the realm of programming, remember that these foundational concepts will serve as guiding principles, regardless of the complexity of the task at hand.