Computers are almost everywhere today — from laptops, tablets, or phones, to TVs, watches, medical devices, kitchen appliances, cars, spaceships, big factories, little robots, and millions of other places large and small.
How do computers know what to do inside all these things? Someone has to teach them! Behind every cool animated movie, website, game, vehicle, or device, someone has worked hard to instruct a computer on how to perform its task. That person was a programmer.
In this chapter, I give you a little background about programming and how programmers organize their thoughts when writing computer software or code. I share some background about Ruby, the programming language I cover throughout this book. Then I tell you how to install the tools you’ll use for all the projects in the rest of the book.
Computers are kind of dumb by themselves. Without a person to tell it exactly what to do, a computer will just sit there. Everything a computer does — and I mean everything, from the display of pictures and text on a screen, to the understanding of what you type on a keyboard or touch and swipe on a tablet — requires some software to interpret signals coming through the various circuits in one part of the computer and modify and send them to the right place in another part to get something done. That’s a lot of ...