Engineer Explains: What is a programming language (in less than 10 minutes)

Antonija Bilic Arar

We've asked experienced engineers to share how they would explain some tech terminology at three levels of experience - from junior developer to CTO.

How would you explain programming languages to someone who is not a software engineer?
Have you ever wondered what happens after you write your code and how you get results?

Aleksandra Sikora, a full-stack web developer focusing on open-source development, compares a programming language to natural languages people use to communicate.

But you can make a grammatically incorrect sentence in a natural language and still convey the meaning, while programming languages are more strict. If you make a mistake in a programming language, the program won’t understand you.

Here’s a more detailed explanation by Aleksandra:

This video is a part of ShiftMag’s video series, Engineer Explains.

We’ve asked experienced engineers to share how they would explain some basic and some less basic tech terminology to different job tech job titles or at three levels of experience – from junior developer to CTO.

How would you explain APIsinternal developer platformssoftware architecturesoftware testingscaling infrastructure without breaking the bank,  low-code as a dev tool or what is a database at three levels of experience?

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