An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language
Afterword: Being a Programmer
What can you do? An amazing amount! In fact, therell probably be something you want to program every day. With a traditional computer language itd take too long to actually do it, though. But with the Wolfram Languagewith all its built-in knowledge and automationanyone who knows the language can write very useful programs even in a matter of minutes.
And this means youll routinely be able to write programs for all sorts of things. Things you want to understand, things you want to create, things you want to do for other people. Sometimes youll dash off a program, run it once, and never use it again. But much more often youll end up using your program many timesand maybe progressively making it more and more sophisticated over time.
Quite often youll just run your programs in those notebooks. But youll also often want to deploy the programs to create websites, apps or whatever. And one of the great things about the Wolfram Language is that this is easy to do.
In any programming project, however, there are some new issues that come up when programs get larger. You need to be sure to maintain systematic tests (which in the Wolfram Language you can do using VerificationTest). You need to organize code into properly separated packages. And particularly if multiple programmers are involved, you need version control, code reviews, and other management structures.
It might be something where computers have long been used. It might be something thats only now conceivable for computers as a result of the Wolfram Language. Whatever it is, try to imagine a Wolfram Language function for doing it.
What input would the function get? What output would it generate? What might the function be called? Dont at first think about how youd write the code. Just think about what the function should do. And only after youve understood that, start writing the code.
Look in this book and on the Wolfram Language website for examples that are similar to what youre trying to do. If youre lucky, youll get everything you need. But maybe therell be some part that it's just not clear how to achieve. And if that happens, its often good to imagine how you'd explain whats needed to someone with infinite technical capability. Often just doing that will lead you to identify at least some definite taskswhich you can then start formulating in the Wolfram Language.
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