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STEM and Coding Technology

Computer programming, which is also referred to as coding, is one of many fields covered under the umbrella term of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For the earliest computers, computer coding was very difficult because it involved changing the computer's physical wiring and switches. The arrival of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), however, ushered in the modern era of computer coding. Stored-program computing technology lowered the difficulty level for users to write software for computers due to the fact that the SSEM and its many generations of successors could store data and execute instructions all in its memory.

Initially, these instructions existed in pure machine-readable code or machine language. Over time, more human-readable languages developed, such as COBOL and FORTRAN. Computers compiled code written in these languages into machine language, thereby making software development even simpler and more efficient. Eventually, BASIC and other higher-level interpreted languages and scripting languages came into existence alongside home computers that were relatively cheap and powerful in comparison to minicomputers and mainframes of the past. The combination of easily understood computer languages and affordable and powerful home computers enabled home users to become coders as well. The ubiquity of computers is due in part to the evolution of cheaper and more powerful computers as well as computer programming languages that are more efficient and easier to use than ever before. Today, every industry in the modern world depends on computers, which in turn require software developers to produce the programs that they need to run.