Sophie Au

Software Developer, Web Designer, Tea Enthusiast

Why I Love Programming

07 December 2014

I have a confession to make: I really like tidying up. Whether it’s my room, my laptop, someone else’s room or code. I really like stuff being neat and tidy and organized. I am obsessed with making plans and lists and lists for what plans and lists I have to make and so on.

And this is exactly why programming is perfect for me. When you break it down, coding is nothing more than writing a todo list for the computer.

Let’s look at a code example. The famous “Hello World” in Java:

public class HelloWorld {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!");

How is this a todo list you might ask. Here’s how:

  1. You define which areas the todo list is concerned with, in this case the class HelloWorld (e.g. my house) and the method main (my room)
  2. You tell the program what to do: It is supposed to print the sentence “Hello World!” in the console (my wallpaper, although my parents would kill me for that)

Now, a pseudo-code example that is closer to reality might look like this:

SophiesHouse {
    SophiesRoom {
        while(desk == not tidy){
            put one item where it belongs;

So basically, as long as my desk is not tidy, I will put away one thing that’s on there but shouldn’t be. And just so we’re clear which desk I have to tidy, we specify that it’s the desk in my room in my house.

And that's all there is to it. Of course, it gets complicated very fast but a program is and always stays a todo list. That's the beauty of it. Even a behemoth like Google's search engine is one big todo list with millions if not billions of sub-todo-lists and sub-sub-todo-lists and so on.