In 1960 it was decided that an association of manufacturers should be formed which would be called European Computer Manufacturers Association (abbreviated to ECMA), By 1994, the global activities of the Europe-based Ecma organization resulted in a name change to, Ecma International – European association for standardizing information and communication systems.
When you start writing programs you will make a lot of mistakes, until you become familiar with the syntax. These typographical errors, or bugs, will in general be picked up by the compiler (or interpreter) when you run your program. They must be corrected before the program will run. Until you become comfortable with the syntax this can be very frustrating but it is part of the learning process and there are no short cuts. It is just a question of practice.
All procedural programs can be written using three basic constructs which should already be familiar to you, if you have used flow charts or (Jackson) structure diagrams. These are,
- selection (conditional or decision statements)
- iteration. ( also called repetition or loop)
When looking at program code keep these simple structures in mind. Initially it is a good idea to practice by writing a short program to exercise an unfamiliar command in order to find out what it does. Make plenty of use of the on line help. Very often there are examples associated with the various commands that will help you get started.
The order in which you learn the commands is not important, but as a general rule the first things you need to be able to do is output data from your program. It is traditional that the first program you write is called Hello world. It does nothing more than greet you when the program is run.
Most programmers start by taking bits from other programs and joining them together to create new programs. The examples provided demonstrate some of the various things that you can do. Do the examples, to get practice at debugging. Compare what the program does with the code as this is the easiest way to understand what is going on. To gain confidence, experiment by making slight changes of your own. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, you will learn from them.