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What is programming?

At its core, programming is the process of writing code that tells a computer what to do. A programmer writes some code, then bundles that code up as a program that people run to make their computers do stuff.

You use programs every day- your phone, your web browser, the websites you visit, and even soda machines are all run by code!

There are lots of different programming languages, each one suited for a different task. We'll be learning a language called Processing.

Why Processing?

Processing is designed to make it easy for beginners to get something visual and interactive on the screen, so it's more fun and interesting. But it's also powerful enough to leave a lot of room for exploration after you've learned the basics.

Processing is used by game developers, artists, data visualizers, etc. It's a nice happy medium between ease of use and getting stuff done.

Download Processing

This tutorial will use Processing, so you'll need to download it from here. That comes as a zip file: just unzip it anywhere!

Run Processing

Once you've unzipped that file to your computer, go inside the resulting folder and run Processing! It should look like this:

Processing PDE

This is called the Processing Development Environment, or PDE for short. Programmers use development environments the same way you might use Word to write a paper. Development environments come with tools that do a lot of work for you- which you'll see in a second when you press the play button!

You're ready to start writing code!

Start coding!

Enough yapping, let's get to your first program! Type this into your Processing editor, then press play:

void draw() {
   ellipse(50, 50, 25, 25);

When you press play, Processing will run your code. A window should pop up. You should have something that looks like this:

Next: Calling Functions!