"Whenever I talk to programmers, I feel like they're speaking a different language."
How many times have you heard that? How many times have you rolled your eyes?
If you're not a coder, the most important thing to understand is this: yes, programmers ARE speaking a different language. Language is a form of communication that uses logic and syntax to convey ideas to another entity. In virtually all languages, there are multiple ways to convey that idea, but whatever conveys it the most clearly is considered the "best" way.
That is what we do. Attempt to convey our messages and instructions to computers in the simplest and most effective way possible. I'm not talking about any individual programming "language" here. In fact, the biggest mistake a rookie programmer can make is assuming there is one "language" they can learn that will allow them to do everything they want to do it. It's not like that. The many languages, processes, and systems work together to work like traditional verbal and written languages.
It's just like writing or speaking except, ya know, when what you're saying doesn't make sense the computer doesn't tell you that it does.
Follow me on Twitter Hacker News discussion