ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Basic Programming Patterns - Think Like a Programmer

Updated on September 7, 2017
Filip Stojkovski profile image

A web developer with background in JavaScript and HTML5 games, but currently a Magento Developer.


Technology is soo present in our everyday lives, and so much of it is managed or driven by programs. Many famous entrepreneurs have started successful businesses based on new demands in technology and often times, you don't need any special resources to start, just your brain, a computer, lots of effort and dedication, a good idea, that's it. Or maybe, you just want to learn some basic coding, enough to have a smaller side project come to life, or simply to feel more competent when listening or talking to people about technology. Whatever the reason that sparked the interest, the fact is that coding is slowly but surely becoming an aspect of literacy of the modern world and a competency that almost everybody appreciates.

A Program is a Sequence of Instructions

A program basically tells the computer how to react to a certain event, a user input, how to solve a certain type of problem or how to organize data. Although there are different kinds of programs, most of them are either considered to be Procedural(Sequential) or Object Oriented. In the past, there was no Object Oriented programming and all the programs were executed by the computer line by line of code, in a sequence. The great thing is that computers are completing the instructions extremely fast and they can process big quantities of data very quickly. A beginner programmer should try an exercise where he is a executing a short and simple piece of code by hand, line by line so that the logical flow of executing instructions becomes more obvious.
So, just to have some initial idea of how programs are executed, you can imagine how the computer is having a list of tasks and it's going trough this list, completing each one before continuing to the next. In reality, execution of programs can get a little more complex than this, but this is a sufficient idea to start with.


The way to manipulate with data in ever increasingly complex ways demands that programs remember and name chunks of data in an accessible and efficient way. This is done by using variables. You can think of variables as containers that can hold data and have a recognizable name. Similar to the way some containers in the kitchen are labeled(e.g. salt, paper, flour...), variables have names that indicate the expected data that will be stored in that container.

var name = " John Smith" ;

var age = 34;

var speaks_english = true;

The example above is a JavaScript code that is declaring and initializing 3 variables. You can see that there are different types of data that can be stored in a variable and probably by now you are guessing why they are called 'variables', the contained data is subject to change and in a way, variables are some of the basic building blocks of computing and writing computer programs.

Logical If Test

Computer programs very often work with a logical type of data which has true or false value. This type of data can be very useful when trying to make a decision. For example, when we want to take a walk and hesitate if we should take an umbrella with us, we look at the weather - "Is it raining outside?". This kind of question can be answered with true or false and this is a very common pattern that is used when writing a computer program. Another way of saying the same thing is we are checking for a condition. This kind of conditional logic makes possible for decisions to be made during runtime based on user input and as result, a different feedback will be given back to the user.

if(rain) {


}else {



In the example code above an "if test" is used to evaluate the variable "rain". If rain equals "TRUE" than a function "takeUmbrela()" is evoked, otherwise if "rain" equals "FALSE" a different block of code is executed and the function "leaveUmbrelaAtHome()" will be executed instead.

Code Loops

If you want your program to execute the same operation a 100 or 10 000 times, what do you do?! One way to solve the problem is to write the same line of code over and over again or to copy-paste it several thousand times, but that is the bad way to solve this problem. All programming languages have predetermined functions called "loops" that will do repetitive instructions for you theoretically infinite amount of times. You can use a "FOR" loop, to execute a block of code a predetermined number of times, or you can use a "WHILE" loop to execute the same code over and over again, as long as the condition is evaluated as 'true'.

Final Thoughts

This article was aimed at the basics behind every programming language, the patterns, and problem-solving skills necessary for deep understanding and a firm base for further learning. This is also often times referred to as Programming Algorithms or Flowcharts written with pseudo code or visual symbols. For more experienced programmers it is again useful to refine their understanding and always search for more efficient ways to solve old problems.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)