So to describe how programming works, this book uses a variety of examples from different programming languages. You don’t have to understand how each program example in this book works. Just understand that programming languages can look and solve identical problems in wildly different ways. First, try to understand general programming principles without worrying about the way a particular programming language works. Then try to under- stand how a particular programming language works. As long as you know how to keep these two topics separate, you can figure out how to program a computer without the distraction of knowing a particular programming language.


Programming languages rise and fall in popularity all the time, so if you know only one programming language, your skills may become obsolete within a few years. At one time, most programmers used assembly language. Then they used Pascal. When Pascal fell out of favor, programmers gravitated toward C. Because C was so hard to understand, many people started using BASIC. At the time of this writing, programmers have been flocking toward C++, C#, and Java.


Tomorrow, who knows which programming language will be popular? Focus on understanding programming and then worry about understanding a particular programming language. After you understand how programming works, you can adapt to the next popular programming language of tomorrow, whatever that might be.