Programming involves talking to a computer. That’s why we call them programming languages, because that’s what we use when communicating with each other – languages.

The act of programming is learning the building blocks of a computer’s language, and usually it involves learning the building blocks of the languages of multiple computers. You won’t necessarily learn all these languages to the same level, but you will learn them to some extent.

Some languages are more intuitive for us to understand than others, and some area easier because we have gotten so used to them in our daily lives. Even when you are just turning a computer on, you are speaking to it in a specific language. Why do you know that touching a specific button powers the computer on, and why do you know you have to wait a few seconds before you can expect a response? That’s because you have learned that this is one aspect of how computers talk to us – through the power button, and through a specific set of expectations about how long to wait between actions.

Each time you touch an icon or button on your phone, you are communicating with a computer – your phone, in this case. The same thing happens when you use menus on your desktop with a browser, or other applications, like Microsoft Word.

So the long and short of it is that if you have used a phone or a computer, then you have already learned a little bit of programming. What people usually mean by learning “how to program,” or “how to code,” is to take it a level deeper than this, to understand how these applications themselves are created. But it’s important to realize that the skills you learn when using some computer application or software or phone app are very similar to what you learn when you learn how to code.