It affects the aspects of quality above, including portability, usability and most importantly maintainability. Readability is important because programmers spend the majority of their time reading, trying to understand and modifying existing source code, rather than writing new source code. Unreadable code often leads to bugs, inefficiencies, and duplicated code. A study  found that a few simple readability transformations made code shorter and drastically reduced the time to understand it.
Following a consistent programming style often helps readability. However, readability is more than just programming style. Many factors, having little or nothing to do with the ability of the computer to efficiently compile and execute the code, contribute to readability. The presentation aspects of this such as indents, line breaks, color highlighting, and so on are often handled by the source code editor , but the content aspects reflect the programmer's talent and skills.
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Various visual programming languages have also been developed with the intent to resolve readability concerns by adopting non-traditional approaches to code structure and display. Integrated development environments IDEs aim to integrate all such help. Techniques like Code refactoring can enhance readability.
The academic field and the engineering practice of computer programming are both largely concerned with discovering and implementing the most efficient algorithms for a given class of problem. For this purpose, algorithms are classified into orders using so-called Big O notation , which expresses resource use, such as execution time or memory consumption, in terms of the size of an input. Expert programmers are familiar with a variety of well-established algorithms and their respective complexities and use this knowledge to choose algorithms that are best suited to the circumstances.
The first step in most formal software development processes is requirements analysis , followed by testing to determine value modeling, implementation, and failure elimination debugging. There exist a lot of differing approaches for each of those tasks. One approach popular for requirements analysis is Use Case analysis. Many programmers use forms of Agile software development where the various stages of formal software development are more integrated together into short cycles that take a few weeks rather than years. There are many approaches to the Software development process.
Implementation techniques include imperative languages object-oriented or procedural , functional languages , and logic languages. It is very difficult to determine what are the most popular of modern programming languages.
Methods of measuring programming language popularity include: counting the number of job advertisements that mention the language,  the number of books sold and courses teaching the language this overestimates the importance of newer languages , and estimates of the number of existing lines of code written in the language this underestimates the number of users of business languages such as COBOL. Some languages are very popular for particular kinds of applications, while some languages are regularly used to write many different kinds of applications.
For example, COBOL is still strong in corporate data centers  often on large mainframe computers , Fortran in engineering applications, scripting languages in Web development, and C in embedded software.
Many applications use a mix of several languages in their construction and use. Debugging is a very important task in the software development process since having defects in a program can have significant consequences for its users. Some languages are more prone to some kinds of faults because their specification does not require compilers to perform as much checking as other languages.
Use of a static code analysis tool can help detect some possible problems. Normally the first step in debugging is to attempt to reproduce the problem. This can be a non-trivial task, for example as with parallel processes or some unusual software bugs. Also, specific user environment and usage history can make it difficult to reproduce the problem. After the bug is reproduced, the input of the program may need to be simplified to make it easier to debug. For example, a bug in a compiler can make it crash when passing some large source file.
However, after simplification of the test case, only few lines from the original source file can be sufficient to reproduce the same crash. Such simplification can be done manually, using a divide-and-conquer approach. The programmer will try to remove some parts of original test case and check if the problem still exists. When debugging the problem in a GUI, the programmer can try to skip some user interaction from the original problem description and check if remaining actions are sufficient for bugs to appear.
Standalone debuggers like GDB are also used, and these often provide less of a visual environment, usually using a command line. Some text editors such as Emacs allow GDB to be invoked through them, to provide a visual environment. Different programming languages support different styles of programming called programming paradigms.
The choice of language used is subject to many considerations, such as company policy, suitability to task, availability of third-party packages, or individual preference. Ideally, the programming language best suited for the task at hand will be selected. Trade-offs from this ideal involve finding enough programmers who know the language to build a team, the availability of compilers for that language, and the efficiency with which programs written in a given language execute.
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Languages form an approximate spectrum from "low-level" to "high-level"; "low-level" languages are typically more machine-oriented and faster to execute, whereas "high-level" languages are more abstract and easier to use but execute less quickly. It is usually easier to code in "high-level" languages than in "low-level" ones.
Many computer languages provide a mechanism to call functions provided by shared libraries. Provided the functions in a library follow the appropriate run-time conventions e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Process that leads from an original formulation of a computing problem to executable computer programs. See also: History of programming languages. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Measuring programming language popularity. Main article: Debugging. Main articles: Programming language and List of programming languages. Main article: Programmer. See also: Software developer and Software engineer. Computer programming portal. Main article: Outline of computer programming.
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