Anyone creating a program, whether they are just starting at this job or have a lot of experience, will come across errors in their programming, which they will have to solve. Naturally, those who have been coding for years will minimize them, while the beginners are at risk of finding themselves having to solve many programming errors. But such is the nature of this work and getting to discover all the errors in a program will always be the hardest part of the life of a computer programmer.
Types of Errors in Computer Science
Although there are a large variety of them, there are three types of errors in programming which can be found. When a computer programmer arrives at the end of its creation and samples the program, he will have to find these errors according to the responses the program will give him. In the event that the program runs smoothly the first time he hit “run”, there will still need to be time allowed to make various tests on the program, in order to make sure that it is doing what it was meant to be, since logical errors may not stop the program from running, but can get it to come to unforeseen results.
Logical errors are the first category. There are also syntax and semantic errors which can be found in the program. They happen during coding and will be unveiled at the launch of the program. That part of the work of a computer programmer is quite stressful, as it is a daunting task to look and find for them. It can be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. But by going at it in an orderly manner, eliminating each potential error one by one, by moving from one category to another, the programmer can win his war against errors in computer science.
First category: The Logical Errors
Those who don’t work with computers may not know that, but just like humans, computers work on logic. Sometimes, the logic we use to solve a problem or to achieve something, can be faulty. When that is the case, there will still be a result to our action; it just won’t be the one we were planning for. It is exactly the same with computer programs. If you are coding software which is meant to produce a particular output, but you are providing the computer with a logic which will not lead to that result, the program will still work in the end but it won’t be doing what you need it to do.
That becomes quite complicated because you then have to find the flaw inside the logic you provided to the program. Once you find it, you’ll have to rewrite a complete part of the code, in order for it to finally produce the results you have been looking for. In fact, it is possible that when you run the program, you don’t even realize that there is an error since it doesn’t crash or tells you that it’s there. That’s why, you have to be particularly attentive to this type of error and test the program multiple times to make sure it functions as it is supposed to.
Second Category: The Syntax Errors
Syntax errors tend to be easy to solve as they usually imply a very small typing issue. It won’t let the program run simply because it cannot read what was written. If you want to compare this type of computer science error to real life, it is like writing a text and forgetting to place a comma or to close a parenthesis in a sentence where you opened one. For anyone reading such a text, it would not stop them from understanding the meaning of what you wrote. But in computer science, the simple lack of a digit, where it should be found, will freeze the program.
There are two different types of syntax errors which will appear in separate times. The first are compiled language mistakes which will show up at compile time. The other ones are interpreted language and they will be identified once you run the program. The advantage of a syntax error is that the compiler (interpreter) will provide you with the location of the problem, so that you can fix it easily.
Third Category: Semantic Errors
The last category of error is one that will simply cause the program to do nothing at all. In other words: The coding did not create a program in the end. This is an error more commonly found in young, inexperienced computer programmers who are learning how to code.
If you decide to specialize yourself in computer programming, make sure to be on the look-out for these three types of programming errors and go about finding them in an efficient and orderly way. Otherwise, you may find your hair going gray before their time.