Software Development Facts – Part 1

Check out the first part of our collection of the most eye-opening software development facts.

1. Reading computer code does not engage the areas of the brain that understand language.

According to this research, “a distributed network called the multiple demand network” is activated, which is similarly activated for more difficult cognitive tasks like mathematics or crossword puzzles.

While reading computer code activates the multiple demand network, it appears to rely on different portions of the network than arithmetic or logic issues do, implying that coding also does not precisely mimic the cognitive demands of mathematics.

“Understanding computer code seems to be its own thing. It’s not the same as language, and it’s not the same as math and logic,” explains Anna Ivanova, a graduate student at MIT and the study’s principal author.

2. “Programming” and “coding” are not interchangeable terms.

Coders use an intermediary language to translate machine commands into language that can be understood by humans. This language explains what the machine must do in detail. Coding effectively requires a number of competencies, which differ according to the language. You must know the syntax, important words, and logical order of the language.

While creating code is an integral part of the software development process, it is far from the most important. Numerous additional procedures are necessary to create a final digital product. They cover every aspect of the process, from conception to completion, from development to implementation, and even maintenance. The term “programming” refers to the full process.

3. Before computers and software, the term “bug” was used to characterize mechanical system problems.

Thomas Edison was the first to use the term “bug” to denote a technical flaw in a letter written in 1878.

“You were partly correct, I did find a ‘bug’ in my apparatus, but it was not in the telephone proper. It was of the genus ‘callbellum.’”. 

His later works also included the phrase “bug,” and a biography of Edison noticed that the term appeared frequently in his notes.

70 years passed before the phrase became well-known and the very first computer bug was a real-world bug.

On September 9, 1947, at 3:45 p.m., the first computer bug was recorded by Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and Navy veteran. She began troubleshooting the computer after noticing a glitch. Hopper noticed a dead moth lodged between the computer’s relay contacts. This “bug” (with a 5-inch wingspan) was saved behind a piece of adhesive tape on the machines’ logbook with the now-iconic statement “[The] First actual case of a bug being found”. (source and other information are available here)

Additional 3 Fascinating Facts:

  1. Google was Up For Sale for under $1 million in 1999 to the internet portal Excite, which rejected the offer. (source here)
  1. The Programming Language “C” was named after its predecessor “B” (source here
  2. Luis von Ahn is not only the co-creator of CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA but also the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, the language learning website and app.

As an added bonus, check out ReCaptcha’s Incredible Story – Luis von Ahn’s First Startup:

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