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Frozen since 1837, some guy just thawed up and confronted me with the verb 'to program' in the context of CS.

If by programming an automatic computer, we mean “to put instructions in main memory for the machine to execute”, then how come today's "programmers" do pretty much anything but “program”?

When did it become the job of the poor programmers to actually write down (manually, or via compilers) the machine code in the first place? (Further; when did it suddenly become enough to write the higher-level source?)

Did “programming” initially imply both “writing code” and “transfer code to memory”, back when lots of architectures were practically unique, and the name of the profession has just stuck to this day? Was there, in the early days, ever any mention of a profession involving only composing and recording such code, but not necessarily programming (sic) a computer with it?

migrated from cs.stackexchange.com Mar 16 '15 at 0:47

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A rather detailed answer to your question can be found in the Wikipedia entries History of computing hardware and Analytical Engine.

According to Wikipedia, Charles Babbage is credited for the first version of a programmable computer and Ada Lovelace for the first published description of programming.

  • Yes, there are plenty of sources for the history of programming, if one bothers to look. – Hot Licks Mar 16 '15 at 0:56

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