Programming Fundamentals

This poem explains the fundamentals of programming and why they are able to accomplish the many things they perform, both in computers and in living things.


1 There’s another basic principle
In the forth-dimension— time
It’s the reason that programming works
To build complex things like rhyme

2 The first thing it requires is
A deterministic base
Where the start of it’s NOT random
But has precision in each place

3 Repeatable, reliable
Not like random anything
For when each command is given
The correct result must always bring

4 Each command does its small thing
Like a single letter in this rhyme
It must be reliable
And function right each time

5 Like in your computer
Its CPU does do
Machine commands, these building blocks
For each process it builds new

6 The process that describes it
Is a “deterministic” affect
For, there is a direct relation
‘twixt its cause and its effect

7 Programming doesn’t work
Without a machine to make it go
It doesn’t work by magic
It computes things— don’t ya know

8 If you change these “letters”
At random you will have
A bug that causes trouble
In the program you just had

9 It seems so rather simple
I really wonder why
When discovered in all living things
All of a sudden— folks go shy

10 However—
The machinery that we have in us
Has a computing name
It’s a “Turing” machine
For the scientist of that name

11 Because its program circles through
Back to its beginning— so
It doesn’t have to rewind
And maintains a constant flow

12 It always runs its program
It always follows through
To build each thing it’s programmed for
It won’t forget just what to do

13 There are those who imagine
That if we close our eyes
To the process it is going through
It will make us a surprise

14 They want it to be random
But the evidence we see
Is quite the opposite— we only get
What its program does decree

15 If we rearrange the letters
In this rhyme we’ll surly get
A mess of humble-jumble
Not good order— don’t forget

16 The same is true of things in you
What makes you grow and love
Because your DNA is made
By the principles above.

Neat Huh!

by John N. Hait


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