Chapter 2: How Programs Work

Major Concepts

After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Explain what an algorithm is.
  2. Explain what a programming language is.
  3. Explain why one programming language might be chosen over another.
  4. Explain how a program runs, including the differences between compiled and interpreted languages.
  5. Run a program and locate its output in the console.
  6. Understand some basic debugging practices.

Key Terminology

Here are the key terms for this chapter. On the pages that they appear, make note of what they are and their definitions.


  1. Program
  2. Algorithm

Programming Languages

  1. Binary code
  2. Hexadecimal
  3. Programming language
  4. Compiler
  5. Syntax

The JavaScript Language

  1. JavaScript
  2. Front-end
  3. Back-end

Setting Up Your Coding Tools

  1. Integrated development environment (IDE)
  2. Visual Studio Code (VSC)
  3. Console
  4. Terminal
  5. Starter code

Your First Program

  1. cd
  2. ls
  3. Dashboard
  4. Repository
  5. git status
  6. Staging
  7. git add
  8. git commit
  9. Commit message
  10. git pull
  11. git push
  12. Fork
  13. Clone
  14. Personal Access Token