Program and algorithm

Today we will discuss the most common misconception that an algorithm and a program are the same thing, and we will teach you how to differentiate them. In addition to the detailed information about each concept, you will find a comparative chart that will make it easier for you to understand the text and make learning more enjoyable.



DefinitionA program is a set of instructions written in a particular syntax, which, if followed, performs a particular task.An algorithm is a pseudocode, a set of instructions that, if followed, perform a particular task.
Who can run itJust a computer or a machineBoth a computer and a person
programs Declarative
programs System
programs Application programs
algorithms Quantitative algorithms.
Computational algorithms.
Non-computational algorithms.
ExamplesWindows, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Word, Android, iOS, etc.Mathematical operations, kitchen recipes, product assembly manuals, source code, etc.

Let’s take a look at the definitions first:

  • Algorithm: Systematic logical approach that is a well-defined step-by-step procedure that enables a computer to solve a problem.
  • Pseudocode: It is a simpler version of a simple English programming code that uses short phrases to write code for a program before implementing it in a specific programming language.
  • Program: It is an exact code written for problems following all the rules of the programming language.

What is an algorithm

An algorithm is used to provide a solution to a particular problem in the form of well-defined steps. Whenever you use a computer to solve a particular problem, the steps leading up to the solution must be correctly communicated to the computer.

While an algorithm is running on a computer, various operations, such as addition and subtraction , are combined to perform more complex mathematical operations. Algorithms can be expressed using natural language, flow charts, etc.

What is a program

A program is a set of instructions that the computer must follow . The machine cannot read a program directly because it only understands the code of the machine, but it can write things in a computer language, and then a compiler or interpreter can make it understandable to the computer.

Differences between algorithm and program

Although they can be confused because they are both a set of instructions , they represent two very different concepts. An algorithm is more like an idea, a way to solve a problem, while a program is more linked to the execution of one or more tasks by a computer.

  • A program can implement one or more algorithms, or it can be so simple that we don’t have to use an algorithm.
  • The task of a developer usually begins by designing algorithms to solve the problems and then implementing them and including them in a program.
  • When we talk about a program there is always the idea that it will be executed by a computer while an algorithm could be executed by a person.
  • A program is written in machine language or at least in a language that can be compiled or interpreted by some kind of machine (sometimes a virtual machine).

In conclusion, the algorithm is used to generate the pseudo-code that is further expanded following a particular syntax of a programming language to create the program code.

What is a pseudocode

It is one of the methods that can be used to represent an algorithm for a program . It does not have a specific syntax like none of the programming languages ​​and therefore cannot be run on a computer. There are several formats that are used to write pseudocodes and most of them eliminate the structures of languages ​​like C, Lisp, FORTRAN, etc.

Many timing algorithms are presented using pseudocode, as they can be read and understood by programmers who are familiar with different programming languages. The pseudocode allows you to include various control structures such as While, If-then-else, Repeat-until, for, and case, which is present in many high-level languages.

We have reached the end of our article on the differentiation between the concepts of program and algorithm . If you have any questions, leave us a comment below and we will try to help you as soon as possible. In turn, we urge you to share the page on your favorite social networks so that we can continue to grow together.

See you soon!!!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *