Variable is a computer programming term that refers to a symbolic name or a value that can change, depending on specific conditions or certain events. It makes referencing and calculating easier for a programmer, since they do not have to remember various values or expressions.
Variables can contain different types of data, such as numbers (integers, floats, etc.), strings of text, lists, and sets. In order to refer to a variable, the programmer must assign a unique identifier, also known as the variable name. This is typically done by using one letter, numbers, or an underscore.
Variables are used in many types of programming, such as application development, scripting, automation of system tasks, and game development. For instance, a game may use a variable to keep track of a score or the number of lives a player has. Likewise, an application might use a variable to store a user’s username.
Variables are also commonly used when solving mathematical equations, such as those involving complex algebraic expressions. For example, when given an equation with ‘y’ as its unknown value, a programmer could assign a variable ‘x’ to represent and contain this value.
Different programming languages use different types of variables, as some are more specific than others. A programming language may have built-in variables, which are predefined and used by the language itself. Other variables types may include global, which can be accessed anywhere in the code, and local, which can only be accessed in certain areas of the program.
In computer programming, variables help to ensure that programs will execute correctly and efficiently, and can be used to represent real-world objects, such as numbers, text, or physical entities. Variables also enable the use of functions that can be reused by multiple programs, making programming more efficient.