Some important programming basics include language features such as variables, boolean logic, logical operators and conditional statements. It is also essential to understand binary and be aware of programming paradigms. A variable is a symbolic name that refers to a value. Boolean algebra uses the truth values, true and false. Logical operators, such as "AND" and "OR", operate on boolean variables, and are often used for flow control together with conditional "if" statements, "for" loops and "while" loops.
The binary number system underpins modern computing and is, therefore, an important topic for all programmers. Binary code represents data using the digits 0 and 1. ComputerHope.com provides a tutorial for understanding binary representations and the basic arithmetic. Beginners learning about low-level hardware boards and microcontrollers, such as with Arduino or Raspberry Pi, should focus on understanding binary first. TutorialsPoint.com and MakeUseOf.com provide tutorials that cover basic programming language features and concepts, such as the binary number system.
New programmers should read about computer programming paradigms, such as the imperative, procedural and object-oriented approaches. These paradigms have heavily influenced the development of mainstream programming languages. More generally, beginners should study the history of programming for a broad understanding of the fundamental concepts, such as Boolean algebra, invented by George Boole in 1847. Boolean algebra facilities are present in all modern programming languages. Wikipedia and ComputerHope are good general resources for learning about these topics within computing history.