Designing Your Own Code

Programming is Communication

Project: Design Your Own Programming Language

Computers are programmed in a computer or coding “language,” which is a limited vocabulary of instructions that the computer can obey. The computer will only follow instructions that are part of the “language”, and they follow those instructions to the letter. Programs are written in languages that have been specially designed, with a limited set of instructions, to tell computers what to do. Some languages are more suitable for some purposes than others, and there are many researchers who work hard to design new languages to make it easier for programmers to do their job.

Have you figured out what people might use your code for?
It has to have a purpose to guide the design. Design without intent will be wasteful, without direction, and likely inconsistent.

Programming is a form of communication between the designer and the machine.  The code you utilize is the mode for that communication, and there are different languages. Like world languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, English, or any other, there are rules for it. There are spelling rules, sentences structures, punctuation, and other conventions intended to be useful and consistent.

However, it can be less confusing when you’re learning a new language if you have easy to remember rules like i before e, except after c; like in believe or deceive. Well, except when its not, which is pretty often, like in science, or seize, or ancient, or glacier, or protein, or caffeine, or or or…. you get the idea.

So, design your programming language to be consistent, and easy to use and learn for the intended audience and purpose.

Want some examples? There’s tons on the internet.

Check out this very limited programming language developed by MIT’s Aesthetics and Computing Group. What can you make with it? is it easy to use, or confusing? How much can be done with? What limitations does it have?
My Video about DBN

What is DBN?
Introduction to DBN
Check out the DBN Applet

About Your Project

As previously discussed, you are designing your own programming language for your current project. However, to be scored using IB MYP Criterion Rubrics (We discussed the IB MYP Criterion when we made the owls) you have to shown evidence of your process through the Design Cycle. You’ll need a manilla folder for this (Which is why it was on the supplies list).
In order to provide evidence, you will need to collect it and provide it for assessment. This is organized into a design folder.


Design folders should be presented in a manilla folder. All documentation should be stored inside the folder. Documentation for the investigation stage should be stapled on the left inside flap.

Documentation regarding the Design, Plan, Create, and Evaluate should be sorted in that order, stapled to the right inside flap.

Investigate must contain all of the following:

  • Problem statement
  • Research – notes you have taken related to your project, this could include not from assignments during this six weeks, or notes from your own research for the project
  • Design brief – an explanation of the what information guided your investigation and how you plan to use this knowledge to solve the problem
  • Design specification – the requirements that your product/solution must meet (for all three areas; Career, Communication, & Digital)
  • Testing plan – the specifics of how you will determine whether your product met the requirements

Design must contain all of the following:

  • An expansive set of brainstormed ideas
  • At least two complete unique designs for products/solutions that could solve the challenge, neatly presented
  • An explanation of why you chose the design you intend to pursue

Plan must contain all of the following:

  • A comprehensive list of materials needed to complete your product/solution
  • A detailed, step-by-step description of procedures you will follow to complete your product/solution
  • Any other planning used to create your product

Create must contain all of the following:

  • Dated Process Logs during your project, documenting in detail your work on the product/solution, including progress, adherence to deadlines, revisions to the design or plan.

Evaluate must contain all of the following:

  • Results of product testing (as described in your testing plan)
  • Evaluation of the product against the Design Specification
  • A detailed assessment of your process and work, for all six IB MYP Tech Criterion; including where you believed you scored on each Criterion rubric

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