Pseudocode is a plain language description of a computer program intended to be understood by a human rather than executed by a computer. Pseudocode eliminates boilerplate required by computers, such as variable declarations. It uses natural language instructions where convenient. Sometimes pseudocode can also involve mathematical notations, depending on the nature of the programs and the target demographic. Pseudocode is the textual, linear equivalent of flow charts.

Since the target audience for pseudocode is another person, there are no steadfast rules for syntax or semantics. Instead, pseudocode borrows heavily from the conventions and keywords of other languages, such as indentation for nesting.

The resemblance with pseudocode is a USP for languages like HAGGIS. Python’s emphasis on readability makes valid code just as understandable as natural language.

Where is pseudocode used?

  • Pseudocode is frequently employed in computer science education, as it makes algorithms much easier to understand using natural language.
  • Manuals on algorithms employ pseudocode to be understood by most developers, regardless of programming language experience. This practice also allows developers to port them to any language as necessary.
  • Pseudocode finds usage in the software development industry to speed up code prototyping cycles. If it holds up against specific tests, it ports to a syntactically accurate version.

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