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Definition: hard coded


Programming code that solves a problem but offers less flexibility for future changes. Hard coding may get the job done, but it can be thought of as "brute force" programming. The degree to which a program is hard coded determines how difficult it will be to modify later when new types of data are introduced or new functions are added.

Easier and Faster
Very often, an application is hard coded first and generalized later. The reason is simple. It is always easier and faster to hard code a solution than to write a generalized routine that handles a variety of possibilities.

Hard Coding Vs. Hand Coding
Hard coding and "hand coding" are not the same thing. Hard coding refers to writing a fixed solution. Hand coding means writing individual statements in a programming language rather than using a preprogrammed routine. See hardwired, hand coding, generalized program and data independence.

Fixed Vs. Variable Example
In the following pseudocode example, it takes half as many lines to hard code a program that bounces a ball 10 times rather than a variable number of times:

   Hard Coded (fixed number)

    start
  1    ballCount = 0
    loop
  2    bounce ball
  3    add 1 to ballCount
  4    if ballCount = 10
  5       stop
       else
  6    goto loop


   Generalized Code (variable number)

    start
  1    display "Enter Bounce Count"
  2    input to maxCount
  3    if maxCount not an integer
  4       display "Not a valid number."
  5       goto start
       else
  6       ballCount = 0
    loop
  7    if ballCount not = maxCount
  8       bounce ball
  9       add 1 to ballCount
 10       goto loop
 11    else
 12       stop