Input, Processing, Output

Input, Processing, Output By: Kendall Roden

Input, Processing, and Output, three words that have been repeated time and time again in CS 120.  Usually, they are used to describe the preparation that comes before writing code, which will eventually become an executable project. Input, as we have learned this semester, is a very ambiguous word. In code, and in life, the word input can be representative of many different concepts. Specifically, input can refer to the data that is known and will be utilized by a program to create some kind of output. The output, on the other hand, is the product created by processing the input data. Processing, the part of the program that is never seen by the program user, is what turns data into information. Processing can order the data through sorting, swapping, calculating values, etc. Although the user may never see the inner workings of the processing stage, the processes are essential to ensuring that overall output is delivered in an organized and understandable manner upon program completion.

For each program that is created, there is potentially going to be different input, different processing steps and different output provided to the user. Regardless, these three items will still be present, even if they may take on different data. Although it is easy to look at this terminology as merely “computer jargon,” it is even more intuitive to view these three words in a non-technical way.

In the MIS program, we are constantly learning something new. Whether we are trying to grasp the concept of sentinel-controlled loops or attempting to classify the essential steps of a methodology, we are receiving new knowledge and understanding for ourselves. As we develop the ability to work closely with other teammates, we are gaining real experience in how to communicate effectively. All of the aspects of the MIS program provide new opportunities to expand our personal “data”. The most interesting part of all is that we have the ability to process the incoming knowledge in whichever way we choose.

Just like a program, we as individual students may or may not divulge to others exactly how we are choosing to implement all that we learning. The computer process of taking inputs and producing outputs is a parallel to the opportunity that each of us have to produce a better version of ourselves. By simply adding a complex nested loop, using overloaded functions, throwing in a few new structs, etc. our code can go from mediocre to excellent. In the same manner, spending a little extra time working on our professional skills, taking an internship opportunity, reaching out to faculty, etc. can help each of us produce a more prepared and passionate business professional in the end of our MIS careers. We each have a unique opportunity to utilize new knowledge that we can process and develop to produce the best possible version of ourselves!

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