At some point in the past, around the 1970's or so, programmers wrote their code on paper. Considering the fact that modern computers have replaced paper in so many ways, the whole idea seems a little backwards.
I have no first hand experience with these things. I have a vague idea how it worked, but I want more details. I assume that the process is similar to filling out regular paperwork, but the fact that these were programs that had to follow a complex syntax must complicate things a little.
Obviously, these programming forms couldn't be fed directly into the computer, so something had to be done to put it in machine readable format.
What needed to be done to actually run a program written on a form? Was this an error-prone process? In this one book I have, the format on some of the programs is a little lax:
Photo mine. It's a COBOL book.
Near the top, some lines are crossed out. But near the bottom of the page, some of the code is literally outside the lines: it's straddling two lines.
Here's a full example of a form: