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The microcontroller does not understand higher programming languages as such, so that it is necessary to compile the program into machine language. A single click on the appropriate icon within the compiler results in creating a new document with .hex. It is actually the same program, only compiled into machine language which the microcontroller perfectly understands. Such a program is usually called ahex code and forms a seemingly meaningless sequence of hexadecimal numbers. When compiled, the program should be loaded into the chip. And you need appropriate hardware to make this happen. In other words, you need a programmer.