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General Programming Guide

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I have had quite a few messages on discord recently about programming and where it is best to start. So I thought I would make a quick thread explaining what the main programming languages people learn and what they’re used for. I’m not going to tell you which ones you should start with as everyone are different in how they want to learn things because some languages are a lot more complex than others.

There are so many different programming languages and frameworks out there it can be hard to choose which one is best for you to achieve your end goal. Some of the most common languages are:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • Javascript
  • PhP
  • Python
  • Java
  • C++

I myself started with HTML/CSS then moved onto Javascript to be able to create bukkit plugins. I then lost interested with plugins and decided to focus more on front end web development.

To start with you need to ask yourself why do you want to start programming and what sort of projects do you want to start doing. This then will ultimately decide which language is for you. So let’s jump straight in!

 

Python

Python seems to be the language a lot of people starting out in programming start off with. This is because it’s a rather simple language, fun and you don’t need to worry about strict syntax rules. School’s especially love it. Python reads like normal English so there is no need to worry about trying to decode your code to make it make sense.

Python is ideal for web development; graphic user interfaces (GUIs) and software development. In fact Python was used to create YouTube, Instagram and Spotify.

 

C#

Known as C Sharp, C# is apart of the ‘C’ Programming Family which is a general purpose language. Learning ‘C’ is one of the more difficult languages due to most other languages are implemented into it. Once you learn ‘C’ it’s a lot easier to learn C# and C++.

 

Java

Java is an object-oriented and feature-heavy programming language that’s in high demand. It’s been built under the premise of “Write once, run anywhere,” meaning that it can be written on any device and work cross-platform.

It’s often used in Android and iOS app development and forms the bases of the Android operating system. Top employers for Java include Amazon, Ebay and IBM.

While it may not be as easy to pick up as Python, Java is a high-level language, and so it’s still relatively beginner-friendly. However, it has a slow startup and will take beginners much longer to deploy their first project.

 

JavaScript

JavaScript is another very popular programming language. Websites such as Twitter, Google, Spotify and Facebook use JavaScript. It is a must have when creating interactive website because it communicates extremely well with HTML and CSS. Therefore, it makes it essential for front-end development and consumer-facing websites.

Additionally, because of JavaScript’s popularity it’s becoming a leading backbone in frameworks such as Angular, Protractor and NodeJS. One of the great things about JavaScript is that you don’t need to install anything as it’s built into browsers.

Like Java, JavaScript isn’t as easy to learn as Python.

 

Ruby

Ruby is very similar to Python in that it’s an easier language to learn, easier to read, you don’t need to know any programming vocabulary to learn it nor do you need any experience. Ruby is becoming ever more popular because of a full-stack framework called Ruby on Rails. Airbnb, Groupon, Hulu and Soundcloud are built with Ruby on Rails. 

 

HTML/CSS

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. With Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, it forms a base of technologies for the World Wide Web.

Most people have heard of HTML/CSS so I’m not really going to explain what its uses are.

 

Other

If you’re after learning a specific language to do specific things, see the below a list of common languages for development.

Operating Systems

  • iOS -> Swift or Objective-C.
  • macOS -> Objective-C or Swift
  • Windows -> C#
  • Android -> Java.

The C++ language can be used for some applications on all these platforms.

 

Frameworks

ElectronJS – Developed by GitHub this language encompasses Node.JS and Chromium for cross platform desktop development. Software that uses ElectronJS includes Discord, Microsoft VS Code, Skype, Twitch.TV and WhatsApp. As it uses Chromium, which is the source code for Google Chrome, you are in theory creating a Chrome based application.

Angular, formally AngularJS – Is an open-source TypeScript framework created and maintained by Google. TypeScript being a superset to JavaScript but maintained by Microsoft. Angular is a modular based language which instead of running server side it runs client side so it is quicker and more responsive. Angular is by far my favourite framework and I know it is @Flaks too. A lot of our applications for Palace that are web based use or will be using Angular instead of PHP because Angular is easier to read and understand.

There are many frameworks out there, these are 2 frameworks that are becoming ever so popular.

 

Summary

In this guide I have only listed a few languages and frameworks, there are hundreds more out there for you to discover and play around with. When I started learning I didn't know where to start until I started playing around with some and then deciding what one I wanted to focus on, which turned out to be HTML/CSS, and then process from there.

If anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me on Discord or use the group!

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