Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Chris Schwarz, Elizabeth White, Todd Matters, Pat Romanski, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Machine Learning , Ruby-On-Rails, Perl, Python

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Choosing Your First Programming Language

Which is easiest, the most professionally useful, the most newbie-friendly?

By

Many new programmers struggle when it comes to selecting their first language to learn.  Which is easiest, the most professionally useful, the most newbie-friendly?  Lets find out by showing you a range of options, their strengths and weaknesses, and some information about the most common programming languages in demand today.  At the end, we’ll make some recommendations and you’ll understand a bit more about why they were chosen.

The Task At Hand
Every job requires the right kind of tool, and each programming language can be thought of as a separate tool.  Just like some tools are good for hammering nails, driving screws, and leveling screws, some programming languages are innately more suitable than others for tasks like designing a website, interpreting text, or reacting to user input.

Lets go through a few common use cases:

Language

Typical Usage

Java

Thick-client applications, large web apps, web applets, cross-platform

C# / .Net

Windows applications, iPhone apps

PHP

Web Application back-ends

Javascript

User interaction through web browser

Python

Science apps, computer admin tools, automating repetitive tasks quickly, can run on Linux and Windows (like java)

Ruby

Robust & Large web applications

Perl

Working with lots of text

Bash

Automating Linux Activities (like starting/stopping processes)

C/C++

Medium to Large projects, Embedded development, applications where speed is a factor

All of these languages can perform the same (or nearly the same) tasks as all the others, but the amount of effort can vary widely from language to language.  You’ll see that in some of the examples in the next section…

Detail-Oriented
All programming languages rely on structure to perform their tasks.  This structure is known as Syntax.  The syntax for English and Japanese are night and day, but the syntax for French and Spanish are very similar (if you remember your language classes from high school!).  The same applies to computer languages.  Lets look at some examples:

Java

C#

public class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println(“Hello, World”);
}
}

public class Hello1
{
public static void Main()
{
System.Console.WriteLine(“Hello, World!”);
}
}

vs

Perl

Python

#!/usr/bin/perl
print “Hello World.\n”;

#!/usr/bin/python

print “Hello World\n”

 

You can see that Perl and Python are nearly as identical to each other as Java and C# are!

programmingThis makes sense because many languages are modeled after one another.  By choosing a language that is syntactically similar to many other languages, you can practically learn multiple languages at once!

Hey, by the way, if you looked closely at those examples, you’ll notice some are simple, others are complex, and some require semicolons at the ends of lines while others don’t.  If you’re just getting started in programming, sometimes it’s best to choose languages without many syntactical (or logical) rules because it allows the language to “Get out of its own way”.  If you’ve tried one language and really struggled with it, try a simpler one!

Setup:

If you’ve seen your use case mentioned in the table above, or have decided on a language already, you’ll need a way to run it.  Generally, scripting languages require something called an Interpreter whereas C and C++ require compilers.  Almost all of the languages mentioned in this article (with the exception of C#) are easiest to set up with any flavor of Linux — it really doesn’t matter which kind.  C# is a special case because you need Visual Studio and Windows to use that.

PHP really requires a lot of work to set up in tandem with Apache/IIS, so we’ll save it for your own Googling or another article.  The languages and links below are the easiest to set up.

Language

Windows

Ubuntu Linux Console Command

Ruby

http://rubyinstaller.org/

apt-get install ruby

Python 2.7

http://www.activestate.com/activepython/downloads

apt-get install python

C#/.Net

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads#d-2012-express

N/A

Java

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

apt-get install openjdk

C++

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads#d-2012-express

apt-get install build-essential gcc

 

You can see that things on Linux can be quite easy to set up, but of course requires some amount of familiarity with the operating system.  If you’re not scared to jump into Linux feet-first and take some time to Google your issues, I highly recommend that you use Linux.  Either way, you’ll be using the command line in order to debug your programs anyways.

Popularity Contest:
TIOBE.com
maintains a who’s-who popularity list for all the most popular computer programming languages.  It’s created by crawling various search engines and scraping the results.  You can view all of their charts and graphs at http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html

These are the top ten:

1

1

*

C

16.975%

-2.32%

A

2

2

*

Java

16.154%

-0.11%

A

3

4

*

C++

8.664%

-0.48%

A

4

3

*

Objective-C

8.561%

-1.21%

A

5

6

*

PHP

6.430%

+0.82%

A

6

5

*

C#

5.564%

-1.03%

A

7

7

*

(Visual) Basic

4.837%

-0.69%

A

8

8

*

Python

3.169%

-0.69%

A

9

11

*

JavaScript

2.015%

+0.69%

A

10

14

*

Transact-SQL

1.997%

+1.12%

A

So All This Information Is Nice But…
You need to make a decision, right.  Well, lets make a couple more charts and then get you started:

1. I’m a Windows User and I want to Get Into Programming
If you’re making something simple and want some experience that will translate into real-world usefulness, start with C#/.Net — setup is easy, the Visual Studio really helps you out, and there are plenty of resources to help you, including technet and MSDN directly from Microsoft!

Those languages aren’t as easy as Python, but Python isn’t going to help you out as much if you’re looking to make a simple graphical application.  That being said, if you just need a command-line utility, take a close look at Python.

2. I’m familiar with Linux and I want to make/automate something
Python.  Simple, fast, incredibly powerful, easy to use and experience with it translates fairly well into other languages.  Absolutely a must for beginners willing to get their feet wet with Linux.

3. I want to build a website
JavaScript and PHP — These languages require the most amount of know-how to set up (you have to install a webserver and make sure it’s configured to run PHP) but aren’t too complicated once you get that ball rolling.  PHP isn’t going to get you as much experience working with modern programming languages unless you use it in an Object-Oriented style though.

JavaScript is very useful to know and is easy to learn.  You’ll get a lot of use out of it, even without PHP.  In fact, you can make and run Javascript programs without any setup, right in your browser.

Just give me a Language!
Python.  It’s easy, already used by thousands, very extendable, doesn’t require as much attention to detail, and allows beginners to learn logic basics before going into object-oriented programming.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Colocation is a central pillar of modern enterprise infrastructure planning because it provides greater control, insight, and performance than managed platforms. In spite of the inexorable rise of the cloud, most businesses with extensive IT hardware requirements choose to host their infrastructure in colocation data centers. According to a recent IDC survey, more than half of the businesses questioned use colocation services, and the number is even higher among established businesses and busine...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
There's a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive. Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressi...
Managing mission-critical SAP systems and landscapes has never been easy. Add public cloud with its myriad of powerful cloud native services and this may not change any time soon. Public cloud offers exciting new possibilities for enterprise workloads. But to make use of these possibilities and capabilities, IT teams need to re-think everything they have done before. Otherwise, they will just end up using public cloud as a hosting platform for their workloads, aka known as “lift and shift.”
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
The reality of data ubiquity is here—data is buried in operational statistics, machine logs, stacks of overflowing tickets and customer details, among other things. How can any user get valuable information amid this rapid influx of data? Imagine a situation where your firm’s revenue takes a hit owing to an unexpected failure in some business process. It would be a nightmare for IT admins to sift through the interminable piles of data to deduce exactly why and where the problem occurred. To sav...
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
Hybrid IT is today’s reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it’s in every IT professional’s best interest to know what to expect.
In the decade following his article, cloud computing further cemented Carr’s perspective. Compute, storage, and network resources have become simple utilities, available at the proverbial turn of the faucet. The value they provide is immense, but the cloud playing field is amazingly level. Carr’s quote above presaged the cloud to a T. Today, however, we’re in the digital era. Mark Andreesen’s ‘software is eating the world’ prognostication is coming to pass, as enterprises realize they must be...
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
Companies have always been concerned that traditional enterprise software is slow and complex to install, often disrupting critical and time-sensitive operations during roll-out. With the growing need to integrate new digital technologies into the enterprise to transform business processes, this concern has become even more pressing. A 2016 Panorama Consulting Solutions study revealed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects took an average of 21 months to install, with 57 percent of th...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...