Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, IoT User Interface, 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
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Logs are continuous digital records of events generated by all components of your software stack – and they’re everywhere – your networks, servers, applications, containers and cloud infrastructure just to name a few. The data logs provide are like an X-ray for your IT infrastructure. Without logs, this lack of visibility creates operational challenges for managing modern applications that drive today’s digital businesses.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...