Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Derek Weeks

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
Between the mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Charles Kendrick, CTO & Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how business and devel...
Call it DevOps or not, if you are concerned about releasing more code faster and at a higher quality, the resulting software delivery chain and process will look and smell like DevOps. But for existing development teams, no matter what the velocity objective is, getting from here to there is not something that can be done without a plan. Moving your release cadence from months to weeks is not just about learning Agile practices and getting some automation tools. It involves people, tooling and ...
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
I had the opportunity to catch up with Chris Corriere - DevOps Engineer at AutoTrader - to talk about his experiences in the realm of Rugged DevOps. We discussed automation, culture and collaboration, and which thought leaders he is following. Chris Corriere: Hey, I'm Chris Corriere. I'm a DevOps Engineer AutoTrader. Derek Weeks: Today we're going to talk about Rugged DevOps. It's a subject that's gaining a lot of traction in the community but not a lot of people are really familiar with wh...
APIs have taken the world by storm in recent years. The use of APIs has gone beyond just traditional "software" companies, to companies and organizations across industries using APIs to share information and power their applications. For some organizations, APIs are the biggest revenue drivers. For example, Salesforce generates nearly 50% of annual revenue through APIs. In other cases, APIs can increase a business's footprint and initiate collaboration. Netflix, for example, reported over 5 bi...