Created by PatrickNoonan over 6 years ago
WHAT PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE SHOULD I START WITH?Each computer programming language offers something different and each has their own pros and cons. Even depending on where you are in the world some might be more popular so it’s nearly impossible to give any definitive list. So, below is a very general overview of some popular computer languages you may want to get started coding with:
This note is intended to give an overview of our Learning to Code blog series. This series explored why people should start coding and discusses the resources available to them. We also explored many other issues such as the role of women in the coding movement and had an interview with Hadi Partovi from Code.orgYou can find a lot of the info we explored in our series in this note but for more in-depth info check our blog
KEVIN SYSTROM, FOUNDER AND CEO OF INSTAGRAMKevin had a background in Marketing but taught himself to code by night. After teaching himself the basics he set about creating small projects such as combining elements of Foursquare with Mafia Wars. He would then get his friends to play around with what he had created and then work on improving it. Pretty soon he had quit his job and was working on his first app Burbn. In time he had developed Instagram and is now the CEO of one of the largest internet phenomena which sold to Facebook in Spring 2012 for a cool billion dollars.
JAMES WHELTON, FOUNDER OF CODERDOJOCoderDojo is a not for profit company that is sweeping across the world. Its aim is to help teach students how to code. CoderDojo’s founder James Whelton originally founded the organisation after some of his school friends said they wanted to learn coding too after they were impress by Whelton’s ability to hack an iPod Nano. Whelton’s skills at the time were completely self-taught but now he is inspiring an entire generation to code (along with the governments of the world).
JAMIE ZAWINSKI, CONTRIBUTES TO FREE SOFTWARE PROJECTSJamie Zawinski (sometimes called jwz) is considered by many to be one of the greatest programmers out there. He had very little formal training and was mostly self-taught. He is best known for his contributions to open/free software projects like Mozilla and the Netscape web browser.
SHANE CURRANShane Curran is an Irish 12-year-old coder who created and set up Libramatic. He presented his idea at the Dublin Beta and was voted the best start-up on the evening! If this kid can’t inspire you and instill the belief that you can code too then no-one will!
ETHAN DUGGANEthan is a 12 year old coder also from the USA. He is best known for his Lazy Husband apps. He presented his ideas at SXSW as well! He learned to code by using Codecademy but he also got help from the Las Vegas tech community.
THOMAS SUAREZ Thomas is a 12 year older coder from the USA. He thought himself to build iPhone apps and has a number of different titles to his name now. Watch his TED talk below (yes, that’s right, this kid has his own TED talk!) to see the type of apps he has created. I’m sure you will find his story to be inspiring.
ADA LOVELACE: FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAMMERAda Lovelace was an English mathematician who is regarded today as being the first computer programmer. She wrote the first machine algorithm which she based off Charles Babbage’s Analytical engine. She described herself as a ‘poetical scientist’ and followed her curiosity down many different paths. She constantly returned to ideas revolving around computer programming though. Her impact on modern computer science can not be underestimated.
THE ENIAC TEAM: PROGRAMMED THE WORLDS FIRST ELECTRONIC COMPUTERIn 1946, a team of 6 women programmed the world’s first electronic computer; ENIAC ( You can read a very interesting critique of the this team here). There names were : Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Fran Bilas and Ruth Lichterman. At the time they were largely overlooked and credit was given to the men who built the machine as opposed to the women who actually programmed it. However, in 1997, they were inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.
GRACE HOPPER: CREATED THE FIRST LANGUAGE COMPILERIn 1952 Grace Hopper created the first language compiler . She was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I calculator, and she developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. Without Grace, or ‘Amazing Grace’ as she was later nicknamed, a computer wouldn’t be able to comprehend the code programmers use everyday. So she has had a major impact on the development of computer sciences.
MARY ALLEN WILKES: CREATED THE FIRST OPERATING SYSTEMMary Allen Wilkes is best known for her work on the LINC system which is regarded as the “ great-granddaddy of all the personal computers” . She is regarded by most to be the first person ever to use a ‘home computer’, as you can see in her picture. Her biggest individual contribution though was that she created the first operating system. Without Mary Allen Wilkes work on developing operating systems the modern PC as we know it wouldn’t exist!
There are a number of sites that also focus on helping girls to code. Of course, girls can still use the above resources but these sites might also be helpful! Girls Who Code The Ada initiative Girl Develop It Girl Geek The Raise Project Black Girls Code Code Ed.
HTML5: is a markup language for structuring and presenting content for the Web. Pros: An extremely popular language and used in some capacity by the majority of sites. Apparently, 34 of the world’s top 100 Web sites were using HTML5 Cons: This is a front-end mark-up language so it doesn’t have any decision-making capabilities i.e. it can only describe the info it comes across and not take any action on it
Ruby: Ruby on Rails is a hugely popular lightweight framework which is great for writing web applications. Pros: Very popular and “cool” especially in the start-up community. Better than Java for creating a web application quickly Cons: Fast moving language, lots of out-of-date online documentation, not really useful for developing GUI applications—pretty much web-only, realistically speaking Python: Similar to Ruby in the above ways, though seemingly not as popular. Pros: Many would swear it is a superior language to Ruby. Greater GUI development compared to Ruby Cons: Not as popular in the industry when compared with Ruby so it might not be as helpful on your CV This is just a very basic overview of some popular languages. There are many moreestablished or even up and coming languages you could also learn. The best advice for choosing which language you start with is to ask yourself what you want to achieve by learning to code; this will help you make a decision. If you need some help, look to the coding experts for some inspiration!
C++: is a general-purpose programming language. It is comprised of both high and low-level language features and, as such, is regarded as an intermediate-level language. Pros: Very popular and a lot can be achieved with it. If there is something that can’t be done using the language there is often a way of grafting it in Cons: It’s a very large language and this may cause some features to interact in unexpected ways. It would be hard for one developer to have an expert knowledge of the whole language, rather focus on certain key elements Java: is a scripting language and is probably most popular language overall, used predominantly for enterprise and web applications. It’s also popular with open source and Android. Pros: Popular and regarded as being easy to learn ( or a least easier than others) Cons: Limited in terms of language features, somewhat old-fashioned.
Interview with Hadi Partovi