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Programming basics for students

May 11, 2018

Knowing how to program is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Programming involves a variety of different programming languages designed to communicate with computers. Dynamic languages are flexible and powerful, making it possible to create programs, software, and applications that will complete various processes. Ruby, Python, and JavaScript are three examples of dynamic languages that are relatively easy to grasp, even for novices. Statically typed languages involve stricter programming rules, which steepens the learning curve significantly. Examples of static languages include Java, C, and C++. Learning programming basics can position you to succeed and advance in your field.

JavaScript is an innovative and progressive language that continues to evolve with new improvements and innovations. JavaScript is popular in front-end development, which means that this programming language is not in direct competition with other languages such as Ruby and Python that are more suited for back-end development. The future of each programming language rests in its continued evolution and the rate at which professionals continue to use it. Recent trends have placed Python and JavaScript at the top as far as growth and interest by the programming community.

Anyone diving into the world of coding will likely find it relatively easy to pick up Ruby. Ruby involves many pre-packaged tools that give novice developers a chance to experiment with programming. Python is also quite user-friendly, and this programming language is ideal for creating both Web apps and desktop applications. Many primary and secondary learning institutions choose to introduce programming students to Python thanks to its relative simplicity. JavaScript has versatility. While it is a tried-and-true front-end language, there are also newer options that make it possible to use for back-end development as well. The Node.js platform enables programmers to use JavaScript as a server-side language. Node.js is currently in demand due to its promising potential for back-end development. As Node.js continues to strengthen, Ruby's popularity may subside. However, Ruby may be able to stay relevant if updates continue with regular frequency.

Anyone investigating programming languages might wonder which language would be the best to learn from the beginning. Someone who wants to learn about Web development will need to have a solid base in JavaScript. SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and programmers use this language to communicate with databases. Thus, anyone who must manage data in apps will benefit from knowing SQL. Knowing Python will also position a developer to explore and mine websites for data.

As with anything, learning a new skill takes time and effort. New programmers should strive to work consistently to learn coding skills, working on coding every day to learn the language. Even spending as little as 30 minutes a day on tutorials and lessons can help with learning new skills and committing the skills to long-term memory. Taking thorough notes on the information is also beneficial for learning. It's also important to take periodic breaks from learning to ensure freshness. If bugs happen, it's best to look at these situations as learning opportunities. Examining code to find the problem spots takes time. You can also enter lines of code into debugger tools to further pinpoint issues. Working with other students can also be helpful, especially when sharing tips and tricks for programming. Finally, one of the best ways to learn how to code is to work on a project. Building an app or a game is an excellent way to put new skills into practice. After completing a project, it's often even possible to use the initial results to create more involved projects. Contributing to an open-source project is also a valuable learning experience, and it provides the opportunity to communicate with other professional developers during the project phase.

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