Programming language recommendation?


(Jeremy Good) #1

I’m not a programmer by trade, but over the years I’ve taken a few classes and learned enough to cobble together some web apps. The problem is the only languages I’ve used are ASP / VBS and Perl. I’ve tried PHP but just have not clicked with it. Does anyone have a recommendation for a language that I can use for web dev that would be an easier transition than PHP? I’d prefer something open source but I primarily code on Windows. I would like to get into making some iOS apps though too. Thanks!


(Alex Conner) #2

If you like Perl, you may also like Ruby.


(Jim Michael) #3

C# and asp.net are a natural path from asp & vbscript, and are technically open source :slight_smile:


(Robert Larson) #4

I’d agree too to give asp.net a try. VS community 2015 is free for your ide. If you focus carefully with .net core, you can deploy on Linux. Start with asp.net website or even the intro course at codeschool. If you do find yourself going the Microsoft way, sign up for your free azure credits as well. They have xamarin for mobile. If you want to stay more web for mobile, reactjs for mobile may be worth a look.


(Eric Rovtar) #5

@JeremyGood Are set on starting with back-end development? If not, then I might start with JavaScript. Since it’s on the front-end, it’s a bit easier to “play around with” and get results.

Either way, I’d recommend w3schools.com, codecademy.com and freecodecamp.com. Those are great resources. I’ve used the first two the most. Heck, I still refer back to w3schools for CSS proprieties and syntax at times.

As others have said, if you’re familiar with ASP and VBS, then ASP.Net or VB.Net might not be too far of a jump for you.

I’ve found PHP to be an easy transition for those with a C++ background (they share a lot in terms of syntax), so - if you’re set on learning PHP - maybe try your hand a bit at C++ as well.

Either way, I’d recommend starting with one of those sites. Codecademy specifically has a great community built up around it that will help you learn and answer questions.

Good luck!


(Alex Conner) #6

Also, JavaScript can be used for backend development too with node.js if you don’t need anything too crazy (it lacks the types of web frameworks more established / robust languages have).

The codeschool courses are great, too. I really enjoyed TryRuby and Rails for Zombies. They really show the Ruby community and ethos off well.


(Tyler Turner) #7

Look at Ruby for web stuff, and maybe some Python for local scripting purposes. I’m similar in that I am not a programmer, but have learned enough over the years to get things working, although I use PHP. I have subscribed to Code School for a bit to learn a bit of Ruby and become acquainted with Git.

Which language you dive into depends on your end goal. I learned PHP because I did a lot of web stuff, and it is easy to get running (just need Linux, Apache and PHP).


(Jeremy Good) #8

Thanks for the great suggestions. I’ll take a look at some training videos on asp.net and VB & C# flavors. I’ve heard a lot about Ruby as well so I’ll take a look at that too.


(Stephen Simpson) #9

Personally, I LOVE python even though i don’t get to code in it as much as I would like to. It’s really simple and forces you to write pretty code. You can also build web pages if you use django or flask. Since joining Willow I’ve been doing a lot of work in PHP but I would recommend avoiding it. It’s not a great language to begin with. Although Laravel is an amazing framewrok. If you want to purely stick to windows, I’d just stay with .net. The .net core is being made available on linux and mac. If you want to write iOS apps, learn swift. I wouldnt even bother with objective C.

Oh and a little javascript never hurt anyone.


(Alex Conner) #10

It’s a little late notice, but Codeschool is doing a free weekend for what’s left of Today.


(Matthew McElwee) #11

I’m a huge fan of Python. It’s a wonderful language with a massive built in library. It’s built in C so it is quite performant and is used for everything from deep learning to web development.
The ecosystem of the language is incredibly welcoming and helpful with an awesome package manager and excellent documentation across the board.
We use Flask, a Python microframework, for our church website. It’s awesome because integrating with Google API’s, Stripe, Oauth or Twitter are as easy as “pip install”


(Craig Mashburn) #12

Tagging onto this question…

I have a portion of our homepage that displays upcoming events. Right now, it is totally updated manually. If I wanted to put the info into a spreadsheet and have the web page selectively pull and display the data, what would be a good programming language for that?


(Alex Conner) #13

It’s a bit of an annoyance to deal with spreadsheets from a server-side
language, especially since you can’t exactly “query” them. There are
bunches of easy scripts you could use out of the box to do this, though
for something quick like that I’d look at Ruby (Linux) or Powershell
(Windows) since they’re likely to be handy and have easy libraries for
occasionally updating an HTML file in the background.