View Full Version : Programming Languages. What do you do and how did you get started?

Harold Mansfield
07-13-2015, 05:19 PM
Bill sparked another subject in another thread and I wanted to continue the conversation for others to chime in.

I agree with you in regards to WP. I'm just a big proponent of using databases. You can do so much with them.

You can get a script off of Hotscripts and slightly modify it for your application and put it on your website. Or just modifying the page on WP.

What language do you do that in? SQL? Python? PHP?

I'm starting to get into some coding and programming but there's a lot of languages.

Everyone says to start with Python and the rest comes easier.
What did you start with, PHP?

07-13-2015, 05:29 PM
APL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_(programming_language)). Seriously. That's what we had to use to program the high school's mainframe. Phone couplers (https://mostlybrightideas.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/acousticcoupler.jpg) were all the rage.

You can start with PHP and be fine AND be able to do more with WP. As a programming language, it's simple enough to figure out and the libraries are pretty extensive.

Harold Mansfield
07-13-2015, 05:43 PM
You can start with PHP and be fine AND be able to do more with WP.

Not really interested in stuff for WP. I'm good there for the duration of how much longer I'll be doing web design and support.
But I am interested in databases, encryption and security for a side project.

07-13-2015, 05:54 PM
Like I said: the PHP libraries make those things easy as well.

07-13-2015, 08:09 PM
I said I use php / MySQL for Dummies to get started in a different thread. From that, I wrote some really bad but functional code. ` hour a night studying for a month'.

In your case, you may want it for editing templates in WP. In my case it allowed me to write a Quickbooks sort of database.

The beauty of php is you can write really bad code and it still works.

So in your case, I'd learn to write some php for your personal use. It will help you in modifying WP files. Beyond that, you can write stuff for your personal use. If you want a professionally written script, you will know more to manage the person doing the code.

The other thing I have done over the years is go to HotScripts and taken a chunk of code out of a script that I didn't know how to do. Might be a trademark infringement - dunno (gotta put a 'dunno in there for the copywriters here :). I learned coding from professional indirectly that way though.

Harold Mansfield
07-13-2015, 10:38 PM
In your case, you may want it for editing templates in WP. In my case it allowed me to write a Quickbooks sort of database.

The beauty of php is you can write really bad code and it still works.

So in your case, I'd learn to write some php for your personal use. It will help you in modifying WP files. Beyond that, you can write stuff for your personal use. If you want a professionally written script, you will know more to manage the person doing the code.

Again, I'm not interested in this for anything that has to do with WordPress. My interest is in databases for things like storing user information, and encryption of things like passwords for a side project that IS NOT WordPress related.

Brian Altenhofel
07-13-2015, 10:49 PM
DOS scripting when I was 6. We had a Windows 3.1 computer with several DOS games like Nethack, Armchair Quarterback, Wolfenstein3D, Treasure Mountain, as well as many DOS applications. The instructions that came with the computer were to do things like "dir" to see a directory, cd <directory> to go into it, and then to type the name of what you wanted to run (such as "cd c:\... cd c:\windows... win" to start Windows). I started looking at what made "win" work and figured out that "batch" files were basically just scripts of command after command. So I ended up writing a series of batch files that would show a menu with options and then you just had to enter the number in for the option that you wanted.

When I was 9, our school got the Internet. (By the way, for the first couple of years after that, the entire town's Internet service was routed through the school. The ISPs business model at the time was to connect rural schools for next to nothing and rely on small town word of mouth to create a de facto monopoly.) When digging through menus, I found the "View Source" option and saw all this "gibberish". By comparing text and images to where they appeared in the code, I picked up HTML and CSS. When I was 10, I used that knowledge to build a couple of websites for area small businesses.

When I was 12, I had discovered Linux and was learning C and C++ via source code. At that time, you still had to compile most software for it to be guaranteed to work on your machine, especially since I was changing distros every week or two. I also experimented with building working servers on a bootable floppy disk (still doable at the time) and exploiting systems for fun. I also dabbled in Perl for server-side scripting, but that language is such a pain with how loose it is.

By the time I was 14, I had started messing around with PHP, MySQL, and Javascript to build web applications, all learned by looking at source code (at the time, most applications still did straight MySQL queries in PHP which is now recognized as a big security no-no).

I've mostly stuck with PHP and MySQL since then. I haven't seriously worked with Javascript in about 12 years - well before libraries like jQuery came out. While I stay very informed on PHP and participate in discussions about the future of the language where I can, I only learn enough of other languages to get done what I need done in that language. For example, I can't build a Java application from scratch, but I understand it well enough to write plugins for Jenkins (a Java application). I know enough Python that I can write and debug Fabric scripts and client libraries for some services that I use. I know just enough about Go to debug it. I know enough Ruby that I can build any custom functionality that I need for Puppet. As for Javascript - I just hire that out... good JS devs are a dime a dozen since it's the "in" thing right now. I've chosen to forget everything about Perl except it's regular expression syntax.

I'm the type that learns best by taking things apart, whether it be code, gadgets, engines, carburetors, appliances, etc. I've never done well with reading.

If you're going to learn PHP, learn to use the tools that are available, too. For example, Composer (https://getcomposer.org/) is a PHP developer's best friend. I've worked with way too many PHP developers that insist on either writing everything themselves, resolving dependencies themselves, writing their own autoloader (if they even know what an autoloader is... most of them just use "include" or "require" everywhere), and other inefficient and bad practices.

07-21-2015, 10:01 PM
I started out with Basic, moved to Visual Basic, PHP and .NET. For what you're looking to do, I would suggest PHP.

12-18-2015, 12:47 PM
Hello Harold,
A couple years ago, I really wanted to start programming with database and had the same question.
PHP, Perl, Python, Java, etc. I had too little time to learn them all and wanted to get a real solution to get application done.

I found Windev, Webdev, and Windev Mobile respectively to create windows and Linux, internet, and mobile software and application with related database.
It is a French Business who creates these products. I used them to learn from scratch and I succeeded the development of a professional mobile application for my sellers in one of my business, and I have another one to track my time spend for all matters that I bill per the hour.

You can download demonstration version for the mobile and the windows apps. Internet site for US is pcsoft.us (http://pcsoft.us/)

Learning one language can give you the opportunity to develop with their integrated database or any other database of the market.

Their licences are a bit expensive but it a good value if you use it regularly.


12-21-2015, 12:08 PM
Personally I'm in the process of learning Python, Angular, and Node. Angular and Node are pretty easy javascript libraries once you get their concepts down. Working for one of the worlds largest cyber-security firms, I've started straying away from databases unless I absolutely need them. My personal site I run on Jekyll now instead of WP just to get away from using a database and increase site speed.

Don't get me wrong there are places for databases but I think standard sites such as portfolio sites and many business sites that don't need it and much risk can be mitigated without relying on a database to store your content.

Currently I'm learning how to build web applications that can easily be transformed into mobile applications. This is where Python, Ruby, and PHP come into play. Ruby I'm learning for authentication and the apps will be built with python or PHP...

12-21-2015, 04:01 PM
Gosh, the first thing I started with was COBOL using IBM cards and you had to be really careful not to drop the deck of cards or you were in real trouble. I am not much of a programmer but in the past I enjoyed playing around with data bases. I set up DBII to run my whole business back in the 80's on a Sanyo 5.5. The commission program I had for my sales people took about 11 hours to run. I would start it on a day when I would be in the office late and it would wrap up about the time I went home. The next computer I got was a 286 and it would run the same program in 16 minutes. As far as the current stuff you guys are light years ahead of me.

01-18-2016, 08:41 AM
I started programming in Basic in the 70's when it was a bit of a joke. many years later I program in Visual Basic.Net, C#.net and use Microsoft SQL databases. The DotNet framework has a lot of advantages over many languages as it is all server side and the Integrated Development Environment of Visual Studio is very good. It used to be expensive but you can develop professional (but not Enterprise scale) apps and software for free with Community Edition and add on third party Multiple App platforms for mobile app development. It is much harder to learn but the lions share of IT companies seem happy to.

Harold Mansfield
06-16-2016, 04:51 PM
start with ruby or javascript. very easy to learn and ruby is similer to python. php is almost dead. Javascript has very good future. AngularJS is popular for creating complex app.

I've actually started with Python just to get the basics under my belt.You say it's dead, but I see it as the most popular language. Every major API or integration that I see from Google to Artificial and voice recognition stuff has Python support.

I've also started on Android Development. I have specific needs, so I chose to learn specific things that fit them.