A Beginner’s Guide to Coding Projects

A Beginner’s Guide to Coding Projects

By | June 1st, 2015
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There are a lot of things you can learn and practice in the world of

programming, so where do you get started?


														
							

When the entire world is moving towards Information Technology, why shouldn’t you? Wouldn’t it be great if you could be a part of this revolution by making utility applications and projects, or otherwise doing your part to improve the digital landscape?

Taking up a project involving an unexplored or relatively new technology poses a great challenge for programmers, but the key to success comes through ambition tempered by pragmatism. Taking up challenges and aiming higher are good virtues, but at the same time it’s essential to know your potential and limitations. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with no means of getting out otherwise. If you have just entered the world of programming with little to no knowledge of coding and its applications, you can start off by referring to the “Learn to code” section of this edition’s FastTrack. Even if you are a newbie, learning via projects is a fast and practical approach to programming.

Building good projects doesn’t necessarily call for mastering every minor programming. What matters the most is effective practical implementation of technologies involved in software development. A good project is not only characterised by its complexity and efficiency, but by the ease and amount of functionality provided to the end user.

How to start a project?

Every programming project essentially needs two things: an idea that can be built into something innovative as well as functional and technologies that facilitate successful implementation of this idea. It is really important that you take up technologies that fall within your domain of expertise. If you plan on learning new ones, take up those devoid of any dependencies. It’s great to stretch your skills, but avoid overloading them.

idea

An idea serves as the elementary basis of the project.

Before you begin the development process, it pays to identify and exploit programming languages and technologies that are in demand. For example, learning legacy programming languages like COBOL in this day and age is practically useless. Opting for a modern alternative such as Java development, allows one to apply their skills across a wide variety of products ranging from mobile apps to PC software. Its pays choose wisely at the outset.
Here are a few examples of in-demand technologies that will help you decide better.

Java: A very popular object oriented programming language, essential for Android development. It is not only used to build mobile apps, but also desktop and server applications. Android and Hadoop are two of the most popular technologies at the moment, both of which are developed in Java. Java developers are better served by learning Swings (for creating User Interfaces), servlets, and other modules that will hone your development skills.

PHP: It is estimated that about 81% of websites use PHP as their programming language. A large number of websites still run on php and this number has been either constant or growing in the last few years. Needless to say, there’s a dire need of webdevelopers, who are experts in PHP programming. You can start practicing PHP by building basic websites/static pages and then move on to dynamic pages, followed by integration with other technologies.

ide

Android Studio is a popular IDE to build Android apps.

Database/SQL: Even though SQL does not qualify as a programming language, it is equally important for development purposes. Databases are essential in any application environment because saving and retrieving data is a basic function common to all. As data increases the complexity of the database increases commensurately, which makes the role of database administrator/ engineer important. All programming languages have different means of database connectivity, which makes learning them worthwhile.

It should be noted that you aren’t restricted to the aforementioned technologies. Each domain has its own set of programming languages that are best suited for the purpose of development. If you wish to go for iOS development, it is essential to learn objective C or Swift (a programming language developed by Apple).

java1

In the web domain, you can have two choices – as a web developer or a web designer.

Similarly, assembly language is a must to work on hardware projects. However, some hardware modules such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino support hardware interfacing via different high level languages. Almost all microcontrollers require the knowledge of C as well as assembly language (ASM). ASM is known to be tedious and its popularity has decreased due to high level languages. However, it is as important as ever because machine code is generated in ASM. Big Data, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Wearable Technology, and Artificial Intelligence are examples of technology trends that are in demand.

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Nash David
Nash David is passionate about technology and mobile devices. He closely follows the smartphone, and tablet platform market. He also leads editorial efforts for devworx. You may send him tweets @nashpd or email editor@devworx.in
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