What language is software written??

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by buns, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. buns

    buns
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    Just to jump away ahead of myself........given my position in the world, I'm thinking it would be a wise idea to advance my programming skills somewhat. So what language should I be learning? What is window written in, what is other software written in, or does each one use a language of its own?

    Are any of Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual C++, Microsoft Visual J++ the sort of things I should be looking at?

    By the way, this is more aimed at being something useful for getting into the IT industry as of next summer and seeing as alot of guys who are on here are within that area, I thought you would all be the best ones to ask!

    thank you!

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  2. groundy

    groundy
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    Windows and the majority of commercial software is written in C/C++. However, there is a great many other languages employed throughout the software development of such programs/operating systems. Visual Basic and Java would be two of the most popular.

    We didn't cover any C/C++ during my Computer Science degree but instead concentrated on Assembly, Java and DHTML/XML. Low level Assembly is invaluable when speed and space constraints become an issue and it is an extremely sought-after skill. It very much depends on the type of software you want to create. At the moment, my day to day duties involve more troubleshooting and hardware issues than programming but we mainly develop internet technologies so DHTML and XML are at the forefront of this area. WAP programming is another area you could look into as it is rediculously simple but also much in demand.

    What is your programming background?
     
  3. lmccauley

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    As Groundy says, VB & Java are useful to have. C is technically somewhere between assembler and Java.

    If you are looking at doing database stuff, then SQL is pretty much the industry standard query language - Oracle is probably the most widely used RDBMS. This is a whole area on its own - you can implement Oracle using its own, proprietry language PL/SQL, or ODBC calls or embedded SQL in a host of languages, etc, etc..

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  4. buns

    buns
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    My programming background is limited as yet.......some visual programing for physicsy experiments, but thats about it!

    I'm not so much looking to write software specifically just at this point, more im starting to open my eyes to the job market.......physicists seem to get payed mega amounts in the IT industry, for precisely the problem solving skills mentioned. I am just interested to know what anyone might consider other valuable knowledge, I assumed some programming would be a fairly handy background!

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  5. dts_boy

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    pretty much everyone nowadays starts by programming with VB. its a great place to start and you can quickly pick up basic programming skills. its worth getting a book like "Learn VB in 21 Days" as these style of books need no prior knowledge in programming!
     
  6. buns

    buns
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    I am semi proficient in VB......so I presume as far as increasing my worth, it would be best to get VB well learnt?

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  7. groundy

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    By all means increase you knowledge of VB but I would recommend getting into JAVA as well. JAVA is a very good language to learn because of it's platform independence and similarity to C++ programming techniques. It's also quite fun as you can create some great looking GUI interfaces and little drawing programs etc. You will quickly be able to program a simple Paint program that will be every bit as good as Microsoft's equivalent. I have a brilliant JAVA book with software if you are interested as I no longer need it. :)
     
  8. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Don't know about megabucks, but I get paid a reasonable wage as a software/database designer/systems integrator. My background is a physics degree - I got a temp job doing data entry for a council when I left university and then their IT department took me on.

    Getting the first job is often the difficult part. You're right that the problem-solving skills you develop in a physics course are ideal for this line of work - you just have to persuade potential empoyers that these skills are more important than your lack of experience. Flexibility in where you live may also be important until you build up enough experience - I worked in London for 2 years, Peterborough for another 3 before I moved back up to Newcastle.

    Again, I'd agree with groundy. VB is a useful skill, but if it was me, I'd concentrate on Java.

    Also, bear in mind that there is a huge gulf between learning a language and writing commercial software in a disciplined way in a configuration-managed environment to a (usually tight) deadline. But, once again, handing in lab-reports on time as part of your course should give you good practice at that.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  9. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I don't know what people see in Visual Basic.
    I started programming back in 1979 with a Commodore PET. And then with a Video Genie. Both with Basic.
    At Poly I learned Cobol and hated the language. Too verbose. And having to program with punch cards submitted for over-night entry was a boring laborious pain in the arse. I quit the course.
    As Windows programming replaced DOS, I packed in Clipper and went to Powerbuilder. With which I am still impressed. Visual C++ is probably the most common programming skill. For quick and easy business software, Powerbuilder is really good. And for the same applications, Visual Basic just doesn't cut the mustard. There is no in heritance and database support is awful.
    C++ is flexible and you can program lots of fancy stuff like interactive graphics as well as business stuff. VB is for apps like Winamp. Powerbuilder is for straightforward database oriented business apps developed quickly.
    If I were you I would call some IT employment agencies and ask what skills and amount of experience are in demand. They can also give you an idea of salaries.
     
  10. buns

    buns
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    mega bucks......sometimes! Its more of an american thing to do the huge payments to physicists, no offense to any american forum members, but the physicist density in the states is somewhat lower than here!

    So java sounds a good way to go as a start then. I know i can get all these things on student licence, so I'll have a look. Thanks for your offer groundy, I may well get in touch and try and sort something.

    I appreciate all the assistance, but as Liam says, the difficulty is getting the job in the first place! Actually......come to think of it, dont some larger companies do sponsorships? Maybe I could go seeking somoene to sponsor me through 3rd year!

    thanks again!

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  11. lmccauley

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    We use VB at our place simply because of the number of staff that already know it and the tight deadlines - a bit short-sighted if you ask me, but then I'm only a techy! I mostly try to avoid any contact with VB if I can - I'm more often involved in database procedures or batch jobs written in C or PL/SQL. Too many of the VB programmers wear ten-gallon hats for my liking ;).

    I've heard good things about Powerbuilder, but never used it myself.

    Commodore PET - that takes me back to my Computer Studies school lessons. Used BBC micros at college, ICL minis in my first job, then VAX, then Sun/HP/IBM/Sequent UNIX boxes in my next job (which was varied, to say the least), and now mostly Sun/Solaris/Oracle for the core, server architecture, or sometimes PC/NT/Oracle for the Mickey Mouse, er, I mean less robust systems.

    Anyway, enough reminiscing.

    The company I work for usually takes student placements for a year. However, we're currently shedding permanent staff through voluntary redundancy, so I'm not sure what the situation is at the moment. Send me a PM if you're interested.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  12. buns

    buns
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    Liam,

    I dont have an option of a year taken out unfortunately, my course fairly rigidly sdticks me to being here for the full time without break unless for some totally un avoidabvle reason......reasonably so since you do tend to lose your train of thought with a year out!

    I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but, last few days I seem to have forgotten about my cinema and giotten interested in furthering my employablility, worrying perhaps......am i growing up or something!? lol

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  13. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    VB is horrible

    I like Clipper 5.3
     
  14. lmccauley

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    No - just figuring out how you can afford to buy your home-cinema gear :D. After all, why else go to work?

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  15. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    When I first learned Clipper, I had a project to do in a reasonable timespan. I had time to look for functions to do nifty stuff like ACHOICE. Unfortunately a mate of mine made the mistake of not bothering to look through the help files and actually wrote a function exactly like ACHOICE. He was gutted when I told him about it.
    Ahh them were the days.
     
  16. buns

    buns
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    My first programming.......was my nifty sharp graphics calculator......my friend managed to draw a pair of breasts.......we all thought it was so amusing......those was the days! :D

    I think you are right liam.....I was soo tempted to buy a tag this morning......until i realised I'd have to sell half the rest of my system to pay for it! The lottery would be good too!

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