Choosing a Programming Language to Learn

Choosing a Programming Language to Learn

If you want to build a dynamic website which has the ability to communicate with databases and servers to ensure that it is both functional and efficient, then you will need to have knowledge of a programming language to ensure that these tasks can be easily achieved; there are many different programming languages, each of which have been designed for use in specific server environments, and although most possess more or less the same basic features at heart, some do contain more advanced and complicated features that others may not have. When choosing a programming language to learn, you should always consider how easy it will be to learn and ask others who have a good deal of knowledge about the language you are wanting to learn just how long it took them to learn it, and how easy they find it to use within a complicated server environment; you should also take into consideration the server environment in which the code that you produce will be hosted – for example you don’t want to go and learn a language which you then can’t use effectively since it hasn’t been designed to work in a server environment such as the one which you want to host it in. You should also take into consideration the external factors of a programming language which can affect your ability to code in it as well as the dynamic functionality that it is able to achieve; for example you should always consider the external database programs that you are able to use with your chosen programming language – this is because some database programs might not be able to function in the same environment as that in which the programming language that you have chosen to use does, this means that you should consider a database program that it is able to function with both the programming language that you have chosen to use as well as within the same environment as that in which the programming language that you have chosen to learn. Other factors you should consider when choosing a programming language to learn is the amount of support that is available for it; this is because if you are new to programming then you might need some support to help send you in the right direction if you happen to come across a problem or are unable to figure something out when you are in the middle of learning that language that you have chosen to learn. If you are new to programming, and have not learnt any server side scripting language previously, then you will open your website to a whole new set of opportunities which you most likely did not know about previously; this is because with the use of a server side scripting language, you can allow the pages of your website to interact with the server and also configure your pages to work with a database which means that your visitors can have much more interaction with your website if you use these opportunities to add new features to your website such as a password protected area or a forum where people can discuss certain topics with each other.

Features

You should always consider the features that a programming language has when you are looking to learning a language to aid you in the process of a building a dynamic server side script based website; this is because that although more or less every server side scripting language has the core features such as interaction with databases and the server, the more advanced features can settings can easily differ from language to language meaning that some are better suited to one use than another might be. Some languages are starting to incorporate new features that will help them stay up to date with the latest internet trends as they start to grow; for example Microsoft has started to release an AJAX toolkit for its ASP.NET server side scripting language to ensure that developers who use the language for their websites are able to keep their websites up to date in terms of the technology which is used to enable their scripts and web pages to interact with the server on which they are hosted. Most programming languages are able to work with a wide range of database programs which means that you are given a selection of database programs meaning that you can choose one which suits your requirements perfectly, both in terms of specification and the languages that it is able to function with; with the use of a database and a dynamic server side scripting language, you are able to store data which can be accessed by any dynamic script or web page which as the necessary database login details – this means that you could setup a private area on your website which requires a user name and password to gain access, or you could build a content management system to base your website on which will store all the content for your website in a centralized database. Another thing that should you take into consideration is the libraries that are available for the scripting language which you wish to learn; libraries are normally ‘add-ons’ for scripting languages that allow you to expand the capability of the programming language that you have chosen to learn since they are normally made for one purpose which expands on an existing function of the scripting language, or adds a completely new set of functions entirely. You should also consider the operating environment in which the programming language has been designed to run; for example PHP has been designed to allow it to run in both Linux and Windows environments, which means that you can easily install the necessary files in both operating systems to ensure that it can run effectively – on the other hand, ASP.NET has been designed by Microsoft which means that it can only be run on a server which is running Microsoft Windows Server. You should also consider the language’s ability to run alongside other web pages which have been written in different programming languages; for example PHP pages might interfere with the running of ASP.NET scripts and pages within the context of a Windows based web hosting environment.

Environment

One of the main factors that you should consider when choosing a programming language to learn is the environment for which the language you have chosen is able to operate in; this is because some programming languages have been written to allow them to run in a certain operating system only, meaning that you have to be using that operating system in order for you to be able to host and view the files that you have written in the dynamic server side scripting language concerned. For example, if you want others on the internet to be able to view the files or web pages that you have written in either the classic ASP or ASP.NET programming languages, you have to be running a server or computer which has either Microsoft Windows Server installed on it, or Microsoft Windows XP Professional – although it is recommended that you use Windows XP Professional to view server side scripts if you are wanting to test them, since it isn’t as suited to the position as Windows Server is; this is because that Microsoft has designed both programming languages to be run on Microsoft operating systems only and to only be executed through Microsoft’s web server, IIS (Internet Information Services) – this means that you might have to fork out extra for Windows based web hosting in order for you to have the ability to execute and view the classic ASP and ASP.NET web pages and scripts that you have written. On the other hand, programming language such as Ruby on Rails (RoR) and PHP will run on most operating systems, and are open source meaning that they are free; the fact that they are open source means that you can pick up a cheap cPanel and Linux based website hosting account that in most cases should have the ability to run Ruby and PHP based website applications. Although ASP.NET and classic ASP are both free to use programming languages, they are still classed as commercial since the running of them is only possible through the purchase of a Windows Server license, this means that their cores cannot be accessed by the likes of you and me which means that the cores can’t be customized to the way that we want them in order to make the engines behind both languages run more efficiently and faster; however, the source code for both Ruby and PHP can be downloaded which means that any developer with a sufficient amount of knowledge can easily modify the source to the way that they want it to be and then rebuild for use within their own server environment. Other environmental factors for the running of the programming language that you have chosen to learn can include the necessary file permissions which might be required to ensure that the language which you have chosen to learn can run effectively without any problem, which is a must when you are wanting to use the language within your own dedicated server environment; if the correct file permissions are not set then the core of the language might be restricted from accessing the resources that it needs to ensure that it can run effectively and fast.

Support

If you are new to the world of server side programming languages, then you should always take into consideration the support that is available to you if you find that you need help with a certain feature of the programming language that you have chosen to use; this is important because the best known languages have many forums that are dedicated to them which should more than meet your needs, but on the other hand the lesser known languages don’t have such a good amount of support available for them – or the case may be that there is enough support available for them, but the support just isn’t informative enough which isn’t what you need when you’re starting out with something new. For example, Microsoft’s ASP.NET language may be a commercial one, but the company itself doesn’t provide any official support past the regular documentation that you should be able to find with any programming language that you want to learn, especially the best ones; in this case you should be able to rely on internet based communities to help you out in the learning process, since these communities are normally full of many knowledgable members who can give you tips on how best to learn the language as well, since everyone had to learn the language at some point in their development career. You will never find any source of official support for any open source scripting languages beyond the documentation that you should be able to find for almost any scripting language, regardless of whether you choose to learn it or not since everyone needs some sort of official source which they can refer back to; however, you should be able to find more internet based communities which can help you out with the language that you would for an commercial server side scripting language, this is because that people are able to view the source code of the actual language which in turn means that they should be able to tell you exactly what to do if you happen to run into a problem with the language that you have chosen to learn. If this is your first time learning a programming language, then it is important that you try and learn a language which has lots of support available to you; this is because it is inevitable that you will get stuck during the learning process at some stage or another since programming languages are very complicated things to learn. One thing to note is that the documentation that is provided by the makers of the scripting languages for their products are in most cases very complicated; this means that you should try and gain a good amount of knowledge before attempting to read one of the documentation manuals since you should then be able to solve your problem much more efficiently, and at the same time will be gaining knowledge on the language which you have chosen to learn. If you gain a good amount of knowledge of your chosen language, you might end up becoming a programmer – which in most cases is highly paid job because of the skill that is involved.

Commercial and Open Source

Commercial programming languages are ones which require you to purchase something in order for you to have the ability to run them so that visitors to your website are able to view the finished article, and so that the server which is hosted the script or web page concerned is able to process the file in a correct manner so that it can output it to the visitor’s browser in the correct format. Commercial languages are generally made for use on one operating system only, which restricts you from how and where you are able to use your skills if you choose to learn a commercial server side scripting language; an example of a commercial server side scripting language would be Microsoft’s ASP.NET, this is because you can only use it under Microsoft’s web server, IIS, which itself will only run on a Microsoft operating system such as Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 – their more modern counterparts being Windows Vista Business and Ultimate, as well as Windows Server 2008. On the other hand, open source programming languages generally allow you to run them on any operating system, which means that you are able to apply your knowledge and skills across a wide range of operating systems if you do choose to learn and open source server side scripting/programming language; you can also expand open source scripting languages more easily than their commercial counter parts, this is because many developers have spent their time developing free add-ons for the open source languages to help make them much more feature filled, and in tun allowing people who develop using them to build more feature filled and efficient web based applications and websites. You will also find that the support for open source programming languages is much greater than that of commercial programming languages; the main reason for this is that people and developers tend to go more with open source languages for the simple reason that they are free, and because there is a large number of experienced developers who decide to use open source languages, there is a large amount of people who are willing to help out those who are new to the world of server side programming. The amount of support that is available for commercial server side programming languages is very little when compare to that which is available for open source languages; this is because that most developers don’t have the money to invest in the needed technologies to ensure that their scripts and web pages, which means that they normally take up open source programming languages because of the fact that there is little to no cost of getting started with these – you will also find that larger corporations with money will be utilizing commercial scripting languages, and they will be unwilling to provide any outsiders with any sense of support if they have just started out with a new programming language – if you do want to start with a commercial programming language then you should try and pick up a cheap book from your nearest book store.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are new to the world of developing with server side scripting languages then you should take up an open source programming language to learn since there are far more helpful resources available for you than there are with commercial programming languages; this means that you might find it easier to learn your chosen language, and might even be able to get your dynamic website built much quicker than you would with a commercial programming language which has far less resources available regarding information about it. If you start coding in a language, and you fill that your set up might need expanding so that you are able to use many more functions when you code, then you should choose an open source language to learn since you can easily expand these through the use of freely available function libraries which are in most cases open source as well; this means that if you want to expand the interactivity that your website is able to have with the server on which it is hosted, then you can by simply expanding the base of the language in which you are coding with some simple yet effective function libraries. If you do choose to code in a commercial scripting language, then you might find yourself paying high web hosting costs since the cost of the software which is required to enable commercial scripting languages to run is high, and web hosts have to past the costs on to customers; you might also find yourself paying large amounts of money for resources such as books to aid you in the development process because there is a lack of online resources – if you were to code using an open source language then you would be able to use the vast range of free online resources to help you, and would not have to pay large amount of money for thick and complicated and in some cases almost useless books. With the use of this article, you should have been able to discover the power that programming languages have, and how the use of them can help boost your website in terms of how you manage it, and how much interactivity your visitors are able to have with it since you can use the features of programming languages to help add more features to your website. Also, with the use of a programming language, you might be able to get a job in IT since programmers are very skilled people, and positions for them normally accompany high salaries.

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