It takes so much work to program software, including learning a programming language from design to building the program. It will take you a significant amount of time to learn the basics and concepts of a language and to create small applications. Your accumulated experiences will allow you to solve more complicated problems.
1. Choose a programming language
To program software, you need to learn a programming language that perfectly matches the field of application you want to address. On the market there are several programming languages:
- C is the oldest of the general-purpose programming languages but the most widely used today. Invented in the 70s, it is still popular in system programming and robotics. Designed to be portable, this language is used on servers as well as on desktop computers or embedded devices. Being a compiled language, it can be translated by a compiler into a computer-understandable binary language.
- The C++ language is the most powerful heir of the C language so there are many similarities between these 2 languages in terms of syntax and philosophy. C++ is often used to create ‘heavy’ applications such as Microsoft Office or video games. It takes a long time to master it but it will create very interesting professional opportunities.
- Java is a modern programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. This language with multiple applications is in great demand on the job market. Totally oriented on objects operating in a virtual execution environment, it uses a syntax similar to C and C++. This application language is very popular in the job market.
- Python is an open-source interpreted language that is increasingly being adopted in high school, college, and scientific circles. The designers of Python have equipped it with a good number of functions to solve programming problems. It is an interesting software because it can be tested without having to compile it.
2. A development environment
- A code editor : There are many editors dedicated to specific languages. Apart from Notepad under Windows which is an elementary language, developers can benefit from certain special features as well as syntax highlighting, calling external compilation and execution tools by using some development software such as Notepad++ for Windows or TextMate on Mac…
- A compiler or an interpreter : The source code produced in C, C++ or Java must be compiled into an executable or binary language understood by the computer. You need a compiler adapted to the language in which you are coding. Additionally, compilers can detect a list of errors or bugs found. Python, in particular, requires an interpreter that translates and executes your code without requiring compilation.
- An IDE or Integrated Development Environment : The editor, compiler and debugger can be included in an integrated development environment available on websites.
- Steps to program software
- Learn a programming language
A beginner programmer must learn general tutorials that introduce him to the main concepts of programming such as syntax, variables, functions, conditional statements or loops.
You can learn programming in your chosen language through many sites like Udemy, Khan Academy, Codecademy, Code.org or Stack Overflow.
To understand the mechanisms used to accomplish certain tasks using the language of your choice, you need to analyze code samples by downloading them as well as small open source programs.
You can write your own code by applying the most basic concepts to your own small programs. It is also possible to start by using the simplest inputs and outputs and then gradually complicate the mechanisms to dissect their operation. Finally, we can get to more advanced concepts such as data manipulations and the creation of functions.
Do not hesitate to find solutions for your problems on forums of programmers where a large number of them are ready to bring you great experience and many solutions.
3. Design a program
You must first design your project on paper. This is a document you can refer to during your program process. Next you need to draw a flowchart of your program, then determine your applicable structures and start with a 1-2-3 type program.
4. Build a program
You need to create an algorithm defined in the form of a pseudo-code . This is the skeleton of your project that will help you understand how the software works and analyze all the events that may occur during its development.
Then you can start coding by compiling and testing to verify that your program works.
5. Check your program
You need to verify all features added to your software and the implementation of all planned features and then test the pre-release version of your program.
6. Bring your program to market
Like Python.org or LibreOffice used by millions of people around the world, your software and code can be examined by all programmers in the world if you open source it. If you want to sell your software, you can create an online store on your website. You need to keep your software functional and focus on their maintenance.