Where To Go From Here?

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#1 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 04:48 AM

I'm currently working in Python. I've gotten some of the basic foundations down and plan on learning more and practicing until I have a really good foundation in programming since this is my first language.

However, I'm wondering where I should go from here. I don't really have a goal in mind in terms of career aspirations. Programming for me is more of a hobby. Maybe make some Windows applications with GUIs for my department at work, or just learn a language to improve my logic thinking skills and in general just have fun. I really do want to build GUI applications though. I think they're neat and would provide an interesting challenge. As of right now, all I know I can do is create a GUI using tkinter in Python. That's all I know (for the sake of this thread). What are the other ways to go about creating Windows Applications? I'm using Visual Studio so I know it has a design mode for some languages which is cool too. Is that how I'd create GUI applications in Visual Studio? Or are there other ways? I don't know if I want to get into APIs or not but it would be good to learn down the road maybe.

Once I learn Python, where should I go if creating Windows Applications is my goal? C++? Java? I guess the answer is going to be, "it depends" but let's see what people say anyway. I'd really like to get into .NET as it seems really powerful. I guess I could go into IronPython (but it only supports Python 2.6.7 and I'm using Python 3) or I could go into VB.NET. That can build applications, correct?

EDIT: As a side note, I'm not opposed to learning web development and the languages used for that. I know Python can be used but I don't know the first thing about web development. So you write your code and that writes everything onto the page that the user sees? What are programming languages used for in web development? What do they create or do for the user? I also have no idea what it costs to start a website or something like that. Would I just use godaddy or some hoster to create my domain and then start coding? Or is there more to it than that?

I also wouldn't be opposed to learning iPhone App Development. No idea how to go about doing that though. I guess it's Objective-C but is there an SDK? API, IDE etc.

Thanks for the help.

This post has been edited by Tyr4el: 16 March 2015 - 07:02 AM


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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 08:56 AM

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However, I'm wondering where I should go from here. I don't really have a goal in mind in terms of career aspirations. Programming for me is more of a hobby.

Well that is entirely up to you, right? It is your hobby, your fancy, and your world to operate in. Being this isn't school there are no assignments to feed you and give you direction. You need to grab your boot straps, take a heading (based on your needs), and go. If you keep framing everything in some sort of school-view then you will find yourself perpetually asking "where do I start, how do I learn, what should I learn, how would I apply what I learned, etc". Basically perpetuating that hand holding crutch and never never developing. Build your own structured learning style. If you want to know about topic X then find the most convenient search tool, plug in terms, and get a lay of the land. Why wait for people to spoon feed you when you can buck up and lay your own foundation.

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What are the other ways to go about creating Windows Applications? I'm using Visual Studio so I know it has a design mode for some languages which is cool too. Is that how I'd create GUI applications in Visual Studio? Or are there other ways?

Pick a language and add "gui" and you can see options. Drag and drop, at run time, etc.

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Once I learn Python, where should I go if creating Windows Applications is my goal? C++? Java?

Sure.. c++, java, c#, or even VB.NET. It depends on your end game goals.

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I could go into VB.NET. That can build applications, correct?

Yes

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So you write your code and that writes everything onto the page that the user sees?

Yes. Though a series of commonly agreed upon marked language options the code is rendered in a browser.

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What are programming languages used for in web development?

Have you searched for this - in any iota? HTML/CSS, php, javascript, perl, ruby, asp.net, etc. Also - see above.

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What do they create or do for the user?

Web rendering and data display.

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I also have no idea what it costs to start a website or something like that. Would I just use godaddy or some hoster to create my domain and then start coding? Or is there more to it than that?

A domain name is nice, but not always needed.. but you will need hosting to serve up your web pages, images, etc.

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I also wouldn't be opposed to learning iPhone App Development. No idea how to go about doing that though. I guess it's Objective-C but is there an SDK? API, IDE etc.

Again - have you done the most base of research on this? "iphone development" shows the ios dev center. I would suggest reading there. Also - see above.
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#3 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 10:11 AM

I think the next thing you need is a concrete goal. You need to have something to work in that matters to you. If you don't know where you're trying to get to, all you see are many doors. When you know where you want to get, it's a lot easier to know which doors you should start knocking on, and which can wait for later.
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#4 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:09 AM

@modi - I did some basic research on what languages are used for web development, iPhone development but I wasn't sure on where to go. Like you said, I'm thinking of things in a school type format because I have no real goal.

@jon.kiparsky - As you said, it's all just doors right now since I have no clear goal. My goal at the moment is to learn Python and learn it well. Beyond that, I don't know how to apply my knowledge. I don't have any burning ideas to make anything or create scripts. I don't even know what application learning Python right now has beyond just teaching me how to program and think like a programmer (which obviously is helpful). But I don't know what I can MAKE or DO with this knowledge.

After learning Python and getting a solid programming foundation, I want to learn another language I can DO something with. Possibly a language that will allow me to create applications for my department as doing that would give me the best bang for my knowledge gained. But I had no idea where to go beyond that. Sure, C++ is fine - it creates applications. But so do all the other languages. I just don't know enough about programming and each language to make an educated decision. Nor do I have the time to spend the what I can only imagine would be hours it would take to research every little nuance like I'd want to. That's why I ask these uneducated questions unfortunately. I am fishing for answers but I at least try to come with something showing I've put some time into it.

Web development will wait and so will iOS development. Those are complicated and again, I have no real goal in mind for either. Other than the fact my company's Travel page needs some huge beefing up. Links are broken, files are out of date, layout is terrible, etc. That was the only thing I could think of. But in that case, we have a host and a domain. I'd just have to build the page. In which case, yes, I do know about HTML/CSS, PHP, etc. I assume if I just needed to build the page, I'd only need CSS and HTML, correct? But I also know Javascript and Java could help. I just don't know which one I'd use. It's so much information in my brain and that I'm looking at that it's overwhelming.

Sorry for the blob of texts and rambling. Trying to get this all down while I'm working :P
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#5 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:33 AM

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But I don't know what I can MAKE or DO with this knowledge.

Then that's a bummer. No one can teach you how to be creative or inventive. Well.. maybe there's a seminar on unlocking your creative potential or some such thing. Maybe invest some time in being inventive and creative. You can eyeball the project lists here.. look at project lists else where.. peruse github.. etc.

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After learning Python and getting a solid programming foundation, I want to learn another language I can DO something with.

I am not certain where you keep thinking that python is not used for anything. Example:
https://www.paypal-e...erprise-python/

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But so do all the other languages. I just don't know enough about programming and each language to make an educated decision.

Then pick one. You expressed you have no goals or aspirations then how is that going to be able to free other people to suggest something to learn. Pick one of the big three (c++/java/c#) and grab a book.

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I assume if I just needed to build the page, I'd only need CSS and HTML, correct?

It depends on the page. There may be javascript, perl, php, or even a database involved.

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But I also know Javascript and Java could help.

Be aware those are two different things. Javascript is client side/web browser stuff.. java has its own sandbox environment that it runs on.
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#6 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:57 AM

I don't like quoting individual pieces so here we go (and yes I realize this way is probably harder).

Quote 1: Not sure what I meant by that. I was just typing and didn't really think about it first. I just meant that I have ideas but don't know how to execute them, I suppose. For example - I did actually make something in Python and it's still being developed and I have other ideas for things to make using tkinter or something to make a GUI application and distribute it to my team. But then again, from what I've read, Python doesn't really make good executable files. Something about unpacking folders and whatnot. No idea.

Quote 2: Never said Python couldn't do anything. I just said I wasn't sure or aware of what it was used for or could do. I can read that link and that's cool and everything but if I wanted to do anything basic or Level 1 type of any of those things mentioned in Myth #4, I wouldn't know how to go about doing that.

Quote 3: Fine, I could do that I guess. Just pick one out of the air. But then wouldn't that still be not having a goal in mind? I want to pick one knowing what I want to do. Lofty goal I guess but I'd rather not go blindly into it. But I suppose any of the big 3 will do. I was considering VB.NET or Java in case you were curious (but I doubt you were).

Quote 4: Yes, true.

Quote 5: I am aware they are different. Not sure why I listed Java there, sorry.

I appreciate the help.

This post has been edited by Tyr4el: 16 March 2015 - 11:58 AM

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#7 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:00 PM

Don't worry so much about what language. Think about what thing you want to write in that language.
Think about Jose Saramago - he wrote maybe a dozen great novels in Portuguese. How many do you think he would have written if he'd sat around trying to learn French first? He used what he had, and he made wonderful books. You have python? Write some python.

(later on, like Nabokov, you might find that circumstances make it convenient to know some more languages - in that case, you'll learn them, and maybe, like Nabokov, you'll write beautiful works in all of your languages - but for now, be Saramago, and write beautiful Portuguese)
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#8 andrewsw   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:02 PM

If you are familiar with Visual Studio then you could kick-start a VB.NET or C# application and give them a whirl. You don't have to install anything.
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#9 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:09 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 16 March 2015 - 12:00 PM, said:

Don't worry so much about what language. Think about what thing you want to write in that language.
Think about Jose Saramago - he wrote maybe a dozen great novels in Portuguese. How many do you think he would have written if he'd sat around trying to learn French first? He used what he had, and he made wonderful books. You have python? Write some python.

(later on, like Nabokov, you might find that circumstances make it convenient to know some more languages - in that case, you'll learn them, and maybe, like Nabokov, you'll write beautiful works in all of your languages - but for now, be Saramago, and write beautiful Portuguese)

That's quite the analogy. I enjoy Python but I honestly don't know what I want to do with it. I guess that goes back to being creative. I have a few ideas. One I've already created and it just needs to be refined and then created into an executable to roll out to my department. I also need to learn about Python compiling into executable files. I don't understand how it works or how the end-user would access my application. Second idea is still in the works. It's formula based and I'd need to understand how the formula works before I go and program it into something.

I know to create a tkinter GUI, I'd be coding the whole thing. I don't even know how that works. I've seen some examples but how do you get the positions right? What about window sizes and resizing, etc. I guess that's all covered somewhere...just gotta find it.

View Postandrewsw, on 16 March 2015 - 12:02 PM, said:

If you are familiar with Visual Studio then you could kick-start a VB.NET or C# application and give them a whirl. You don't have to install anything.


I am familiar with VS. But how would I start VB.NET? I see Visual Basic is an option but not VB.NET. I know they aren't the same thing but if I select VB.NET as my project type, can I code with the .NET framework?

I know I don't always use the right words so if I don't please correct me so I can learn.

This post has been edited by Tyr4el: 16 March 2015 - 12:11 PM

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#10 andrewsw   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:13 PM

A Visual Basic project is VB.NET.

Gosh, you own the application, explore! See what happens :)

Dabble, explore, read.. see what grabs your attention! You could install other IDEs and languages and give them a whirl.

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 16 March 2015 - 12:17 PM

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#11 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:16 PM

View Postandrewsw, on 16 March 2015 - 12:13 PM, said:

A Visual Basic project is VB.NET.

Gosh, you own the application, explore! See what happens :)

Unfortunately I don't get to use it that much :(. Maybe an hour and a half a day. I work in a job where programming is not an option lol. And I used up my hour already :P. Might get 30 minutes or so at home later.

EDIT: VB.NET may also be my next choice if the following question is Yes.

Does Excel accept VB.NET? That would be awesome.

This post has been edited by Tyr4el: 16 March 2015 - 12:23 PM

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#12 andrewsw   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:27 PM

You can automate Excel from .NET (Excel Interop), or use Excel as a data source with a database connection.

Excel itself has Excel VBA if you are primarily building an Excel application. Is your goal is programming then VBA isn't a good choice, but if you want to build an Excel application then building it directly in Excel needs to be considered.

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 16 March 2015 - 12:29 PM

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#13 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:28 PM

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But how would I start VB.NET?

Get a book and go through it. Take a class and learn it. I am still not certain why you are retreading this "how do I learn?" ground.

Since we are doing interesting analogies here's one. what you are asking is akin to me going to a brother in law (or his minions) and declaring that I want to be a DJ without doing background research on: what a DJ does, the various types of DJ, equipment options, knowing how to put notes together, deal with gigs, or where to wedge my squeeze box into it all. If I decided to be a DJ hopefully I would have the wherewithal to explore different DJ options (maybe I just want to run as a karaokee-merc versus becoming the next Giorgio Moroder) and the base equipment needed, and a bit of direction on where to go in expressing my inner phat beats. I would think it would be fairly disappointing to demand my brother in law provide me direction, make all the choices for me, and spoon feed me answers. It's lazy and haphazard.

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What types of things are made in VB.NET?

Anything. Console apps, desktop apps, web pages, games, etc. Seriously you can google that.

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Is it a common language?

Yes.

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Does Excel accept VB.NET? That would be awesome.

.NET can interact with Excel.

Take aways:
1. If you do not know how to design software, or think in terms of design, then get some design books. Amazon is full of great resources.
2. I cannot give you a goal, nor will picking a different language provide one for you. If you don't want to go blindly into it and then go to the respective language main sites and peruse what they offer. Take a bit of time to survey them and make a pro/con chart.
3. Perhaps read what you are writing so you are not back peddling and apologizing. Example - when said that java and javascript are the same, but latter recanted that you knew they were not.

--
Edit: oh, hey, look at that. Someone is jacking around with their posts and now my responses are not really relevant. Much obliged, sport.
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#14 Tyr4el   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:33 PM

Sorry modi. Realized all of that could be researched. And I knew you'd respond with such response so I deleted it to save you the trouble. But looks like I caused you some anyway. I'll look around on Amazon about VB.NET and C# I think.
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#15 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Where To Go From Here?

Posted 16 March 2015 - 12:38 PM

Whoa, stop, cut, halt, freeze.

Do not back up to zero and start over with a new language unless it's the only way to get to where you need to be - if you do this, what I'm seeing is "I like the idea of writing code, but I'm afraid to have anyone actually see it, so I'm going to be Penelope and write all day and unwrite it at night". VD is a fine language, I'm sure, and I'm sure you can do lots of stuff in it - but you can do stuff in python and you already know python.
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