Highest Demand Programming Languages in March 2015

ProgrammingLanguageListingsOnDiceA question that I hear frequently is: “Which programming language (or languages) should I learn? Usually the person asking is a student and what they really mean is, “What programming language will get me a job?!” My usual answer is that it’s more important to focus on learning concepts (like: inheritance, composition, polymorphism, data structures, design patterns, etc.) because these are pretty much the same regardless of language. If you learn C# in-depth, and then get a job where you need to use Java, you should be able to apply the concepts you know (and even a lot of the syntax) and pick up Java quickly. But, of course, you would still want to choose a language that is at least in the top dozen, as far as job demand. (more…)

March 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm 3 comments

Why my next PC will be a Mac!

PDP11The first computer I programmed was a DEC PDP 11. That was way back in 1977 when I was a senior in high school. Since then, I’ve used a lot of different computers and operating systems: UNIX (and a variety of its offshoots), VMS, CPM, DOS and Windows. Did you notice there was one I didn’t mention?

OriginalMacThe first Mac I saw was the original one. I was an Electrical Engineering student at the time and it didn’t seem to be good for much besides writing term papers with nice fonts. It just couldn’t do the stuff I needed to do- like run MathCad or the Borland Turbo Pascal IDE. As time went on I developed an aversion to the seemingly snobby cultishness of Apple and its devotees. It seemed to me that if you used a Mac, you would have to buy a black turtle-neck, promise to never use any of the evil software from Redmond, and bow and pray toward Cupertino 5 times a day.

But,  (more…)

March 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

C# Pass-by-reference – Concept and example

670px-Pass-a-Soccer-Ball-Step-3-Version-2One of the concepts that many of my beginning programming students find difficult to wrap their heads around is the different ways that arguments can be passed when a method is called.  The two mechanisms for passing an argument to a method are pass-by-value and pass-by-reference.

(No, this post isn’t about soccer, I just wanted to get you thinking about passing.)

Advice to new programmers: Skip this paragraph. But the rest of this post is for you!
Before launching into our discussion, I need to clarify that we’re only talking about what happens when we pass value types to method parameters. Value types are the types enum and struct. The numeric types and bool type that are built into C# are all actually structs and so they are all value types. Interestingly, strings are not value types, they are reference types, but that’s a topic for another post!

I should make another clarification too. When I talk about the code that calls a method, I refer to the variables passed to the method as arguments, but when I talk about the code that defines a method, I call the variables inside the parenthesis parameters.

Pass by Value
Let’s take a look at a “normal” C# method definition:

     int Sum(int num1, int num2)    // this method returns the sum of num1 and num2
     {
          return num1 + num2;
     }

(more…)

March 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

Happy Pi Day!

It’s Pi day and it’s a once-every-hundred-years Pi day! It’s a spceial Pi day since the year ends in 15. So the date: 3-14-15, matches the number Pi to four decimal places: 3.1415.

Kash Farooq has provided a nice set blog posts showing different methods for calculating Pi using C#. Here they are:

Calculating Pi in C# part 1 – using series algorithms

Calculating Pi in C# part 2 – using the .NET BigInteger class

Calculating Pi in C# part 3 – using the BigRational class.

March 14, 2015 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Introductory iOS App Development course

iPad+iPhoneNext term, at Lane Community College, I will be teaching a course in iPad and iPhone app development, CS235IM, Intermediate Mobile App Development: IOS. This is an introductory course (the title “intermediate” is misleading) in writing apps for iOS using C# and Xamarin.iOS (formerly MonoTouch). The class will be offered both on-campus and online. As a student, you will get free one year developer licenses for Apple iOS (a $99 value) and Xamarin.iOS (a $300 value). (more…)

February 28, 2015 at 10:21 pm 2 comments

How to Enable Developer Mode on an Android Device

If you are developing Android apps, you will want to test them on an actual device. In order to do this you need to enable Developer Mode on your phone or tablet. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Open settings
  2. Go to About Phone or (About Tablet)
  3. Scroll down to Build Number and click on it 7 times
    (Yes, that sounds strange, but that’s what you do.)
  4. Now go back up to your settings list and you will see that Developer Options has been enabled.

I’ve attached a video so you can see how this is done.

October 2, 2014 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

Resources for Learning C# and .NET

CSharpLogoI compiled this list of resources for students in my Xamarin Android and iOS app development courses. These are the best resources I have found for learning C#. They are categorized for new programmers and for programmers who already know another language. If you have found some other great resources, tell everyone about them in a comment!

BTW, most of what you learn about .NET will also apply to the Mono library used by Xamarin.
(more…)

September 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

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