Software and Learning to program

Before you start the process of learning to program you should first ascertain which operating system you are using.  There are three out there that are the most often used, Windows, Linux and Apple systems.  Most of the following will run on all of these but you need to download the proper version.  The majority of you probably have Windows 7 or 8 or 10. You also must note if your computer is 32 bits or 64 bit.  The majority of new systems are 64 bits.  In a windows system just click on the windows circle icon in the lower left hand corner then right click on Computer and select properties.

Linux is a free Operating System that you can download and place on a disk to transfer to a computer.  If you have an old laptop(5 years old or so) you can replace the OS with a version of Linux such as Ubuntu.  This will basically make your old laptop usable again since Linux is much more efficient than Windows.  Try it you will like it.   Ubuntu is FREE.  Here is how to create an Ubuntu system.  It is often used by many software developers to create and test code for a large variety of applications.  The majority of languages (C, C++, Python, Perl , Java,Ruby etc) have a free compiler that runs on Linux.

One of the programming languages that is often used by engineers is C when programming embedded processors or controllers.  An example is  programming for the well know Arduino boards.  You can download a (IDE) development environment from Arduino just for this board.   It will work on Windows, Mac OS and LInux and uses C as the base programming language.

The following is divided into different easy to learn programming languages.  Go to the home page to download the software.  Its all free.  Of course you should always check out

Check out many languages and run them online here. is another nice site for running programs of a large variety of languages. There is also an online site to run vPython here.

Video : What most schools don’t teach

What are the popular programming languages for the work place?

Python wiki (home page)  Python is a interpretive programming language that is about as easy to learn as any.   It is heavily used by computer scientist as well as researchers in the other STEM areas.  Biology, Physics and Engineering are popular areas where this is applied.

Some popular educational programming languages are listed below.

NetLogo wiki  (home page)  Netlogo is a easy to learn programming language for creating small animals that travel around on the screen and interact with each other.   Its actually used by some researchers to simulate real world environments such as preditor-prey interaction, flocking etc.  It is derived from the original educational language Logo.

Scratch wiki (home page)  Scratch is a nice educational programming language that is visually based.  It is used in many educational settings including middle and high school as well as universities to teach the programming concept.   Another popular example of this style of language is one called Alice.  Official Alice site. See LearnScratch

Python Lectures by Pattis  (These are really a nice collection of lectures that are worth reading)  Besides Python we will be using Visual Studio 2013.  This is what I will use to demonstrate programs in class.  Sometimes I will discuss solutions using Ubuntu 14.02 (see ubuntu notes)

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