A little introduction into the world of coding

At the EBSpreneurship (founder’s conference at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel [D]) in the last October I’ve picked up from many sites how helpful or even necessary it is as the managing part in a tech startup to understand the logic of website/app programming.

After several workshops and conversations afterwards I’m sure that I want to comprehend the basics of coding. Because of three reasons:

1.       Classifying the doability
If you have a vision, you often throw it away, because you guess it’s impossible. Otherwise you dream about concepts from time to time which are unmarketable as matters stand. Today ideas very often concern about online models in our generation. I think that knowing the essentials of the technical structure of such a concept strongly helps to assess the feasibility of an idea or let you build a model around your vision easier.
–> The plan can be established more realistically and a concept is created faster

1.       Assessing the effort
Purely and simply, every coder could mess around with you if you’re not getting anything about programming. But that’s not the point since it’s all about mutual trust in a startup. It’s rather about giving your team members enough time, figuring out how the process should be structured and what is going to take which time.
–> The plan can be structured and improvements/innovations can be implemented more systematically

3.       Communicating vision/concepts
Now again from the economic perspective: What are the benefits of an idea if you can’t sell it right to investors/partners/customers? In my opinion it’s important that you can communicate your workings and projects understandable. Others should understand your visions with greatest ease and get the logic as simple as possible.
–> The plan can be transmitted easily and executed according to this

Additionally, techies are pleased if you cope with their coding subjects just the same as if someone comprehends your graphic or managing subjects.
Elementary comprehension: Coding

Which basics have I learned in programming websites so far?
To simplify it for myself I visualized the functionality of a website as I got it until now:
(Coding languages are marked with watercolor)

The most important coding languages

There are many different programming languages out there and each of them has its own usage. Like at a big gala event – every party got its tasks. To build a complex structure you need a little bit of everything and therefore preferably a team who got a specialist for each of the workings.
Approximately you can cut website programming in two: Backend and frontend programming.

Backend

The backend does all the stuff in the background (invisible for the normal user). Concatenations, data exchange, etc.

Frontend

Frontend means everything the user got in front of his eyes at the computer. Buttons, animations, pop-ups, and so on. All the things a spectator could see at an event.

These two parts are assembled through all the various languages. The most important, in my current understanding, are integrated in the picture above. I’ll try to explain them with the example of a party organization team:

The organizer: HTML5

Hypertext Markup Language (=HTML) assumes the surface, so it arranges the base frame of a website. The structure you see as a user of a homepage is constructed with HTML. HTML documents are the fundament of the web and include, next to the arrangement, also meta tags like the author or the used language of the text. Headline, texts, pictures & links can be inserted with “The organizer”. It’s a language you can learn pretty easy. The meanwhile often supported version HTML5 is the newest standard, but still is in the development phase.

The entertainer: JavaScript

If anything interactive happens, it’s done with the entertainer, JavaScript (=JS). JS is a scripting language and evaluates interactions of users, adds new content and can change it. So you can open menus and pop-ups, move elements, etc.<br>Be careful! Not to be confused with Java. Both are absolutely different languages and independently of each other. I’m returning to Java later on.

The child of the entertainer: jQuery

JavaScript is a quite complicated language. To simplify it and make functions easier, the free modular JavaScript library jQuery was developed. “The child of the entertainer” restructures used comments and lets you do complex processes with just a few lines of code.

The interior decorator: CSS & embedded graphics

With Cascade Style Sheets (=CSS) and embedded graphics you can design a site descriptively and vividly. After you implemented a vector graphic in a site you can add shadows with CSS, define background colors and so on. CSS cares about the interior design of an event.

The chief storekeeper: MySQL

The one, who stores the wine, all the registrations of the participants and gets it out as required, is MySQL. It’s a relational data management system, so you can save all the data with it. On a My-SQL server different databases with various tables each can be created. In these this you can store data types like integers and strings

The supplier: PHP

Hypertext Preprocessor (=PHP) is a scripting language which is responsible for interactive websites as well as JavaScript. PHP is particularly characterized by its broad connectivity to various databases and internet protocol integration. It also has the availability of numerous additional function libraries. So it can work as an intermediate between MySQL & HTML/JavaScript.

The flyer and food distributor: Java/Objective-C

The distributor Java/Objective-C spreads the flyers and food. If you want to publish an application for a website you usually work with one of the two. Java is the second most famous programming language regarding to the TIOBE-Index (Status January 2014) and connects Android, Objective-C with iOS. Both languages are object-oriented – constructs and functions can be passed on as objects.

The initiator/investor: C & its extension C++

The beginning of everything, the initiator of the big party is C. It was developed in 1979 and is a language for system and application programming. So it stands behind all programs and hence somewhere also behind websites, because they may also be created with programs.<br>In C you have only structures; its extension C++ in comparison is object-oriented like Java. Many coding languages like PHP and Java are oriented towards the syntax (buildup/construction) of C.

Because different languages which have various specialties interact with each other you need more than one of them for a complex website. Only with CSS or MySQL you can’t do much if you want great features and a pretty design.
The most effective method to get a deeper insight in each of the languages is a mix out of learning-by-doing, tutorials and conversations with developers, experts and so forth in my opinion.

You can gain basic knowledge concerning coding quite easy with the sites I told in my last post-it.
Start with programming is no problem at all ages.