Absolutely new to programming


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Good morning everybody in coding land, I'm trying something super bold. I have zero programming skills, aside from taking the free class with MIT CS50.

I'm excited to get started learning more. I'm old, but have the drive to learn. Good luck to everybody. I'll be posting in another forum about what I'm trying to do and what language people think I should learn in.
 
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I guess I should add here what I am trying to do because I can't find where else to put it.

I want to create a SaaS for small business. I need to be able to create quotes, invoices, purchase orders, return RMA forms, etc. Right now there are no usable programs for a small business that can do all of this and automate a lot of it.

Some, like Oracle Netsuite could hand it with their customizations, but its an initial $12k-$20 just to get started and then a monthly fee after that.

The question I have is, what language should I be writing this in? Netsuite runs Javascript on the server side and quickbooks runs PHP.

Also, what do I need to actually write and test a program from a Mac? Just open a text box and start coding? Thank you in advance.

v/r
AG
 
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Hello and welcome! That's a pretty open ended question that has a LOT of subjective answers, many of them with equal merit. You've got a few options for languages. Firstly, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are going to be your front end; that's what browsers receive and create a web page out of. JavaScript, in particular, makes your website much more interactive, as opposed to click-button-reload-page.

On the back end, it gets more subjective. Your popular choices, in no particular order, are JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, and many more. Personally, I recommend Python for beginners; it's easy to learn, relatively fast, very powerful, and can be used for most applications. JavaScript is also a good starting point; with NodeJS, the server-side of JavaScript, you can make a perfectly capable web service and it has the not-insignificant advantage that you'll have to learn fewer languages (since you'll need it for your front end anyway). Personally, I hate PHP; that being said, there are tons of applications built on it and it can do just fine. Ruby... has fallen out of favor, but is a viable language, as well. Again, it's very, very personal.

Both Python and JavaScript have a ton of resources to get started. I'd suggest building a "Hello world" application in both and see if either one clicks for you more than the other. What you're looking for is a "web framework," so that's what I'd start with in Google. I can't speak for JavaScript, but Flask is a great place to start for Python.

Unfortunately, I also can't speak for what it takes to get up and running on a Mac. It's closer to Linux, so it should be relatively easy. I know there's Homebrew, npm, and Anaconda that can make it much easier to install programming packages, but I can't test them myself.

If you have any more specific question, don't hesitate to create new posts. I'm pretty good with Python and okay with JavaScript and I try to stay active on here, but I, admittedly, have been slacking recently.
 

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