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Simple Guide to Understanding a Bootstrap Grid System

Before you can dive too deeply into a technology or development tool, you should have at least a high-level understanding of what the product is – or is not.

Bootstrap is a technology tool created as a front-end framework for developing web pages and applications. It has become one of the most popular tools referenced on the GitHub website, garnering in excess of 100,000 stars from users of Bootstrap functionality.

Some of the factors contributing to the success of Bootstrap are:

  • Price (it’s free to download)
  • Platform – Bootstrap is open source
  • Flexibility – it contains HTML and CSS templates for quickly designing buttons, forms, and other website content
  • Optional JavaScript extensions available
  • Broad acceptance and utilization by website and web application developers
  • Continuous additions to functionality and responsiveness to the developer community

With such a growing user base and many developer contributors to the product, it’s no wonder Bootstrap has experienced an amazing level of adoption for designing web applications and websites.

Functionality and Simplicity Combined

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Bootstrap today serves as a full-featured development and web page design tool for developers of all skill levels.

By combining architectural features to support advancements in such in-demand technologies as Saas, JavaScript, and CSS with ease of use, Bootstrap has become one of the most recognized and popular frameworks for front-end website building.

The flexibility of Bootstrap lets you as a developer select the features and components that most suit the design of your web pages. Variables can be utilized for such functions as controlling padding, color, and settings of individual objects.

Bootstrap’s responsive design and grid-based functionality enable you to create multiple variations of web pages for use on low or high-resolution devices, whether developing for mobile devices, tablets, laptops, or PCs.

With its focus on a grid design, Bootstrap is a relatively easy tool to gain proficiency in, building full websites that adapt to the devices running your applications.

A Simple Guide to Understanding

the Bootstrap Grid System

The Grid Concept

Bootstrap builds your webpages utilizing a grid layout that you can utilize to format responsive web pages for multiple devices. The responsive attribute refers to the application recognizing the device in use, and resizing images appropriately.

In general, the Bootstrap grid is designed to facilitate a width of 12 columns, although you can group columns together creating fewer but wider columns, if your design does not call for all 12.

If you use more than 12 columns in your grid, Bootstrap will stack them. In addition, where a large display may accommodate 12 columns quite readily, small screens will provide better presentation when columns are stacked.

 

Options for Grid Classes

Bootstrap offers you multiple options in creating dynamic and responsive screen layouts:

  • Xl – for screens equal or greater than 1200px
  • Lg – for desktops and laptops with screens equal or greater than 992px width
  • Md – for smaller laptops with screen width equal or greater than 768px
  • Sm – stepping down to tablet-size screens equal or greater than 576px wide
  • Xs – sized for mobile devices such as phones, with screens less than 576px wide

Grid classes can be mixed to provide more flexibility in layout. Each class will also scale to the next larger class, so if you want to design a grid for small and medium display, you can simply specify small.

Basic Rules for Using Bootstrap Grids

There are a few specific rules to keep in mind when building grids with Bootstrap:

  • To assure the desired alignment and padding of rows, the rows must be placed in a .container-fluid (for full-width) or .container (fixed-width)
  • Your content must always be placed in columns
  • Columns must be the immediate children of rows
  • Rows can only be used to contain columns
  • If you attempt to provide over 12 columns on a grid, they will be stacked
  • Column widths are specified in percentages of total width, and are fluid, making them sized in relation to their parent elements
  • All rows should be placed in a container

Bootstrap provides predefined classes for quick generation of grids, such as .col-sm-4 and .row

How the Grid Works

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Bootstrap’s grid is designed for responsive layout, utilizing the familiar concept of rows and columns.

Containers

Groupings of these rows and columns are placed in at least one container, but possibly more. In its simplest form, a grid can consist of a single container, with one row and column:

<div class=”container“>
<div class=”row“>
<div class=”col“>Here is the grid content!</div>
</div>
</div>

This example, of course, does not utilize the classes such as Flexbox, CSS, or JavaScript components.

The container is a key element of Bootstrap. It essentially controls the width of your layout and is the root of your grid. The container can contain any element of your layout – rows, columns, and other markup content.

You can include multiple containers on a page to suit your design preferences, and a container may contain multiple rows.

Proper use of containers will ensure optimal alignment on the page, due to the property of container padding that keeps rows aligned with 15px margins. Inserting rows without being included in a container will result in a horizontal scroll that you did not intend, and your viewers will not appreciate.

Inserting Your Content – Columns

Formatting your content is never done in the rows of the grid. Content is placed in columns, and columns are placed in the rows.

With Flexbox implementation in Bootstrap 4, both vertical and horizontal alignment are accomplished with Auto-margin and Flex Utility classes.

Columns are invaluable in your layout design for multiple reasons:

  • Columns can vary in width automatically for responsive design
  • Columns create the horizontal placement and division across the display
  • Can contain other rows and columns through nesting
  • Will always be the same height as other siblings in the row
  • Columns create the horizontal separation across the display or viewport

Space generated between columns are referred to as the gutter.

Columns in a row will be spread horizontally across the row. When you include over the base 12 columns of the grid, the remaining columns will be stacked or wrapped vertically down, referred to as “column wrapping.” This may or may not be the effect you desire for your web page.

Flexbox introduces a new term for columns – Auto-layout columns. Flexbox offers additional controls over the alignment and justification of columns for your page layout.

 

Mobile Comes First

As part of this simple guide to understanding the Bootstrap grid system, you should also be aware that Bootstrap inherently puts mobile presentation first. This makes perfect sense, as you take a look around to see how website users are accessing your web pages – on phones and tablets.

With a “mobile first” approach to responsive design, xs (the smallest px value) is the default breakpoint in building your grid. Keep in mind that higher breakpoints will override smaller values. Size your columns accordingly, perhaps defining 3 columns for sm, but 4 columns when designing for md or higher values.

Grid Design Considerations

 

When designing your grid layout, keep these concepts in mind:

On smaller screen widths, columns will stack vertically and maintain their full width, unless you incorporate a specific class within your HTML markup details. Using such a specification will eliminate the possibility of stacking that you did not intend.

Smaller classes specified on your grid also apply to larger screens, so you truly only need to specify the smallest device/display you intend to support on your web pages.

Your columns will be equal height in the same row. Multiple options can be used to control formatting details, including Flexbox justify and alignment functions, auto-margins, and vertical centering.

Browser Support

Utilizing a design tool like Bootstrap would be all but useless if your browser did not support the results of your design. This is certainly not an issue with Bootstrap. Your web pages will be supported by nearly every popular browser that hits your website:

Browser Support

Mac

Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari

Windows

Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (10+), Microsoft Edge, Opera

Mobile Devices

Android

Chrome, Firefox, Android Browser and WebView, Microsoft Edge

iOS

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge

A Brief History of Bootstrap

Initially developed by Jacob Thornton and Mark Otto as a framework to facilitate development for internal use at Twitter, Bootstrap (originally named Twitter Blueprint) grew from a tool to promote consistency in interface design into a full-function tool that was released in 2011 as an open source product for website developers.

Bootstrap 4 was released in January 2018, with an enhanced toolkit for developers that now supports the current migration to CSS flexbox and Sass.

Jacob, Mark, and a handful of developers continue to enhance and add functionality to Bootstrap, demonstrating their commitment to the on-going value of the product for current and prospective web developers.

 

Featured Image via Pxhere

 

What Is the Getline C++ Function?

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages being used for application development today and has earned its popularity over a period of over 20 years (originally created circa 1979), with an initial standardized version released in 1998.

C++ offers developers many benefits:

  • Object-oriented architecture – having such attributes as inheritance and polymorphism
  • Platform agnostic – run your compiled C++ applications on anything from a desktop computer to a smartphone
  • Low-level language – you work closely with platform characteristics such as memory management and device management
  • Fast, efficient performance – C++ is a compiled language, as opposed to interpretive alternatives, providing performance similar to C applications, and generally out-performing C# programs
  • Great for applications such as networking, creating operating systems, server-based functions, device drivers, and gaming

With an estimated population of C++ developers over 1.5 million strong worldwide, there are many sites, forums, and user groups available for training, tips, and collaboration.

 

C++ Getline Function – the Basics

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When reading a data stream from any input source such as the keyboard or a data file, you have options for how you retrieve and manage that process. You can utilize the standard C++ cin function, or you may choose to use an alternative – the getline function.

What is the C++ getline function, and how does it work?

The getline function in C++ serves to extract characters or a stream of characters from a specified input stream, appending the stream to the string receiving the data until either a specified delimiter or new line is detected, or end of file is encountered.

Getline is a standard C++ library function and offers multiple format/syntax variations:

Format 1:

istream& getline (istream& is, string& str, char delim);

Parameters in this format are:

  • is – an object in the istream class that provides information about the source to be read for input for the getline function
  • str – the receiving string object where data is to be stored after the function reads from the stream
  • delim – this parameter defines the delimiter character that tells the getline function to stop reading when it detects this character

Format 2:

istream& getline (istream& is, string& str);

This format is essentially the same as the first, with the exception that no delimiter character is provided. Getline function will recognize (‘n’) or new line character as the delimiter.

As an example using a delimiter character of “z”

istream& getline (istream& is, string& ‘z’);

In this example, if the ‘z’ character is found in the input stream, the extract will end, but the ‘z’ will not be included in the stream.

The basic function of getline is to extract data or characters from an input stream source, appending the information to the specified string object until new line or the specified delimiter is found. If the delimiter is detected, it is not passed to the string – it is discarded.

Note that the extract can stop for several reasons:

  • The delimiter is encountered
  • End of the source file stream is reached
  • An error condition is detected

If data is received as a result of the getline function, it replaces any characters previously stored in the string object.

Conditions and Errors Returned by the Getline C++ Function

 

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  • Eofbit – this indicates that the end of the source stream characters has been reached
  • Failbit – input data received by the function could not be properly interpreted as valid content of the type. In such instances, the internal data and parameters that existed before the call are preserved.
  • Badbit – an error condition other than eofbit or failbit has occurred.

Most developers are quite familiar with the “cin” standard C++ default input method, especially when dealing with streams such as keyboard input. The result can sometimes be troublesome since the cin function may result in error conditions when it receives input content that it cannot process, resulting in a fail state from the function.

Until the fail condition can be corrected or cleared, the unprocessed information will remain on the input stream. To continue, either the input must be corrected for the function to proceed, or the fail state must be cleared and handled by your program.

Getline Is a Better Solution for Extracting Input

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Getline is a more robust and error-tolerant method for reading an input stream for multiple reasons:

  • Both numbers and strings can be read without resulting in a fail state
  • When you want to read an entire file, getline can be easily embedded to read input through the file within a loop, extracting all content efficiently, and cleanly exiting the loop when end of file isreached.
  • Getline is custom-made for processing through a delimited file since you’re able to provide the delimiter character to be recognized as your stop point.

Special Considerations Where the Getline C++ Function Shines

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There are certain conditions where getline is your best choice for accepting a string from keyed input or when reading data from a file.

Blank Lines in Input Stream

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Blank lines in an input stream can create a problem for your program since getline will interpret the newline character at the end of a blank line, sending the blank content to the output string.

Fortunately, by testing the length of the string, it becomes very easy to omit the blank entries, looping through the input stream for the next valid line, as in this code example:

while (str.length()==0 )

getline(cin, str);

This is an easy method of skipping stream content lines where the length of the string is 0 (bypassing blank lines).

 

Converting String Content

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Using the string parameter in a getline function provides ease of applying the C++ converter functions to transform string-to-long-integer (stol), string-to-integer (stoi), string-to-double (stod), and string-to-float (stof) formats. Since the data has already been read into a string object, it is easily converted as needed by your application.

Coding and Use of the Getline C++ Function

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There are some additional coding considerations that illustrate best practices or cautions against inefficient code:

When executing a getline function, memory will be allocated for the string to contain data from the input stream. If the function fails or otherwise encounters an error condition, the memory may not be freed for other use. In such cases, you should free the allocated memory. A good practice is simply to always free the allocated resource when finished with the function and data string.

Never just assume that your code worked flawlessly. C++ and its functions provide many options for discovering and identifying error conditions. Checking your status conditions when functions are executed will ensure that the expected results are realized and will also inform you of any data or program exceptions that need to be addressed.

Another best practice is to not mix types of input coding, such as using cin and getline in the same process flow. The reason – cin is well-known for encountering issues with input, mainly due to its lack of type tracking. This could result in a subsequent getline receiving empty results. It’s much more consistent and reliable to utilize the getline C++ function to provide better control of the data stream, error checking, and data manipulation.

Before processing data extracted from the stream, always check for errors returned by getline() (just as you should for any other input/output (IO) operation utilizingstreams).

If your getline() function (or any IO operation on a stream) has set the associated failbit or badbit, do not process the data. You should not assume the data returned is valid or usable for processing. The eofbit is not required to be checked in the loop since this is a normal return and does not necessarily indicate an error that should prevent processing of the data received.

Learning More

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With so many types of data and files that you encounter in writing applications, there are many different ways to manage data streams and strings. You can gain a great deal of additional information on the best ways to utilize the getline C++ function, including:

Investigating each of these resources for insight regarding what the getline C++ function is and how to use it in the development of your application, will prove valuable in developing your C++ skills.

What Is A Blink HTML Tag?

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is one the cornerstones of building web applications and web pages and has been for decades.

Along with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, HTML forms the basis for the most popular technologies for creating sites on the world wide web.

First released in 1993 and with its latest release being HTML5, web page constructs that utilize HTML elements can be easily understood and transformed into interactive web pages by a variety of browsers.

HTML offers web page developers a set of building blocks that generate structured pages, handling images, headings, lists, links, and other elements consistently and efficiently.

Information provided to a web browser through HTML, CSS, and scripts such as those provided through JavaScript code generate the appearance and functionality experienced by viewers of the associated websites.

HTML “tags” provide information to the browser that defines the type of data or function to be applied to the associated elements of the web page. Examples are:

  • <body> provides a definition of the document’s body
  • <button> defines a button that is clickable to the browser
  • <header> defines the section or document header
  • <img> provides image definition
  • <meta> defines the metadata for the HTML document

Standards are maintained and set for CSS and HTML by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards, though not binding and mandatory, are strong recommendations by the technical community that forms the W3C to adhere to best practices and guidelines for consistency in web design and development.

Most popular web browsers tend to adhere to the standards published by W3C to promote compatibility and a more universal set of coding practices.

What Is a Blink HTML Tag and How Does It Work?

One HTML tag that may not be as well-known or frequently used is the <blink> HTML tag. Blink is a non-standard tag that can be utilized to create enclosed text that blinks – or flashes – slowly.

Most web page developers have avoided the use of this tag, mainly due to the reaction of web page visitors who deemed the effect annoying, with text turning off and on. The blink effect makes the text image alternate between being visible and invisible.

Few modern web browsers still support the blink HTML tag, and some – such as Internet Explorer – never supported the blink HTML tag at all.

Blink HTML tag syntax includes an open and close pair of tags:  <blink> and </blink>
respectively.

In practice, different browsers will handle the blink html tag differently (if they recognize it at all). For example, the Firefox browser interprets the blink tag to make the associated text invisible for ¼ second,then visible for ¾ second, alternating between the two effects.

Alternatives to the Blink HTML Tag

The blink HTML tag was always seen as a non-standard tag that few browsers supported, and most that supported the element in the past have since dropped support of the tag. Even the Opera browser, which once did support the blink tag, ended support of that attribute long ago, with version 15 of the browser.

But even if the blink HTML tag is largely unsupported and will not be recognized by most browsers, there are other ways to accomplish a similar effect.

CSS Code There is a method through CSS to provide a blinking effect. Using the CSS animation properties along with definition utilizing the @keyframes rule, you can generate blinking text. Try this sample code from ComputerHope.com to create a blink class and put it into use.

<style type "text/css">

<!--
/* @group Blink */

.blink {

-webkit-animation:
blink .75s linear infinite;

-moz-animation:
blink .75s linear infinite;

-ms-animation:
blink .75s linear infinite;

-o-animation:
blink .75s linear infinite;

animation: blink .75s linear infinite;

}

@-webkit-keyframes blink {

0% { opacity: 1; }

50% { opacity: 1; }

50.01% { opacity: 0; }

100% { opacity: 0; }

}

@-moz-keyframes blink {

0% { opacity: 1; }

50% { opacity: 1; }

50.01% { opacity: 0; }

100% { opacity: 0; }

}

@-ms-keyframes blink {

0% { opacity: 1; }

50% { opacity: 1; }

50.01% { opacity: 0; }

100% { opacity: 0; }

}

@-o-keyframes blink {

0% { opacity: 1; }

50% { opacity: 1; }

50.01% { opacity: 0; }

100% { opacity: 0; }

}

@keyframes blink {

0% { opacity: 1; }

50% { opacity: 1; }

50.01% { opacity: 0; }

100% { opacity: 0; }

}

/* @end */

-->

</style>

Once you create the above code, you’re ready to apply the class to the text of your choice, such as:

<p class="tab blink">Here is some blinking text.</p>

Modifying the code examples to utilize different values will allow you to “tweak” the code until you get the results you want to present to the viewer.

Microsoft also created a proprietary blink HTML tag to be used with their Internet Explorer browser. The tag was never adopted as part of the HTML, but subsequently dropped it altogether, and it is no longer supported even by Internet Explorer.

CSS at one time could provide the effect through the “text-decoration: blink” specification, but this too is a non-standard method of producing blinking text, and is not a working solution for most browsers today.

JavaScript JavaScript provides a more functional and supported method
for presenting blinking text on your web page:

var blink_speed = 500; var t = setInterval(function () { var ele = document.getElementById('blinker'); ele.style.visibility = (ele.style.visibility == 'hidden' ? '' : 'hidden'); }, blink_speed);

Keep in mind that if you’re thinking about including blinking text on your web page, you should probably reconsider, with the many concerns and cautions against using such an effect on your web pages.

Why Blink Is a Bad Idea

There are many reasons or opinions that back up the recommendation that blinking on a web page is not only a bad idea or distracting for website visitors but is strongly opposed by organizations and standards institutions.

W3C’s own Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a great deal of information related to why “blink” is not a good practice. Some of the key reasons to avoid the use of blinking text are:

  • W3C agrees with the general consensus that blinking text is annoying and detracts from the overall appearance of a web page.
  • Even the “creator” of the blink concept (most often credited to Lou Montulli, a Netscape engineer) opines that his creation was likely the “most hated of all HTML tags”.
  • Apple advised developers to avoid the practice as far back as 1982, with their suggested guidance that “flashing text should only be used to indicate imminent destruction of data or the program”.
  • From a practical viewpoint, there is documented evidence of the negative impact blinking video segments can have on individuals who have certain disabilities. In fact, the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) go into great detail regarding standards for “flashing” content on web pages, highlighting the detrimental effect it presents to individuals with certain disabilities or those who are subject to seizures triggered by visual stimulation
  • Specifically, the standard calls for thecapability for web users to stop or hide the effect:

“Moving, blinking, scrolling - For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential”

Although the standard admits there could be overlap in the definition of blinking vs. flashing, adoption or use of all such negative effects is to be avoided in nearly all cases.

Utilizing a Blink HTML Tag

Although the blink HTML tag is officially in a non-supported status for all popular browsers, you can still utilize the effect through other means (JavaScript or CSS methods). Still, the technique or any use of blinking text is not advised as a good practice.

Most developers or website visitors consider a blink HTML tag or blinking text on a web page through any means to be:

  • Distracting
  • Annoying
  • Potentially unhealthy

There are many HTML tags and CSS decorations or animations that are much more attractive and appropriate for your web pages. Consider the use of other techniques over blinking or flashing presentations.

Keywords: blink html

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What Is the C++ Vector Function?

Spend some time talking to developers, and each has their favorite language. Many are happy to talk about SQL, Ruby/Rails, Swift, or Java as their favorite programming language. Ask them what their second favorite language is and the answer is almost always C++.

Many developers insist C++ is the best language for managing complex operations. It delivers very reliable performance for intricate operations, with a small programming footprint and low-energy.

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But it’s also a very complex and demanding language. It’s not a language for easy work, simple apps, or junior developers. The power of C++ requires programming skill and developer acumen and experience.

The C++ Vector is a powerful bit of functionality in the developer’s toolbox. We’ll look at how the C++ vector function works, how it can be used.

Let’s get started.

The History of ​​C++

C++ is an older language, first developed in 1979 by Bjarne Stroustrup. Stroustrup was working with the Simula 67 language at the time, a language widely thought to be the first object-oriented programming language. He felt Simula 67, while a useful language, was too slow for general programming.

Stroustrup began developing a new language known as “C with Classes” to add the object-oriented programming to the C language. C was a popular language, widely respected for portability, speed and functionality. Stroustrup added functions to C that included classes, inheritance, inlining, and default function arguments.

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In 1983, the ++ was added to C to denote the ++operator for incrementing a variable. This helped identify the strength of the language. Additional features were added to C++, including function overloading, references with the & symbol, virtual functions, and the const keyword.

Since then, C++ has become a useful language for general-purpose programming. Many popular programs are written in C++, including Adobe applications, programs in Microsoft, and parts of the Mac OS.  Applications that require high-performance, eking out every bit of performance from a CPU, also rely on C++. This includes audio/video processing, 3D rendering, and fast, or twitch, game development.

This is why many mainstream games and gaming companies rely on C++Popular
apps
like Facebook and Amazon also use C++. C++ also eliminates resources when released to increase performance, making it the right choice for industries like finance, high-performance manufacturing, real-time systems and transportation.

Let’s look at how vectors work in C++.

What is a C++ Vector?

A vector in C++ acts as a data storage unit, sequence container, and a dynamic array. As elements are added to the array, the vector will automatically resize itself to accommodate the new element. When elements are removed, the vector will adjust.

A typical array in C++ is fixed in size and contains sequential elements all of the same type. They are used to store data. Arrays always use connected memory locations. The
lowest address is assigned to the first element, and highest address is assigned to the last element. Since the array is of a fixed size, the number of elements must be determined when the array is created.

Vectors work like an array, but don’t have a fixed size.  The vector will adjust as needed
to accommodate data as it is added and removed. In practice, a vector will use more memory than a similarly-sized array to accommodate expected growth, but it does efficiently and dynamically grow to incorporate new data as needed.

Properties of a C++ Vector

A vector container in C++ has certain properties. These include:

  • Linear sequence: Elements in a vector in C++ have a strict linear sequence. Each element in the sequence can be accessed by their position in the sequence.
  • Dynamic access: A vector permits direct access to any element in the container. The vector enables rapid addition and removal of elements at the end of a sequence.
  • Allocator-aware: The vector uses allocators to manage storage needs. An allocator is part of the C++ Standard Library and manages requests for the allocation and deallocation of memory for data containers.

Implementation of a C++ Vector

The types of elements that can be stored by the vector depend on how the vector is initialized. Remember, all elements in a vector must be of the same type. Vectors can store string, float, and int elements.

Selecting an allocator object when implementing a vector will also define the storage allocation model. By default, an allocator class template is used. This assigns the simplest memory allocation model. This model is value-independent.

Iterators for C++ Vector

An iterator is a fundamental part of the C++ Standard Template Library. Iterators are used to access the data stored in the vector. They point to the specific element within
the data storage unit or container.

Let’s look at some common iterators for vectors in C++:

  • begin: Using the begin iterator will return the element in the beginning of the sequence in the vector.
  • end: The end iterator will return the element at the end of the dynamic array, or the theoretical element that follows the last element.
  • rbegin: This will return the reverse iterator to the reverse beginning of the vector. This will move from the last element to the first element.
  • rend: This will return the reverse iterator. It points to the theoretical element immediately before the first element in the sequence. It is the reverse end of
    the vector.
  • cbegin: Using the cbegin iterator will return the const_iterator to the beginning. A const_iterator can be used for accessing the elements in the container and cannot be used to modify the data.
  • cend: Using the cend iterator will return the const_iterator to the end. A const_iterator can be used for accessing the elements in the container and
    cannot be used to modify the data.
  • crbegin: This will return a const_reverse_iterator to the reverse beginning of the dynamic array.
  • crend: This will return a const_reverse_iterator to the reverse end of the dynamic array.

C++ Modifiers for a Vector

C++ Modifiers are another important feature in the programming language. When char, int, and double data types have modifiers preceding them, the base type can be modified. Modifiers can be used to adjust the type to fit programming situations.  

In general, a vector is more efficient than other dynamic sequence containers in C++, including deques, lists, and forward_lists. They are suited to adding or removing elements from the end of the sequence. They are less efficient at inserting or removing
elements within the sequence.

C++ Modifiers that can be used on elements in a vector include:

  • assign: The assign modifier will assign data or content to the vector, adding the element to the container.
  • push_back: This modifier will add the element it modifies to the end of the sequence in the container.
  • pop_back: Use the pop_back modifier to delete the last element in the sequence, shrinking the vector.
  • insert: The insert modifier will insert the specific modified elements to the sequence.
  • erase: The erase modifier is used to delete or eliminate specific elements in the sequence.
  • swap: Use the swap modifier to move content inside the sequence.
  • clear: The clear modifier will remove, or clear, content inside a sequence. It uses the location within the sequence, rather than the element.
  • emplace: Use emplace to construct, or build, an element and the insert it within the sequence.
  • emplace_back: The emplace_back modifier is used to construct an element and insert it at the end of the sequence.

Calculating Vector Capacity in C++

The capacity function is a built-in function in C++ which can be used to calculate the storage assigned to the vector. The capacity is expressed as the number of elements.

Keep in mind the capacity that is returned is not necessarily equal to the number of elements in the vector. Extra space will often be assigned to a vector to accommodate growth. This way, the system won’t need to reallocate memory every time an element is added to the sequence.

Capacity also doesn’t limit the size of the vector. Adding elements will automatically expand the size of the dynamic array as needed. A limit to the size of a vector is a property of the member max_size.

Functions on capacity for vectors in C++ include:

  • size(): Calculates the number of elements in the vector.
  • max_size(): Calculates the maximum number of elements a vector can contain.
  • capacity(): Calculates the storage space currently assigned, or allocated, to the vector. This is expressed as the number of elements.
  • resize(): This can be used to resize the vector to contain a specific number (“g”) of elements.
  • empty(): Determine if a container, or vector, is empty of all elements.
  • shrink_to_fit(): Used to limit the capacity of a vector. The container will be shrunk, and all elements beyond the capacity will be destroyed.
  • reserve(): A request to assign enough vector capacity to contain at least a specific number of elements.

A Final Word on Vectors in C++

Vectors, or dynamic arrays, are a powerful tool for storing and accessing information in C++. As more and more companies are using C++ to store and use data, demand for programmers knowledgeable in C++ will only increase.

.

How to Fix a Segmentation Fault on Linux

When running applications, whether it’s on your office desktop, home computer, or mobile device, you just expect them to work.

Apps that crash or don’t function properly can be frustrating to users and are certainly
troublesome for developers.

One of the most problematic messages presented to users and programmers on Linux environments is the all-too-familiar “Segmentation Fault.”

This may not be the time to panic, but it can only be resolved easily if you know how to fix a segmentation fault on Linux.

What Is a Segmentation Fault?

A segmentation fault – also abbreviated as segfault – is actually an error related to memory usage. It can mean that your program performed an invalid memory function due to:

  • A memory address that does not exist
  • A segment of memory that your program does not have authority to
  • A program in a library you’re using has accessed memory that it does not have access to
  • Attempts to write to memory owned by the operating system

Operating systems such as Linux normally divide system memory into segments. The operating system allocates these segments for use by system functions, as well as making memory available for user-written applications.

Man doing some computer programming

When a program attempts to access a segment that it does not have rights to, or reads or writes to a non-existent memory address, the fault occurs.

The challenge is finding the cause of the segmentation fault, and fixing it.

Common causes of segmentation faults include:

  • Exceeding the boundary of an array, resulting in a buffer overflow
  • Accessing a memory segment that has been deleted
  • Referencing memory that has not been allocated for your use
  • Attempting to write to read-only memory
  • Address pointers that are initialized to null values being dereferenced

Operating systems such as Linux and Unix incorporate memory management techniques that detect such violations of memory use and throw a signal (SIGSEGV, or segmentation violation) to the program that initiated the fault, resulting in your application receiving the dreaded segmentation fault notification.

Causes of Segmentation Faults

The causes and conditions under which segmentation faults take place vary depending on the operating system and even the hardware applications are running on. Underlying
operating system code can detect and recover from some wayward addressing errors created by application errors, isolating system memory from unauthorized destruction or access caused by buffer overflows or inadvertent programming errors.

Part of the problem in dealing with and resolving segmentation faults on Linux is finding the root cause of the problem. Often segfaults happen as a result of application errors that occurred earlier in an application, such as compromising a memory address that will be referenced later in the program.

In such conditions, the segmentation fault can be encountered when the address is utilized, but the cause is in a different area of the program. Backtracking through the
functionality of the program is often the only way to determine the actual cause of the error.

This is especially true when the segmentation fault presents itself intermittently, which may indicate that there is a relationship with a particular segment of programming code that is encountered only under specific conditions.

Often one of the most challenging factors in isolating the cause of a segmentation fault is in reproducing the error in a consistent manner before you can fix the cause of the fault.

Roblox figure doing some programming

Your Best Way to Fix Segmentation Faults On Linux

Your most foolproof method of fixing segmentation faults is to simply avoid them. This may not always be an option, of course.

If you’re running packaged software or applications that you have downloaded from the internet or provided by a friend or business associate, you may be out of luck. One option for packaged software is to submit a problem report to the vendor or supplier, and hope they will provide a solution or fix the problem through an update or replacement.

As a programmer, you should adhere to best practices in memory management:

  • Keep close track of memory allocation and deletion
  • Diagnose problems thoroughly through adequate testing of all programs and sub-programs
  • Utilize tools for debugging that can help you determine the true cause of the segmentation fault

Trouble-shooting memory violations that cause segfault issues can be tricky, without the use of a good debugger, since the code that caused the memory issue may be in a totally different section of your code from where the segmentation fault crashes the program.

Some compilers will detect invalid access to memory locations such as writing to read-only memory, indicating an error that can be corrected before the program is utilized for testing or production use. Unfortunately, there are also compilers that will not highlight such coding errors or will allow the creation of the executable code despite these errors. The addressing error will not be noted until the program is run, and the segmentation fault rears its ugly head.

Debugging can help you locate the exact section or line of code that is causing the error.

 

Fundamentals of Programming Terms and Concepts

Computer Programming for Beginners: Fundamentals of Programming Terms and Concepts
  • Nathan Clark
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Paperback: 207 pages

 

Programming Problems 2

Programming Problems: Advanced Algorithms (Volume 2)
  • Bradley Green
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Paperback: 200 pages

Finding and Fixing Segmentation Faults On Linux

The typical action that Linux-based systems take in the event of a segmentation fault is to terminate the execution of the offending process that initiated the condition. Along with halting the program or process, a core file or core dump will often be generated, which is an important tool in debugging the program or finding the cause of the segfault.

Core dumps are valuable in locating specific information regarding the process that was running when the segmentation fault occurred:

  • Snapshot of program memory at the time of termination
  • Program and stack pointers
  • Processor register content
  • Additional useful memory management and OS information

When system-generated core dumps do not provide adequate information for locating the cause of the problem, you can also force dumps at points in your code, to get an exact picture of addresses and memory content at
any point during execution.

Programming on a laptop

Fixing the Segmentation Fault

Sooner or later, every programmer will encounter a program that produces a segmentation fault, requiring some level of debugging to find the source of the error. There are several ways to go about some simple troubleshooting and debugging of a program:

  • Make assumptions about what the program is doing at the point of the segfault, guess what the problem is, and attempt to fix the code to resolve the problem (not very scientific or reliable).
  • Change the program to list variables at strategic points, to help pinpoint the issue.
  • Utilizing a debugging tool to trap the details of program execution and really nail down the exact cause of the segmentation fault.

What makes the most sense to you? Using a debugger, of course.

GDB is a debugging tool available for Unix-type systems and can be a valuable tool in your programming arsenal. With GDB functions you are able to pinpoint the exact location in your programs where segmentation faults are generated and backtrack to the
root cause with minimal time and effort. GDB functionality includes many important functions:

Start your program under GDB control – now the debugger is running behind the scenes, tracking each step of execution. When the segfault takes place, the debugger supplies you with an abundance of valuable information:

  • The line of code where the fault took place
  • Details of the program code being executed

Now you have a good clue as to where the problem is, but how did the program get to that point, and what was information was it working with?

Simply tell the debugger to backtrace, and you will have even more information presented:

  • The methods that called this statement
  • Parameters that were passed
  • Variables in use

So now you know how the program got to the point of the segfault, but perhaps not enough to resolve the problem. This is where additional functions of the debugger come into play for additional troubleshooting steps.

You can set breakpoints in your program so that GDB will stop execution at exactly that point of failure in your logic, allowing you to display what was in variables and memory addresses when that breakpoint is reached. Breakpoints can even include conditions, such that you can break only under specific circumstances.

If that’s not quite enough to identify the problem, set the breakpoint a little earlier in your logic, then tell the debugger to “step” through the logic one line at a time, evaluating the variables and memory constants at each step, until you identify exactly where the unexpected values appear.

Ready to Fix a Segmentation Fault on Linux?

Following the debugging process through your program will nearly always pinpoint the problem that is the root cause of your segmentation faults.

Be certain to follow best practices in your Linux application programming development. Combining good memory management techniques with sophisticated debugging tools will allow you to produce reliable, fault-free programs for use in Linux environments.

.

C++ String

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages to learn and is known as one of the fastest-running programs for applications developed with the language.

This is one of the attributes that makes C++ a preferred architecture for writing game applications, with its combination of power and speed.

In a technology-based world where such languages as Python and JavaScript have a growing segment of the application development market, C++ remains strong for its advantages in powering such applications as:

  • Financial systems
  • Computer gaming development
  • Search engines such as Google, where performance is critical
  • Social media applications, including much of Facebook

One other attribute of C++ is it’s very complex and is not considered by most technicians to be a great first language to learn, nor an easy language to become proficient with.

One function included in the C++ language is that of the “string” function and class.

C++ Codes

What Is the C++ String Function?

computer coding

There are two types of string representation supported and provided by C++:

C-style string representation – since C++ is largely an evolution of the C language (though now quite different), C++ still retains the basic functionality of C-style string handling.

A string is a one-dimensional array that is terminated by a null value (‘\0’). This being the case, the size of the array is always the length of the characters in the string, plus one position for the null character.

In C++, a string is an object within the “string” class and is defined as such with a <string> header.

Constructors may be called to define and create a string object:

  • string str1; creates a null string with a zero length using the default constructor
  • string str3(str2); utilizes an explicit constructor to create and initialize the new string object

Coding a String Function in C and C++

programming

C offers a variety of functions for handling and manipulating strings terminated by nulls

  • strcpy(str1,str2); – copies string str2 into string str1
  • strcat(str1,str2); – concatenates str1 and str2, with str2 placed on the end of str1
  • strlen(str1); – returns the length of the specified string (str1)
  • strcmp(str1,str2); – compares two strings – if the two strings are equal, a value of 0 is returned. If the str1 is less than str2, a value < 0 is returned. If str1 is greater than str2, the returned value is > 0.
  • Strchr(str1,ch); – value returned is a pointer to the first occurrence of the character specified in the ch value
  • Strstr(str1,str2) – returns a pointer to the first occurrence of the string specified as str2 in string str1

Each of these functions certainly has effective capabilities and use in working with character strings.

C++ includes support for these C string functions, but also takes string capabilities to another level, with the string class designation.

Defining a C++ String

There are several ways to define a string in C++, including the C character method:

  • char str[] = “test”; – this example defines a 5-character string, consisting of the word “test” plus a null character to terminate the string, which is added automatically, to verify the end of the string
  • char str[5] = “test”; – this syntax produces the same results
  • char str[] = {‘t’, ‘e’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘\0’}; – same results again, but the null character has been included in the coding

When specifying a string, you can provide a string size that may not always contain that specific number of characters. For example, you may want to allow a string of 50 characters for someone to key an address, but the actual string entered could be much less, as in:

char str[50] = “123 Main Street”;

A simple program to illustrate the use of a string to accept data from a user at the keyboard:

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

int main()

{

   
char str[50];

   
cout << "Enter your address: ";

   
cin >> str;

   
cout << "You said: " << str << endl;

   
cout << "\nEnter another line: ";

   
cin >> str;

   
cout << "You said: "<<str<<endl;

   
return 0;

}

Putting the C++ string class to use, you have many alternative ways to utilize string
functions and methods.

String attributes are easily determined for C++ string objects using methods such as:

length()  or size() – methods return the length in characters of the string

C++ Operator Overloading

Operator overloading is a C++ function facilitated by the function of the string class named operator[]. This implements the operator overloading feature which enables the use of subscripting with a string. Subscripting allows you to access individual characters within a string, rather than the entire content.

Example: cout << str1[5] << end1;

the subscript (in brackets) will be passed to the operator member function, and the character in that position of the string will be returned.

Beginning C++17

Sale
Beginning C++17: From Novice to Professional
  • Ivor Horton
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Edition no. 5 (03/24/2018)
  • Paperback: 804 pages

Beginning C++

Beginning C++
  • Ivor Horton
  • Apress
  • Kindle Edition
  • Edition no. 4 (11/12/2014)
  • English

Additional C++ String Functions

coding

Comparison

Strings can be compared, both to other strings, or to specific values:

  • if (str1 > str2) – comparing the values of two strings
  • if (“large” == str2) – comparing to find a size in an item description, for example
  • if (str3 != cstring) – comparing the C++ string to a C string that is an array

These comparison functions also utilize the operator overloading method

Manipulation

Content of C++ strings can also be manipulated through the assignment of other strings or even by the use of a C character literal value, for example:

Assuming this string content

string s1 = "first string";
string s2 = "second string";
char s3[20] = "one more string";
 
This code would have the following effects:
s1 = s2;                          s1 changed to "second string"
s1 = s3;                          s1 changed to "one more string"
s1 = "final string";     s1 changed to "final string"
 
Here again, operator overloading makes it happen

I/O of String Content

Input and output can be facilitated through the implementation of the stream extraction operator >> that will read data into the C++ string object, and the insertion operator << for printing or displaying the string.

Concatenating C++ strings

The C++ operator “+” can be utilized to concatenate a combination of multiple C++ strings, string literals, and C strings together, in any order you need. When concatenation is performed, the result is a C++ string that can be passed to a function for use as a C++ string object, assigned to a new C++ string object, printed, or whatever you may choose to do with the concatenated results.

string str1 = "Lucy";
string s2 = " finally ";
char s3[10] = "home";
s1 = s1 + ", I’m " + s2 + s3;     // s1 now contains "Lucy, I’m finally home"

Passing and returning string content

By default, C++ string objects are passed and returned by value. The effective result is that a new copy/version of the string object is created.

Passing a string utilizing a reference will save memory and improve performance since the copy constructor does not need to be called when the string is passed in this way.

String Type Conversion

There are certain instances where you may have one type of string but need to use a function or method that requires a different type. Fortunately, there are simple ways in C++ to convert one string type to another type.

One easy way to accomplish string type conversion is by declaring the C++ string object you need, then passing the string literal or C string you have as a constructor
argument.

If the opposite condition is true, where you need to convert a C++ string object to a C string, that can be accommodated, as well. C++ string class provides a method called c_str() that returns a pointer to a char constant, which is the first character of a C string that is equivalent to the contents of the C++ string. This results in returning a C string. This C string cannot be modified, but you can still use it for printing, copying, or other purposes.

Example:

char str1[20];
string str2 = "C++ string";
strcpy(str1, str2.c_str());     This will copy the C string "C++ string" into the array str1

Splicing or Erasure String Content

A very useful function for modifying string content is the erase() function.

This function allows you to examine and modify C++ strings to either remove or add content in a string. Erase() function syntax is similar to substr, taking a position and a
character count and removing that many characters beginning at that position (remember this is relative to zero).

string erase_sample = "remove 123";

my_erase_sample(7, 3);  erases 123 from the string

To delete an entire string:

str.erase(0, str.length());

Another feature is the capability to splice one string into another. The insert member function takes a position and a string and inserts the given characters at the specified position:

string insert_sample = "145";

insert_sample.insert(1, "23");  the string insert_sample will now contain “12345”

Secure Coding in C and C++

Secure Coding in C and C++ (SEI Series in Software Engineering)
  • Robert C. Seacord
  • Addison-Wesley Professional
  • Kindle Edition
  • Edition no. 1 (09/09/2005)
  • English

Practical C++ Programming

Sale
Practical C++ Programming, Second Edition
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Steve Oualline
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media
  • Edition no. 2 (01/01/2003)
  • Paperback: 600 pages

Using the C++ String Function

When writing C++ applications, use true C++ strings whenever possible, to avoid the use of alternatives such as arrays. Although this may not always be possible, it’s beneficial to avoid using C strings. There are some instances where C strings will be required, at least in current versions of C++:

  • Command line content is passed into main() as C strings
  • Some very useful C string library functions to date have no equivalent in the
    C++ string class
  • If you need to interact with other applications that may not incorporate C++ string support, you may be required to utilize C strings or even constant character strings.

Regardless of the strings that are passed to your application, within the confines of your own programming, it is normally best to leverage the benefits of the C++ string class to manage such information efficiently.

As with most development environments today, there are many resources available to extend your knowledge of C++ strings and how to use them efficiently.

.

Ultimate Guide to Learn How to Code so You’re Not Left Behind

How many times have you thought you'd like to learn how to code but were discouraged because it looks like an alien language?

Seriously. It doesn't even look "foreign."

It looks like it was written by a far more advanced species.

It doesn't have to:

This reality is, learning how to code will increase your value in the job market.

People fear what they don't understand...

which keeps the world of programming and coding filled with a fairly elite crowd of wonderful and intelligent people.

You could be one of them:

When you learn something that most people can't understand, your market value improves.

It really is as simple as that:

Once you learn how to code, you'll have access to a secret world that most people don't even know exists.

What Is Computer Programming?

"Talk is cheap. Show me the code" ~ Linus Torvalds

Before you can learn how to code, it's essential first to understand the concept of computer programming.

Computers operate using two things: hardware and software.

The equipment only works when the software (comprised of code) tells it to do something.

Software, also called programs, is a collection of code designed to execute to achieve a specific outcome.

For example, a printer will not print unless directed by a program to do so.

Think of the function of a computer program like the electrical impulses our brain sends throughout our body, leading it to move.

Computer programmers learn how to code to either solve problems or perform a task.

What does that really mean?

The end goal for programmers is always to create something.

"Measuring programming progress by lines of code

is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight."

~Bill Gates

For example, it could be a new process that patches an existing problem, a web page, a video game, or even a pretty picture.

The possibilities of code are almost limitless, which is why people often describe computer programming as a mix of science and art.

Why?

Because while there are technical and analytical components involved, there's also lots of room for creativity.

Now:

Think of programming languages as you would different languages around the world.

Programs can use different languages that organize and execute code in different ways, much the same way as human language organizes words, thoughts, and concepts differently.

Man facing laptop

Image via Pixabay

Coding versus programming: the raging debate

Since computer programming isn't confusing enough for beginners...

the experts in the field decided to start a discussion over what it means to learn how to code versus write programs.

But we can simplify that:

Essentially, for the sake of your future, consider them not interchangeable, but more like companions.

But that's not important right now. What is important, however:

Learning How To Code Teaches You The Coolest of Things

Close up photo of woman

Image via Pixabay

Front-end process - The front-end is just like it sounds:

What you see.

The front-end runs on basic code. It displays what the program running the webpage tells it to display.

The back-end is the site engine.

It's made up of programs and processes that work like an orchestra conductor, telling the front end what to show, rather than how to show it.

That's not all:

Algorithms are those cool things that make everything go. They're mathematical processes that use raw data to determine what you're going to see and when.

Algorithms run everything from the types of information you see in your Facebook feed to what types of products to display that suit you best for shopping.

Laptop on table

Image via Pixabay

Think of them like recipes that tell a computer exactly what steps to take to solve a problem.

Keeping it simple

Here is an easy way to think of the difference between back-end and front-end processes:

dishwasher

The processes are like a dishwasher: The dishwasher itself is the back-end, doing the work and preparing the contents.

Control Panel

The algorithms are the buttons that tell the engine what kind of load and how dirty it is.

Hand washing the plate

The clean, finished dishes are the front-end, polished up and ready to go.

But...It Looks So Complicated

You've probably seen all of the different types of languages out there.

Don't worry about that too much:

When you learn how to code, you'll need to decide which languages to learn.

If you listen to Steve Jobs, coding is about more than just the language you learn...

it's about learning how to think creatively:

Don't let the language barrier hold you back

You're going to learn the basics when you learn how to code.

The course you take will give you a place to begin.

Once you've settled in and have the basics, there will be choices to make.

But they're such cool choices:

Do you want to build programs or do you want to build pages? Are you a mover or a designer?

Maybe you're both. But this is the important thing!:

Either way, you're going to have cool choices of languages to learn.

  • JavaScript is a front-end language considered one of the friendliest programming languages for beginners.

  • Java is most commonly used for things like building databases and Andriod apps, making it a back-end language.

  • Python is a high-level language considered one of the less difficult languages to learn often used for incredibly complex tasks.

  • Swift is a great language to learn if you're interested in Apple products and developing mobile apps on that platform.

  • C is a tough to learn remnant of the 1970s and is still alive and kicking around today.

  • C++ is the object-oriented succesor to C and considered to be a better option for developing higher-level applications.

  • PHP is a server-side scripting language that powers at least 83 percent of websites, but also a critical back-end tool for media giants like Facebook, Yahoo, and Wikipedia.

  • TypeScript is best described as JavaScript with superpowers, able to support large-scale applications.

  • Shell is another language that's been around since nearly the stone age of computer programming, used to execute programs and more

  • Ruby is the backbone of the popular Ruby on Rails web application framework.New programmers often start with Ruby due to its incredible reputation of having one of the friendliest and most eager to help user communities. Tech businesses like Airbnb, Twitter, Shopify, and Bloomberg, as well as countless other startups, built their websites using Ruby on Rails at some point in their development.

Man working on laptop

Image via Pixabay

But - What's new and exciting?

Rust is considered somewhat of an upstart within the greater programming community.

Here's what that means:

According to Overflow's 2018 Developer Survey, developers voted Rust as the most loved programming language for the past three years in a row.

Rust was developed by the Mozilla Corporation, the company behind the open-source web browser Firefox.

The Exiting Career Paths for Programmers

Before you learn how to code, experts recommend learning about the different programming career paths available and the specific educational requirements for each job.

Here are some of the top programming jobs on the market:

Fun fact:

"Hackers" aren't all bad. Some coders, known as "White Hat Hackers," learn how to code like a hacker so they can build better programs for protection.

App Gods (Mobile application developer)

Mobile Application Development is one of the fastest growing programming fields in the world.

ZOOM!

Hundreds of millions of people on the planet have a smartphone these days...

and the number of applications produced each year only increases.

This field is also an excellent option for entrepreneurs looking to create a mobile game or other application and make a fortune.

Hand writing in a sticky note

Image via Pixabay

If you're an entrepreneur looking to develop the next multi-million dollar app...

first, make sure you are creating something the market wants.

Otherwise, you may be a bit disappointed when your grass growing racing simulator called GRASCAR mysteriously fails to become the next Pokemon Go.

The Go-to Person (Graphics programmer)

A graphics programmer has one of the safest jobs in the tech industry. That's because nearly every team needs a graphics programmer.

Keep this in mind:

Learning graphics programming takes a lot of practice and effort.

It also requires learning a broad base of knowledge, especially in mathematics.

What that means to you:

Expect to put in lots of programming time and to study the latest graphics techniques which become more complicated every year.

This reality particularly holds true in the PC and console gaming industry.

Technical Leaders (Applications architect)

As an application architect, you would create plans for the technical implementation of a software project.

What does that mean for your future?

You're a hot commodity!

Businesses depend on applications more and more each year to grow.

However, each year applications also become more complicated to build and implement.

Therefore, the demand for this niche is on the rise.

In some organizations, with smaller teams, the applications architect may have to fill the same role as the lead applications developer.

The sky's the limit! (Cloud computing analyst)

Cloud computing analysts manage cloud-related infrastructures such as applications, hardware, and software.

What does that mean?

As subject matter experts, analysts have to train other staff and troubleshoot end-user problems that could arise within their organization.

You'll need a lot of patience as managers may ask you about putting piles of stuffed folders in "the cloud."

'Bot Wrangler (Machine learning specialist)

These specialists can create and maintain code for all kinds of hardware such as robots and self-driving cars.

Yes, it's that cool!

Machine learning specialists mainly work in cutting-edge technological fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What you'll need:

You'll need to learn a wide variety of different skills for this job:

Making website design functional (Web developer)

Web developers maintain and create web applications. This field is often confused with web design.

Here's the deal:

Web designers create the website's design, and developers make the design functional.

This field has a lot of branches to choose from, and the exact type of work you do will depend on the programming language or languages you've learned.

Coding for efficiency (PLC programmer)

programmable logic controller (PLC) is a computer that controls a machine process, such as an assembly line.

What it means for you:

A programmer in this field must ensure consistency and identify faults quickly.

Companies employ PLC programmers to code their systems for optimum performance.

Be detail oriented:

Unlike a graphics programmer, creativity with code tasked with running multi-million dollar machines is not likely to be very high on the employer's list of qualifications

Rock solid 'base making (Database developer)

A database developer, also known as a database programmer, is mainly responsible for implementing and creating computer databases.

Honestly, there's not a lot of excitement in this field, folks...

but it is another rock-solid programming field with plenty of demand.

That makes it a good option for you.

A database developer usually works within a corporate IT department in any industry. If you learn how to code, keep this career prospect in mind.

Income Scales For Programming Jobs

                Job                         Lowest              Average           Highest

Mobile Applications Developer  $63,000               $93,000           $120,000

Graphics Programmer              $45,000               $72,000           $102,000

Applications Architect              $97,000              $124,000           $158,000

Cloud Computing Analyst         $59,000               $70,000             $92,000

Machine Learning Specialist      $38,000               $58,000             $80,000

Web Developer                        $50,000               $75,000            $117,000

PLC Programmer                      $44,000               $64,000             $95,000

Database Developer                 $69,000               $89,000            $116,000

Here's the Rub:

Before you learn how to code, it's essential to consider a few factors.

For example:

time, equipment, patience, and temperament are all things that can have an impact on your career.

Programming can be as rewarding as it is challenging. However, just as in programming code, it's always better to see the bigger picture before committing to a career path.

“There isn’t going to be this one point in time where everything fundamentally changes and you’re a fundamentally different programmer…

The fact of the matter is you shouldn’t be counting the hours and you shouldn’t be expecting that at one point in time you’re going to be a fundamentally different developer.

If you want to be able to contribute to a startup you’re going to have to learn every single day that you’re in the office.

And there’s not going to be this magical moment where you feel “Oh my God. Everything has changed.”

~Ken Mazaika CTO and co-founder of FireHose

Patience and temperament

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Before you can learn how to code, you must first make sure you have the right mindset for programming.

This is important:

According to Laurence Bradford, a self-taught coder, and owner of the Learn To Code With Me Blog, a person needs at least five personality traits to be successful at coding.

Those traits are patience, courage, passion, creativity, and logic.

Fun fact

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were teenagers when they decided to learn how to code. They developed the game "Breakout."

The Five Traits

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Patience

This is perhaps one of the most obvious traits.

Because when it comes to coding, you'll need it to weather long hours of frustrating debugging.

That's not even all:

You have to be patient with the learning process, but most importantly, you have to be patient with yourself.

You're going to make a ton of mistakes, and you'll likely continue to make many more mistakes throughout your career

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Failure

This trait can create growth, which can lead to succes...

But you must first be patient enough to find the lessons in your failures.

To learn how to code is intimidating, especially when you're staring at thousands of lines worth of code. Trying to understand the alien look of a programming language will feel impossible at first.

There will be times when the process will feel overwhelming.

Despite that, if you dare to risk failure, you'll be able to reap the lessons you need to learn valuable lessons.

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Passion

This is that burning desire, fueled by your motivation, to keep coding deep into the night.

That's passion:

If programming sparks this burning desire to learn within you, then success is an all but inevitable conclusion.

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Creativity

That is something you'll need to think outside the box when faced with different programming puzzles.

The best part:

There are so many creative solutions to most of them!

The best part:

There are so many creative solutions to most of them!

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Logic

This is the last trait. And probably the most important:

You must be able to understand the basic rules of logic under which computers operate.

Despite how you may feel when a 9,000 line program fails to execute, it's not because the computer or program hates you.

Though that's the way it feels at the moment.

Somewhere within that code, there was a failure of logic...

t's at that moment the other traits need to kick in so that you can do the work to debug the code and restore logic.

So How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Code?

That answer largely depends on you and which programming language that you chose to learn first.

According to Kevin Ng, tech lead at Wildebeest, learning how to code is a subjective process.

Tech careers are notoriously flexible and follow non-conventional rules, which also include learning timetables.

However, Ng does believe a person can learn the basics of coding in as little as three months.

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The 10,000 Hour Rule

Sociologist and Journalist Malcolm Gladwell spoke about the 10,000-hour rule in his 2008 book titled "Outliers."

The rule suggests that if you deliberately practice something for 10,000 hours...

you will become an expert.

But here's the thing:

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This concept was first introduced by K. Anders Ericsson, a Swedish psychologist, and Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University.

If you break it down, 10,000 hours is about 20 hours a week for ten years.

However:

Over the years, people continue to attack the 10,000-hour rule because of its perceived over-simplification.

There are other factors to becoming an expert other than just practice.

Often, critics of this rule seem to miss the point. Thankfully, our friend Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, nailed it in this interview:

You shouldn't let the concept of learning programming for 10,000 hours scare you, but instead let the process of the grind excite and motivate you.

Along the way, you'll have both minor and major setbacks...

But you'll also have your share of victories.

Victories Matter.

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Once you experience one winning moment, you'll want more, creating what's called a "feedback loop."

This loop takes place when you allow your victories, no matter how small, to motivate you to chase after more victories.

In the end, the loop is a non-stop circle of win.

The raging equipment debate

Many programmers use Mac computers because of the user-friendly interface and excellent support for software development.

Macs are great for developing most types of mobile and web applications.

Windows PCs generally don't offer the same intuitive user-interface as Macs.

Don't worry:

If you hate Mac, you can still use PC:

Windows PCs

The good news for Windows PC users...

if you want to learn how to code, you don't need to go out and spend a lot of money on a new computer.

In fact, Harry Chen, co-founder of Altcademy, suggests that if you have at least the following hardware setup, you should be just fine to start coding:

  • CPU: at least a 1.8-Gigahertz dual-core Intel Core i5 or better (note the CPU is usually not the bottleneck issue when coding)

  • Graphics Card: a standard, a lower-end to mid-range card should work just fine in most cases

  • Storage: Having at least a 128-Gigabyte Solid-State Drive is highly recommended (these drives feature incredibly fast read-write times which is essential when coding)

  • Memory: at least eight-Gigabytes of RAM (four Gigabytes can also work, however, at least eight is ideal)

Also, there's no difference between working on a desktop or laptop other than whichever device works best for you.

Not one, but here is a difference from the image you want to see:

Often, you'll see a lot of stock photos featuring programmers with two and three monitors filled with code, looking like they're out to break the Matrix.

Chen recommends using a single screen to code if you're working from a desktop...

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it allows you to focus more without distractions.

For a desktop, he also recommends a widescreen 25-inch monitor, however, this is also a matter of personal taste.

Keep in mind:

If the screen is too big, you may lose productivity, as your eyes will have to travel more causing more stain and fatigue.

No 'One Right Way' To Learn To Code

Unlike traditional professions, it is possible to learn how to code using a variety of different methods and platforms.

The best way to prepare [to be a programmer] is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. 

In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and fished out listings of their operating system.

~Bill Gates

Laptop and calculator

Unlike traditional professions, it is possible to learn how to code using a variety of different methods and platforms.

For example:

you can learn how to code by taking online classes.

In some areas, there are local workshops or coding boot camps.

There's also learning at a community college.

Lastly, you have the option of learning how to code at a four-year college.

Each path has its benefits and challenges.

Traditional and community colleges

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You can learn how to code by going to a conventional college or university.

These settings can offer more personalized instruction thanks to experienced professors, most of whom worked in the field for years before becoming a teacher.

A good teacher can be an invaluable asset...

guiding you through tough problems while opening your mind to new concepts.

Your classmates also aid you in your learning and become valuable future networking resources down the road.

Behold the all mighty Bachelors degree

Traditional colleges also offer something most online courses can't give you, a Bachelors degree.

Your 4-year degree won't just be specific to computer programming, it's either going to be a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

That said:

You can choose to concentrate your degree on computer programming or some other fields like Artificial Intelligence, Information Security, Computing Systems, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Keep this in mind:

To earn your 4-year degree, you must first complete some additional courses not directly related to computer programing.

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High-math courses like calculus and other non-programing courses will be a part of the program.

However, you'll also take classes more directly related to programming computers, like advanced programming, computer architecture, and data structures.

What does this mean to your future?:

People who graduate with Bachelors degrees typically have the best chance of landing a higher paying programming job, because many companies require that you have it before they even grant you an interview.

Earning an Associates degree and community colleges

Before you earn a Bachelors degree, you can opt to receive your Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree.

You can obtain this degree at a 2-year community college.

That's great, because:

Community colleges also require you to take a lot of the same general education courses that you would have at a traditional 4-year school.

Once you finish, you can then choose to leverage your earned college credits to complete your education at a traditional college and get your Bachelors in two years.

Is a 2-year degree really worth it?

You may be able to land an entry-level tech job that may offer much need real-world experience with an Associates degree.

In 2018, the average cost of an Associates degree at a community college was around $5,000 a year for in-state students and about $8,500 a year for out-of-state students.

Wait for it:

During the same period, private colleges charged an average of approximately $15,000 per year.

Downsides

To learn how to code at a conventional college is an expensive approach.

The average cost of a 4-year Bachelors degree is around $168,000. Far too many students take out loans and wind up with crushing debt.

Why?

That's because most loans add on interest to the original amount, thereby ballooning the deficit.

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Imagine landing your first $60,000 a year job with a big company right out of college...

only to have to pay about $14,000 a year in student loan repayments for the next 12 to 16 years.

That doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

Also, colleges, especially the higher-end universities like Stanford or MIT, routinely turn down applicants.

Fortunately, when it comes to learning how to code, just like with many programming problems, there's more than one path to a solution:

Self-guided online courses

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You can also learn how to code by taking self-guided online courses.

One of the most significant benefits to these courses is that you can customize them to fit your schedule.

Another benefit:

Cost.

These courses are a lot more affordable than two or four years of college, plus you can pay for only what you want to learn.

So there's no calculus to worry about.

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Additionally, unlike traditional private and state colleges there are no entry barriers, like a high school grade point average or SAT score, to prevent you from enrolling.

Fun fact

Ada Lovelace became the first computer programmer in 1843 when she designed a program for Charles Cabbage's Analytical Engine.

Here are a few online course providers

Check out the providers below:

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Founded in 2011 by CEO Ryan Carson, Treehouse is an online coding academy that currently offers four specialized Techdegree courses with different completion time frames.

What they offer:

They are Front End Web Development (4 months), iOS Development with Swift (5 months), Full Stack JavaScript (7 months), and Python Web Development (7 months).

These Techdegree programs offer you the opportunity to

  • build real-world projects

  • get in-depth code reviews

  • create a portfolio

You can also access live support and plug into their exclusive Slack community made up of students and graduates. The cost to take these courses starts at $199 per month.

Codemy Logo

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Codemy was founded in 2015 by John Elder.

What they offer:

This site offers several self-guided courses such as:

  • Ruby on Rails for Web Development

  • Into To Ruby Programming

  • Python Programming For Everyone

  • Build a Crypto Currency Portfolio App With Python

  • JavaScript Programming For Everyone

The cost of an individual course is a one-time fee of $9 for a one-week trial, $29 for one class, and $49 for all classes.

What that includes:

The courses include videos, a free PDF book, and a project to include in your portfolio. Plus, once you've completed a course, you gain access to the Codemy alumni database and forum which you can use to network with other students.

Udemy Logo

Image via ​Udemy

Udemy is one of the most popular self-guided online course providers in the world.

Here's why:

It offers a wide range of free and at-cost courses...

such as Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners and Beginning C++ Programming -- From Beginner to Beyond. Courses mainly consist of pre-recorded lectures by instructors.

Prices can range from $0 to $300 depending on the class.

Fun fact:

The Space Shuttle's computers ran on systems and language built in the 1970s. It worked -- and worked well -- so the designers of new vehicles stuck with it from 1981 until the program ended in 2011.

Coding boot camps

No, they won't be screaming at you:

Coding boot camps are short training courses that teach you a specific programming language or skill within a matter of weeks.

What you need to know:

Most boot camps are anywhere from four to 15 weeks, depending on the course.

These courses are usually taught in person at a workshop and involve a full-immersion technique of teaching where you jump right into coding.

Boot camps allow you to work in groups, thereby increasing future networking possibilities with other students.

That's not all:

They often offer a very cohesive curriculum and mentorship more personalized than in a traditional college environment where you may have to compete with over a hundred students for the professor's time.

Also, these camps usually offer guidance and help to find a job after completing their course.

If you want to learn how to code using a coding boot camp, be prepared for some major sticker shock because these courses can cost on average around $11,000, with some boot camps charging up to $20,000.

The Most Important Thing to Remember If You Want to Learn How to Code

You can do this.

You can learn how to code.

That's the most important thing to remember.

If you have the desire to learn how to code, then you can make it happen.

Are you ready to move into the future, writing it as you go? Let us know down in the comments what courses or path you're taking to make your goal!

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