2020 is quickly coming to an end, and frankly, the world of programming has shifted dramatically over the last decade. There are now an ever-increasing number of options for businesses to consider when planning their technology projects. But what exactly does this mean when it comes to programming and developing software?

In the simplest of terms, programming is the engineering process of writing code, a technical ability that can be extremely helpful to any online business. However, this was before the arrival of the intuitive, visual interfaces for creating functionality that we see today. Although there are now so many clever apps and code-generating applications, do we even need programmers anymore? Well, let’s take a closer look at how the meaning of programming is changing.

Programming for businesses

Software development spans the creation of a wide range of digital systems and tools – from websites and databases via APIs through to mobile and desktop applications.

This is why every single development project begins with a defined business need. Perhaps the company decides to automate some of its processes, create new ways to communicate, or enhance customer experience through offering a digital product. In one of its simplest forms, a software development project could be to just set up a website.

Depending on the complexity of the task – and the resources available – the company will make a decision on whether to outsource the development or carry out the work internally.

Software development for desktop PCs

A desktop application is a piece of software installed on a computer. Obviously, there are millions of applications available already, addressing many, if not all the needs of users. However, businesses often require custom software to be built in order to carry out a very specific task. This is where a programming resource may be required to build an application.

How are these pieces of software written?

They are written in programming languages such as C++, Java, C#, and NET. Being object-oriented, these languages allow programmers to combine pre-defined sets of code in order to create functionality.

What exactly is a Programming Language?

Computers understand instructions that are written in a specific syntactical form called a programming language. A programming language provides a way for a programmer to express a task so that it could be understood and executed by a computer.

Mobile application development

While similar to developing apps for desktop PCs, developing apps for mobiles and tablets require different sets of skills to desktop software as there are several unique operating systems and technical requirements at play. Typical languages used are SWIFT for iOS and Java for Android. There are also cross-platform tools, such as HTML5 and Xamarin, that enable development for all three operating systems.

Developing websites

In the early days of the internet, programming would mean “building a website”, which is a bit funny in 2020. However, building a website has changed drastically in the past decades. Nowadays, there are plenty of options for creating and managing websites using complete HTML-generating toolkits such as WordPress, making the process easier and quicker.

Database development

When developing databases, there are various approaches used. A common process involves building the tables of the database using MySQL, SQLite or SQL Server and using a programming language to call on that data.

API development

API stands for Application Programming Interface, which in english stands for machine-to-machine communications. Web service development often requires the ability to create code using XML and WSDL, as well as an understanding of JSON (or JavaScript Object Notation). A developer would typically also need to know how to manage the various APIs at play when enabling different applications’ ability to speak to each other.

Should you learn programming?

YES! It is extremely important nowadays to know how to code, and it’s a sought-after job in this technology driven world. But what are the best programming languages to start with?


Python is always recommended if you’re looking for an easy and even fun programming language to learn first. Rather than having to jump into strict syntax rules, Python reads like English and is simple to understand for someone who’s new to programming. This allows you to obtain a basic knowledge of coding practices without having to obsess over smaller details that are often important in other languages.

Though it has its advantages, Python is often considered a slow language that requires more testing and is not as practical for developing mobile apps as other languages. For that, we’d recommend JavaScript.

JavaScript is another incredibly popular language. Many websites that you use every day rely on JavaScript including Twitter, Gmail, Spotify and Facebook.

Additionally, it’s a must-have when adding interactivity to websites because it communicates with HTML and CSS. This makes it essential for front-end development and consumer-facing websites while becoming increasingly important in back-end development and growing in demand all the time. Because of its popularity, JavaScript is also the leading the charge in test automation frameworks.

To sum up

Computer programming has an integral role in our world. You would not be reading this article without it. In fact, without computer programming you would not be able to use your smartphone, computer or TV. Learning the fundamentals of programming can set you apart from your counterparts, giving you a competitive edge in this technology-driven world.