For decades, I’ve been tackling this question.  Note that I’m not a professional programmer, but have done some level of coding as a professional for testing purposes, and various programs just for fun as a hobby.  My programming experience goes back to when I was in high school where I was introduced to BASIC and Z80 machine programming.  Then in college, I learned FORTRAN.  When I worked on my masters, I learned ADA and C.If you’ve seen the evolution of computers, you can probably guess my rough age. Along the way, I also learned PASCAL and JAVA on my own.  A couple of years ago I started playing around with web technology which introduced me to HTML, CSS, PHP, and JAVASCRIPT.  I also messed around with PYTHON.

As you can see, I’ve dabbled with several languages, but never really became very proficient in any of them.  Today, I started to look back into this and have decided that I wanted to go back to learning JAVA.

Without realizing it, JAVA turned out to be the most popular programming language out there (see TIOBE Index for May 2017).  As of May 2017, JAVA sits at #1 getting a popularity rating of 14.639%.  Second is C at 7.002%, and thirs is C++ at 4.751.  As you can see, JAVA is way out in front in terms of language popularity.  See table below which I extracted from the reference link.

JAVA is most popular

JAVA is most popular (reference:  TIOBE Index for May 2017)


I believe the reasons are as follows:

  1. Apps in Android are developed using JAVA.
  2. JAVA is platform independent, meaning if you write code on one platform, say Windows, you can run it on another, like Mac OS, or Linux.
  3. JAVA is also the language used to develop apps embedded in various network devices (like Amazon’s Fire stick).
  4. Lastly, it is a general purpose language that is used in various industries, and if you are looking to get employed as a software developer/engineer, you’ll have a higher chance at landing one if you are good in JAVA.

If you are trying to figure out which language to learn, check into JAVA.

I’ve recently found many books out there, but they are so old.  I did find one the is a suitable one for beginners or someone trying to get a refresher on it.  It is Java Programming 24-Hour Trainer by Yakov Fain.  It is set up like a workbook with exercises at the end, and its contents cover all aspect of JAVA from being a desktop application to being a server solution.  I was published in 2015 which is pretty recent considering a lot of books out there on JAVA are over a decade old.

If you have any opinions about this, please comment below.

Today, Wednesday, 10 May 2017, I happen to see Amazon’s ad for the new Echo Show.  It really looks like something from a science fiction movie…except it isn’t.  If you watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.

Note that this will actually become available on 28 Jun 2017 for $229.  It’s actually not bad considering the original echo was introduced at a price of $199–no video, just audio.

I was really tempted to buy one, but I thought…”Do I really need one?”  I suppose right now I don’t, but maybe this will go on sale come black Friday in November.

If you buy one, please share with a comment below.  Let us know what you think.

May 2, 2017, Microsoft introduced their Google App for Education (GAFE) ecosystem killer–Windows 10S, Minecraft Edu, Insight, and Office 365 Teams.

Having seen how Microsoft missed the boat back in 2012 when GAFE in combination with inexpensive Chromebooks were on the verge of taking over the education market, I can honestly say that today’s announcement has put Microsoft ahead of Google in terms of their offerings–starting with Windows 10 S, on platforms with a base price of $189.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has a big challenge ahead of itself.  For the past 5 years, Google has grown its roots deep into the education market with the abundance of inexpensive Chromebook device alternatives.  That’s because many school districts in the US have adopted the Chromebook as their standard platform for assessment testing and web-based curricular programs.  At the district where I work, the number of Chromebook devices has skyrocketed to around 26,000 units with another 9,000 on order soon.  The teachers like them because they boot up in a matter of around 6 to 10 seconds compared to the older Windows-based laptops that would take around 30 seconds to 2 minutes to completely boot up.  Technicians like them because they are easy to re-image, and there isn’t much to fix.  Through Google’s management console, all these Chromebooks are easy to manage.

The solutions announced by Microsoft today has met and exceeded the capabilities of Google.  From what I see, the fact that Windows 10 S can boot up in 5 seconds is a major plus.  The base price of $189 is also a major plus.  Where they will beat google are in these areas:

  1. Availability of
  2. Applications that are mostly non-internet dependent
  3. Ease of image deployment in small scale environment–through the use of a flash drive.
  4. Ease of device management in large scale through Insight
  5. Free Windows 10 S on genuine Windows Pro PCs
  6. Integration with next generation technology like 3D and augmented reality applications
Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S

All these are supposed to be available to schools this summer.  Unfortunately and realistically, it may be two to three years before they make deep inroads into schools that are already using Chromebooks.  This is assuming that they are able to maintain their technological edge.

What say you Google?