The program is one of the fundamental aspects of our daily lives. Programming can help us automate and simplify the way we use the computer, and even today it is one of the most interesting job opportunities. Of course, even if we study programming, having knowledge about a specific language does not help us much. In addition to controlling the language, we must also know what programs to use to program according to the type of software we are thinking of creating.
It is not the same to program an app for Android (where we have Android Studio, and many platforms to create apps without knowing how to program), than to program a video game (where we will need an engine) or create a complex program for Windows . Each platform uses its own language, which must be introduced into specific programs that help us both when programming and when compiling and shaping it.
If we are thinking of starting to program and create programs from Windows, this is all we will need to achieve our goal.
Knowledge to create programs in Windows
There is no magic programming language for creating programs for Windows. From the Microsoft operating system we can run practically any type of programming language, as long as we have the compiler and the corresponding interpreter.
However, there are several programming languages that predominate in this operating system, and they are generally those of Microsoft. For example, most graphical environment programs developed for Windows use Visual languages, such as Visual C ++, Visual C #, Visual J #, and Visual Basic .NET.
If we are going to create a simpler program that does not need an interface, C is a great option. Even C ++ if we want to use any of the graphic libraries that are available for this language. The difference between C and C ++ is that the former is not object-oriented, as well as being considerably more limited than C ++. Today there are large projects written in this second language (Chrome, Firefox, many games, etc.), so, without getting fully into Visual languages, it is very comfortable to program in it.
If we want to create a program for Windows, but that also works in other operating systems, then we must use other multiplatform programming languages. Java, for example, is one of the most popular since everything we do in this language can work without problems on any operating system. Python, on the other hand, is a similar language very popular lately for creating cross-platform programs.
It is also easy to find developments in other languages, such as Object Pascal, Ruby or Objective-C.
Dependencies according to language
Depending on the type of program that we are going to create, we can install one or other dependencies to be able to work without problems.
- NodeJS. In case of using this framework for software development, we will have to install it both in Windows and in the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
- Python. Like NodeJS, we will also have to install all the Python libraries on Windows or WSL to be able to develop and run these programs.
- Android. We can install Android Studio to create apps for Android, or install other cross-platform options, such as Xamarin, React or Cordova, to create the programs.
For the rest of languages, such as C, C ++, C #, Java and the entire Windows UWP platform, it will be enough to install the Visual Studio programming IDEs, since these will bring everything necessary to shape our programs, design the interfaces and much more.
Essential kit for any Windows developer
Actually, we could program without needing any special software, just with a text editor such as Notepad. However, nowadays there are very complete IDE programs that, in addition to helping us to program, allow us to compile the code to turn our lines into something functional.
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is a text editor that has many programming features. This program has a large number of plugins that allow us to adapt it for practically any programming language that we want. Thanks to its IntelliSense functions, this program can highlight syntax, help us auto-complete code, and even find errors.
It integrates with Git, is fully customizable, and is also open source. We can download Visual Studio Code for Windows, Linux and macOS from the following link .
Microsoft Visual Studio
Visual Studio is a much more advanced IDE than Visual Studio Code developed by Microsoft. This IDE is specially developed for creating programs for Windows, and it is compatible with the main Visual languages, such as ASP.NET, Visual C ++, Visual C #, Visual J #, and Visual Basic .NET.
This IDE allows us to easily create server applications and desktop software for all versions of Windows. With the right knowledge it is even possible to create 3D applications (and games) with it.
We can download Visual Studio from the following link .
Windows Template Studio
Windows Template Studio is an extension for Visual Studio specially designed to facilitate the creation of universal applications (UWP) for Windows 10. This plugin is integrated into the Microsoft IDE and, with a few clicks, allows us to shape the program we want.
We can download the Windows Template Studio extension for free for Visual Studio from the following link .
Azure and .NET
Although with this we enter a little more advanced topics, any developer who has a large-scale project in mind must first of all count on the cloud. And what better cloud to develop within Microsoft than yours: Azure. This cloud offers us everything we need to be able to shape any project, as well as a series of functions and tools to integrate our platforms into them, carry out tests, continue developments and manage all our apps.
And, along with Azure, we can’t forget about .NET Core . This open source platform has all the tools and libraries necessary to create any type of app, both for PC and mobile or that runs on the web. In addition, it is also used for game creation, for the Internet of Things and for the deployment of microservices.
Other interesting software to create programs from Windows
NetBeans is another programming IDE, this time mainly focused on Java program development. This IDE is open source and is characterized mainly by being modular, since each user can adapt it to their needs through “modules”. We need to have the Java SDK installed to be able to program and compile code written in this language. The advantage is that everything we program in it will work equally in other operating systems
We can download NetBeans from the following link .
Another very popular programming IDE among programmers is Delphi. This IDE helps us to create multiplatform applications compiled natively (without having to resort to other programs or additional compilers) so that the final result is as pure as possible.
This IDE can be used to program in various programming languages, although it is most commonly used for Object Pascal programming. Everything we write and compile with it will be compatible with Windows and Linux. It is also widely used for web development, allowing the creation of client-server databases and web applications and services, such as CGI, ISAPI, NSAPI, COM and DCOM.
We can download Delphi from the following link .
Lastly, we couldn’t forget about Notepad ++. This free and open source text editor is one of the best alternatives to Windows Notepad, but it also has add-ons that allow us to turn it into a complete programming IDE. If we want something simple to use to program in the old way (in text mode, without IDE), this is our editor.
We can download Notepad ++ from the following link .
Windows offers us different CMD and PowerShell apps. However, working with them is not exactly easy and intuitive, especially if we need several instances of each of them. For this reason, Microsoft has developed Windows Terminal, a free and open source app from which we will be able to run CMD, PowerShell, Bash and Azure from a single window, all separated into tabs.
The new Microsoft PowerToys are a set of programs and tools resurrected from the Windows 95 era thanks to which we will be able to take our productivity to a new level. We can create virtual desktops, map the keyboard and much more to make the programming task as comfortable and intuitive as possible.
We can download Microsoft PowerToys from here .
Installing packages, programs and dependencies from Linux is very simple, but in Windows things get complicated. For this reason, we can resort to WinGet, or Windows Packet Manager, to be able to install, update and uninstall all kinds of programs from CMD, just as if we were doing it with the Linux APT command.
Finally, it is well known that Linux is a superior operating system when it comes to developing, compiling and assembling service infrastructures. Although we can always have our own independent server, if we use Windows 10 as our main PC we will be able to virtualize our own Linux thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL. This way we will be able to use Linux tools and commands from CMD or PowerShell without having to depend on more computers. All in the same place.
What operating system do we need to program?
In addition to the software, you also need the proper operating system. Ideally, if we are going to create a program for Windows we have an updated version of Windows 10, since this way we can have the latest SDK and our program, in addition to having the best compatibility, will be up to date. The same applies in the case of creating a program for Linux, or for macOS (although in the latter case there is no other).
In addition, in the case of using Windows 10, it is advisable to have the PRO edition, since it offers a series of advanced tools that can be very useful.
Can I program for Windows on other operating systems? Of course. Especially if we program in plain text and do not depend on advanced IDEs like Visual Studio. But, if we want to compile and debug the program, the ideal is to have the correct system.