SoftUni Global https://softuni.org/ Learn Programming and Start a Developer Job Fri, 29 Jul 2022 14:24:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.1 https://softuni.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/cropped-SoftUni-Global-Logo-Square-notext-32x32.png SoftUni Global https://softuni.org/ 32 32 Java or Kotlin – What Is Better for Android Development? https://softuni.org/dev-talks/java-or-kotlin-what-is-better-for-android-development/ https://softuni.org/dev-talks/java-or-kotlin-what-is-better-for-android-development/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2022 14:24:52 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=22752 In this article, we examine the differences between Java and Kotlin and their strengths and weaknesses to help you make a decision when choosing a programming language for Android development.

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When it comes to Android development, two of the most popular programming languages are Java and Kotlin. While Kotlin, which was released in 2011, is still being developed, Java has been around since 1995 and is open source, making it one of the most widely used languages. However, Kotlin has been taking off since 2017 when Google included it as an official Android development language along with Java.

If you’re new to Android development, the question of whether to use Kotlin or Java will probably not be on your mind at first. You will most likely opt to use Java until you become more familiar with the platform and decide what language would better suit your needs. But once you start becoming more confident with your Android development skills, choosing between Kotlin and Java will be a bit more difficult as both languages have some advantages and drawbacks, which we will examine in this article.

Java

Java is a versatile and powerful programming language that can be used for a wide range of purposes. It is platform-independent and object-oriented. Platform independency is possible since the language uses byte-code and once compiled, the code can be run on any machine irrespective of its operating system. Also, using the principles of object-oriented programming increases the flexibility and reusability of the code.

Benefits-Of-Java-Infograph

Java does not use explicit pointers. This means that developers can not access the memory directly from the code. Also, programs are executed inside the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), providing additional security to the code. If an unauthorized method tries to access a private variable, the program fails to compile and prevents the system from a crash.

Java is widely used and has a large community of developers who are continuously creating new libraries and tools to make development easier. Moreover, Android Studio, the official IDE for Android development, is based on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA, which also supports Java development.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a new language developed by JetBrains. It is a statically typed programming language. Just like Java, it uses byte-code which can be executed on the JVM. It can also be compiled into JavaScript. It has intuitive, easy-to-learn syntax. 

Benefits-Of-Kotlin-Infograph

Kotlin is compatible with Java and can be used alongside existing Java code. In fact, its purpose is to interoperate with code written in Java and improve it while using Java libraries and frameworks. This leads to reducing the boilerplate code, making it simpler, easier to read and understand, and safer in terms of potential bugs. Moreover, you can write Gradle code in Kotlin, allowing you to build iOS applications.

Kotlin is concise and expressive, meaning that you can write less code to accomplish the same task. This can lead to fewer errors and a faster development process overall. An example of reducing the boilerplate code is using the Data Classes.
You can see a side-by-side comparison of code written in Java and in Kotlin on the graphic below.

Class-Definition-Java-Kotlin-Comparison

Kotlin has null safety built-in, which eliminates the risk of NullPointerException (NPE) errors since it fails to compile whenever an NPE may be thrown. It also supports higher-order functions, lambda expressions, and operator overloading, making the language a combination of functional and procedural programming.

Although it is a new language, it is gaining a lot of popularity in the development community. However, there are still some drawbacks to using Kotlin for Android development. The language is not yet as widely adopted as Java. This means that the learning resources are limited. Also, the community of Kotlin users is smaller so finding help and support, or experienced developers for your business may be more difficult. 

Conclusion

Kotlin and Java are both great options for Android development. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses that should be considered. Kotlin is a younger language, but it has many features that make it a great choice for developers. However, the concepts of Android SDK are based on Java so learning the basics might be useful. Moreover, it is still the most popular language for Android development and additional knowledge would definitely will be an advantage to you.

The answer to the question “Java or Kotlin?” depends on your preferences and what you are looking for in a programming language. One thing is certain – learning both will benefit you by expanding your tech stack and improving your coding abilities.

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How to Build and Use Problem-solving Skills [Dev Concepts #41] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/how-to-build-and-use-problem-solving-skills/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/how-to-build-and-use-problem-solving-skills/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2022 13:32:30 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=22676 In this lesson, you will learn about problem solving and algorithmic thinking and other fundamental skills of software developers, as well as some approaches to solving tech problems.

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To become a skilful developer means not only being familiar with a programming language or software but also having a set of skills that are fundamental to the software development process. These skills can be classified into four groups :

  • Coding skills;
  • Algorithmic thinking and problem solving skills;
  • Fundamental software development concepts;
  • Programming languages and software technologies.

Technical Skills

The skill of coding is knowledge of the basic concepts of programming. They are universal and once learned, can be applied in many programming languages. The programming language does not matter to the ability to code.

You need to know how to:

  • Use development environments (the so-called IDEs) and developer tools;
  • Work with variables and data, calculations, conditional statements, loops and data structures;
  • Use functions, methods, classes and objects, programming APIs and libraries;
  • Troubleshoot and debug code.

 

Now that you are familiar with the foundations of programming, you need to put that knowledge together and plan every step of finding a solution to a problem. This will require your algorithmic thinking and problem-solving skills

Problem-Solving-Lamp

 

Algorithmic thinking is the ability to break a problem into a logical sequence of steps (called “algorithm”), to find a solution for every step (or break it further into sub-steps) and then assemble these steps into a working solution. 

Algorithmic thinking is similar to logical, engineering, mathematical, abstract, and problem solving. All these concepts are related to the ability to solve problems: to think logically, analyse the problems, and find and implement solutions. Problem solving is a more general skill, while algorithmic thinking is a more technical.

The fundamental computer science and software development concepts include many programming paradigms, essential software development knowledge and skills, and software engineering principles and concepts that developers typically acquire as they gain experience over time.

Some of these knowledge areas and concepts are:

  • Object-oriented programming (OOP);
  • Functional programming (FP);
  • Asynchronous programming ;
  • Relational and non-relational databases;
  • The concepts behind the Web technologies.

To implement your knowledge you need to be familiar with programming languages, software development technologies, software platforms, software libraries, development frameworks and developer tools.

On the graphic below you can see an example technology stack for a Java developer.

Example-Of-A-Java-Tech-Stack

Technologies are ever-changing and evolving, but these four groups of skills described above represent essential and stable knowledge since they will not change significantly over time. In fact, technologies are highly dependent on these skills.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are as important as the ones described above. They include the ability to communicate with people and work in a team which is essential since you as a developer will work on projects with your colleagues. You need to manage your time effectively, to be empathetic, adaptable and creative. Having attention to detail will increase your productivity at work and reduce the chances of error.

Tech Problem Solving

In the IT industry, a tech problem is often an assignment to design and implement a set of functionality which has certain input data and program state and produces output data and program state. 

Every tech problem has a goal. In programming, the goals are to design and write a working code, build an app or software system, which corresponds to the assignment and implement its requirements and functionality. Developers may encounter certain technical difficulties or limitations in designing and implementing the required functionality, like lack of resources, experience or knowledge. The process of problem solving includes finding a way to overcome these difficulties. This can be, for example, learning a new programming language, software library or framework.

Stages of Problem Solving

How to approach a tech problem?
You can see in the graphic below seven stages of resolving a problem.

Stages-Of-Problem-Solving

First of all, you need to define the problem. This involves gathering the requirements of the assignment.

After that, you analyse them. Here you should think about constraints, objects, processes and potential obstacles related to the problem. Based on a deeper understanding of the problem, you can extract the important information from the requirements and discard the non-important information, and explore its properties, which will be useful for building a solution.

The next step is to identify several solutions. You try to generate and explore different ideas and technical approaches on how to build a well-working solution. Then you analyse these ideas, their correctness, their strengths and weaknesses, their practical applicability and the costs of their implementation.   

After you have gathered some ideas you need to choose one of them. This is a decision-making process and depends mainly on the requirements, your capabilities and available resources.

After that, you need to plan and describe your actions for executing the chosen solution. You plan your algorithm. Technically, this means to write the definition of several functions, methods or classes, which will implement the chosen idea.

Sometimes planning of the algorithm is done together with its implementation, and there is no clear separation between the stages of algorithm design and algorithm implementation.

Once you have a clearly defined algorithm, you implement it. This means writing code to execute the planned steps. In software development, the implementation process includes also testing and debugging.

The last stage of problem solving is to review the results or test the solution with different input data and conditions. For software problems and apps, you need to perform testing of the code, feature by feature: to check for usual and unusual input data and conditions, check for edge cases and special cases.

Tips for Solving Problems

When it comes to solving a tech problem, the first and foremost important thing is understanding it. Take your time to read and analyse it thoroughly. Do not start to code immediately, because if you have not read the problem carefully, there is a chance of making hasty assumptions about the requirements.

Use a sheet of paper or other visualization tools. This will help you sketch your ideas fast and will improve your logical thinking. Squared paper is preferable. It works best for algorithmic problems. It helps build drawings, diagrams, tables and coordinate systems.

Problem-Solving-Paper-Pen

Write down the given input and the required output.
For example, if your task is to find all odd numbers of a given array ask yourself some questions:

  • What do I have?  →  An array and odd numbers.
  • What is an array and how does it work? What is an odd number? What data type should I use to store it?  →  These questions will help you understand the problem.
  • What is the end goal? → To filter odd numbers in the array and return it.
  • How can I do it?  →  You may have multiple answers to this question and they are your potential solutions. Write them down, compare their advantages and disadvantages and then choose one of them.

After you implement the code test and debug it if needed. Make sure that you have covered all cases. Then look back and try to optimize and simplify your code making it easier to understand.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • Technical Skills;
  • Soft Skills;
  • Definition of a Tech Problem;
  • Stages of Problem Solving;
  • Tips for Solving Problems.

Lesson Slides

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SoftUni Global’s First 5-star B2B Review https://softuni.org/blog/softuni-globals-first-5-star-b2b-review/ https://softuni.org/blog/softuni-globals-first-5-star-b2b-review/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2022 14:03:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=22345 Our long history of successfully providing companies with talent acquisition assistance, business consulting, and IT corporate training is recognized globally.

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As the international branch of SoftUni – the biggest non-formal tech education provider in South-Eastern Europe, our B2B efforts go towards helping businesses grow through strategic partnerships, talent acquisition and development, and providing comprehensive teaching content and software to educators around the world.

After 9+ years of experience as a regional industry leader, we have developed a tried-and-true scalable business model. To help other companies benefit from it, in 2021 we created the SoftUni Franchise Partnership Program where we provide business advice, industry know-how, and unparalleled support in establishing, managing, and advertising a successful programming academy. Our franchisees in Europe and Asia have already seen impressive results utilizing the educational methodology, teaching materials, and innovative software we license.

Our Efforts are Paying Off

A new validation of our success comes now from Clutch – a ratings and reviews platform that connects companies around the world with the right service providers for their operational goals. We decided to create our vendor profile on the platform because the B2B industry relies heavily on reputation. We intend to use the reviews we get to reinforce our outreach and marketing efforts.

Today we celebrate a big step in realizing that plan because we earned our first 5-star review on the platform.

"The team is quite responsive and very adaptive."

About The Project

The company we were working with for this particular project was a leading financial institution that needed a reliable vendor to assist them on a long-term basis. They chose our team precisely because of the reputation we have in the IT education industry.

Our main responsibilities included organizing several annual events on behalf of the client. Unfortunately, we can’t go into too much detail about the project in itself. Those interested to get more information about it can read the full review on our Clutch profile.

What is Next?

One development we can share is what happened after the publication of this review. Thanks to its positive attention and high score, SoftUni Global is now among the top corporate training companies on The Manifest – another B2B platform that elevates vendors by creating ranked listings of the top performers in each industry.

The fact we are considered a leading educational organization by respectable B2B platforms is a big step in the right direction. It will create more opportunities to connect with businesses around the world that can benefit from our expertise.

Learn more about the ways we can positively impact your operations by browsing our franchise, business, or educational services. You can also reach out to our team by email at info@softuni.org for any questions or inquiries you might have regarding a potential partnership.

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What is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL)? [Dev Concepts #40] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/what-is-a-uniform-resource-locator-url/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/what-is-a-uniform-resource-locator-url/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2022 14:03:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=22193 After this lesson, you will understand what a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is, how it is used, what the URL encoding rules are, and more.

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Uniform Resource Locator (URL) identifiers are unique addresses on the Internet.  A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). It is used to reference Web pages and identify and transfer documents on the Web by providing an abstract identification of the resource’s location. This is why it is also known as a web address.

Structure of a URL

A URL is what you type in the browser address bar to request a specific resource. You can see the parts it consists of in the graphic below.

URL Structure

The first part of a URL specifies the protocol that the browser must follow to talk to the server. The protocol is used to access remote resources, such as files, documents, and streaming media. It can be http, https, ftp, sftp, or other. Usually, for webpages is used HTTP and HTTPS.

After the protocol is the host. The host is usually a domain name, but an IP address can also be used. It indicates the web server that you request resources from. 

The third part of the URL is the port This is an integer in the range of [0…65535] that comes from the underlying TCP protocol, which operates with port numbers. The port is a virtual point through which network communication happens. It can be omitted if the server uses default ports of the HTTP protocol which are 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS.

The host and the port define the endpoint for establishing the connection with the server.

The next part of the URL is the path. It specifies the location of the web page, file, or other resources to which the user wishes to gain access. If you want to request a file from the Web server, this will be the full path to the file, relative to the server root folder.

After the path follows the query string, which is optional. It is separated from the path by a question mark symbol. It holds parameters passed in the URL which are separated from each other by an ampersand symbol.

The fragment is the last optional part of the URL. It follows after the “hash” symbol. For example, the URL can end with “#slides“, which instructs the Web browser to scroll to the section “slides” in the loaded HTML document. The fragment is never sent to the server with the request.

A rarely used URL format can also include authentication data, sent through the “Authorization” HTTP header. For example http://username:password@example.com/

Query String

The query string is an optional part of the URL. It contains data that is not part of the path structure.

For example, let’s look at this URL:

http://example.com/path/to/page?name=tom&color=purple

The query string is ?name=tom&color=purple

The query string is commonly used in searches and dynamic pages. It consists of name=value pairs separated by an ampersand delimiter. Names and values that hold special characters are URL-encoded

For example https://nakov.com/?s=Svetlin%20Nakov

URL Encoding

URL Escape Codes

Sometimes the query string parameters need to hold special characters like the “=” symbol or the “?” symbol. To maintain this, the query string needs character escaping, which means that some special characters are replaced by sequences of other characters. This is called “URL encoding“. URLs are encoded according to RFC 1738 standard, which describes the URLs). Normal URL characters (such as digits and Latin letters) have no special meaning in the URLs and are not encoded. Reserved URL characters have a special meaning and are encoded in order to be part of the URL without breaking it. This is done with the so-called “percent encoding“, which uses the “%” symbol plus the hex code of the character in its UTF-8 representation. You can see some examples of URL escape codes in the graphic above.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • What is URL;
  • Structure of a URL;
  • Query Strings;
  • URL Encoding.

Lesson Slides

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Everything You Need To Know About HTTP Protocol [Dev Concepts #39] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/everything-you-need-to-know-about-http-protocol/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/everything-you-need-to-know-about-http-protocol/#respond Fri, 08 Jul 2022 10:37:30 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=21985 In this lesson, you will understand the basic concepts of the HTTP protocol used for communication between browsers and applications over the Internet.

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The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the standard protocol used to transmit data across the web. It is originally created to transfer HTML, CSS, images and other Web resources within the global distributed information system called the “World Wide Web” (or just Web). Later, HTTP is extended to a general-purpose client-server protocol for the Internet and is widely used for transferring almost anything: text, images, documents, audio and video and more.

What is a protocol?

A communication protocol is a set of rules, which define how two or more parties are talking to each other. It is like a common language used for communication between machines. 

HTTP is a text-based client-server protocol. Client-server defines the parties communicating with each other: the client – software that reads and visualizes the data from the server, and the server – software that stores the data and provides it upon request in the form of an HTML document. 

The HTTP protocol uses the request-response model. It means that a site or a resource will not be open unless the client has asked for it. Therefore, the client has to send a request for a given data and the server will return a response containing the required data. 

The HTTP protocol relies on unique resource locators (URLs), like “https, column, slash, slash, softuni dot org”. When a resource is downloaded from the Web server, it comes with metadata (such as content type and encoding), which helps in visualizing the resource correctly.

Moreover, the HTTP protocol is stateless. Each HTTP request is independent from the others. Stateful HTTP conversations can be implemented by extra effort, using cookies, custom header fields, Web storage or other techniques.

HTTP Request Structure

Let’s see the structure of an actual request.

HTTP Requests Example

HTTP requests have a line, headers, a new line (CR + LF) after that, and a body at the end.

The HTTP request line is the command you send to the server to indicate what resource you want to get or process. It consists of:

  •       Request method (in our example “GET”);
  •       Request-URL (this is the resource path);
  •       HTTP version string.

Web browsers use URLs, but HTTP uses URIs to address the resources.

  •       URL stands for “uniform resource locator” and it describes a full unique address for a resource on the Internet, which consists of protocol + host + resource path, like in the example above
  •       URI stands for “uniform resource identifier” and it holds a full or relative unique path to a resource, for example “/about“.

When you request a resource over HTTP, you specify the relative URI of the resource in the request line and you specify the host name in the request headers. Both relative URI and host name come from the URL you want to access.

After the request line, the HTTP request headers are given. Headers specify specific parameters about the requested resource:

  •       “Host” is an important header, holding the requested resource. If we have several Web sites on the same Web server (for example softuni.org and learn.softuni.org), this “Host” header will tell the server which website to access.
  •       The other headers specify settings like what kind of content the client can accept and understands (for example only HTML or any content), what is the preferred language the client wants to use, what kind of compression the client understands (for example gzip and deflate), what are the client Web browser’s brand and version (encoded as the so-called “user agent” identifier) and other parameters.
  •       The headers section in the HTTP request ends by an empty line (CR + LF twice).

After the request headers, comes the request body.

  •       It can hold anything, for example, URL-encoded data or JSON objects or binary data.
  •       In the given example the body is empty, which is typical for HTTP GET requests.

HTTP Request Methods

The HTTP request method defines what action will be performed on the identified resource. The most commonly used HTTP methods are GET, POST, PUT, DELETE and PATCH which correspond to read, create, update and delete (or CRUD) operations, respectively.

Idempotency and safety are properties of HTTP methods.

Safe methods can only be used for read-only operations since they do not alter the server state. Using GET or HEAD on a resource URL, for example, should never change the resource. Safe methods are considered GET, HEAD, TRACE and OPTIONS.

Idempotent methods can send multiple identical requests to the server and the outcome will always be the same and it does not matter how many times the requests will be sent. This does not mean, however, that the server has to respond in the same way to each request. For example, if we want to delete a resource we send a DELETE request. The first time the server returns a response that the file has been deleted. If you try to send the same request again the server will respond that the file has already been deleted. Here we have two different responses but the second request did not alter the server state. In this case, the DELETE operation is idempotent.

The following HTTP methods are idempotent: GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, TRACE, PUT and DELETE. All safe HTTP methods are idempotent. PUT and DELETE are idempotent but not safe.

You can see all methods and their function in the graphic below.

HTTP Request Methods

The main HTTP methods corresponding to the CRUD operations are POST, GET, PUT/PATCH and DELETE.

  •   The GET method retrieves a specified resource (a list or a single resource). If there are no errors the method returns a representation of the resource in XML or JSON. GET is used to download a Web page, CSS file, script, document or other resources from a Web site. For example, a Web page’s content (fonts, images, etc.) is loaded using HTTP GET requests. This does not modify the state at the server-side, it only ‘reads’ it.
  •       The POST method modifies the state of the server since it creates new resources. For example, when you login into a website, the login sends your credentials to the server using a POST request.
  •       DELETE is used to delete (or remove) an existing resource. An example of an HTTP DELETE request is for deleting an item from the shopping cart in an e-commerce Web application.
  •       The PATCH method updates an existing resource partially. It is used to modify a field of a given object. An example is an HTTP PATCH request for updating the quantity of an order item in the shopping cart in an e-commerce Web application.
  •   The HTTP HEAD method retrieves the resource’s headers, without the resource itself. HEAD is used rarely, for example, to check for modifications on the server-side.

HTTP Response Structure

After receiving and interpreting a request message, the server sends an HTTP response message. You can see an example below.

HTTP Responses Example

The response message gives information on whether our request has been successfully executed or has failed. It consists of a status line, response headers and a response body.

The HTTP response status line starts with the protocol version, followed by the response status code, followed by a human-readable text explanation of the status code.

The status code tells the client whether the requested operation was successful or not. It is a three-digit integer whose first digit defines the response class.

Status codes are:

  • Informational responses (100–199)
  • Successful responses (200–299)
  • Redirection messages (300–399)
  • Client error responses (400–499)
  • Server error responses (500–599)

You can check the graphic below to see the most common status codes.

HTTP Response Status Codes

After the HTTP status line come the HTTP response headers that provide metadata for the returned resource (or the returned error), such as content-encoding, content size in bytes, content last-modify date and many others.

After the response headers and the empty line separator, the HTTP response body comes. This is the requested resource that can be text, binary data or it can be empty. In the example we used above, the Web server returns a CSS script for styling a navigation bar.

Content-Type and Disposition Headers

HTTP headers play an important role in modern Web development.

The “Content-Type” and the “Content-Dispositionheaders specify how to process the data in the HTTP request or in the HTTP response body. These headers can be used both in the HTTP requests and in the HTTP responses.

In the HTTP requests, the “Content-Type” header specifies what kind of data the client sends to the server, for example, a JSON document or URL-encoded form data or a plain-text document or a JPEG image. In the HTTP responses, the “Content-Type” header specifies what kind of data the server returns to the client, for example an HTML document or a JPEG image.

For example, the header “Content-Type: application/json” specifies a JSON-encoded data (a JSON object). By default, the UTF-8 encoding is used.

The “Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8” specifies an HTML document with UTF-8 encoding. Note that the encoding (or the charset) specified in the HTTP headers has a higher priority than the encoding specified in the header of the HTML document (using the “meta charset” HTML tag).

HTTP Dev Tools

Postman Client Tool Logo

There are browser built-in tools and client tools that help developers monitor the request-response traffic. An example of a client tool is the Postman HTTP client. Web developers use it for composing and sending HTTP requests and analyzing the HTTP response from the server, testing, debugging server APIs, researching how to use certain service APIs and for resolving technical issues during the software development. If you are interested in other HTTP client tools, you can try out Insomnia Core REST Client and Hoppscotch.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • What is the HTTP Protocol
  • HTTP Request Structure
  • HTTP Request Methods
  • HTTP Response Status Codes
  • Content-Type and Disposition Headers

Lesson Slides

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Handling an HTML Form – GET and POST Methods, and Data Encoding [Dev Concepts #38] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/handling-an-html-form/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/handling-an-html-form/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=21526 In this lesson, we discuss HTML Forms and how to use GET and POST methods to send encoded data to the server for processing.

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HTML Forms are used to collect input from users and send it to the server for processing.
Examples are registration form that users fill out to sign up on a website and order submission forms on e-commerce sites.

HTML Form Structure

HTML has input elements displayed in different ways such as input field, checkbox (for selecting zero or more of multiple choices), radio buttons (for selecting one of multiple choices), submit button etc. The basic structure of a form consists of input fields and a submit button. The user fills out the input fields with the required information and upon clicking the submit button the data is sent to a form handler. Typically, the form handler is a file on the server with a script for processing input data.

HTML Forms Structure

Form Action Attribute

You add an action attribute to the form to define where the submitted data goes. In the example above the submitted information will be handled by the script of the home.html document.

In this case, the URL is called relative. Relative URLs are compared to the current URL that is loaded in the Web browser. We can use slashes and the “double dot” notation to address a different folder or the parent folder of the virtual folder structure on the Web server.

Full URLs are used to submit the form data to completely different Web site. For example, a Web site may embed an HTML form for newsletter subscription which submits its form fields to an external Web site, which provides email newsletter services.

Form Method Attribute

In the following example, we have added an HTTP method attribute to the form. The method can be either GET or POST. Both methods are used to transfer data from client to server.

The GET method transfers data in the URL with a query string. Therefore, the length of the URL is limited. GET is preferable for images, word documents or data that does not require any security.

POST is an HTTP method that encodes form data in a specified format and sends it to the server via the HTTP message body. The World Wide Web frequently uses POST to send user-generated data or an uploaded file to the web server.

In the example above, you can see the standard URL encoding used to encode the HTML form fields and URLs. The URL encoding is a long string of name and value pairs. Each pair is separated from one another by an ampersand (&) sign and each name is separated from the value by an equals (=) sign. For example: key1=value1&key2=value2.

This encoding can be used for text and other data fields, but it does not support file upload fields. We can overcome this limitation by switching to multipart encoding.

Differences Between GET and POST Methods

If you want to send one or two simple variables (for example search parameters) to your server, then you use GET. However, if your form includes passwords, credit card information, or any other data that needs extra protection then POST is a better choice. You can see a side to side comparison between the two methods in the example below.

GET and POST Methods Comparison

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • HTML Form Structure

  • Form Action Attribute

  • Form Method Attribute

  • Differences Between GET and POST Methods

Lesson Slides

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Understanding HTTP Dev Tools [Dev Concepts #37] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/understanding-http-dev-tools-37/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/understanding-http-dev-tools-37/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=21404 In this lesson, we talk about the browser Dev Tools and explain how to use them to your best advantage. Learn how the network inspector and client tools can ease your work as a developer.

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The HTTP flow of requests and responses can give you useful information about how the web application communicates with the server. It can improve your software development process, and save you time and effort when debugging.

Built-in Browser Tools

Modern Web browsers have a set of built-in tools for monitoring the HTTP traffic. The functionality of these tools includes also inspecting the already rendered HTML elements and debugging right into the browser. 

Open Inspect Menu In Browser

Chrome Developer Tools can be accessed by pressing the [F12] key in Google Chrome. Another way is to right-click anywhere on the Web page and select [Inspect] in the context menu.

This opens a panel with several tabs. The Elements tab shows the HTML used to build the current Web page. It holds information about the UI controls in the Document Object Model (DOM) tree.

The Console tab shows errors and logs for the currently loaded Web Page. The tab is also used for executing JavaScript commands and interacting with the page.

You can set breakpoints and evaluate expressions in JavaScript through the Sources tab. All files that were used to make the website are listed here.

Error 404! Image

To monitor the data exchanged between the current  page and the Web server, we use the Network tab. This tab is commonly used to confirm that resources are downloaded or uploaded correctly.

When you click on a link, the browser sends multiple requests to the server regarding different elements of the page. The HTML required to render the page is sent back in the form of responses from the server. There is information about every response that includes HTTP request URL, the request method, remote server IP address and port, status code and many other technical details.

HTTP Requests and Responses Traffic

Client Tools

Another useful tool for developers who need information on HTTP traffic is the Postman HTTP client. This tool is used for composing and sending requests, analyzing HTTP responses from the server for testing, debugging server APIs and for resolving technical issues during the software development process.

Postman Client Tool Logo

With Postman you can create an HTTP request, send it to the Web server, view the HTTP response, and generate a source code to execute the HTTP request in many languages, such as JavaScript, C#, Java, Python, PHP and many others.

Another alternative for an HTTP client tool is the Insomnia Core Rest Client. In case you prefer a Web-based HTTP tool, you can try Hoppscotch.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • Network Inspector

  • Postman Client Tool

  • Sending and Analyzing HTTP Requests

Lesson Slides

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How to Become Google Expert Developer? [Dev Talks #3] https://softuni.org/dev-talks/how-to-become-google-expert-developer/ https://softuni.org/dev-talks/how-to-become-google-expert-developer/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2022 14:10:31 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=21300 Say hello to Iliya Idakiev. He will take you into the world of Google Developer Experts

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Meet Iliya Idakiev. He is a Google Developer Expert (GDE) in Angular and Web Technologies and he has been working with JavaScript for over 7 years. He teaches at Sofia University and has been running his own company (Hillgrand) for almost 5 years where he develops various web applications. He likes to organize and participate in JavaScript events and he and his team have a YouTube channel (commitjs). 

Today he is here to answer some questions you probably have about the process of becoming a GDE.

What inspired you to become a developer?

“My experience began at University. My major was Informatics. I was studying C++ and also working with .NET and C#. Then I decided to learn JavaScript. Shortly after that, I started teaching JavaScript and opened my own company.”

How did you become a Google Developer Expert?

“To be a Google Developer Expert means to be recognized by Google for the things that you do for certain technologies. I wanted for a long time to become a Google Angular Expert. I was organizing events and a lot of courses. I started to go to conferences and I met with a lot of people who were already Google Developer Experts. So one day I decided to go on several interviews and everything went pretty smooth.”

What is the process of becoming a Google Developer Expert?

“First, you have to be recommended by another Google Developer Expert and you must send all the background that you have (open-source projects, events, courses, etc.). You need to contribute to the community. The person from Google will check your background and you will have 2 or 3 interviews (personal and technical). Among all the benefits of becoming a Google Developer Expert, the biggest one for me is that you get recognized by Google and people look at you differently.”

What is your experience with contributing to open-source projects?

“When you are working on some application and you are using some modules, at a certain point you will start to discover issues with these modules or new features that can be added. If you have time, you can fix these issues or add new features and make a pull request. This is a way to become a contributor.

Another way is to open-source the useful libraries that you developed in your projects.”

How do you relax?

“I like walking and traveling to peaceful and beautiful places. I was a DJ before and still do it from time to time.”

What are the projects that you are working on?

“I mostly do private JavaScript-related training. I like live coding, which is much more interesting and effective for the students. One of the biggest projects we developed is the Front-End of a customer portal for monitoring and controlling off-grid and hybrid power systems. It was very challenging, and I am proud of this project.”

When do you realize that you are successful?

“This is other people’s decision, not mine. But I can say that I succeed when I accomplish my goals.”

What tips for success would you give?

“I think that everyone should find what he/ she is happy and enthusiastic about and try to become the best in it. Do not focus on the money/ salary, but focus on becoming better in what you do. Dedicate yourself and do not give up. This will make you successful.”

How did you manage to stay motivated?

“Going to meet-ups and knowledge sharing is very good and useful. This will keep you awake and inspired.”

What advice will you give to young people who study at University?

“The University is a place where you can learn something that is going to be like a base for your life ahead. My advice is to start teaching other people as soon as you can because this will make you better in your field. Be a part of the community that is doing what you are doing and try to solve other people’s problems (for example, on Stack Overflow). Sharing knowledge is amazing!”

Do you have a favorite book on programming?

“I would recommend books like “Clean Code”,Clean Architecture”, and “Enterprise System Architecture”. It is wise to invest time in something useful for your field. Also, GitHub is the best “book” that I would recommend.”

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

“My goals are to develop my company and give my team a better working environment. I see myself still teaching other people and contributing to the community.”

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What is a Database System (DBMS)? [Dev Concepts #36] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/what-is-a-database-system/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/what-is-a-database-system/#respond Thu, 26 May 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=21165 In this lesson, we explain the concept of databases and typical CRUD operations. We will also take a look at relational and NoSQL databases.

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database is a collection of data that is organized so that it can be easily accessedmanaged, and updated.

  • Usually, you need to store data that will be accessible even after you end the program execution.
  • One way to do that is by using a text file, but this is not scalable and does not provide any structure.

database-with-serverDatabases hold and manage data in the back-end systems. Almost all modern software systems use a database in some form. The data in database systems is organized in tables, collections, key-value pairs or other structures. The software, which managesretrieves and manipulates data in a database, is called Database Management System(DBMS).

Relational and Non-Relational Model

In this section, we will explain the difference between these two database models:

  • The relational model is based on tables and relationships.
  • The non-relational model is based on collections of documents.

The structure of relational databases is strict, while the non-relational is not so strict. SQL databases regulate the input data, what their format is, how different types of data are connected, etc. RDBMS systems manage relational databases and expose a universal interface for developers: the SQL language. Relational databases organize data in tables, which hold data rows, and each row holds columns.

relational-vs-nosql

Non-Relational databases have a dynamic schema. A schema is the structure of the database, which describes all its objects (tables, collections, views, and others) and their structures. The data stored in NoSQL databases are not strictly structured. Sometimes these databases are called “schema-free databases“. Properties of an entity (the columns in the SQL database) can be added dynamically. NoSQL databases can be based on several data models (several ways to structure data).

Define, Manipulate, Retrieve and Manage Data with DBMS

Database Management System (DBMS) is a server software, which takes data queries of manipulation commands from the clients, execute the commands in the database, and returns the results to the clients.

dbms-diagram

While a database could be just a collection of data files, the DBMS is what makes it so powerful with its structure, algorithms, optimizations, and APIs. For comparison, in a text file, you will be able to save whatever information you like, while in a database, managed by a DBMS, you can set rules on the incoming data. DBMS systems implement a programming API or specialized language, such as SQL, to manage data.

To do so, first, we create a query (or command) through the client that is passed to the engine through its API. The engine processes the query and accesses the data files. Then, the database storage returns the desired data from the data files to the engine. Finally, the engine processes the returned data and passes it to the client for visualizing in a human-readable format.

Databases are very powerful in keeping collections of entities. The relational model is based on tables and relationships, and the non-relational model is based on collections of documents. Database systems are an important component of most modern software systems, and therefore software engineers must have at least basic database skills

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • Databases Introduction

  • SQL vs NoSQL Databases

  • DBMS Systems

Lesson Slides

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Databases, MySQL and MongoDB [Dev Concepts #35] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/databases-mysql-and-mongodb/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/databases-mysql-and-mongodb/#respond Mon, 09 May 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=20139 In this lesson, we explain the concept of databases in software development, the role of relational databases and the SQL language, and the NoSQL databases in modern software engineering.

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We will start with the concept of data storage, the need of database systems and the difference between relational and non-relational databases. You will become familiar with the concept of Database Management Systems (DBMS), such as MySQL, MongoDB and Redis.

What is more, you will learn about the relational database model, the SQL language and some of its basic commands for data query and manipulation. In the end, we will explain the NoSQL databases (which hold collections of documents) and how to query and manipulate a document-based NoSQL database.

In the end, we will show you a live demo of how to work with MongoDB and Robo 3T. From the demo, you will learn:

  • how to create a database and a collection of documents
  • how to insert a document
  • how to edit, delete and query documents

Databases

A database is a collection of data that is organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed, and updated. Database Management System (DBMS) usually manages a database. DBMS systems are also called “databases servers“, because they manage data and serve developers through an API, using the “client-server” model of communication.

Databases implement the classical CRUD operations. CRUD is an abbreviation with each letter standing for a single operation.

Those are the basic operations you will be performing on a database:

  • C – Create (or add or insert) new data.
  • R – Read (or retrieve or query) data.
  • U – Update existing data.
  • D – Delete existing data.

Relational and NoSQL Databases

relational-vs-nosql-dbs

Relational databases organize data in tables and data rows. For example, an e-commerce software could have a table holding the products. Each table row could hold product idproduct namedescriptionsupplier, and price. In relational databases, the SQL language is used to query and modify data.

NoSQL databases hold collections of documents or key-value pairs. Document databases (like MongoDB) manage collections of documents (such as products or vendors). These key-value pair structures are also known as “dictionaries“. They support a fast “search by key” operation. Key-value data storage systems are good for organizing simple data.

From Data Storage to Databases

Databases give you the possibility to keep different data about the same thing in columns or properties. Multiple data objects of the same type can be stored in a table or collection. Such data objects are also called “entities“.

table-data-info

In the image above, we have several entities like products, customers, and orders. Each entity would have several data characteristics, which can be stored in data columns or object properties. This way the data has “structure“. It is organized consistently and in a manageable way. Each row holds a single entity (in this example – an order). As you may have guessed, this is much more optimized than keeping physically thousands of receipts (on paper or in text files).

Why Do We Need Databases?

There are far more reasons to use a database rather than physical storage. Data storage is not the primary reason to use a database system.

As we said earlier, imagine having thousands of receipts. It would be quite impractical to search these receipts unless they are carefully structured and ordered. That is easily solved with a database as it is stored on your computer, or even on a cloud service. Database tables and collections can be indexed, and this allows searching millions of documents in milliseconds.

Database systems are an important component of most modern software systems, and therefore software engineers must have at least basic database skills. They are very powerful in keeping collections of entities and implement efficiently the CRUD operations, queries, searching, and many more.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • Database Intro

  • SQL vs NoSQL Databases

  • DBMS Systems

  • Relational Databases and SQL

  • NoSQL and MongoDB

Lesson Slides

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Bitwise Operations in Programming [Dev Concepts #34] https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/bitwise-operations-in-programming/ https://softuni.org/dev-concepts/bitwise-operations-in-programming/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=18889 In this lesson you will get an idea of bitwise operations: how they work and why we need them in computer programming. We will explain and demonstrate the main bitwise operators and introduce the concept of bitmasks.

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In this article, we will also solve several practical problems using bitwise operations:

  • Get the last bit from an integer
  • Get the bit at a certain index from an integer
  • Change the bit at a certain index in an integer
  • Extract the bit before the last from an integer

If you are not familiar with bits and storing data on the computer you can read our previous articles about them here:

Bitwise Operations

First, let’s start with learning about the bitwise operations in programming. They work with the binary representations of the numbers, applying bit-by-bit calculations. For example, if we have two 8-bit numbers, we can apply a bitwise operation, which takes as input the first 8 bits and the second 8 bits and produces as a result new 8 bits.

A simple bitwise operator over a single argument is the “tilde” operator – the bitwise logical NOT (also called negation). The operator “tilde” turns all zeroes to ones and all ones to zeroes, like the “exclamation mark” operator for the Boolean expressions, but it works bit by bit. For example, if we have the binary number1 0 0″, its negation “tilde 1 0 0” is “0 1 1“.

OperatorTable

The table above illustrates the work of the bitwise OR, AND, and XOR operators.

  • The bitwise OR operator (denoted by the vertical bar in most programming languages) returns 1, if one of its input bits is 1, otherwise returns 0.
  • The bitwise AND operator (denoted by the ampersand in most programming languages) returns 1, if both of its input bits are 1, otherwise returns 0.
  • The bitwise exclusive OR (XOR) operator (denoted by the ampersand in most programming languages) returns 1 if one of its arguments is 1, but not both at the same time, otherwise returns 0.

Bit Shifts

Bit shifts are bitwise operations, where bits inside a number are moved (or shifted) to the left or the right. During the shifting operation, the bits that fall at invalid positions are lost, and the bits which come from missing positions are replaced by 0.

left-and-right-shift

Bit shifting can be applied for 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, and 64-bit numbers, as well as for numbers of other sizes in bits. The bit size of the number being shifted defines the valid bit positions and where the bits get lost. Bits can be shifted by more than 1 position. For example, 5 shifted left twice is 20 and 5 shifted right twice is 1.

Why We Need Bitwise Operations?​

Processing bits is important for many fields of computer science, information technologies, and software systems, like networking protocols, data storage, and file systems, binary file formatsmemory management, data compression, data encryption, video streaming, Internet of things (IoT) systems, low-level programming, computer graphics, and many others.

Binary-and-Text-File

Data compression algorithms replace bit or byte sequences with shorter bit sequences. For example, the “DEFLATEalgorithm, used to compress data in the ZIP files, finds the most often sequences and replaces them with shorter sequences, while it preserves a dictionary between the original bit sequences and their shorter compressed form. This is done using heavy bit-level processing with bitwise operations.

Many binary file formats use bits to save space. For example, PNG images (the Portable Network Graphics image format) use 3 bits to specify the color format used (8-bit color, 24-bit color, 32-bit color with transparency). These 3 bits are located at a certain offset in the PNG image header bytes, so reading and writing the value encoded in these 3 bits require bitwise operations.

To sum it up, bitwise operators work with the binary representations of the numbers, applying bit-by-bit calculations. Bit shifts are bitwise operations, where bits inside a number are shifted to the left or the right. These concepts are an important aspect of many fields of computer science.

Lesson Topics

In this tutorial, we cover the following topics:
  • Bitwise Operations

  • Bitwise Operators – Examples

  • Bit Shifts

  • Bitwise Operations Problems

  • Why We Need Bitwise Operations?

  • Bit Before the Last – Problems

Lesson Slides

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An Insider’s Perspective on the IT Industry https://softuni.org/dev-talks/an-insider-perspective-on-the-it-industry/ https://softuni.org/dev-talks/an-insider-perspective-on-the-it-industry/#respond Thu, 14 Apr 2022 15:00:00 +0000 https://softuni.org/?p=18039 In this article, we will meet you with William Abboud. He is a software engineer with more than 8 years of experience. Today he is here to answer your questions.

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Meet William Abboud. He is a senior software engineer that decided to talk about his path as a developer so far. We asked William some questions that might help you start your career as a programmer.

How did you get into programming?

As a student, I liked computer networking. In 12th grade, I first had to write programs with C++ and Pascal. The materials were not enough, and I watched a few youtube video tutorials and got hooked. After I graduated, I moved to the United Kingdom and started learning computer science there.

Which language to choose if you are a beginner?

The thing is, after years of programming development, it doesn’t matter. You need to learn Algorithms and Data Structures, and from there, it will be easy. The real question is, what do you want to do with programming? It depends on what you want to do. But still, I will prefer C# and Python.

Would you recommend JavaScript for beginners?

Yes. With JS, you can quickly see results on your screen. You usually program web apps, and you can see your results almost immediately. In C# or Java, your first tasks are mathematical equations, but in JS, the problems are more interesting. For example, you will have to move a box from the left to the right part of your screen. JavaScript is easy to start with, but it is hard to master. There is a great community and good tools. You can debug with chrome and so on. There are a lot of solved problems on the web.

What is the difference between a front and back-end developer?

A front-end developer creates a user interface that the user interacts with. Everything that the user clicks and see is what a front-end dev does. The back-end developer works with data and ensures that the users see the correct data. There is a lot behind the scene logic. You cannot make a site without the two sides.

What are the perks of a programmer's job?

One of the main perks is flexibility. You can work remotely the job from another country. Most companies are ok with you not going to the physical location. The job pays well. It can be a very creative and satisfying job.

Is it true that for each new project, you have to learn something?

Yeah. You have to constantly be on your feet and search for new techniques and tools. It’s a field where things can change very fast in a matter of a year. You always need to learn. You have to be wary of what is trending and the best tools to solve programming problems.

Will Machine Learning replace Software Engineering?

Partly yes. It’s a great tool, but I don’t think it will happen fully. In the next 10-15 years, I don’t believe that it will happen. It will make my job easier but not take my job.

What would you say recruiters look for when hiring?

They always look for experienced people. They don’t want to hire inexperienced, but some companies have to hire junior developers. There is a deficit for junior developers. For me, the most necessary quality is passion and motivation.

How can you best prepare for a job interview?

Every company has a different interview process. What I would say, research a company and the position you apply for. Ask the recruiters questions. Search for typical interview questions on the web, and I believe that you will be ready for the interview.

Do you want to be like him? Become a programmer with comprehensive, up-to-date online classes led by an expert. Study in your own time and at your own pace. Go back any time and rewatch the lessons, if needed. Click the button below, and start your journey today!

Video Topics

In the video, William talks about the following topics:
  • How did you get into programming?
  • Which language to choose if you are a beginner?
  • Would you recommend JavaScript for beginners?
  • What is the difference between a front and back-end developer?
  • What are the perks of a programmer’s job?
  • Is it true that for each new project, you have to learn something?
  • Will Machine Learning replace Software Engineering?
  • What would you say recruiters look for when hiring?
  • How can you best prepare for a job interview?

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