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Cross Platform Mobile Development: What It Is and How Can You Get into It



While the trends and fads of the market keep changing ever since trade was invented, one thing stays true: to be popular, you have to be accessible. The more users can reach and try your products, the more of them will choose it at the end. For developers, the key to that is making the product accessible for various operational systems. That is why we strongly believe it’s smart for both businesses and programmers to look into cross platform mobile development.

Table of Contents

Why get into cross platform mobile development?

As of fall of 2019, almost sixty percent of population use the Internet on their mobile devices actively. No wonder: not only mobile phones are with us all the time, but the Internet providers keep constantly increasing the area coverage and the speed. What does this mean to businesses? First of all, while a desktop application might have been enough in the past, that ship has long sailed now.

According to Statista, over 98 percent of smartphones in the world use either Android or iOS as their main operational system. Therefore, it’s only natural most companies crave to satisfy the fans of both of these giants. It’s a lucrative field, too: according to predictions, the revenues from mobile applications will surpass 500 billion dollars by 2020. Why create native iOS or Android software, when you can create something to accommodate them both by doing half the work?

cross platform mobile development

Cross platform mobile development has multiple advantages for a developer. First of all, it allows you to reuse a significant account of code, meaning there’s less time and effort to put in. This makes the production both cheaper and faster. For a business, less time spent in development also equals to an earlier release – and, in turn, quicker profits. In addition to that, releasing one cross platform app instead of multiple native apps lets them save on marketing.

Nevertheless, there are a few cons as well. The platforms you’re developing for might sometimes have different levels of feature support, which will put certain limitations to the user experience. If you choose to use a cross platform mobile development framework, you might also find out that not every tool available in them can be used on a certain platform. These compatibility issues might make you turn to native Android or iOS development tools.

Native and cross platform app development: the difference

In the case of Windows Mobile, iOS and Android app development, each platform has something called a software development kit (SDK for short). Usually, it contains a compiler, a debugger and other development tools. In most cases, it also prefers some programming languages over others. For example, Android mainly supports Java, and most iOS development tools use Swift or Objective-C. Using an SDK, you can create an app which will be native to that specific platform.

Now, how do we do cross platform mobile development? The first way is by using an application programming interface (API), which acts as an intermediary between the code and the operating system. This can be achieved with an integrated development environment (IDE), usually coming from a third party.

The second way is also known as the hybrid approach. Why? Because it contains both mobile and web development techniques. Basically, you use HTML5 and CSS to code the graphic user interface (GUI), and wrap it inside a WebView container found in the SDK. WebView allows you to manipulate the user experience and allows them to use the functionalities of the hardware (e.g., the camera of their smartphone) to a certain limit.

However, some actually claim that hybrid programming is not a type of cross platform mobile development, and the only quality they both have is shareable code. The design part of the hybrid app has the advantages of a cross platform one, but the control elements are usually native still. You should also remember rendering CSS and HTML5 eats up a ton of resources of central and graphics processing units. This means the app will drain the users device battery much faster.

The best cross platform mobile development frameworks

The main advantages of cross platform mobile development are not only increased accessibility of your app: it also optimizes the processes of testing and maintenance. For your first steps, we’d advice you to go with specialized frameworks. Having a specific toolset to guide will smooth the learning curve. Now, let’s see your best choices.

cross platform mobile development: xamarinXamarin

Xamarin is a Microsoft cross platform development framework that allows 75–90 percent of the code to be shared between different systems. The coding language Xamarin uses is the Microsoft-developed C#. The framework is also free and open source: there are over sixty thousand active contributors as of now. It is, however, not just meant for cross platform mobile development, and works just as well for desktop applications.

By supplying the tools needed for mobile app development, it extends the .NET development platform. What exactly does it contain? Well, first of all, you get the base framework that lets you access the native features. In addition to that, there’s a wide selection of libraries and extensions for the code editor (e.g., for syntax highlighting). You can also use the packages available to .NET users. Using the ahead-of-time compiler lets you avoid some performance issues, too, as the app you design will run directly in the hardware of the mobile device.

React Native

cross platform mobile development: react nativeAnother good choice for a cross platform mobile development framework is React Native, developed and presented by Facebook in 2015. It works pretty much identically to React, but is mobile-oriented. This also means you get to write your code in JavaScript without any need to learn the specific coding languages a platform might require (Java, Swift, or Objective-C). According to annual StackOverflow surveys, JavaScript has been the most popular programming language for six years in a row now. Talk about a quick pick-up!

You can use React Native for developing apps for iOS and Android. In fact, the team at Facebook first used it for its own cross platform app called Ads Manager. React Native is also oriented to creating the best user interface (UI) for mobile devices. Thus, it’s a great choice when you need high responsiveness and intuitive use. JavaScript is able to interact with the native environment asynchronously, which also speeds up the loading.

cross platform mobile development: flutterFlutter

Initially released by Google in 2017, Flutter is the youngest of the bunch presented here. However, just like Xamarin, it is more than just a cross platform mobile development framework. You can also use it to develop for Google Fuchsia, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, and even embedded systems. What’s unique to Flutter is the programming language: it uses Dart, which, just as the Flutter itself, was developed by Google. Among the famous clients of the framework are and The New York Times.

Flutter has received praises due to its hot reload feature, allowing the developer to instantly review the changes made by the most current updates. There is no need to restart the application after editing its source code: the effect will be shown immediately in the Flutter framework. This makes it easier to experiment, add new features, and fix small bugs in your program.

The bottom line is, it’s definitely worth to take up cross platform app development. While it has a few weak spots, it also has clear perks to both business owners and developers. According to Glassdoor, it’s also a career path that allows its professionals to lead rather comfortable lives. Feeling excited? Then roll up your sleeves and get down to work – that nice salary won’t earn itself!

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What are the Best CSS Frameworks?



The use of CSS frameworks is one of the most popular practices for boosting efficiency. Frameworks are highly regarded because developers can save time and retrieve pre-written chunks of code for their projects. In this case, you can retrieve stylesheets and use the styling properties appropriate for your project.

By gluing many separate pieces together, you finally get a product. It might not be unique, but you can perform customization to the styling properties if you desire.

In general, CSS is a very beginner-friendly language, and you can learn it immediately after acquiring the basics of HTML. After learning the main principles of CSS, it is essential to explore the most popular CSS frameworks.

By definition, they are for assisting frontend development and making websites responsive. After all, one of the main objectives of website owners is to make pages adjust to different screen orientations and sizes.

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What is a CSS framework?

In short, CSS frameworks are tools containing collections of styling properties, usually designed in files referred to as stylesheets. As you know, you can style HTML elements in three ways: inline, internal, or external. However, the best option is to create .css files and link them to your HTML documents.

Frameworks are the main ingredient when it comes to robust web development, quickly leading to a functional and attractive user interface. Additionally, the best CSS frameworks are valued because they simplify the management of group projects. Instead of introducing new classes and other elements, colleagues can follow a standard set of components and make their code more reader-friendly.

After you start using a CSS framework, you need to adapt your code by including the necessary classes and IDs. Even though most of the frameworks supply the standard structure, you can add new blocks of styling properties for elements needed for a specific project. Therefore, the rules are loose (most of the time): you can customize your website to make it less clear that it came from a framework.

Do you have to use a framework?

CSS frameworks (or any other framework) is not a mandatory tool to use. Some developers take pride in the fact that they produce CSS stylesheets manually. That is fine: whatever flows your boat.

However, frameworks are excellent choices for significantly expediting the web development process. Most of them are mobile-oriented, meaning that the provided code aims to make websites responsive, adapting to different screens. Additionally, the code is highly standardized, meaning that all browsers understand and display styling properties equally.

However, it might not be the best option for beginners to dive into the CSS frameworks quickly. The most practical choice would be to explore frameworks after you have learned the basics of CSS and HTML. For instance, this course will quickly introduce you to the main concepts of both of these languages.

learn HTML and CSS with Space Doggos
Learn HTML and CSS with Space Doggos

The leader of CSS frameworks: Bootstrap

Bootstrap is unarguably the most popular CSS framework. The majority of people refer to it is as CSS-oriented, but it actually has components of HTML and JavaScript as well. Therefore, it is not a pure CSS framework.

Bootstraps offers a multitude of reusable code for building responsive, neat, and well-organized websites. It is an obvious choice for many beginners since Bootstrap has a great ecosystem consisting of millions of users, tutorials, and positive reviews. Sometimes it can be challenging to evade cross-browser issues, but with Bootstrap, most of the compatibility and adjustment problems are forgotten.

Bootstrap interactive course
Learn Bootstrap by doing in this interactive course

This responsive CSS framework offers design templates with a wide selection of user interface components. For instance, you can get sets of typography, tables, buttons, forms, dropdowns, input groups, tabs, accordions, and so on. However, Bootstrap is not for teaching beginners CSS. It is preferred that you come with some knowledge and understanding of how styling properties work.

If you want to start developing your website, you can look at this course, explaining HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Bootstrap. To get more Bootstrap-oriented information, you can start learning from this course as well.

Foundation: CSS framework with more a flexible UI

The Foundation is a CSS framework for designing responsive websites and emails. The framework is feature-rich and consists of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. These all-included features are great for developing the client-side of sites quickly.

There are several reasons why Foundation is not as popular as Bootstrap. The latter has become the go-to framework for anyone needing a quick option for their website design.

CSS Frameworks: Foundation CSS

When it comes to Foundation, it is more designer-oriented since it provides useful possibilities for customization. Bootstrap lack this flexibility. While it is possible to make modifications, developers recommend against changing the original bootstrap.css file since it might cause issues. Therefore, for developers who do not want their website to come from a framework fully, Foundation is a reliable option.

Additionally, the Foundation CSS framework aims to help develop responsive emails. Nowadays, you can open emails on your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Therefore, it is crucial that emails would be presented equally on all devices.

This responsive CSS framework also offers a responsive image system, pricing table components, embeds, form validation, and so much more. However, for beginners, it might seem more complicated than Bootstrap due to its flexibility.

Bulma: a true CSS framework

While both Bootstrap and Foundation frameworks combine HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Bulma chooses to be a true CSS framework. Bulma is a newcomer in the framework-business that has managed to build an impressive user community already. One of the main reasons for Bulma being one of the best CSS frameworks is that the excellent readability of code.

CSS Frameworks: Bulma

Bulma is a Flexbox-based framework dedicated to the mobile-first approach. The previous networks aimed to combine functionality (JavaScript) and appearance (CSS). Bulma does not try to add any functional elements to websites. As proclaimed, this framework is mainly for setting the stylistic components of your website.

Overall, Bulma has many advantages from its responsive design to the welcome flexibility of code. It is less popular than Bootstrap but has the upper hand over Foundation. If you are looking for a pure-CSS option, you should definitely consider Bulma.

The customizable Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework, highly-focused on making its code customizable. Therefore, Tailwind is one of the best CSS frameworks for those who prioritize flexibility and uniqueness.

CSS Frameworks: Tailwind

The framework provides you with basic properties such as sizes, colors, and margins. To create more complicated components, you can combine different elements offered by Tailwind CSS. Instead of being a regular UI kit, giving you polished buttons and components, the framework supplies you with utility classes for building the UI. Differently than Bootstrap or Bulma, Tailwind CSS does not have a grid system or layout designs.

It is a real Picnic CSS

Picnic CSS is a simplistic CSS framework that lets you style HTML elements without adding classes. This feature is different from, let’s say, Bootstrap that requires you to add classes to elements you want to style.

CSS Frameworks: Picnic CSS

Furthermore, Picnic CSS contains components for making websites interactive: a tab switcher, a file uploader, a tooltip, and a modal dialog. Surprisingly, these elements are purely-CSS, meaning that JavaScript code is not necessary.

The popular newcomer Susy

Susy is one of the Flexbox-based, lightweight CSS frameworks valuing flexibility and unique website prototypes. Developers regard it as one of the best new frameworks around because it lets you design an unlimited number of columns. Susy makes it easy to build the layout for your website, even if it is not standard. While Susy is becoming the preferred option for developers, beginners might find the features and possibilities confusing.

CSS Frameworks: Susy

Adding animations with Animate.css

Animate.css framework has a clear-cut purpose: to let developers animate HTML elements with one line of code. The framework provides animations labeled as static, scroll, click, and funky. In their homepage, you can browse through the available animations and download the Animate.css code.

CSS Frameworks: Animate.css

The basic properties with Skeleton

Skeleton is also one of those CSS frameworks that are lightweight and perfectly capable of serving small-scale projects. Additionally, it is an excellent option for beginners due to the combination of simplistic use and a variety of features.

CSS Frameworks: Skeleton

The entire framework consists of approximately 400 lines that support responsiveness and the most basic components of a website, including the 12-column fluid grid. For additional features, developers need to customize the CSS code.

The unique style of Paper CSS

Paper CSS is not an ordinary framework. Its components have unique styles, meaning that they won’t be appropriate for all websites. If you are building a serious business homepage, you might not want to build a peculiar design. Nevertheless, Paper CSS is a treat for anyone who wants to experiment and create a slightly-different website.

CSS Frameworks: Paper CSS


CSS frameworks are convenient choices when it comes to building websites quickly. With the wide selection available comes great responsibility to choose the right one for your project. Undisputably, you cannot go wrong with Bootstrap. It is stable, crazy-popular, and highly responsive. However, there is nothing wrong with trying out other flavors.

There are usually two camps when it comes to frameworks: people who love and use them and people who cannot stand them.  Remember that using a framework does not make you a bad developer. It might mean that you are saving time for more critical tasks, or simply avoiding repetitive code. Additionally, some developers create their own frameworks without even realizing it. For instance, if they re-use a chunk of code multiple times, developers are already entering the framework territory.

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Different Types of Databases: What Should You Know?



According to the DB-Engines ranking, four of the most popular database management systems are of the relational type. They do take up the lion’s share of the market – hence, they’re often also the only ones a beginner is aware of. However, there are multiple types of databases, each representing a different way of handling data storage.

Understanding their distinctions and unique selling points is crucial for making the right choice. We have prepared a detailed guide on database types to help you know your options as the back of your hand.

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What came before the modern database

Types of databases: FlatThe early types of databases had rather limited functionalities. At first, computer enthusiasts used what they called flat databases, which were basically plain text files. This means the data has to be of a textual format and somewhat modest length. To mark the start of each new field, the programmer had to type a delimiter – a special character, chosen to define the border (e.g., a comma or a colon). As there are no relations between the fields, a flat database is hard to search and navigate. However, it works for a small amount of data that only needs to be read and not manipulated. To see basic examples of databases of this type, see CSV (Comma Separated Values) files.

In 1960s, IBM introduced hierarchical databases. As the name itself suggests, the records are connected by a tree structure, based on parent-child relationships. One item can only have one parent, while one parent can have multiple children. This was the first step toward relational databases. However, the implicitness of the hierarchical relation does not work well for all types of records, making it tricky to organize data in some cases. To solve this, a decade later Charles William Bachman III presented a more flexible model called network databases. They still had a tree structure, but children could now have multiple parents as well. However, by now network databases are virtually extinct: most companies that used them jumped on the relational database bandwagon as soon as it arrived.

Relational vs. non-relational database

When looking at the modern types of databases, relational ones are clearly the most prominent. Edgar F. Codd coined the term in 1962 while working at IBM. MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server are all great relational database examples. Their names also contain a hint: to access and manipulate the data, you need to know SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL has well-established standards and allows your data to be easily portable.

When using a relational database, you can store the data in tables that consist of columns and rows. Every row represents an individual record, and a column stands for a field with a data type assigned to it. Tables that contain related information can be linked with primary and foreign keys.

Now, in the recent years, the non-relational databases have experienced some impressive rise as well. The main reason for this is the growing need for unstructured data storage. In the age of big data, we often need to deal with information diversity. Data now can also mean images, videos, and even posts on social media networks. To work with non-tabular data, you need a non-relational database. Developers sometimes refer to them as NoSQL databases: unlike relational ones, they do not support SQL queries.

There are four types of databases that do not use the relational model. Based on your choice, you can store your data as documents, key-value pairs, graphs, or column families.

Document-oriented databases

In a document oriented database (which is often simply called a document store), the data is kept in document collections, usually using the JSON, XML, or BSON formats. One record can hold as much data as you need, in any data type (or types) you prefer – there are no constraints. There is a certain internal structure within a single document, however, it can differ from one document to the other. You can nest them as well.

Out of all the non-relational types of databases, document stores are the most popular. The best example could be MongoDB, which currently has over 400 million downloads globally. Initially introduced in 2008, it is now used by industry giants like Barclays and Bosch. Developers like its smooth learning curve and superior agility. You can use a free Community version and a paid Enterprise one – both run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Key-value databases

As the name itself suggests, each record in this kind of a non-relational database has a key and a value. Similarly to a dictionary, the key can be used to identified the value. It really is as simple as that. Developers mostly use key-value databases when the data they’re dealing with is not too complex and speed is a priority. For example, it is a great choice for storing configuration data.

The stored data is assigned no schema, and the database itself is much more lightweight when compared to a relational one. This also makes it one of the best types of databases for embedding. As of 2019, the most popular key-value database is Redis. It was also voted the most loved database in the StackOverflow yearly survey for three years in a row (2017, 2018, and 2019).

Graph databases

Using a graph database, you have two types of data to handle. Nodes stand for the items in the database, and edges define their relationships, also called graphs. At the first glance, graph databases seem similar to the old-timey network databases, and yet there is one distinction. The network databases fell short in terms of abstraction, which is modelled much more professionally in graph databases like Neo4J or Dgraph.

Out of all the types of databases, this one is the best option in cases when the relationships and their analysis is a priority. However, graph databases have one clear disadvantage: while you do need a query language to access the data, you can use neither SQL, nor any other universally adopted approach. The lack of standardization means most of the query languages can only be used in one or a few types of graph databases.

Column store databases

The last one of the non-relational database types is called a column store database, a column family database, or a wide column store. What makes them a good option for handling big data is fast performance, efficient data compression, and great scalability.

Types of databasesInstead of a schema found in relational databases, column store databases use the keyspace to store the column families. Similarly to a table, a column family contains columns and rows. Yet, there’s a clear difference: in this case, a column does not span across all the rows. Instead, it is contained in a row, which also means different rows can have different columns. Apart from columns, each row also has an identifier, called a key, and every column holds a name, a value, and a timestamp. A few good examples of databases using the column family model are Cassandra, Vertica, and Druid.

Types of databases: what’s next?

In 2011, Matthew Aslett was the first to use the term NewSQL. What it refers to is the newest generation of data storage solutions: ones that combine the scalability of NoSQL with the ACID-compliance of relational databases. ACID stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability – the most crucial principles for data storage. One way to get the best of both worlds is getting rid of the general-purpose ideal and trying to deal with one task perfectly – for example, MemSQL deals specifically with clustered analytics.

According to The Economist, data is the new oil – therefore, it’s only natural the choice of database types constantly keeps growing. While relational databases are still the most popular, different cases do require different tools. We hope our detailed guide has shed some light on this topic – after all, understanding various types of databases does makes it easier to make a better choice.

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How to Learn SQL: Tips and Tricks for Mastering SQL Quicker



How to Learn SQL: Tips and Tricks for Mastering SQL Quicker

girl learning SQL on train
The deeper you step into the forest, the more trees surround you. The same could be said about coding: the more you learn, the more things you find that you should learn next. Are you already familiar with programming and know some basics of HTML or CSS? If so, you might have set your eyes on SQL too. As this language is currently on the rise, a lot of people seem to be asking themselves – is SQL hard to learn? Why should I learn SQL? Most importantly – how to learn SQL, and where to start?We’re sure you already know the name of SQL stands for Structured Query Language. Basically what it does is allowing users to store, access and otherwise handle their data in databases. The American National Standards Institute has declared it the standard language used from relational database management systems. Therefore, knowing it is a must in any data related job, be it a data scientist, a back-end developer, or even a marketing guru.

Table of Contents

Getting Bad Choices Out of the Way

Those who are often faced with decision making always advice to start with elimination. It’s much easier to make a rational choice between a few good options than try to find the gem among fifteen mediocre ones. Getting rid of the flawed methods is also a good idea when trying to decide how to learn SQL.You might have already figured out that formal studies are not the best way to learn SQL for beginners. University programs are never the best choice when you wish to master a single language and time is a priority. And it really is in this case, as you wish to master something that’s rolling on the wave of popularity right now! So, it’s only natural a lot of newbies are looking into alternative learning choices.Another classic way of learning is by reading guides and other informative books on the subject. Anyway, we are rather skeptical about using literature to learn IT topics from scratch. It might be compared to checking the weather forecast in a monthly magazine: technically possible but not advisable.guy searching how to learn sql

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The thing is, the industry of IT is constantly growing by leaps and bounds. The systems improve, new elements are introduced, and catching up to all of that might not be that simple – especially for the book industry. The process of print takes months. By the time the book reaches you, it might simply be unable to cover everything the program or system has to offer.

How to Learn SQL The Smart Way

Is SQL hard to learn? With the right strategy, it doesn’t have to be.If you’re a smartypants, you might have already figured out the best way to learn IT is, simply, the IT way. The internet offers endless resources, and you should really take advantage of them. If you wish to grasp how to learn SQL, you should be looking for online courses, articles, tutorials, and SQL examples to analyze. By having both your theory and practice at the same computer screen, you will be able to try everything yourself instantly. If that’s not the best way to learn SQL for beginners, we don’t know what is.

Go At Your Own Pace with Online Courses

When asked for their advice on how to learn SQL, most self-taught professionals swear by online courses. They’re not wrong: learning online offers you the flexibility that no evening courses or bootcamps could provide. You can study the material anywhere, anytime, and review it as many times as you need to absorb the new information. This is especially important for most beginners who prefer to step forward at their own pace.Accessibility is the key to comfort, and online courses are especially user-friendly in this point of view. Most of us are used to using the internet on a bunch of various devices. Therefore, only being able to learn on your computer might feel like a limitation. Luckily, a lot of courses, including the ones BitDegree has to offer, also have mobile access. When choosing among options on how to learn SQL, consider how valuable a chance to use your time wisely is. You could be learning while, say, riding a train – even if you don’t have your laptop with you.girl learning sqlYou can find both free and paid online courses. Don’t worry: compared to the old-fashioned courses or bootcamps, they are rather affordable still. Plus, unlike in formal studies, you can use the materials you received indefinitely.When looking into options on how to learn SQL, always make sure you choose a course from a well-known and reliable system, such as BitDegree. While a relatively unknown site might offer a cheaper or free course, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the professionally prepared course and quality material you were hoping for. Big platforms with a significant user base are usually able to attract more professional lecturers too. Doesn’t it go without saying that you should always aspire to learn from the greatest?

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As you research various online education platforms, pay attention to those that provide you with a printable certificate when you finish the course successfully. Sure, knowledge is the most important, but no official certificate will ever hurt your resume. Not only will it prove you’re capable of working with SQL, but it will also show you’re motivated, disciplined, and everlearning.

Look into Questions to Find Answers

While it’s true online courses are great and comprehensive, it does not mean you should stop there. The Internet provides you with a ton of other useful resources. As you search the web for how to learn SQL quickly and effectively, you will be presented with a variety of tutorials, articles, and SQL examples.You probably think it’s way too early for you to be looking for a data-related job that requires SQL knowledge. Still, we would suggest you pay some attention to the articles that cover the usual SQL interview questions anyway. Why? Because they will give you a much better idea of what will be expected from you in the workplace you might apply to.For the employer, job interviews are the opportunity to get the best possible impression of a candidate in a limited time. That’s why their questions are never random but chosen with the selection criteria in mind. That means they cover crucial areas – the ones you should pay the most attention to when studying. In other words, when you’re deciding how to learn SQL, interview questions might give you a good idea where to start.As you go through the sets of usual Q&As, you might notice some SQL interview questions can be related not only to SQL commands and the language itself but also to particular database management systems. If a certain company exclusively uses MySQL, SQL Server, or some other system, they might want to make sure you are familiar with them as well. By knowing what to expect, you might prepare in advance and make the best impression of yourself.As you look over the interview questions and other career-related articles, you might come upon some salary statistics too. Take a look at what professional data analysts and other professionals that use SQL in their jobs make each year. If you were still thinking ‘Why should I learn SQL?’, this might give you that bit of extra motivation you needed. A skilled professional is valued greatly in a company, and the financial side of it is also a nice advantage.

Let Language References Guide You

Don’t worry: no one expects a beginner to remember all the relevant concepts or syntax rules. Coding languages are extensive, and even the most experienced programmers don’t know everything by heart. However, as you’ll be looking at how to learn SQL, you might come upon a thing called language references.Most widespread programming languages have language references. They serve a purpose similar to that of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and manuals. By explaining various elements of a language, it becomes a useful guide for beginners and advanced coders both. Of course, it’s not something you would read in one sitting. Still, you will surely appreciate the opportunity to easily refer to it whenever you need to check something you came upon when analyzing various SQL examples.

Practice Makes A Coder Beta

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The simplest and probably the truest answer on how to learn SQL is to write SQL. It doesn’t really matter how many courses you finish and how many examples you review if you never pull your sleeves up and start doing it yourself. We can only really see how something works when we’ve witnessed every step. We also only truly learn to solve problems when we face them ourselves.The most popular database management system in the world is MySQL. It’s free, reliable, and open source. While it might not be the priority for a newbie, it is also sturdy and powerful enough to handle huge amounts of data. Get on it, create your own databases, and start trying out various commands. Enter some random information to your database at first. This way, you can experiment freely without the fear of rewriting or destroying any sensitive data.By trying everything yourself, you will gain SQL knowledge and skills much quicker. Getting familiar with an omnipresent system will prove itself useful too. After all, more than half of the companies use MySQL. They will surely appreciate it if you know it like the back of your hand.

Two Flints to Make a Fire

One of the most awesome advantages of being a developer is the ability to choose your work style freely. You might belong to a big team of professionals in an international company if you enjoy collaborations and teamwork. Or are you more of an independent soul who likes to control everything on their own? In such a case, you might work in a small office or freelance. The freedom of choice is all yours.However, just being on your own might not suffice if you’re taking your first steps in coding. All beginners need guidance, advice, and even mentoring at times. Teachers and study mates fill those roles when you’re attending a formal education institution. But what do you do when you’re learning on your own?When trying to look for ways how to learn SQL, always have in mind the Internet is full of like-minded people, and you should use that to your advantage. Join online communities, discussion forums, and specialized groups on social media. Having a place to discuss the questions and issues that arise straightaway when learning SQL is extremely helpful. You may often see people uploading SQL examples of their making to discuss, and publish your own as well.guys high fivingReal life meetings are a great way to find mentors or study mates as well. Try looking for SQL learning groups in your area on or social media websites. Belonging to a community helps your motivation. Plus, your peers are very likely to recommend you learning resources, tips, and tricks that they themselves found useful.

For the Last Page of Your Notes

With so many options readily available, choosing how to learn SQL might seem like a hardship on itself. As the popularity of the language is currently on the rise, no one wants to waste too much time weighing their options, too. However, at the same time, we’re all hoping to make the best possible choice.

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As we have already covered, data is a valuable asset. Knowing how to handle it correctly is important not in data analyzing only but in various other fields of work. Learning to write SQL commands and understanding it well will provide you with a highly flexible skill that employers value a lot.We didn’t cover every possible choice here, and we don’t even think it’s possible to do in one article. Still, we hope this tutorial helped shed some light upon your dilemma. Whatever you choose, remember the most important things are patience, determination, and motivation. Becoming a self-taught professional will take time, energy, and persistence. And yet you will surely find it worth that in the end.

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Various Front End Frameworks: Which Should You Choose?



In the word of programming, all operations can be grouped to front end and back end. The former deals with the client side of a website or an application, and the latter represents the server side. The main concerns of a front end developer include user interface (UI), responsive web design, accessibility and compatibility. All of those are not simple to manage – especially for a beginner.

Luckily, there’s a bunch of front end frameworks nowadays to help you out! In this detailed guide, we will introduce you to the most popular front end frameworks out there. Having all the info will definitely help you make the right choice.

Table of Contents

Bootstrap: the industry giant

Front end frameworks: BootstrapBoostrap has been sitting proudly among the most popular front end frameworks even since it was initially introduced in 2011. As of November 2019, one in five websites uses it, including those of giants like Netflix and CNN. However, it all started with a different name. Striving for consistency among the tools used internally in Twitter, Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton came up with what they called Twitter Blueprint.

Bootstrap 4 is the most current version, finalized in 2018. You can download it free of charge from the official website. Bootstrap runs on the web platform and supports the latest versions of all major browsers, including the default browsers on mobile devices. The framework is fully open source, and great documentation helps smooth the learning curve. If you want a heads up on how to use Bootstrap, try an introductory online course on BitDegree.

Bootstrap interactive course
Learn Bootstrap by doing in this interactive course

Bootstrap prioritizes responsible web design, simplifying it with a powerful grid system and utility classes. In addition to that, it offers a variety of pre-styled components that consist of HTML, CSS, and, in some cases, JavaScript. The framework also has some optional JavaScript plugins based on jQuery. However, Bootstrap does not support any JavaScript libraries coming from third parties, and the team has publicly declared their plans to get rid of jQuery in Bootstrap 5.

React: the top JS choice

React is currently the number one among all front end JavaScript frameworks. Just like Bootstrap, it is a web platform framework that started as an internal project for a social media company. In 2011, the developers at Facebook grew tired of some applications growing increasingly hard to handle. Hence, they created themselves a framework to be able to work more efficiently. This was the early prototype of React.

As of the fall of 2019, the newest version of React is v.16.11, and Facebook is not the only web giant using it. The client list currently also contains AirBnB, PayPal, and other famous companies. In 2015, the team also released React Native for mobile development (Android and iOS).

React deals with the virtual DOM and is especially quick with performing updates. It relies of JavaScript and consists of reusable components. While it’s rather common for a beginner to confuse them for elements, these are two different things: in their essence, elements are immutable objects. Components, on the other hand, are sections of pre-written code that stand for either classes or functions. You can customize them with your personal input by using props. To grasp the concept quicker, feel free to sign up for a BitDegree online course.

Vue.js: the lightweight warrior

Another popular choice among the front end frameworks is Vue.js. According to Snyk, it was downloaded over forty million times last year, which means it can certainly keep up with its rivals. Released in 2014, it is also younger than most of them, which means the team was aware of some issues other JS frameworks face and made sure they avoid them.

As a result, Vue.js is extremely lightweight – the downloadable files only take up around twenty kilobytes. Because of that, the system is incredibly fast and flexible. It’s also less restrictive, simple to learn and extend using various libraries and tools. All this makes it one of the best UI frameworks for a beginner. In the survey performed by Monterail, almost sixty percent of Vue.js users mentioned ease of use as the main reason of their choice. According to the Vue.js team, you only need to know the basics of HTML and JavaScript to be ready to take your first steps. The framework supports Babel and Typescript, as well as plain JavaScript. There’s also extensive documentation to guide you, which 75 percent of Monterail survey participants found useful. In addition to that, compared to other front end frameworks, this one has a rather small area of API surface, which simplifies navigation.

However, being the new kid on the block has its challenges as well. Compared to the the most popular front end frameworks, Vue.js has a much smaller community of developers. Being the official choice of famous companies, industry veterans have the advantage of a more reliable public image as well.

Angular: well-supported and inovative

augularjs-interview-questionsInitially released in 2009, this framework was called AngularJS. However, now this name represents only the releases prior to version 2.0 – all the newer ones are simply called Angular. Why? Because the system rewrite was just too major for the users to be able to simply migrate from one version to the other. Unlike Angular JS, which used plain JavaScript, Angular uses its subset called TypeScript which allows static checking. In addition to that, AngularJS was merely turning HTML to dynamic content. Angular, on the other hand, is much better suited for the modern web and works across multiple platforms, including mobile.

What makes Angular stand out among the other front end frameworks is its origins. Angular was created by Google engineers, and support of the industry giant always makes a system seem more reliable. You can be sure experienced professionals are responsible for all the updates, support, and further development.

Currently, Angular 8.0 is the newest version, but talks about the 9.0 release have already begun. The community is especially excited to see the Ivy renderer available for all Angular applications. Ivy is admired for simplified debugging and impressively shrinking the size on bundles, which is crucial for mobile development.

Bulma: the CSS youngster

When discussing front end frameworks, we cannot skip Bulma. According to the official website, it gets more than 600 thousand downloads monthly, and has over 37 thousand stars on GitHub. What makes it unique? First of all, it is the newest out of the bunch: the team of Bulma first released it in 2016. The latest version is 0.8.0, which introduces some color updates, bigger form controls, and color customization for the panel element.

Second, it consists of CSS classes only, so you don’t need any JavaScript knowledge to roll up your sleeves and get to it. Bulma contains over thirty SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) files, which can also be imported individually if you don’t need to use all the available features. What you also get is 100+ helper classes that simplify the development even further. Just like Bootstrap, Bulma takes a mobile-first approach and prioritizes responsiveness in web design. It also optimizes vertical reading by stacking the columns at the mobile breakpoint, as well as hiding the navigation menu.

Just like all the front end frameworks, Bulma runs on the web platform and supports the newest releases of all modern browsers. However, there is one catch: it does fall short on Internet Explorer (including the latest versions).

So, what’s the best UI framework?

Each of the front end frameworks we discussed have their own pros and cons. Going with the most popular option can mean a great and helpful user community, but rob your website of a truly unique look. For someone who knows the basics of CSS, a no-JavaScript choice might seem the most attractive – but won’t you miss extra opportunities later? The point is, everything depends on your personal needs.

All of these front end frameworks are free to download and use. Try a few before you make your choice! Better yet – master more than one. Indecision can be the key to flexibility, after all – and the more flexible you are as a developer, the better.

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How Can You Use Python for Finance?



Python for finance has a lot of advantages and a competitive edge to drive the financial industry to success. One of the reasons is the strong ecosystem, consisting of millions of users, frameworks, and tutorials. The finance sector approaches a new epoch with the help of Python and its libraries.

Due to the increasing amount of financial data, people are no longer capable of professionally reviewing and evaluating it. Therefore, machines step up for the job and at incredibly low-cost and high-speed, perform financial data analysis. There is a close relation between artificial intelligence (AI) and finance. Therefore, it is no surprise that Python has become the go-to language for AI-supported data analysis.

Before you start using Python for finance analyses, you should learn the basics of this programming language. For instance, this course consists of theory about the concepts of Python and some practical tips about data science performed with Python.

Table of Contents

Why is Python ideal for finance?

Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language with one of the best support systems in the field. This language strives to be beginner-friendly with its simple syntax, highly-resembling the standard English language.

Furthermore, the overall use of Python is a mix of English and mathematics when it comes to using Python for finance. Therefore, the syntax of Python is not that different from the regular way of writing mathematical and financial algorithms.

With Python, you can simplify the main tasks of financial analytics: data gathering, advanced mathematical calculations, and the visualization of results. Thanks to the wide selection of Python libraries, it is easy to find the best-suited module for your data analysis.

Python in finance is the leading programming language for performing quantitative and qualitative analysis. This language is involved in the development of payment and online banking solutions, in the analysis of the current stock market situation, in reducing financial risks, in determining the rate of return of stocks and so much more.

For regular data analysts, comprehending and basing statistical calculations on huge amounts of data is expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. By using Python, analysts simplify these procedures and can build informative visualizations of results.

Additionally, Python for finance is a popular choice due to its strong foundation for creating neural networks and artificial intelligence. Such machine learning models can make predictions according to the gathered data.

With these possibilities and beginner-friendly syntax, it is no wonder why Python has become the core language for financial projects. It is reshaping the way analysts perform data-driven finance analyses that are supported by powerful frameworks.

In this tutorial, you can find out more about the libraries of Python that you can take advantage of not only for finance but also for web and game development.

Uses and tools for conducting financial analyses with Python

Financial and data analytics is a concept of using technology, programs with sophisticated algorithms and mathematical calculations to collect, process, and analyze data. According to the gathered data, it is possible to predict future tendencies, make decisions, and spot other insightful details. Such predictions are significant when it comes to building risk management systems or determining potential movements in financial markets.

This Python for finance course covers the basics of using Pandas for analyzing data. You will learn to read text or CSV files, manage statistics, and visualize data.

Python: Get stock data for analysis

Investing in stocks should be a well-calculated choice since you are always at risk of stocks losing value, leading to you losing money. Even though it is tempting to explore online trading platforms and invest in desirable stocks, you should not do this based on intuition, luck, or mere coincidence.

Python in finance can help you make an estimated and lower-risk decision when it comes to investing in the stock market. To conduct such an analysis, you need to download the financial data from specific interest periods of time. For this, you need to use Pandas web data reader extension to communicate with the financial data from Google Finance, Quandl, Enigma or other databases.

For financial projects, the visualization of data is one of the crucial aspects. Therefore, it is convenient to import these features from the Matplotlib library. There are different types of charts and plots that you can use to illustrate data in a user-friendly way. Additionally, you can filter data by marking average prices or by estimated return rates.

This Python for finance course is perfect for learning how you can use the three main libraries involved in data science: Pandas, NumPy, and Matplotlib.

Machine learning in financial analyses

Predicting the tendencies in the stock market, which prices will drop, which will rise is not a one-way street. There are many factors involving the downfall or the success of company stocks.

Python in finance can train machine learning systems to collect information on the companies statistical data, newest announcements, revenue results, and other possibly useful information. Any of these aspects can be directly linked to the future of the company. However, all stock investments are risky, and even advanced finance data analytics or machine learning can be wrong.

One of the uses of Python for finance involves cryptocurrencies and their rapidly-changing values. You will use Python to conduct data analysis to predict the possible exchange rates. Almost every company related to crypto-currencies and their exchange should use such tools for analysis. For instance, Anaconda is the tool you should install if you want to analyze data related to digital currencies.

When it comes to packages for ML with Python, Scikit-learn is the obvious choice for many analysts. It provides simplified algorithms of ML that can predict future financial tendencies from the current context.

Python for finance: analyze big financial data

Python is a solid choice for conducting quantitative analysis that refers to the investigation of big financial data. With libraries such as Pandas, Scikit-learn, PyBrain or other similar modules, you can easily manage huge databases and visualize the results.

Therefore, you can easily generate charts of the ranging prices and other tendencies of the financial world. You can apply complex mathematical calculations to construct a context for further predictions and insights.

Time series data structures

A time series is one of the main characteristics of the financial sector. By definition, the time series refers to a collection of data representing situations at different points in time.

This concept is applicable for many purposes. For instance, it can reflect the flows of daily visitors of websites, or show price changes. To create and visualize this type of data structure, you would use Pandas and Matplotlib as well. For styling plots, you can also use Seaborn.

Banking software

Python in finance is applied for more than data analysis. For instance, many ATMs use Python for making financial transactions smoother. Many banks encourage their employees to learn Python due to the increased use of this language for various bank operations. Another application of Python in banking refers to improving online banking solutions with algorithms.


Overall, Python is the leading language in various financial sectors including banking, insurance, investment management, etc. Python helps to generate tools used for market analyses, designing financial models and reducing risks. By using Python, companies can cut expenses by not spending as many resources for data analysis. Additionally, the workflow is expedited to the point that a two-months workload can be performed in a day.

Together with its strong ecosystem, Python is a must-have for the individual data analysts and especially for large organizations. Knowing Python in finance-related jobs is also one of the advantages that a candidate can have. Therefore, you should not risk being left behind while other analysts perform qualitative and quantitative analyses with Python in the financial sector.

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