Advanced programming is shorthand for the advanced-level programming techniques and concepts found in computer science.
Computer programmers typically move through three stages of competency – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – with advanced programmers working on more complex projects and typically earning higher salaries than their more junior colleagues.
Advanced programming concepts
Object-oriented programming, or OOP, is a programming model that all advanced programmers should understand. It’s more advanced than basic procedural programming, which is taught to beginner programmers.
There are four principles of object-oriented programming:
- Encapsulation. Encapsulation is effectively the first step of object-oriented programming. It groups related data variables (called properties) and functions (called methods) into single units (called objects) to reduce source code complexity and increase its reusability.
- Abstraction. Abstraction essentially contains and conceals the inner-workings of object-oriented programming code to create simpler interfaces.
- Inheritance. Inheritance is object-oriented programming’s mechanism for eliminating redundant code. It means that relevant properties and methods can be grouped into a single object that can then be reused repeatedly – without repeating the code again and again.
- Polymorphism. Polymorphism, meaning many forms, is the technique used in object-oriented programming to render variables, methods, and objects in multiple forms.
Event-driven programming is the programming model that allows for events – like a mouse-click from a user – to determine a programme’s actions.
Commonly used in graphical user interface (GUI) application or software development, event-driven programming typically relies on user-generated events, such as pressing a key – or series of keys – on a keyboard, clicking a mouse, or touching the screen of a touchscreen device. However, events can also include messages that are passed from one programme to another.
Multithreaded programming is an important component within computer architecture. It’s what allows central processing units (CPUs) to execute multiple sets of instructions – called threads – concurrently as part of a single process.
Operating systems that feature multithreading can perform more quickly and efficiently, switching between the threads within their queues and only loading the new or relevant components.
Programming for data analysis
Businesses and governments at virtually every level are dependent on data analysis to operate and make informed decisions – and the tools they use for this work require advanced programming techniques and skills.
Through advanced programming, data analysts can:
- search through large datasets and data types
- find patterns and spot trends within data
- build statistical models
- create dashboards
- produce useful visualisations to help illustrate data results and learning outcomes
- efficiently extract data
- carry out problem-solving tasks
A thorough understanding of programming language fundamentals, as well as expertise in some of the more challenging languages, are prerequisites to moving into advanced programming. It also helps to have knowledge about more complex concepts, such as arrays and recursion, imperative versus functional programming, application programming interfaces (APIs), and programming language specifications.
What are the different levels of programming languages?
Programming languages are typically split into two groups:
- High-level languages. These are the languages that people are most familiar with, and are written to be user-centric. High-level languages are typically written in English so that they are accessible to many people for writing and debugging, and include languages such as Python, Java, C, C++, SQL, and so on.
- Low-level languages. These languages are machine-oriented – represented in 0 or 1 forms – and include machine-level language and assembly language.
What is the best programming language for beginners?
According to CodeAcademy, the best programming language to learn first will depend on what an individual wants to achieve. The most popular programming languages, however, include:
- C++, an all-purpose language used to build applications.
- C#, Microsoft’s programming language that has been adopted by Windows, Linux (derived from Unix), iOS, and Android, as well as huge numbers of game and mobile app developers.
- Ruby, a general-purpose, dynamic programming language that’s one of the easiest scripting languages to learn.
- Python, a general-purpose programming language commonly used in data science, machine learning, and web development. It can also support command-line interfaces.
- SQL, a data-driven programming language commonly used for data analysis.
What are the top 10 programming languages?
TechnoJobs, a job site for IT and technical professionals, states that the top 10 programming languages for 2022 – based on requests from employers and average salaries – are:
However, it’s worth noting that there are hundreds of programming languages, and the best one will vary depending on the advanced programming assignment, project, or purpose in question.
What’s the most advanced programming language?
Opinions vary on which programming language is the most advanced, challenging, or difficult, but Springboard, a mentoring platform for the tech industry, states the five hardest programming languages are:
- C++, because it has complex syntax, permissive language, and ideally requires existing knowledge in C programming before learning the C++ programming language.
- Prolog, because of its unconventional language, uncommon data structures, and because it requires a significantly competent compiler.
- LISP, because it is a fragmented language with domain-specific solutions, and uses extensive parentheses.
- Haskell, because of its jargon.
- Malbolge, because it is a self-modifying language that can result in erratic behaviour.
Start your career in computer science
Explore advanced programming concepts in greater detail with the MSc Computer Science at the University of York. This flexible master’s programme is designed for working professionals and graduates who may not currently have a computer science background but want to launch their career in the field, and because it’s taught 100% online, you can study around full-time work and personal commitments at different times and locations.
Your coursework will include modules in advanced programming as well as algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning, software engineering, and cyber security. As part of this advanced programming course, you will also have the opportunity to explore the social context of computing, such as the social impact of the internet, software piracy, and codes of ethics and conduct.