We program in various languages to analyze data, automate tasks, or make devices function as intended. We use the following languages:
- Python – our most commonly used language. It runs both the Hobgoblin WiFi tank and our tensile test machine. We also use Python to analyze tensile data, like tensile test data. Python is easy to program, and libraries are available for most purposes, such as multiprocessing, SQL, networking, image processing, audio processing, building interfaces and much much more.
- C++ – C++ runs much faster than Python, so we use it instead of Python when its performance is insufficient. With modern hardware this issue rarely comes up. It’s also possible to write only the sections where performance is critical in C++, while writing everything else in Python.
- Arduino – The Arduino ecosystem uses a language very similar to C++. We use it to program devices such as Arduino boards, Atmel ATMega and ATTiny chips, and ESP32 boards. These are extremely cheap boards (€2-€5) that feature built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, low power draw, and plenty of input/output pins, excellent for IoT applications
- VBA – For writing macros in Excel and other Microsoft Office products. Used to parse lists of orders, generate purchase order sheets, among many other applications. In many cases the use of macros is not required. Instead you can use advanced formulas such as SUMIF, SUMPRODUCT, VLOOKUP, and matrix formulas. This is more secure, and the results update live, so you don’t need to run the macro again after changing input values.