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Free yourself from hardware shackles to become a better programmer faster


(NOTE: This is a special post on the occasion of my 40000th contribution here. Parts have been written elsewhere. Note that I do love interfacing with hardware so take all with a grain of salt. The argument is that we should do more programming for fun, even if all we have is a computer.)


There is legitimate LabVIEW use for pure programming, solving math problems and simulations with just a computer, no need of external "hardware" I spend my last 20+ years writing mostly hardware-free programs (examples), some used all over the world. Whenever I am at a workshop, I spend a significant amount of time explaining why I use LabVIEW and why it is the best choice for these kind of programs. Still, if you go to the LabVIEW product page here, this usage possibility is not obvious!

Similarly, I argue that the love of programming can be learned more easily in pure software. It is much more satisfying to write an unbeatable 4x4 tic tac toe than to spend days connecting physical wires followed by a one-liner express VI to light up a physical LED with a $5 Arduino. Personally, I am happy with a virtual LED on the front panel that I can place in seconds. 😄 If you don't need to spend 80% of your time setting up hardware followed by quickly dropping some express vis, you can instead explore architectures and algorithms, becoming a better programmer 5x faster.

In summary, we all should spend more time programming and less time with hardware. We need better expert programmers, there are plenty of "electricians". The constant need to first find, connect, and troubleshoot hardware slows down everything and significantly lower the chance that any programming is done at all. If we focus less on hardware, programming for fun can happen anywhere you can use a laptop: on a long flight, sipping coffee at the corner cafe, even while watching the news on TV.

With a solid foundation gained in "pure" programming, switching to real world interfacing is a very small additional step. At that time, the resulting program will take less time and be better overall because the user has more programming agility and experience.

The advantages of "G" are universal and much too valuable to be confined into a niche market of DAQ and instrument control. LabVIEW is a real programming language for real programmers.


Use it for all the fun stuff at leisure, then go back to work with hardware with new confidence!


(Some extra reading by Jeff Kodosky and Elijah Kerry. Enjoy!)

LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
Message 1 of 11

Congratulations (and thank you) on your 40,000th post!

At work, I know my employer really values the ability to write software and be able to physically debug hardware. But at home, I don't have much hardware at all. Some things I've done at home are parsing credit card statements to easily add to my budget spreadsheet, polling a website to see when an item I want becomes in stock, and recording images from google maps periodically to see what a typical commute would be like from a different location. 

Message 2 of 11

Congratulations on 40K!


I knew it was coming up sometime in the not too distant future, but I hadn't be keeping close track.


But here is an interesting question.  Why is it when I hover over your username, the pop says you are at 25000?


I hadn't noticed prior to now what it has been saying for the last 15,000 posts.  I wonder if the pop-up is being "In Range and Coerced" to 25,000!


Message 3 of 11



Yes the pop-up value is wrong for some (look at yours!). It's a known problem.

LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
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Message 4 of 11

Congratulations Christian!


You have done the four-knight thing while I am still trying for double-knighthood.


I have to agree that recreational coding in LabVIEW can be quite fun.

Specially when your better-half leaves you home alone for the week-end with a case of beer.

Keep leading the way!



Message 5 of 11

Congrats on 40K! Cat Very Happy We deeply value all of your contributions here and in the LabVIEW community. Looking forward to the next 40K. Cat Wink

Message 6 of 11

@LiliMcDonald wrote:

.... Looking forward to the next 40K. Cat Wink

Reminds me of an old cartoon that went...


Accomplish the impossible too often and they will write it into your job description.



Message 7 of 11

@altenbach wrote:



Yes the pop-up value is wrong for some (look at yours!). It's a known problem.

It could have been worse


Congrats on the 40k.

Message 8 of 11

Hi Christian,


congratulations on hitting that 40K mark!


(A little bit late, but I visit this Breakpoints corner seldomly…)

Best regards,
CLAD expired, using LV2011SP1 + LV2017 (+LV2019 sometimes) on Win7+cRIO
Kudos are welcome Smiley Wink

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Message 9 of 11

Hi Christian,


Congratulations on the 40k mark. Can't wait to see you hit 50k soon.



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