Ready to try something different with your Arduino? You don’t have to be limited to C programming. Take these alternative languages ​​for a test drive.

The Arduino IDE is the core of the project’s ethos — it’s a user interface that tries to turn a hard task into learning a programming language. that anyone can strike. This is certainly a noble cause, but there may well come a time when the IDE will limit your creativity.

Just as there are a huge number of different programming languages, there are many different reasons why you might need a different approach to programming. who will help who will help One language may make more logical sense to you, while another user may thrive in a completely different framework.

It’s important to find a language that speaks to you and the goals you want to achieve.


Arduino is built on a simple programming language that should welcome beginners, but if you’re lacking experience, a tool like ArduBlock might be worth checking out. Instead of typing code, you will be able to visually design your program using the same set of features as you normally would.


It’s great for little users but don’t think it’s «Arduino for kids». Some people just have a brain that works better with visual stimuli — and while ArduBlock is far from aesthetically pleasing in terms of its user interface, it does provide a very logical way to code for visual learners. At the same time, you are still familiar with the function names and variables that you need to use if you decide to move to the full Arduino IDE.

ArduBlock is a downloadable tool that runs as an overlay on the official Arduino development environment. The final product will look exactly like a program created using the normal process, so this is a great first step if you’re just getting started. For those who aren’t quite ready to learn a programming language directly, this is a great way to learn key concepts without getting carried away by the technicalities of coding.


Based on Berkeley’s visual drag and drop programming language, Snap4Arduino offers a slightly different experience than ArduBlock. The method of creating your sketches in the visual designer remains much the same, but obviously this software is aimed at a slightly older audience.


Snap4Arduino with a cleaner UI and less emphasis on bells and whistles, so not patronizing at all. It doesn’t make any sense that this is an easier method of programming — it’s just different from the norm. Although it is offered as a beta version, and its developers admit that there are still many bugs, it is very convenient to use.

One way to install Snap4Arduino is that it requires StandardFirmata . If you already have the Arduino IDE installed on your computer, it’s easy to take it apart — just open it and select » Files» > » Examples» > » Firmata» > » StandardFirmata» . Download this to your board and you can interact with it from Snap4Arduino. Please note that you cannot compile programs created in Snap, just interact with the Arduino while it is connected to your computer.


Serial communication provides the Arduino with a convenient and flexible way to communicate with your computer — you probably lacked functionality in your first experiments with the device. With a library like CmdMessenger you can go beyond using serial and just check out an Arduino sketch and start using it to code in a completely different language.

You can run CmdMessenger either in Microsoft Visual Studio or a similar third party alternative. From there you can exchange information between your PC and Arduino using C# so you can do things like call functions and send and receive commands.


Another way to program in C# is to use a specially designed fork device such as Netduino . Because it’s built on the .NET Micro Framework, Netduino runs C# natively, right out of the box. Although the pinout is compatible with Arduino shields, it is a completely different microcontroller and therefore not suitable if you want to program from C# on the Arduino you already have.


While your Arduino cannot run code written in Python out of the box, it is possible to use Python to communicate with the device via serial input. This is very easy on a Unix-like system, but if you’re on a PC or Mac, then pySerial can bridge that gap. You can download pySerial from its developers’ website, which also has information on running the software on various operating systems — make sure you also have a copy of Python on your system.


You can find more information about reading and writing data to Arduino via pySerial on the Arduino Playground, but be aware that this is a fairly advanced technique. If you’re already well versed in Python, then chances are you’ll be well versed in getting it up and running — but if you’re relatively new to the language or Arduino, there are gentler ways to get started. than this.

At the same time, Python is very well suited for use in combination with Arduino. It is a coding language designed for intuitive understanding and is therefore often recommended as a springboard for other forms of coding. What’s more, if you ever manage to upgrade from an Arduino to a similar Raspberry Pi, you’ll find that your Python experience comes in very handy.

Have you had success using other programming languages ​​or IDEs with your Arduino? Let us know about it in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Code Via Shutterstock

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