Xojo possible to learn for 55+ non programmer?

I would like to create a program and use FileMaker for this at the moment. But I realize I would like to do things that can’t be done in FileMaker. Is xojo still within the reach to learn if you have no programming experience and are 55 year old already?

I looked at some of the programming language and it panics me just looking at it. Even with FileMaker I’m staying away from the programming side and only use the graphical elements.

In my humble opinion, absolutely. There are plenty of good resources and a great community that can help. Also, as you have something specific you want to do I believe that helps, just start developing, read when you need to and ask for pointers when and even if you get a little stuck.

Hi Andr, I did start with Xojo, not so many years ago. (5 years or so…) that will be at 40. Coming from both filemaker and Adobe Director.

It’s nice to do a real object based program, and also not having to use {} [] () ;: all the time… more plain english.

Try some easy tutorials, but first look at videos explaining object based programming. When you understand the building blocks of xojo programming, the languange itself will become easier.

Good luck.

The old REALbasic University articles might be helpful:


[quote=406334:@Markus Winter]The old REALbasic University articles might be helpful:

Yes. They’re almost 20 years old and still all the basic concepts hold up, as well as the “philosophy” of the language.

I’ve often wondered if @Marc Zeedar has thought about updating it but for all I know he may already have and it’s in xDev :smiley:

There are also many tutorials and ebooks out there more recent, as well as Xojo’s own getting started guides.

Andr, I think the short answer is yes. The long answer, it all depends on how much you want to learn and create things that exceed your expectations.

I started with Xojo a year ago. I had a few programming classes in high school and college (over 30 years ago). I don’t even remember some of the tools/languages used. I remember QuickBasic and FoxBase as the last I used. Previous to that something with an Apple II and some Basic with a Radio Shack computer, saving to cassette tapes.

What I’m doing with Xojo and SQLite is more than what I dreamed a year ago. Still a lot to learn, so I bet than in a year from now I can do much more. Just turned 50 last month.

Absolutely, yes

It is really easy to grasp and you’ll find yourself doing useful apps in no time. There are lot of resources for beginners and to grow up from that point.

If you have plain zero experience, maybe you want to take a look at this: http://developer.xojo.com/get-started

Absolutely. Xojo is one of the easiest languages to get started with because the IDE is very intuitive and it’s really easy to get something up and running within a few minutes which helps with confidence building.

The other great thing about Xojo is the community. I can’t stress enough how helpful I’ve found them to be. No one will judge you here.

Take your time, you know Rome was not built in one day.

I have a friend who’s 76, and he learned the Computer basis (courses), and alone, he started to use a smartphone (Samsung).

The only thing I told him was: learn a little bit (or more) each and everyday, then after some weeks, I remind him how much he now knows (vs some weeks ago).

He is happy.

Javier and Alberto hit the nail on the head with their answers. It can be as easy or complex as you like. I find the building of the interface with windows and controls reminiscent of forms in VB and Microsoft Access, in that it’s pretty much drag and drop. Each control has Sub sections for code (Textbox.KeyDown, Listbox.Click etc) which means you can produce quite an impressive program with very little code. Take a look at some of the Examples included with Xojo and it’s surprising how little code is contained in some of them. Charts and graphs is one side of an Filemaker-type application that could be more complex in Xojo, though definately possible. You can see that as a challenge but if not there are products like MBS ChartDirector that offer a premade solution.

I don’t think age matters much. Just a willingness to learn. The Introduction to Programming book might be a good place to start.


As also recommended by others, the Get Started page has links to lots of QuickStarts, Tutorials, videos and other materials that might help.


I think that’s what gets you over the initial decision-making hump to try it to begin with. However, once underway with actual programming efforts, I’d add “perseverance” (or “stick-to-it-tiveness”) to that. I remember the “sinking feeling” I’d get in the beginning (BTW … I was over 60 years old then) as I ran into problems that made me question my original decision. But each and every time, with the help of folks on this forum and/or just plain reading, Googling or trying tutorials and examples, I’d overcome the issue at hand and not only feel relieved, but have an inner gratification that I just “broadened my programming horizons”. With each such victory, my confidence would grow and in a relatively short period of time those “issues” became fewer and fewer … not to mention, my fear of tackling them diminished dramatically. Reaching the conclusion of each programming effort became quicker … and a helluva lot more FUN! Give it a go … and stick to it … you won’t regret it.

Thanks all for the encouraging words. I am downloading the Mac version now. What I especially cannot make happen in Filemaker was text fields that have so much text that it needs a scrollbar on the side, but I was not able to get that scroll bar. So instead I deleted a lot of text to make it fit in the text window.

Another thing is having a progress bar of some kind that can show me how much of the text fields and which text fields inside the project have been filled in.

If I can get these two things to work, I would already very happy!

Both things you mention should be no problem. A progress bar is a standard control and also a text field that is multiline and can scroll but I can’t remember the name of it! In my experience I find there is conveniently a lot of built in functions, for example your text field will handle scrolling up and down with the scroll bar on its own by default. But you can can change the behaviours of it if required.

TextField (no style) and TextArea (styled text) have both automatic ScrollBars.

I moved from Filemaker to Xojo with two resources and haven’t looked back:

  1. http://www.xojo.com/learn

  2. This forum

I would start simple. Don’t try and tackle everything at once. Learn how to manipulate multiple windows. Explore each control you want to work with. Go through the Example projects that look interesting (there are ton of them). Once you’re comfortable with all the pieces start to piece them together for you application.

Realize you’re going to make a TON of mistakes so come back to the forums and ask questions. We’re generally a pretty friendly group. We just ask that attempt to read the documentation, look at examples, search for the answer first, and then ask. Providing code samples are a plus.

If you like video training we have over 60 hours available at http://xojo.bkeeney.com/XojoTraining/ for subscribers.

Download Xojo and try it. Load any example and run it in the debugger. If you like it, you can buy a license later.

Here a my story how I came to RealBasic/Xojo Cross Compiler:
I’m working since 1980 with any kind of computer, operating systems and also many, many programming languages and script interpreter. When I’m look back of all these tools, one of the easiest programming language is “BASIC”, Xojo (RealBasic). Before I have changed my private platform from Windows to macOS (in 2003), I use any kind of programming language (like Visual Studio from Microsoft). At the beginning of 2004 I was searching for a tool to write my own little applications for macOS. I was using Apple Script for these little tools and Xcode was tool complex for me. One day I found “RealBasic” by a German distributor. With this cross compiler I could build my applications for Windows and macOS in an easy and fast way. It has the easy syntax of BASIC and has objects like C++ or Xcode. In the year 2012 my first app was available on the Apple AppStore. Now I have 8 apps for iOS and 41 apps for macOS in the AppStore and many others outside the AppStore and also for Linux platform.

Thank you to all at Xojo to make this possible and for creating this great tool. Thank you to Christian from MBS and Erik from Einhugur to create a lot of plugins, Sam from Ohanaware for his tool “AppWarpper” and his support and also to all peoples in this forum for your help.