I’m an intermediate programmer, I would want to create a software to manage a cycling race. Basically I have to deal with a database, (order partecipants, compile PDF files with rankings and so on…) but i’d rather not use Access… Any advice?
Python is probably the best
if you don't want to redistribute your program. It's easy and quick to write and has tons of libraries.
I think the simplest apporach to your problem is to create a sample PDF in some office program and use it as a base for creatnig leaderboards.
Then load the database in python and add the data into the PDF with pdfrw. If you run cycling races you could also store all of the data in one seperate database and render some statistic graphs with matplotlib and put them in your PDF or your website.
PyQt4 or tkinter are nice if you want some GUIs. I'd say to go with PyQt4.
Visual Studio 2015 is an option to consider. Microsoft provides a free community version. You can write code in C#. There is a drag and drop designer included that makes it easy to build UI applications and also bind to data in databases. Windows Forms, WPF and UWP are options for desktop based UI platform.
Syncfusion provides UI controls and file parsing libraries for all of the above platforms.
Essential PDF can be used to generate PDF files.
The whole suite of controls and libraries is available for free through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue). Note: I work for Syncfusion.