Today, there are hundreds of programming languages in use across dozens of industries. We may think that’s good news — programmers now have a lot more choices when it comes to which language they want to use. But how did we get here? How did so many programming languages come to be, and why do we have so many options today? Understanding their history will help you understand why modern programming languages look the way they do. It’ll also give you insight into where these languages are headed in the future. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of programming languages and examine how they came to be and what they mean for you as a programmer today.
The First Programming Languages
First, it’s useful to understand what a programming language actually is. A programming language is simply a language that describes a set of instructions that a computer can execute. These instructions can be used to solve all kinds of problems, from automating tedious tasks to creating complex systems. Some of the first programming languages were FORTRAN, COBOL, and Lisp. These programming languages were designed for use on mainframe computers and were written in binary code. Binary code is basically 1s and 0s. These early programming languages were very different from what we use today. They were mostly used by researchers and computer scientists and had very little impact on the masses. The first widely used programming language was probably BASIC. It was developed in the 1960s and was designed to be accessible to non-experts. BASIC was also easier to type than binary code, which was very helpful given the technology of the time.
Why So Many Computer Programming Languages?
The history of programming languages can be neatly divided into three eras: the era of scripting languages, the era of object-oriented languages, and the era of functional and procedural languages. Each of these eras had a specific purpose, and each era happened for a reason. Scripting languages came first. These programming languages were designed to be straightforward and easy to use. They were designed for quick and easy automation of tasks. They were designed for “quick and dirty” programming. They were not designed to be used for creating large software systems. Object-oriented languages were designed to facilitate large-scale software systems. To achieve this, they adopted a modular design, meaning they were broken down into smaller and more specialized pieces. They also had a “graphical user interface” (GUI) so that non-programmers could use them.
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The Birth of Scripting Languages
The Birth of Object-Oriented Programming Languages
Object-oriented languages were the second era of programming languages. Their goal was to facilitate large-scale software systems. To do this, they adopted a modular design, meaning they were broken down into smaller and more specialized pieces. They also had a graphical user interface that non-programmers could use. The syntax of object-oriented languages was more rigorous than scripting languages. This made them easier to scale up and less likely to break down. A few of the most popular object-oriented languages are C++, Java, and C#. In the second half of the 20th century, there was a battle between object-oriented and procedural languages. Procedural languages were simpler than object-oriented languages and were designed to facilitate small-scale software systems.
Eventually, functional languages emerged as a third family of programming languages. Functional languages were designed to provide “fault tolerance” and make it easier to write code that “stayed up” even in bad situations. They also used “graphical user interfaces” that are friendly to non-programmers. With the rise of the internet, it became increasingly important that software remained operational even in adverse conditions. This was especially important in industries like finance, which rely on uninterrupted service. Functional languages were designed to make this happen. Some of the most popular languages have incorporated functional language style or features, including C# and Java.
As we move forward, it makes sense to look back at the history of programming languages. Understanding what came before will help you understand the choices we have today. It’ll also give you insight into where these languages are headed in the future. The first programming languages were designed for use on mainframe computers and were written in binary code. The first group of programming languages was scripting languages. The second field of programming languages was object-oriented languages. The third grouping of programming languages was functional languages. Going forward, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a return to binary code. Instead, we’ll most likely see the adoption of newer and more refined programming languages.