Evolution of Programming Languages

We, human, communicate with each other using words and signs. Simply we use our own language to make others understand what we need or do.

So are the Programming languages.

We use them to communicate with machines which practically do not understand human languages or gestures. They are the core for technological advancement that we have achieved so far.

From the time Abacus invented by our ancestors they felt the need for a machine understanding language.

Pascaline which used punch cards as the way to fetch in data was the next step towards a proper machine language. Blaise Pascal invented Pascaline.

When Charles Babbage invented Differential Engine in 1822 and later half way of Analytical Engine, the base for today’s tiny powerful computers were laid. Although he could not complete it up to the expected level he is considered the ‘Father of Computing’.

In 1957, IBM Computers Inc. came up with first major Programming language FOTRAN. It was very good at handling numbers but inputs and outputs. So the business computing world wanted a more sophisticated language.

As a remedy,  COBOL came in 1959.Its statements resemble to English –like grammar. So it was easy to learn and manipulate.

Then ALGOL, LISP were introduces which were  intended for special purposes. ALGOL was mainly for algorithmic purposes and LISP was for Artificial Intelligence researches. In 1968, Pascal was introduced basically to facilitate as a teaching tool.

Then in 1972, Bell Labs introduced C programming language for new Unix system. It was a powerful machine language went inline with Pascal.

C is very commonly used to program operating systems such as Unix, Windows, the MacOS, and Linux.

When new programming concept emerged as ‘Object Oriented Programming’ or commonly known as ‘OOP’ , C++ was introduced which carried the speed of C and OOP together. Until to this date, C++ remains as a top choice among game developers and web site back-end developers.

In early 1990’s, world renowned ‘Java’ came into the stage by Sun Microsystems. Its specialties were,

  • Cross platform performance
  • Garbage collection to save disk space
  • OOP

After that a dozen of languages came up namely as PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Node.js, Doctor Racket, Ruby ,R,Rust,Angular etc.Below shows a graph with most popular programming languages of 2016.

Different programming languages are designed to fulfill different purposes.

Some works well with mathematics, calculus, statics while some other supports better UX/UI, buliding front end/back end in a web site with faster data fetching.

Here is a table that shows the dispersion of Programming Languages across various popular sites that we are very much familiar with.

Source: Wikipedia.com

Oshani Weerakoon

Batch 14/15

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