What Is A Programming Language? 

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What Is A Programming Language? 

A programming language is a set of instructions written by a programmer to deliver instructions to the computer to perform and accomplish a task. This set of instructions is usually viewed as incomprehensible code structured following a definite programming language syntax.

Gaining a job in the IT industry is easy and also quite tough. You will need to possess both technical and non-technical skills. In terms of technical, the first and foremost skill any aspirant looking for a place in tech must acquire is the mastery of programming languages.

Whether a newbie or a tech student, you might have already heard about programming languages. However, you need to know that the term ‘programming languages’ is abstract. There are various programming languages you may and may not have heard of, and each is categorised under different categories.

Instead of jumping on to learn a programming language which is in demand, read this article to learn in-depth about programming languages and choose the one which sparks interest in you.

What Is The Difference Between Low-Level Programming Languages And High-Level Programming Languages?

Programming languages are mainly differentiated into two categories: high and low. Languages are categorised into these two categories based on their human level of understanding.

  • Level of Understanding

High-level programming languages can be easily understood and interpreted by people. In contrast, low-level programming languages are quite challenging to interpret and more machine friendly than human-friendly.

  • Ease of Debugging

In terms of understanding and debugging flexibility, high-level programming language wins since the code is easy to interpret, and the programmer can easily solve the errors in a code. However, considering the complexity of low-level programming languages, detecting the errors and their source can be hard.

  • Memory Efficient

However, low-level programming languages are memory efficient, which means programs excite faster using low-level languages. Compared to them, high-level languages are quite slow in terms of program execution.

  • Compatibility 

High-level programming languages are cross-platform, so you can work and execute the code on any platform. However, low-level programming languages are machine-dependent so that the code can be run only on a specific platform.

  • Translation 

Programming languages are a set of instructions provided to a machine and converted to machine-readable code. In this case, high-level programming languages use an interpreter to translate the code, while low-level languages use an assembler.

  • Usage 

Due to their simplicity and platform agnostic ability, high-level programming languages are prevalently preferred and used in developing software. However, low-level languages, though still in use, are scarce.

How Many Programming Languages Are There?

Though it is an evident fact that there are a plethora of programming languages out there, only a handful is popular and well known. According to Wikipedia, there is a whopping amount of 700+ programming languages. These programming languages are used for different purposes and come with other functionalities.

Generally, programming languages are categorised into high-level and low-level languages; however, as you dive deeper, there are even more types you should know about programming languages before settling to learn and master one.

Types of Programming Languages

Mainly there are five types of programming languages, they are:

  • Procedural Programming Language
  • Functional Programming Language
  • Object-oriented Programming Language
  • Scripting Programming Language
  • Logic programming Language

Procedural Programming Language

Procedural programming language is a language which follows a systematic approach consisting of statements, functions and commands to execute a computational task.

Some of the procedural programming languages are:

  • BASIC
  • C
  • FORTRAN
  • Java
  • Pascal

Functional Programming Language

Functional programming languages use the concept of reusability. This means each program consists of a set of functions that can be invoked to repeat a task until a condition is met.

Some of the functional programming languages are:

  • Common Lisp
  • Haskell
  • F#
  • Clojure
  • Elm

Object-oriented Programming Language

Object-oriented programming language or OOP relies on organising and encapsulating data in terms of objects instead of depending on functions and logic. With concepts like inheritance and polymorphism, this language encourages reusability, thus lessening the complexity of the code.

Some of the object-oriented programming languages are:

Scripting Programming Language

Scripting programming languages are used to design, develop and enhance an application’s or operating system’s features. Mainly it is used to provide the functionality to the characteristics of a system. Scripting languages are interpreted quickly and can swiftly execute code.

Some of the scripting programming languages are:

Logic programming Language

Logic programming languages are slightly different to the types we discussed above. They aim to convey restrictions to the system about statements the developer uses to consider the possible outcomes of other actions adeptly.

Some of the logic programming languages are:

  • Absys.
  • ALF (algebraic logic functional programming language).
  • ASP (Answer Set Programming)
  • Alice.
  • Alma-0.

The above discussed are the general types of programming languages, depending on purpose and functionality, such as frontend, backend, database, and business; there are other types of programming languages as well.

What Are the Widely Popular Programming Languages?

Though there are various programming languages for learning, you will need at least to master three to five programming languages. Though programming languages are quite tough to master, they can become easy as you consistently invest your time learning and practising.

Given the above distinctions of programming languages, you must have already decided what to learn. However, if you are still having doubts, we can help you. Here are a few popular programming languages you can easily learn to land a job with hefty compensation.

  1. Javascript
  2. Python
  3. Go
  4. Java
  5. Kotlin
  6. PHP
  7. C#
  8. Swift
  9. R
  10. Ruby
  11. C and C++
  12. TypeScript
  13. Matlab
  14. HTML
  15. CSS

The Bottom Line

Choosing a programming language to launch a prosperous career is common for everyone, whether they are computer students or novices. We hope that after learning about the many programming languages, you were able to select one that best suits your interests and objectives. After making a decision, be sure to join a trustworthy programming course to study the language and put your newfound knowledge into practice. 

If you want a free course to learn some of the basics of programming languages, try the free 5 Day Coding Challenge, where you can learn some HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

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