Coding

Guide to Different Programming Languages

Steve Jobs once said, “Everybody should learn to program a computer because it teaches you how to think!” 

A question may pop into your mind: What has programming language got to do with our brain’s ability to think? If you find yourself wondering about such questions related to coding, keep reading.

There are numerous applications we use these days to streamline our daily tasks. Such applications saw a rise with the invention of a few popular programming languages like FORTRAN, in 1954.

What is a programming language?

In this tech-led era, a computer has become a hub where we carry out most of our various personal and professional tasks. But the computer doesn’t work by itself; it is programmed to do so, having various applications. Computers and their applications understand the programming languages that are created by humans and instructed by humans.

A computer programming language is a set of instructions that allow software developers or programmers assign specific tasks to the computer. Humans have multiple languages to communicate, so does the computer. However, computers do not understand verbal words. That’s why a programmer codes with a programming language of their choice, to communicate with the computer.

Why is there a need to learn a programming language? 

Computers have considerable influence on our lives and as much as we would like to control that, we depend on it to save time, efforts and cost. Learning a programming language gives you an added advantage by helping you switch from a consumer’s place to that of a creator. And looking at the academic benefits, learning to code increases thinking ability and logical reasoning. One could also focus on the high-in-demand Tech jobs, but we would like to emphasize on the educational benefits for now.

You may ask, there are dozens of popular programming languages in the world and is it possible to master them all? Well, no. You don’t have to.

But if you are interested in learning multiple languages, know that learning one text-based coding language will make you an efficient learner and help catch up on other languages faster.

Let’s dig deeper into the coding elements to understand how programming works:

Logic

No matter what problem you are trying to solve, there will always be a logic supporting it and the efficient deployment of this logic will enhance your applications. 

Variables and declaration

All the popular languages have variables that they use during programming the applications by declaring them in specific formats.

Syntax

Each language has a particular syntax to program applications. It controls the structure of the symbols, punctuation, and words of a programming language.

Control Structure

The control structure is used for decision-making in a programming language. There hardly exists any language without a control structure. It is often available in the framework which the programmer uses for coding.

Input/ Output Scheme

The popular languages have different schemes to take input and display the output of the code. But it exists in all languages.

We have a bunch of popular languages in the market that use various development frameworks to produce required applications for various users. The overviews of few highly demanding primary languages are listed below:

Python

Python is a high-level language that is significantly used in artificial intelligence and is a general-purpose language.

It was developed at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in the Netherlands, while its implementation started at end of 1989. It is extremely easy to understand and adapt, the reason why we teach Python in Tekie’s classes.

Prominent Features

  • Open source and free
  • Pure object-oriented language
  • Built-in libraries
  • Easy to learn with simple syntax
  • Platform portability

Platforms for Guidance

  • Python Community
  • Stack Overflow

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

It is a standard language and can integrate various technologies to produce web pages.

HTML is the creation of Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 initially developed to share documents online. Although its first description for the public was published in 1991.

Prominent Features

  • Platform independent
  • Hypertext support
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Markup language

Platforms for Guidance

  • W3School
  • Stack Overflow
  • HTML forums

Java

It is an object-oriented and class-based language mainly used for web-based development.

Java was developed at Sun Microsystem in 1990 and was initially known as Oak. Its promising feature is WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere.) Oracle currently owns the Java SE platform.

Prominent Features

  • Portable
  • Network Library (Extensive)
  • Secure and Robust

Platforms for Guidance

  • Java community
  • Stack Overflow

Scratch 3.0

It is generally used for educational programming, to teach coding to younger kids. It was primarily developed for kids by Mitch Resnik at MIT. 

Prominent Features

  • Visual block GUI
  • Attractive for kids

Platforms for Guidance

  • Scratch community
  • Stack Overflow

JavaScript

It is a multi-paradigm and just in time (JIT) compiled language. JavaScript designed in 1995 at Netscape-A Mosaic web browser.

Prominent Features

  • Generates HTML content
  • Arrow function
  • Shorthand support for developers

Platforms for Guidance

  • W3Schools
  • Stack Overflow
  • JS Webinars

C#

Unity is a framework and game engine that teaches children to program. The language is similar to Java. It was developed by Microsoft around 2000 and got ISO certified in 2003.

Prominent Features

  • Windows app development
  • .NET support
  • Desktop applications

Platforms for Guidance

  • W3Schools
  • Stack Overflow

Swift

It is a general-purpose language and children take a keen interest in it due to its colourful interface and gamified framework. Swift is developed by Apple Inc. and first released in 2014 along with few contributors.  

Prominent Features

  • Supports AR enabled apps
  • Gamified GUI

Platforms for Guidance

  • Swift developer forums
  • Stack Overflow

C++

It is an object-oriented and mid-level popular language. It acts a hybrid language due to the involvement of C language. We consider it as an extension of C language and its first edition was released in 1985. 

Prominent Features

  • Supports latest MS Office suite
  • Quick compilation mechanism 

Platforms for Guidance

  • Codeguru
  • Stack Overflow
  • W3Schools