12 Noteworthy Programming Languages That Programmers Use These Days
A programming language communicates instructions to a device. Calculators, computers, and smartphones — these devices run on programming languages. Programming languages control the device’s behavior or output. There exists hundreds of programming languages since the dawn of computer history. Some stood the test of time, while the others died with their machines. Those which stayed has evolved and has become today’s popular programming languages. These are the programming languages that shaped our technology today.
James Gosling developed Java in June 1991. The original plan was a design for an interactive television. But, the programming language was too advanced for digital cable TV at that time. Gosling designed it in the syntax style of C and C++. Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) released Java 1.0 in 1995. It is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented programming language. Designed to allow programmers to “write once, run anywhere”. Java runs on all platforms without the need for recompilation providing no-cost run-times. It has configurable security features that allowed network- and file-access restrictions. Major web browsers began running Java applets within web pages. Now, programmers use Java to develop all kinds of Android and desktop apps, and video games. It is also used as a server-side language for enterprise-level back-end development. No wonder it has become the most popular language among programmers.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a domain-specific language used in programming databases. Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce developed SQL at IBM in the early ’70s. Their version was then called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language). They designed it to manipulate and retrieve data in IBM’s original quasi-relational database management system. The acronym SEQUEL was later changed to SQL because of an existing trademark. Relational algebra and tuple relational calculus are the basis of SQL. It consists of programming languages for data definition, manipulation, and control. It is very common among programmers and has other variations like MySQL and Microsoft SQL.
Hypertext Pre-Processor (PHP) is a server-side scripting language designed for web development. It is also used as a general-purpose programming language. Created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page. PHP code may be embedded into HTML or HTML5 markup. PHP works with various web template systems, web content management systems, and web frameworks. More than 80 percent of websites today uses PHP. PHP is a popular language among new programmers because it is easy to use. It also does offer tons of advanced features for more experienced programmers.
C# is a simple, modern, general-purpose, type-safe, object-oriented programming language. Created by Microsoft within its .NET initiative, C# is one of the programming languages designed for the Common Language Infrastructure. Programmers use C# in developing software components suitable for deployment in distributed environments.
C++ is a general-purpose programming language. It has imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features, while also providing facilities for low-level memory manipulation. Bjarne Stroustrup developed C++ at Bell Labs since 1979. It is an extension of the C language because he wanted an efficient and flexible language which also provided high-level features for program organization. It is a powerful, high-performance language used to build system software, games engines and desktop and web apps. C++ influenced many programming languages including C#, D, Java, and newer versions of C.
Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991. An interpreted language, Python has a design philosophy which emphasizes code readability (using white space indentation to delimit code blocks rather than curly braces or keywords). It has a syntax which allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than possible in languages such as C++ or Java. Python features a dynamic type system and automatic memory management and supports many programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative, functional programming, and procedural styles. It has a large and comprehensive standard library. It is a versatile embedded scripting language, a solid foundation of many web frameworks, a preferred choice for automating tasks (including in 3D software applications), programming desktop tools, and performing data science and computation activities. Python’s flexibility makes it possible to build applications for various operating systems, including Android. Tech giants like Google and Yahoo along with NASA, PBS, and Reddit use Python for their websites.
Go (often referred to as golang) is a free and open source programming language created at Google in 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. It emphasizes simplicity, high performance, efficiency and in-built support. And it’s easy to learn. It is a compiled, statically typed language in the tradition of Algol and C, with garbage collection, limited structural typing, memory safety features and CSP-style concurrent programming features added. It began as an experiment to design a new programming language that would resolve common criticisms of other languages while maintaining their positive characteristics. Go 1.0 was released in March 2012
Rust is a general purpose programming language sponsored by Mozilla Research. It is designed to be a “safe, concurrent, practical language”, supporting functional and imperative-procedural paradigms. Rust is like C++, but with better memory safety while maintaining performance. Rust is open source software. The design of the language has been refined through the experiences of writing the Servo web browser layout engine and the Rust compiler. A large part of current commits to the project are from community members. Rust was developed as an upgrade to C and C++, and handles the same kinds of programming tasks as C. It’s general purpose and is focused on type safety, memory safety, concurrency and performance. Security is its biggest advantage. Rust won first place for “most loved programming language” in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey in 2016 and 2017.
Hack is a programming language for the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), created by Facebook as a dialect of PHP. The language implementation is open-source and was introduced on March 20, 2014. Before the announcement of the new programming language, Facebook had already implemented the code and “battle tested” it on a large part of its web site. Hack is designed to inter-operate seamlessly with PHP, which is a widely used open-source general-purpose scripting language that was designed for web development and can be embedded into HTML. A majority of valid PHP scripts are also valid in Hack. It’s holding up the back end of the most popular website/app in the world… a website with 1.5 billion active users who use it for everything from instant messaging to shopping to playing games.
The D programming language is an object-oriented, imperative, multi-paradigm system programming language. Walter Bright of Digital Mars created and released it in 2001. D is a distinct language, having redesigned some core C++ features while also taking inspiration from other languages like Java, Python, Ruby, C#, and Eiffel. D’s design goals attempt to combine the performance and safety of compiled languages with the expressive power of modern dynamic languages. Type inference, automatic memory management and syntactic sugar for common types allow faster development, while bounds checking, design by contract features and a concurrency-aware type system help reduce the occurrence of bugs. It has been used by Facebook, and has built up a consistent and loyal following.
Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. Yukihiro Matsumoto designed and developed this programming language during the ’90s in Japan. He described Ruby as “Lisp language at its core, with an object system like that of Smalltalk, blocks inspired by higher-order functions, and practical utility like that of Perl”. It supports functional, object-oriented, and imperative programming paradigms. It also has a dynamic type system and automatic memory management. Ruby is particularly suited to solo programmers and niche projects. That is why it was so popular with freelancers and start-ups.