Journey of Programming Languages

It looks so fascinating to me when I see the development of programming
languages. Any digital device we use in our everyday life depends on an algorithm
developed through a computer programming language. This is simply how
computers communicate with each other. As time progresses, it is getting easier to
code and develop any product.

In our digital age where almost anything is instantly possible with a few clicks, it’s
easy to forget how far we have traveled on a journey of incredible technological
advancement; according to some estimation there may be 100 to 9000
programming languages.

Programming language is a computer language used by programmers – or software
developers – in order to communicate with computers and other digital devices. It
is essentially a series of instructions, or algorithms, written within a specific
language environment like Python and C, with the primary goal of performing a
wide range of specific tasks.

It started with Charles Babbage, who had made an analytical engine, and Ada
Lovelace, who wrote the instructions for this device, and thus the journey began.
Earlier, developers used machine language to communicate with the computer,
however, it was difficult to learn. To handle the difficulty of understanding
machine language, in 1949, Assembly Language came into existence. It is a type of
low-level language. It mainly consists of instructions (kind of symbols) that only
machines could understand. In today’s time also assembly language is used in real-
time programs such as simulation flight navigation systems and in medical

Acceptance of Assembly language paved the way for High level languages and in
1957, Fortran programming language took birth. Following this, many languages
came up. COBOL in 1959, BASIC in 1964 and the most popular C in 1972.

There are some top programming languages used across the software industry to
develop a product like Python, Java , C++, C and R.

Created in 1991, Python is a high-level programming language with an emphasis
on code readability, vast libraries, and framework. Its features like Open-source
programming language, integration with web services, user-friendly data
structures, extensive support modules and community development made it very
popular. C++ has been the main programming language in computer science opted
by CBSE board students. It was around 2016 when CBSE gave the option to study
Python to CBSE learners.

Initially, Java was developed for cable boxes and hand-held devices. As the time
progressed, it has upgraded so much that today, it is almost everywhere – from the
World Wide Web to smartphones to computers. It is one of the best programming
languages and is widely used today after Python. For many years Java has been the
preferred language of ICSE, ISC and IB board students.

R is extensively used to handle large volumes of data for building statistical
software as well as to analyze the data and design machine learning algorithms. R
is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and
graphical display.

Of late, there are many tools available, through which children can easily develop
their programming skills. Tools like Scratch, Microsoft Makecode make the
programming easy and entertaining for the children. At Vellore International
School, we train the children in programming languages like Python, Java,
Makecode and Scratch that will enhance their programming skill and will pave the
way for them to be successful software developers.

Krishna Bihari Gupta
Computer Department
Vellore International School, Chennai


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