Programming requires problem-solving skills, logical thinking, attention to detail, and creativity. A programmer needs to be able to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks, write code to solve those tasks and test the code to ensure it works correctly. Programming is the process of creating software using programming languages to solve problems and perform tasks. It is an essential skill in today’s world, and learning to program requires dedication, practice, and a willingness to learn.
Why so Many Programming Languages?
The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia:
Thousands of different programming languages have been created, and more are being created every year. Many programming languages are written in an imperative form (i.e., as a sequence of operations to perform) while other languages use the declarative form (i.e. the desired result is specified, not how to achieve it).
It was mentioned in the previous section that programming languages act as a middleman, translating our instructions (code) from human-readable format to the format that computers understand, i.e. binary language. Because it is faster than converting by hand, programming languages serve as interpreters for converting languages into other languages. If programming languages play this role, you may be wondering:
We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this tutorial. This tutorial can be used as a supplement. You are free to skip ahead. Some of the terminologies may be unfamiliar to you if you are a beginner. Don’t be concerned. We will explain them later.
This is a taunting question. And a very legit one that “Why Are There So Many Programming Languages?”. If it only serves one purpose, why are there thousands of programming languages in use today, with more being developed every year? There are some very interesting reasons for this, which we will discuss below:
Creating Programming Languages As A Thesis Project
Many programming languages are developed as thesis projects by Masters and Ph.D. students. It was a routine trend in the past. So you can see why there are so many different programming languages.
Creating Programming Language As A Replacement
Every serious developer has had the thought, at some point in their career, that they could do better than <insert a popular language here>. Some would develop a new language to replace the old one.
Meeting The Technical Requirements
Sometimes this may happen to meet the technical requirements, or the best way to meet the requirements is to create a new language to express their solution. In this manner, many programming languages were created and are being created.
Programming Language As A Product
At one point, every major software company, as well as many smaller ones, saw a new computer language as a commercial opportunity. As a result, they went on to develop one or more new languages in order to sell or otherwise monetize them.
As a result of these factors, we now have an abundance of programming languages. Naturally, the majority of them are now long forgotten, with only a few capable of taking their place in the industry. The majority of those languages have been present for at least twenty years.
How do Programming Languages Differ?
The following quote is found in the treasure land called THE INTERNET:
"There's nothing you can do in language X that you can't do in pure machine code, except die of boredom & frustration mid-project."
We will also try to answer whether all programming languages do the same thing but in different ways, or whether are they used for different purposes in this section.
These are some hard questions to answer in a single article. Nevertheless, we will try.
Theoretically and mathematically speaking all programming languages are equivalent.
"All programming languages are Turing equivalent."
What this means is that they are all capable of computing any computable function. Though this is technically true this answer may be unhelpful to you and may even make you confused. In practice, Mathematical equivalence is a small part of the story and the programming languages vary widely from one another.
This is due to the fact that all programming languages are created by humans. Every person has his or her own thoughts and opinions. Is it geniuses who created a language that solves one type of problem but denies the existence of all others? Committees will sometimes create programming languages that solve every problem slowly and without elegance or insight. These are human characteristics. As a result, programming languages differ greatly in both intent and execution.
Take a look around you. Everything created by humans has one thing in common: they all differ. This is true of programming languages as well. Some languages are well-designed, while others are not. Some languages make certain tasks easier, while others make them more difficult.
Each language can be unique in how they operate ;
General Purpose Programming Language
Some are general-purpose languages that can literally be used everywhere.
Domain-Specific Programming Language
Some are designed for specific tasks.
Each Language also has an attribute known as power or level. In simple words what it represents is how similar it is to machine code.
Low-Level Programming Language
A compiler or interpreter is not required to convert low-level programming languages to machine code. In due course, we will explain what a compiler and interpreter are. Let us now concentrate on the Low-Level Programming Language section. The fundamental idea is that the lower the level of your programming language, the more closely your code will resemble what the machine can interpret as instructions. Low-level languages are easy to learn but difficult to use. Numerous technical details must be remembered. Programs written at a low level are optimized for a specific type of system architecture and thus cannot be used or ported to other types of system architecture.
High-Level Programming Language
In high-level programming languages, the details of computer architecture are highly abstract. It may use natural language elements, be easier to use, or automate (or even completely hide) significant areas of computing systems (for example, memory management), making the process of developing a program simpler and more understandable than when using a lower-level language. A programming language’s “high-level” status is determined by the amount of abstraction provided.
Which Language is Better?
Ask yourself these questions instead:
Which is better: German or Japanese?
Which is better: A Keyboard or a Mouse?
German is the mother tongue of approximately 130 million people worldwide. German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union, and it is an official language in four countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In addition, German is an official language in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Japanese is the official language in Japan and is spoken in 3 more countries as mother tongue by a part of the population. The Japanese language (native name: 日本語 (にほんご)) has its roots in the Japonic language family. It is most common in Japan, where it accounts for approximately 99% of the population. Around 125.8 million people worldwide speak Japanese as their first language.
German is not always better just because there are more German Speakers worldwide than Japanese. A mouse is not very useful while typing no matter how much you think your mouse is a special one.
Once you understand this, you should realize how absurd the question is. It won’t actually get you anywhere.
Some things to remember
Languages have no speed. So Java is not faster or slower than any other language.
Nearly all programming languages are Turing-complete. So your favorite language isn't more powerful than any other language.
Metrics, such as lines of code, are always linked to other properties, such as readability. Too many lines for a simple task is bad when there's much boilerplate code. But short code that is hard to read is also not optimal. There are always flaws in every language and APIs. As soon as the specifications are finished everyone is a little wiser and there are things that could have been designed better. The name NullPointerException is quite silly for a language without pointers. But you can find such gaffes in every language (except some simplistic esoteric languages).
Those who claim that some languages are better than others usually just lack experience and don't know the fields in which the other languages would be better suited.
Which is the Most Important Language to Learn?
The majority of technical literature, documentation, and so on are written in English. English keywords are used in programming languages as well. So English is the only language you must learn. It is critical to understand paradigms and concepts when it comes to programming languages. Learn object-oriented and functional programming, imperative and declarative programming, parallel computing, metaprogramming, and other programming languages. Learn a variety of programming languages. Java is a good place to start.