The different languages for coding

Coding and programming skills are some of the most in-demand abilities in the modern job market. As many more services transition to digital and online technologies, there is a need for people who can write and understand many different types of code. We take a look at some of the different programming languages and what they’re used for.

As well as exploring some of the most popular coding languages, we’ll also outline some of the ways you can go about learning them, including courses and ExpertTracks.

How many programming languages are there?

The history of programming languages actually dates back further than you might think. Early computer codes date back to the early 1800s, and since then, we’ve created nearly 9000 different programming languages.

Of course, many of these languages were specific to particular machines and functions and aren’t used anymore. What’s more, it wasn’t until the 1940s that the first modern computers were created. However, many modern programming languages have their roots in Ada Lovelace’s first machine algorithm, developed for Charles Babbage’s Difference Machine in 1843.

Today, people still use a vast array of different coding and programming languages. However, the list of the most popular ones spans around 150.

Why are there so many programming languages?

As we explored in our post on how to learn to code, programming languages act as an intermediary between human language and the language of computers (binary). In the modern world, we have all kinds of digital devices that perform many different functions. As such, programming languages are needed for all sorts of purposes.

Some languages are easier to use and understand for programmers (high-level languages) but offer less control over computers. Others are more machine-friendly (low-level languages), making them faster to execute and more memory-efficient, but harder for humans to understand.

You’ll also find that many coding languages exist to perform specific functions. Whether for particular machines or tasks, these can be quite niche and varied.