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Evolution of programming languages



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Programming is fun. It is always great to make computers accomplish tasks and do calculations by writing a program. Watching our program gets executed brings in a lot of satisfaction. Peace!

But, all of this wasn’t a day’s work. Believe it or not, it has been more than 200 years since programming came into existence. Though the 200-year-old wasn’t technically a programming language since it was devoid of calculations and logic, it ideally sowed the seeds of the programming language. In 1842, Ada Lovelace invented a machine algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical machine, forming the basis of the world’s first programming language.

In 1955, FORmula TRANslator(FORTRAN), the first-ever modern programming language came into existence. COBOL(COmmon Business-Oriented Language), ALGOL(Algorithmic Language) also came up, from which many of today’s modern programming languages have been derived. 

In 1964, the students at Dartmouth College invented BASIC, a language for those without strong mathematical knowledge. It was then re-written by Bill Gates and Paul Allen which later on became the first product of Microsoft. 

In 1969, the revolutionary C programming language was invented by Dennis Ritchie. It was powerful and efficient. Hence, Unix was rewritten in C, becoming the first Operating System (OS) to be written in a language other than an assembly language. Today Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS are mostly written in C.

In 1970, PASCAL was developed by Blaise Pascal. It came out as another promising programming language that is used for structured programming. 

In 1983, one of the best ever and revolutionary programming languages, C++ was introduced. It was a revamped version of the C programming language. Object-Oriented Programming made C++ one of the most popular programming languages. Still, many learn and get hold of basic C++ concepts before learning modern programming languages. 

In the period between 1981 to 1990, Matlab, PERL, FoxPro were introduced. They created a significant impact and are still used today.

In 1991, Python was developed by Guido Van Rossum. It gained huge attention among the Novice Programmers due to its simplicity. It was devoid of semicolon errors. Today, Python is widely used in modern and prominent fields like Machine Learning, Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Web development, Internet Of Things, etc. and Python developers are well paid. 

In 1995, programming languages such as PHP, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby were introduced. Java is still today’s most in-demand and widely used programming language. Java can be used in most software applications. Hence, a Java developer has a lot of opportunities. It was first created by Sun Microsystems to run set-top boxes. Rasmus Lerdorf invented PHP programming to create and maintain his Personal Home Page, which was abbreviated as PHP. More than 20 million websites today are using PHP. JavaScript was developed by Brendan Eich. Many assume that Java and JavaScript are related. But, they are completely different from each other. In the beginning, JavaScript primarily was only a client-side programming language. But, Node.js has enabled it to function well on the server-side too. Later on, frameworks such as React, Vue.js, Angular, etc. are all built using JavaScript which turned out to be one of the reasons that made the present websites dynamic and interactive. Ruby was also introduced in the same year by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto. One of the main applications of Ruby is web development. There are also many frameworks based on Ruby. Ruby on Rails developed by Hansson in 2004 is one of the most familiar and extensively used frameworks of Ruby. Hence, the year 1995 holds significant importance in the history of programming languages as it was in 1995, famous languages like PHP, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby were all introduced. 

Later on, many other programming languages came into existence during the 21st century. The above list contains most of the best and impactful languages. Few other languages were also introduced during that period. Here is a roadmap of the evolution and history of the programming languages. 

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