A brief history of programming languages

Programming languages are the means by which humans communicate instructions to computers. The history of programming languages dates back to the mid-19th century when Ada Lovelace created the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine.

The first modern programming language, Fortran (short for “Formula Translation”), was developed in the 1950s by IBM for scientific and engineering applications. COBOL (short for “Common Business-Oriented Language”) was developed around the same time and became popular for business and administrative applications.

In the 1960s, the programming language BASIC (short for “Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”) was created for education purposes, allowing non-experts to write simple programs.

In the 1970s, programming languages such as Pascal, C, and Lisp were developed, which introduced new features such as structured programming, dynamic memory allocation, and garbage collection.

In the 1980s, the popularity of object-oriented programming led to the creation of programming languages such as Smalltalk, C++, and Objective-C.

In the 1990s, the emergence of the World Wide Web led to the development of programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are used to create web pages and applications.

In the 2000s, languages such as Python and Ruby gained popularity for their ease of use and readability, while Java continued to be widely used for enterprise applications.

Today, there are hundreds of programming languages, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and new languages continue to be developed as technology advances.

Below is an accurate and concise history of the most popular programming languages. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently discuss the history of your favorite language with your community.

1800 – Joseph Marie Jacquard created the first heavily multi-threaded processing unit by teaching machines to read punch cards.

1842 – Ada Lovelace’s notebook contained the first published computer program.

1936 – Alan Turing and Alonzo Church laid the foundation for computer science.

1957 – John Backus created FORTRAN, the first useful language for programmers.

1959 – Grace Hopper invented COBOL, the first enterprise-ready business-oriented language.

1964 – John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz invented BASIC.

1970 – Niklaus Wirth created Pascal.

1972 – Dennis Ritchie created C.

1980 – Alan Kay invented Smalltalk, which popularized object-oriented programming.

1983 – Bjarne Stroustrup added features to C and created C++.

1986 – Brad Cox and Tom Love created Objective-C.

1987 – Larry Wall invented Perl.

1993 – Roberto Ierusalimschy created Lua.

1994 – Rasmus Lerdorf created PHP.

1995 – Yukihiro Matsumoto created Ruby.

1995 – Brendan Eich invented JavaScript.

1996 – James Gosling invented Java.

2001 – Anders Hejlsberg created C#.

2005 – David Hanselmeyer Hansen invented Ruby on Rails.

2009 – Ken Thompson and Rob Pike created Go.

2010 – Graydon Hoare created Rust.

2012 – Anders Hejlsberg created TypeScript.

2013 – Jeremy Ashkenas created CoffeeScript.

2014 – Chris Lattner created Swift.

As technology continues to evolve, new programming languages will emerge, making it necessary for developers to stay current and adaptable.