The Evolution of Programming Languages | The History

The Evolution of Programming Languages | The History

The Evolution of Programming Languages: Language is a medium of communication that helps in the exchange of ideas between human beings. Similarly, a programming language helps us interact with a computer system.

 A computer system can’t do anything on its own. It needs clear and precise instructions to do anything from simple things such as to play a song or video and copy a file to complex actions such as editing video. Programmers are professionals who design and develop software codes to make the computer systems perform the appropriate tasks. They are recruited by IT companies based on their performance in an online coding test.

Just like computer systems have evolved since their birth, so have their programming languages. Based on their use and evolution, programming languages have been divided into four generations. Let us look at them one by one.

First-generation languages

The first-generation languages use binary codes of 0 and 1 to communicate with the computer system. They are also referred to as machine languages or low-level languages.

The instructions given using first-generation programming languages are fast and efficient as that is the only language that the machine understands without the need for any translator or converter. But machine languages are very difficult for humans to understand.

The series of 0s and 1s make it very difficult and time-consuming to write and update the instructions. There are high chances of committing a mistake and it is very difficult to identify and correct the error. Further, every processor has its own language and that made the first-generation programming languages completely machine dependant.

Second generation language

The second-generation languages use mnemonics and go by the name of assembly languages. A translator or assembler converts the mnemonics in the source program into binary codes of the object program that is finally executed by the computer processor. The

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) serves as the reference to translate the source program into the object program. The second-generation programming languages are still in use and help to write programs for electronic controls that use microprocessors such as computerized copier machine, telephone billing and more. They are slightly easier for humans to work with.

Third generation language

The third-generation programming languages use a combination of English language, symbols, and digits and therefore they are referred to as high-level languages. FORTRAN, BASIC, COBOL, PASCAL, PROLOG, C and C++ are a few of the popular high-level programming languages.

Since the processor can only understand binary codes, the source program instructions or programs are written in third-generation language need to be translated into the binary form before they can be executed. A compiler or interpreter translates the source code into the object code. While a compiler translates the entire source code into the object code, the interpreter translates the program code line by line.

In order to execute the source program, it needs to be translated into the object code and then an executable program needs to be created by linking the input and output devices in the program. The linker is the program that links the input and output devices and generates an executable program from the object program.

Fourth-generation language

The fourth-generation programming languages are basically software packages written in one of the high-level languages such as C, C++, JAVA, and Python meant for a particular application. They are basically for the end-user who can perform tasks on the computer without writing any programs and instructions.

The user only needs to enter commands which in turn call the specific program available in the package to execute the task. Oracle, SQL, MS Word, PageMaker, and AutoCAD are some of the common fourth-generation programming languages or software packages. These programs have been developed in order to perform some specific tasks and are therefore referred to as application software.

IT software companies hire programmers based on their needs and requirements. They administer online coding tests that help them gauge the skills of the candidates to select the right ones. By conducting code tests online, recruiters make life easier for themselves and the candidates. Recruiters can shortlist the appropriate candidates for interview based on the online coding test results, while the candidates can take the test at their convenient time and location. The right online coding test can accurately and quickly measure the skills of the candidates and help the recruiters make a reliable hiring decision.


Author Bio: Nikhil has been working as a Content Marketer for MeritTrac (Online Assessment Company in India) for the last 2 years.

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Debarshi Das

Debarshi Das is a passionate blogger & full-stack JavaScript developer from Guwahati, Assam. He has a deep interest in robotics too. He holds a BSc degree in Information Technology & currently pursuing Masters of Computer Application (MCA) from a premier govt. engineering college. He is also certified as a chip-level computer hardware expert from an ISO certified institute.

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