What are the most common types of programming languages and how to classify them?

What are the most common types of programming languages and how to classify them?

In general, a programming language is the set of codes and symbols used, under certain rules, to form the structure of a computer application or of the different types of web pages.  

There are hundreds of programming languages that exist. Although some are deprecated and others have very specific applications: in apps, to develop a web page, in artificial intelligence projects, etc. 

This is why it is of great importance to recognize what are the most common types of programming languages, and how are they classified?

Classification of programming languages

Programming languages can be classified using various criteria. The broadest classification being the one that takes into account the level at which the code works: low, medium and high.

High-level codes are closer to human language, while low-level codes are closer to computer language. According to this classification, we have:

Low level language

This type of language is used to create detailed instructions for hardware. It is widely used in operating systems, drivers and controllers. Within this category are:

  • Machine language. This language is made up of binary code (base 0 and 1). It is the oldest language and the one that is directly understood by computers. All language must be translated into binary code to be read by the computer or device.  
  • Assembly language. It has functions similar to those of machine language, with the difference that it can be easily understood and written by humans. It is an intuitive and shorter language.

Half-level language

This is a language that executes actions of greater complexity than low-level ones. Although, often, medium-level language is also called low-level. This is because it depends on assembly language for computers to understand.

At this level we find the languages C and C++, widely used for the development of operating systems, in the creation of integrated systems, games, IoT, etc.

High Level Language

It is the language in which terms similar to those of everyday speech are used, such as “if”, “print”, etc. This is why it is easier to understand in human terms.

To be executed by computers, it must be adapted to machine language by means of a compiler or translator.

A large percentage of programming languages are high-level, such as Java, Python or PHP, among others.  

The most common programming languages

Here are some of the common programming languages. Although, without any specific order, since its use can vary, depending on its applicability to a specific type of development or the knowledge or skill of the developer.

1. Python

One of the reasons for the great popularity of Python is its ease of use by beginners in developing simple programs. 

Though, really, is a language that can be used for any web and application development, being special for data analysis and artificial intelligence technologies with machine learning.

Python is a high-level language launched in 1991, characterized by having a huge and complete library and by being compatible with various programming paradigms: functional paradigm, procedural paradigm, etc.

2. Java

Among the main types of programming languages is Java. It is the most widely used code in the development of business-type applications. It was created in 1995 and, since that year, it has been one of the most reliable, scalable and secure in the IT industry.

Among its most notorious features are: compatibility with old versions, portability, high performance and platform independence. The latter being responsible for allowing it to run in various computer environments (Windows, Linux, Macintosh) or on mobile devices, through JVM.

3. javascript

JavaScript is a high-level and multi-paradigm computer language. It is the main code used for frontend web programming, serving to control the interactive features of web pages (alerts, pop-up windows, events, etc.).

For the development of applications that must be run on various devices or systems (cloud, smartphones, microcontrollers…), JavaScript is the best option among the types of programming languages.

One of the differences between Java and JavaScript is that, while the former runs only with explicit compilation, the latter does not.

4. C/C++

The programming languages C and C++ are low-level, with C aimed at an advanced programmer, while C++ can be used by a beginner.

C was created in the 1970s. While C++ is released almost a decade later, being an extension of the C language, but with additional features, such as object orientation.

Both languages have lightning-fast performance. This being one of the main reasons why they are still used in the development of operating systems, various system applications, cloud, integrated systems, real-time systems, etc.

5. PHP

PHP (hypertext preprocessor) is one of the open source and cross-platform types of programming language, so it can run in different operating systems (Unix, Linux; Windows, etc).

PHP is fast and simple code. It is widely used in the development of dynamic web pages, even in content management systems such as WordPress. Also in web applications and e-commerce platforms.

6. SQL

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is one of the most important programming codes. Being responsible for the creation and administration of databases and tables for the storage of information.

In addition, thanks to SQL, relational database management systems are generated, so necessary in the industrial sector.

Some types of programming languages are more or less complex than others. Those of higher level may be easier for beginning programmers. Of course, if you have skills, it will always be an option to train in this field and in the language you want. At Doowebs, your web design and development company in Valencia, we assist you in programming your website, e-commerce, personal blogs and any application you have in mind.