Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Computer History - A Timeline of Computer Programming Languages

Computer History: A Timeline of Computer Programming Languages

In today's world, computer programming is required to keep the systems and devices we use every day operating smoothly. Programming languages enable humans to interact with machines and make them perform necessary operations. Humans and machines process information differently, and programming languages are the key to bridging the gap between people and computers.
1883: The first programming language was developed in 1883 when Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage worked together on the Analytical Engine, which was a primitive mechanical computer. Lovelace was able to discern the importance of numbers, realizing that they could represent more than just numerical values of things. Lovelace wrote an algorithm for the Analytical Engine, the first computer program, to compute Bernoulli numbers.
1949: Assembly language was first used as a type of computer programming language that was able to simplify machine code language, which is necessary for telling a computer what to do.
1952: Alick Glennie developed Autocode, which some consider to be the first compiled computer programming language. This means it could be translated directly into machine code.
1957: John Backus created FORTRAN, which is a computer programming language for working with scientific, mathematical, and statistical projects.
1958: Algol was created as an algorithmic language. It was also a precursor to programming languages such as Java and C.
1959: COBOL was created by Dr. Grace Murray Hopper to be a language that could operate on all types of computers.
1959: John McCarthy created LISP, which is still used today. This programming language was designed for use in artificial intelligence research, and today, it can be used with Python and Ruby.
1964: John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz developed BASIC for students without a strong background in technology and math, enabling them to still use computers.
1970: Niklaus Wirth developed Pascal, naming it after Blaise Pascal. This language is easy to learn and was the main language used by Apple for early software development.
1972: Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg, and Dan Ingalls developed Smalltalk, which enabled computer programmers to change code quickly.
1972: Dennis Ritchie developed C, generally regarded as the first high-level programming language. This means that it's closer to human language and less like machine code.
1972: Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce developed SQL for IBM. This language was used for viewing and changing data stored in databases.
1978: Cleve Moler developed MATLAB for writing math programs. This language is used for research and education.
1983: Brad Cox and Tom Love created Objective-C as the main language used for writing Apple software.
1983: Bjarne Stroustrup created C++, which is an extension of the C programming language. This is one of the most used languages in the world.
1987: Larry Wall developed Perl as a scripting language, used for text editing to simplify report processing.
1990: Haskell was developed as a functional computer programming language used to process complicated math calculations.
1991: Guido Van Rossum developed Python, which is a simplified computer language that is easy to read.
1991: Microsoft developed Visual Basic, which enabled programmers to select and change specific chunks of code with a drag-and-drop process.
1993: Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman developed R for statisticians who needed to perform data analysis.
1995: Sun Microsystems developed Java, originally intended to be used with hand-held devices.
1995: Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP, mainly for Web development. PHP continues to be widely used in Web development today.
1995: Yukihiro Matsumoto developed Ruby as an all-purpose programming language, ideal for many programming jobs. Ruby is widely used in the development of Web applications.
1995: Brendan Eich developed JavaScript to enhance Web browser interactions.
2000: Microsoft developed C# as a combination of C++ and Visual Basic. C# is similar to Java in some ways.
2003: Martin Odersky created Scala as a programing language that combines aspects of functional programming.
2003: James Strachan and Bob McWhirter developed Groovy as an offshoot of Java.
2009: Google developed Go to solve issues that commonly occur with large software systems.
2014: Apple developed Swift to replace C, C++, and Objective-C.
Today: Computer programming languages in use today were built on the concepts designed in older languages. Many older languages are still in use today or are being used as a foundation for new languages. The newer computer programming languages often aim to simplify the work of programmers. The continual expansion of technology ensures that computer programming languages will remain an integral part of modern life for a long time to come.

More Information on Programming Languages

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.


Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.

HP Rewards qualifying and eligible products/purchases are defined as those from the following categories: Printers, Business PCs (Elite, Pro and Workstation brands), select Business Accessories and select Ink, Toner & Paper.