What are Some of the Different Computer Programming Languages?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

There are thousands of computer programming languages. These languages are used to control the way computers behave, process information, express algorithms, and handle tasks. Some computer programming languages have been around for many years while new languages, or variations on old ones, are developed every year. Computer programming languages range from the simple and easy to use to very complicated languages used by only the most technologically proficient programmers.

Computer programmers construct and modify programs using computer code.
Computer programmers construct and modify programs using computer code.

One well-known computer programming language is called Visual BASIC. Microsoft Visual BASIC is considered a high level programming language. It is descendant from Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC), a Disk Operating System (DOS) programming language. Visual BASIC is considered simple to learn, featuring codes that bear a similarity to written English. Visual BASIC is both visual and events driven, featuring a graphical environment for programming.

Computer programming using algorithms to give the computer instructions.
Computer programming using algorithms to give the computer instructions.

Pascal is also well known among those with interest in computer programming languages. Developed in 1970, by Professor Niklaus Wirth, Pascal is an imperative language. An imperative language is one that uses computations as statements, changing program states through sequences of commands. Professor Wirth developed Pascal to fill feature gaps left by other computer programming languages. His development goals included designing a programming language that would facilitate the creation of well-structured programs, allow for implementation efficiency, and prove helpful in teaching computer-programming concepts.

Fortran is a general-purpose computer programming language that was first introduced by IBM in the early 1950s. It is one of the most frequently used computer programming languages for numerical-based and scientific-computing applications. Fortran fits into categories reserved for general purpose and imperative computer programming languages; it is also considered procedural. It is frequently used in computation-heavy areas, such as computational sciences and climate modeling.

C++ is a high-level computer programming language. It is considered general purpose and is widely used for modern computers. Developed by Bjarne Stroustrup, at Bell Labs, C++ was first introduced in 1985. This programming language was developed for the UNIX environment, allowing programmers to enjoy an easier process for writing code and improving code quality. Additionally, C++ makes it possible to modify existing code without changing it.

Often considered a superset of the C programming language, C++ includes some features of the earlier language. It also boasts compilers capable of running C programs. However, there are major differences. For example, the C programming language, developed in the early 1970s, employs structured programming concepts while C++ is object oriented. C++ was designed with the goal of enhancing the C programming language.

C++, a commonly used computer programming language, makes it possible to modify existing code without changing it.
C++, a commonly used computer programming language, makes it possible to modify existing code without changing it.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a EasyTechJunkie writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I think knowing how to use Visual Basic is a huge help for anyone who uses Excel on a regular basis. Visual Basic is the language used to create macros, which are generally small programs that can perform an often repeated function.

I am lucky to have taken an introduction to computer science class while I was in high school where we learned how to use VB. I never thought that I would use it after high school, but I have.

I own a business where I use Excel to keep track of my various orders, invoices, and general bookkeeping. I've set up several macros so I can input a few key numbers and have the macro fill out everything else for me and do all the necessary calculations. Every time I use a macro, it saves me 20 to 30 minutes.

Like the last post said, programming can be a bit confusing until you get the hang of the syntax, but there are dozens of forums with people willing to help with your issues.


@stl156 - As far as programming for websites, one of the most popular languages now is called PHP. It is free to download the coding environment, and the language lends itself very well to integrating with HTML.

I have very limited experience with it, since I deal with updating some of the information on my company's website. From my own experiences, though, it seems like something that once you figure out the basics, it's easy to get things to work how you want them to. I'm sure building a website from the ground up would be more difficult than what I do, but if you say you have some prior experience you might be able to do it.

Luckily, there are a ton of free online resources like websites and forums with people willing to help with your coding problems. I've used them several times with success. Good luck!


@julies - I think jcraig brought up some good points. Having your son take a computer course is a good idea. Computers are one of those things where you can kind of create your own path, too. If he kind of likes programming but doesn't like the idea of just sitting in front of a screen coding all day, you might suggest something like website design or working as an IT specialist, since those jobs combine a lot of technical skills along with other things to break up the monotony.

I was also wondering if anyone was familiar with website programming languages. I am wanting to make a website for my business. I have a little bit of training with other languages, but not really website design. If someone could point me in the right direction to get started, I think I could make a decent website on my own.


@julies - It is great to hear that your son is interested in programming. It's also very good that you're encouraging him to test the waters to see if it is really something he would like to do. I started college with a major in computer engineering, but soon figured out it wasn't something that I would want to do as a career. People who are good at it and enjoy programming can have very successful careers, though.

The amount of education needed really just depends on the job he might want. There are a lot of community colleges that offer associate degrees in computer programming or something similar. Most employers are looking for someone with at least a bachelor's. For even more skilled positions, a master's degree is good to have.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), programming is one of those fields where you're really only limited by your abilities. The best programmers are always in high demand no matter what their degree.


How much college education is required for someone to find a job as a computer programmer? In addition to understanding the computer languages, do you also need to have a college degree?

My son is interested in this field and began taking an online computer science course through a local community college. I figured this would be a good way to see if this is an area he wanted to pursue.

This is something that has always come easy for him and he picks up on it right away. I am just curious how many years of schooling he would be looking at to find a good job as a computer programmer.

I am amazed at those people who understand all the different computer programming languages. When I was graduating from high school, this is an area I thought I would be interested in.

I took one computer programming course and realized this was not for me. I have one friend who has done very well with this, but I also know a couple other people who have had a hard time finding and keeping jobs in this field.

One friend would usually find temporary jobs for a year or so, and then found he was back looking for another job again. Even though he has the skills to be a computer programmer, he finally started his own computer business.

The computer programming skills he has does help him some, but most of his business involves selling computers and computer repair.


My sister-in-law took computer programming in college and has worked for the same company ever since she graduated.

Her company works with credit card companies and ATM machines, so their computer programmers have to be up on several different computer languages.

A few years ago they were switching over to a new system and this required all of the programmers to take extensive training.

I don't know much about computer programming, but remember her talking about the C++ program. This is way beyond my ability to understand.

What I find interesting is that even though she is a computer programmer, she doesn't know as much about general computer skills as I thought she would.

I spend most of my day working on the computer and can navigate that much better than she can. She just knows and understands why and how it works the way it does, and that is where I don't begin to have a clue.


will you help me to create a simple daily expenditure s/w using asp or accessor like that


What is 4th GL?

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