What Is the Purpose of Different Programming Languages?

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Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

The entire IT industry is built on programming and coding skills. Good foundations are created using the appropriate programming languages. These languages work with the code of an application, primarily in the background, to handle varying amounts of data.

Since the release of the first programming language, thousands more have popped up. Technological advancements have led to the need for programming languages to be updated. Additionally, as new features are discovered, many languages specialize in the function of those features. This means choosing the appropriate programming language for a development project is important.


Coding skills are the root of programming languages. From binary (i.e. zeros and ones) languages to ones where words are used as commands, the purpose of a language can vary depending on how it incorporates code. Different skills may also be required as a result. Most languages now rely more on word-based commands that are designed to make coding easier and more accessible. The level of coding skills needed could determine which programming language should be used as well.

Popular Languages

Though there are thousands of languages to choose from, developers tend to gravitate toward a smaller percentage for a number of reasons. These can include feature specialization, data security, level of coding and skills, or how well they handle a large amount of data.

Some of the most popular programming languages include:

  • Python
  • Java/JavaScript
  • PHP
  • R
  • C/C++/C#
  • SQL

The Purpose of Programming Languages

Most languages are object-oriented, meaning they focus on the data (objects). Functional programming is another type of language that looks at numbers and can handle large analytical data.


Python was released in the 1990s and is object-oriented. It’s an extremely popular programming language that is adaptable, as well as flexible to the stages of development. One of the things that makes it popular is its simpler learning curve compared to Java.


One of the oldest programming languages still used, C was presented to the public in 1972. It’s complex and has inspired the creation of the top languages out there. C specializes in system application creation that utilizes Windows and Linux operating systems. As with most older programming languages, C suffers from a steep learning curve that often turns away younger, inexperienced developers.


This language sits between C and Python in how simple it is to learn. Java is known for its ‘code once, use everywhere’ philosophy. By allowing the same code to be used on virtually any Java-compatible platform, Java is one of the most flexible languages in the world.


Programming languages are necessary in any kind of technology-based development project. The capabilities of each language often get weighed against one another. However, it’s nearly impossible to say which one is the ‘best language’. Development projects all have a certain purpose or function, and developers should consider that before picking a programming language or any other development tool. Languages like Python, C, and Java will always exist because they keep up with the evolution of technology. Ultimately, a programming language that can do that, and do it well, is at least worth considering.