Computer Science Basics: Types of Coding Languages
Discover the best coding language to learn for a variety of applications. Choose the right coding languages to launch your programming career.
Updated April 22, 2022
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Computer science programs emphasize strong coding skills. Most programmers focus on a variety of languages and specialize in using code for a particular type of project, such as gaming, cloud-based platforms, or e-commerce. The following guide explores your options.
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What Are Coding Languages?
Coding languages enable computers to understand human-generated instructions for various commands and computations. Writing code allows humans to translate information into a language computerized machines can process. Coding languages are essential for building websites, developing mobile apps, and running cloud-computing services.
What Are Coding Languages Used For?
Computer code is a universal language used for connecting computers and cloud systems. Coding is required for computers to communicate within their own networks and operate on the largest communal network of all, the internet.
A computer must take several steps to understand and execute a command from code. A computer's compiler tool converts the code written by a computer programmer into binary code, then the linker tool attaches it to the rest of the coding sequence. Finally, the computer can open and run the file to execute the command.
Some like-minded languages can work together. For example, some low-level and high-level languages are respectively interoperable. During the compiler phase of the code translation, some elements of one type of code may merge with another, in some cases, making both readable to the computer.
What Are the Types of Programming Languages?
Programming languages serve different specific purposes and are classified accordingly. Languages may be used for a specific part of the translation process, such as machine, assembly, and high-level. All programming languages fall into one of two broad categories: high-level or low-level.
High-level Coding Languages
High-level coding languages are the furthest away from the actual code that translates commands on a computer system. Examples include C++, Java, and Python.
Low-level Coding Languages
Low-level coding languages contain basic instructions for a computer to understand. It involves little-to-no abstraction from the core coding process. Examples are assembly and machine code.
Coding Language Paradigms
Coding languages also comprise a variety of styles. Common styles are imperative, functional, logical, and object-oriented languages. Programmers can choose from these coding language paradigms to best-serve their needs for a specific project. Each involves its own benefits and limitations. The following are examples of each paradigm.
- Imperative or Procedural: Cobol, Fortran, C
- Functional: Haskell, Scala, Clojure
- Logical: Prolog, SQL
- Object-Oriented: Java, C++, Python
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How Do I Choose a Coding Language?
Front-End Web Development Coding Languages
Front-end developers focus on optimizing performance and responsiveness. All aspects of user-facing content, including its design, structure, and behavior, reflects front-end developers.
HTML's name explains its primary function: hypertext markup language. HTML combines hypertext (the link between web pages) and markup language (the textual structure of the web pages). HTML code uses markup language to design the front end.
Cascading style sheets, or CSS, simplifies the process of optimizing and presenting multiple web pages. Programmers can use CSS to style a series of pages at once, independent of a page's respective HTML code.
Back-End Web Development Coding Languages
Front-end and back-end development must work in tandem for a site or app to function. Users never come in contact with back-end operations; however, languages like Java, Python, and Ruby are critical in ensuring all functions and activities run seamlessly.
Back-end developers may write code used for tasks like scripting application programming interfaces (APIs), building libraries, and merging site elements with no connecting interface.
Python enables programmers to quickly code back-end applications and optimize their efficiency. Python is popular for its simplicity, accessibility, and tendency toward natural language. Programmers may choose this language for its compatibility with the Django framework.
Ruby and its compatible framework, Rails, are still popular among programmers developing e-commerce, social media, and stock marketing platforms. Ruby on Rails is an adaptable and versatile coding language, favored by beginners as particularly easy to learn. Ruby is also compatible with other languages like C or Java.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Coding Languages
How many types of coding languages are there?
Does coding need math?
Yes, but not always. Some codes require math, namely algebra, to develop the algorithms needed to run properly. However, many codes include a built-in function that automatically writes and runs an algorithm or equation. Coders may require more or less math depending on the type of projects they prefer. For example, game and graphics programmers may require more advanced skills in linear Algebra than other applications. While an understanding of algebra and algorithms is helpful to aspiring programmers, it is not necessary to learn to code.
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