Overview of the programming languages (2020)

Overview of the programming languages (2020)

This article is intended to give you an overview of the different programming languages and to show you that the programming languages themselves are not that different. The most common programming languages are briefly presented and explained here; these were taken from the so-called, which measures the popularity of programming languages. Which programming language should start with is not recommended here, even if there is a clear favorite. In this article, you can read which one it is and why.

Programming languages in 2020

The following programming languages are briefly explained here:

  • Javascript
  • Java
  • C and C++
  • C# (C Sharp)
  • Visual Basic
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Scratch
  • Delphi/Object Pascal
  • Swift
  • SQL
  • HTML & CSS

The explanation briefly introduces the language and explains what can be programmed with the respective languages.

This should give you a good overview and find the right programming language for your implementation here.

You will also get a micro-insight into what this language actually looks like, so you will quickly notice that most languages are quite similar.

Few languages look completely different. The example that is used is of course not a functional program, it is only intended to provide an extract for understanding. But it contains all the basic elements that a modern programming language contains, these basic elements would be:

  • Functions / methods
  • Variables / objects
  • Commands / instructions
  • Operators
  • decisions
  • grind
  • comment

If you don’t understand this, no problem. You will learn these later anyway, no matter what language you start in.

ATTENTION: Do not choose the language because of the appearance! Choose the language that is most useful to you and with which you can gain long experience. With enough experience, you will find it very easy to switch to another programming language.


Probably the best-known language for web applications in Javascript. This language can be used not only to program dynamic websites but also to create real applications and even games.

A huge advantage is that Javascript does not require any additional programs, because it can simply be executed in any common Internet browser. There is also another strength:

Since Javascript can be executed in the browser, it can also be used to program apps for mobile devices. The Javascript program is simply started within a browser that the user cannot see.

So it seems that a normal app is being used and this app runs just as well on Android and iOS at the same time. The best part of it is that it saves you double programming work. This language is actually the favorite for anyone who wants to create as many different computer programs as possible.

For beginners, there is a beginner’s course, which shows the beginnings of programming in Javascript. This is a program excerpt from Javascript:

$('#products-carousel .single-trending-list h3').each(function() {
  $(this).text($(this).text().substr(0, 36) + '...');
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<ul class="ul-trending-list" id="products-carousel">
    <div class="single-trending-list">
      <h3>Leather Clutch, Gray Distressed</h3>
    <div class="single-trending-list">
      <h3>Sori Yanagi Butterfly Y Wenge Stool</h3>
    <div class="single-trending-list">
      <h3>BOTTLIT Canister, 600ml</h3>


This programming language has established itself on millions of computers and devices.

Java is platform-independent, which means it runs just as well on Windows as it does on Linux or Mac OSX. Android also uses this programming language. So you can program applications, apps, and games with Java.

Java is a very modern programming language and always includes the latest technical concepts from software development. What is, unfortunately, missing in the mobile sector is mostly support for Apple devices, so that you have to write separate source code for it.

This language is therefore best suited for the backend area in large web applications. If you get stuck with Javascript, you should definitely take a look at Java.

Here Java Code:

class NamedThing {
    String name;

class Person {
    private  NamedThing namedThing;
    // Here is the view method
    public NamedThing asNamedThing() {
        return namedThing;
    // Here is a convenience method for accessing name directly
    public String getName() {
        return namedThing.name;
    Date dateOfBirth;

C and C++

C and C ++ are the veterans in this collection of programming languages.

Almost all today’s operating systems have their origin in C, even today we still program in C and C ++, and the code still runs in our operating systems. C ++ is the extension of C to include object-oriented approaches. In C ++ it is possible to use classes and objects.

C and C ++ are suitable for hardware-related programming, as these languages are translated into machine code. Operating systems, applications and games can be implemented with these languages and are very high-performance. Since you sometimes have to take care of memory handling and access yourself, things can be a bit complicated for beginners

Here is an example code in C (C ++ is similar):

Program to Display “Hello, World!”

int main() {
   // printf() displays the string inside quotation
   printf("Hello, World!");
   return 0;


Hello, World!

C# (C Sharp)

C # is the consistent further development of C ++ by Microsoft. Its structure is very similar to Java but has little to do with Java. With C # (C-Sharp) you can write applications with the .NET framework and games for PC and Xbox are also possible with the XNA framework.

Like Java, this language is object-oriented. The possibilities to use C # programs on other platforms were limited until 2014. There is now a platform-independent variant with .NET Core that enables C # programs to be used on multiple platforms. So you are no longer limited to Windows and don’t have to use a special framework like mono anymore.

The code in C # looks something like this:

using System;

namespace HelloWorld
  class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
      Console.WriteLine("Hello World!");    

Visual Basic

Often referred to as a beginner’s language. The first version BASIC was actually intended as an entry language for programming beginners. Nowadays Visual Basic is used as the language for applications in the .NET framework.

But Visual Basic can also be found in the office world. Whenever you need small additional functions for Word, Powerpoint or Outlook, etc., you can use Visual Basic to write small macros that can make a big difference for you. In this language, it is best supported by the manufacturer (e.g. Excel files can also be created with Javascript).

Visual Basic looks like this:

Imports System
Module Module1
    Sub Main()

        Console.WriteLine("Hello World!")

        Console.WriteLine("Press Enter Key to Exit.")


    End Sub 

End Module


PHP is a language used in connection with website programming. The main purpose of PHP is to display a website and everything that happens in the background on the web server (so-called backend).

Here you can use the PHP program to influence which part and content of the website should be displayed. The PHP program is always started on the webserver on which the website is hosted.

Particularly popular: Queries on databases in order to display certain data on a website. In connection with Javascript / HTML / CSS PHP is a very powerful language.

The code looks like this in PHP:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<h1>My first PHP page</h1>

echo "Hello World!";



Python is very popular with beginners and arose from a hobby project. The name is not based on the type of snake but on the comedian Monthy Python.

With Python, you can write a lot of scripts up to and including full web servers. The extent to which the programs can be executed on different platforms depends on whether there is an executable Python version on the respective device and operating system.

Here is the code for Python:

print("Hello, World!")

Delphi/Object Pascal

Pascal is one of the oldest programming languages and was developed in Switzerland. With the further developments of Object Pascal in connection with Delphi, one could write desktop programs for PC and notebooks. Many of the ideas from ObjectPascal and Delphi were adopted in C #.

Unfortunately, there aren’t that many well-known libraries for Object Pascal anymore, which is why the language is slowly becoming less important.

The syntax looks something like this:

program Hello;
  writeln ('Hello, world.');


This language was specially developed by Apple for Apple devices.

And that has to be taken literally because, in order to be able to program Swift, you need XCode which is only available for the macOSX operating system.

So if you want to deal exclusively with the Apple platform and already have suitable devices at home, you should take a look at this language.

// Hello, World! Program
import Swift
print("Hello, World!")


You just got a shock with the other languages because they are so text-heavy?

Okay, there is at least a little workaround for that too. Scratch is a language that is used purely to learn to program and was specially developed for children and young people.

Logically, only relatively small projects can be created with it, but they are inspiring. Small games, mini-films, and even the controls e.g. of LEGO robots are possible. For an example of how to create a game in Scratch, check out our free Scratch tutorial. The language looks something like this (and here the example program doesn’t make any sense):

Scratch Hello World


These languages are actually not programming languages but are often mentioned together with other programming languages.

These are important if you want to create websites and web applications. With HTML you describe the structure and content of your website and with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) you determine how this HTML structure should be displayed.

If you want to start programming websites, the point you have to tackle is HTML and CSS. Obviously, you cannot show the example program in HTML / CSS.


SQL is a language with which you can make database queries. This allows a database to be created, filled, and read out again.

This language is also often used in connection with websites. For example, to display an article in a webshop.

With SQL it is first important to learn how a database works and how to use it. Databases are the “high-performance” alternative to files, but they have a few specialties that you have to understand first.

Conclusion on the programming languages

This is just a small overview of programming languages that are still in use today.

Of course, there are many more languages. A clear advantage goes to Javascript because you can create almost all kinds of computer programs with one language and you basically don’t need more than a browser.

Scratch is then the variant for children and adolescents who do not yet have much experience with computers.

What would you create with which programming language? Comment below!

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