A programming language is a vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules (syntax) for instructing a computer to perform specific tasks. It is a machine language that enables the computers to understand the instructions used to create various outputs.
Programming languages are often divided into two major categories: low and high. A low-level language is a machine-readable form such as machine code which contains binary code. A high-level language is human-readable forms such as Java and C.
Suppose you want to work in a SaaS development company or decide what programming language to use in a project. In this case, it is fundamental to master a popular programing language, which is usually defined by certain factors, such as syntax, accessibility, ease of use, community, and security.
Choosing the right programming language can significantly impact your career and the product. Whether projects want to be easily maintained, implemented fast, or perform at their best relies heavily on what the language is capable of and the associated binaries that can translate the language to produce functioning and a well-performed application.
Language selection becomes an important decision at some stage of the software development project. The selection of the languages in a software development project is usually for the wrong reasons, such as fashion, fear of change, prejudice, commercial pressures, inertia, fanaticism, and conformism.
Professional software engineers must make their language selection decisions depending on relevant economic and technical criteria as the follows:
- Scale – Does the language maintain and support large-scale program development?
- Modularity – Does language support program decomposition into suitable units?
- Reusability – Does the language supports effective program units’ reuse? If so, software project development can be accelerated by reusing program units that are tried and tested.
- Flexibility – Is it flexible enough to support a different development and deployment environment.
- Portability – Does the language support portable code writing? Or does the code port from one platform to a dissimilar platform without major change?
- Level – Does the language support and encourage programmers to think in the high-level abstractions oriented to the application? Or does the language force programmers to think in low-level details, such as pointers and bits?
- Reliability – Is the language designed such that the errors of programming can be detected and eliminated as fast as possible? The language should be designed to be as fault-tolerant as possible.
- Efficiency – Some aspects of object-oriented programming entail runtime overheads, such as class tags and dynamic dispatch. Runtime checks and garbage collection are costly and slow the program down at unpredictable times. In case of critical parts of the program must be highly efficient, does the language allow them to be tuned by using low-level coding or by calls to procedures written in lower-level language?
- Readability – Language enforces cryptic syntax, short identifiers, and default declarations, and the absence of type information makes it difficult to write readable code.
- Data modeling – Does the language provide types and associated operations suitable for representing entities in the relevant application area? Does it allow programmers to define new types and operations that accurately model entities in the application area?
- Process modeling – Does the language provide control structures suitable for modeling the behavior of entities in the relevant application.
- Writability – primarily focuses on consistency and simplification of statements.
- Ease of use – is a more general criterion. This can be subjective, depending on factors such as user experience, familiarization with the language, or even its direct impact on solving the problem. This criterion is usually associated with the user interface and how easy it is to use the language in the development environment.
- Performance – This criterion is considered with the speed of program execution and compiler execution.
- Extendibility – relates to the possibility of developing the language and its implementation, the existence of function libraries, class libraries,
- Continuity of the manufacturer, language continuity, implementation continuity, existence of international standards for defining the language, conformity of implementation by following standards, and the existence of other manufacturers for that language.
Let’s sum up. Programming language is a tool that makes these computers usable. Whether old or new, high or low, every programming language has its weaknesses and strengths. The type of computer the program will run on and the program itself determine the programming language to be used when creating systems.