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A laptop displaying lines of code next to a coffee mug types of coding languages

Types of Coding Languages: How Many Types of Coding Are There?

Are you interested in learning to code but aren’t sure where to start? This guide will help you learn the different types of coding languages and what they’re used for. Coding is a growing skill, and it’s important to explore it if you want a job in tech. Having a solid understanding of the types of coding languages used today will help advance your learning.

This article covers the different types of programming languages, from high-level to low-level. You’ll also learn about the four types of programming language paradigms, and the different coding languages widely used across web platforms, mobile applications, and software today. 

Table of Content

What Are Coding Languages?

Coding languages, also called programming languages, are a set of commands and instructions used to communicate with computers. Coding languages are used to create websites, software, and applications. Coding syntax is the basis for all of these languages and their source code.

What Are the Different Types of Coding Languages and Their Uses?

The three main types of coding languages are high-level languages, middle-level languages, and low-level languages. Each of these levels contains different coding languages used for specific tasks and projects. Read below to learn more about the different coding languages and their uses.

High-Level Coding Languages

A high-level language is coder-friendly, easy to learn, and highly productive. These languages are also machine-independent and less prone to errors. However, high-level languages do have their weaknesses. Translation takes additional time and processing can be slow. They also do not communicate directly with hardware, unlike other languages. 

High-level programming languages allow the programmer to focus on what needs to be done rather than how the computer works. If you’re a beginner curious about high-level coding languages, you can get started by learning Python, C++, C#, Java, or JavaScript.

Middle-Level Coding Languages

A middle-level language forms a connection between raw hardware and programming, and they are often called intermediate or pseudo languages. Mid-level languages are meant to improve the translated code before it is executed. They can be used for anything from desktop applications to artificial intelligence. C is a well-known middle-level coding language.

Their advantages are similar to high-level languages because they are powerful, efficient, portable, and extendable. However, they utilize a low level of abstraction, which can make them difficult to use. Another weakness is that the process of checking and finding errors is complex and time-consuming. 

Low-Level Coding Languages 

A low-level coding language provides little to no abstraction because they are closest to the computer’s language. The different coding languages that comprise the low-level group can be translated into machine code without an interpreter, which means they are purer but difficult to learn. There are many technical terms to remember, so low-level language use is mostly reserved for advanced coders.

This type of programming language is used to write programs for specific hardware and computer architecture. Examples of these languages are assembly and machine language. Assembly language is used to give the computer direct instructions with words in place of numbers. Machine language uses binary code to give the computer direct instructions.

Four Main Types of Programming Language Paradigms

A programming paradigm is a way of classifying different types of programming languages based on their features. Some languages may be categorized in more than one paradigm because they may have different elements. Object oriented, procedural, functional, and logical are the main types of programming language paradigms. 

  1. Object Oriented Programming. Object oriented programming relies on classes and objects. Examples of these languages include C++, C#, JavaScript, and Python. 
  2. Procedural Programming. Procedural programming is a type of code that utilizes a step-by-step process to develop applications. Examples of these languages include C, Java, BASIC, FORTRAN, and Pascal. 
  3. Functional Programming. Functional languages construct programs by writing mathematical functions. These languages include Scala, Clojure, Elixir, and Haskell. 
  4. Logical Programming. Logical programming is when program rules are written as logical clauses and predicates. Logical programming languages include PROLOG and SQL.

Common Programming Languages Today

Two in-person coding bootcamp students using their laptops to work on their capstone projects.
Students learning different types of coding languages at a coding bootcamp

As of 2023, the most used programming languages among developers include JavaScript, SQL, and Python, according to Statista. Below you will find an explanation of the main coding languages in the field, including their uses and reasons for popularity. 

JavaScript

JavaScript is an object oriented language, and it is arguably the most common. It is mostly used for web applications because it allows the writer to make interactive projects. JavaScript is a go-to language because it offers unified development, which means coders don’t need to learn more than one language to get the job done. 

SQL

SQL stands for structured query language, and it is used to update and retrieve data from a database. This makes it helpful in data science because it allows users to access, manipulate, and modify data. It is popularly used to interact with relational database management systems.

TypeScript

Developed by Microsoft, TypeScript is an open source programming language. It is a superset of JavaScript, which means it understands and utilizes all of JavaScript’s capabilities, while adding some of its own unique features. It’s more valued than JavaScript for its static typing.

Python

Python is a general-purpose coding language that is used for web development, operating systems, machine learning, web development, and data science. Python is also used for design and analytics. It is a very popular programming language because it is easy to write and use. 

C++

C++ is also a general-purpose coding language. Its primary uses are game development, operating systems, and web browsers. It works with procedural, functional, and object oriented programming, and learning C++ can make learning other languages easier. It is popular because it runs and manages memory efficiently. There are some great C++ bootcamps to master this useful language.

C

C is a general-purpose programming language and structured programming language used to write applications, operating systems, and more. C is a base for programming, so if you know C, you can easily grasp other C-based languages. It is hugely popular because it is very simple and versatile.

C#

C# is used to perform many tasks in multiple professions, such as game and app development for both desktop and web servers. C# is popular because it is easy to read and usable for many different types of projects. It is mostly used for game development, web and mobile apps, and business applications. There are some great C# coding bootcamps out there to learn how to use this language professionally.

Java

Java is a server language that is used for big data and development projects. It is commonly used in numerical, desktop, and mobile computing. Java is popular because it can run on many different platforms and types of computers, making it a great choice for any programmer to learn. 

PHP

PHP is an open source general-purpose scripting language that can be used with HTML, and it is used primarily in web development. It allows you to manage and oversee dynamic content, session tracking, and databases. This basic programming language is popular because it is simple and provides advanced features for professional programmers. 

How to Learn a Coding Language

You can learn to code at a university, a coding bootcamp, or through online courses. Many universities today offer computer science degree programs with courses in programming in various front end languages and backend languages. 

If you want to start learning how to code, you can check out the best online bootcamps to learn quickly and efficiently. The wide range of bootcamps available today can teach you game programming, server-side programming, database systems, and more.

Online courses from platforms such as Udemy and Coursera offer low-cost courses to learn various types of coding languages. These options are great for people of all skill levels. Beginners can start out with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript courses, while more advanced programmers can find courses on languages adjacent to their current programming language skill sets to further their careers. There are also numerous sites that offer coding assignment help to help you tackle coding projects.

Should I Learn to Code in 2024?

In the increasingly digital world of 2024, coding is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. For example, according to PayScale, professionals with C++ programming language skills make an average of $94,000 a year. PayScale also reports that people with C programming skills have an average salary of $95,000. 

There is also a high demand for computer programmers today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook from 2021 to 2031 is 30 percent for web developers and 26 percent for software developers. This means that having coding skills in various types of coding languages will set you up for a career in an in-demand field. 

Types of Coding Languages FAQ

What is the easiest coding language to learn?

The easiest coding language to learn is JavaScript because of the wide range of resources available to learners, including free resources. Due to its widespread use today, it has a massive developer community, which is useful to new learners. 

What is the hardest coding language to learn?

The hardest coding language to learn is Malbolge. It was designed to be a challenge for developers. The first piece of Malbolge code took two years to write. It has very low code readability and is not used in the software industry. It was solely designed to test developers’ skills.

Which is the best coding language to learn first?

The best coding language to learn first is JavaScript because it only requires a text editor and a web browser to start learning and practicing. Learning the markup language HTML and stylesheet language CSS alongside JavaScript provides the basis for many websites and can get you building websites, applications, and software quickly. 

How many coding languages are there?

The total number of coding languages today is not known exactly, but the Online Historical Encyclopaedia of Programming Languages shares that 8,945 programming languages have been recorded since the 18th century. The reason for the extensive number of coding languages is that each may perform different tasks that are suited for different types of projects. People and companies can also develop their own programming languages, forever adding to the list.

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