Programming is a tedious and difficult task as well as a highly technical one. But these two elements make it a totally addictive and creative process; we all know that the creative process is what motivates people to do their best. This section will talk about the history of programming languages, and what has been done to make the process less boring and more creative and easier to understand and use.
The history of programming started in the late 1940s with John Von Neumann. He was the first person who tried to create a computer that could be used by users without having to know how to program. The idea was very creative but it had many technical flaws such as the lack of hardware support for such a system.
In the 1960s Edsger W. Dijkstra came up with a better idea that was based on the concept of the self contained program. This allowed for a process where users could simply give instructions and the computer would carry out those instructions and present the results instantly. This kind of programming is known as interactive programming. In this case there were no programs, only lists of data items known as declarative statements.
In 1970 Niklaus Wirth created an algorithm called Structured Programming. In this algorithm, instead of using many small programs, he used one big program as if it was a list of small functions. This allowed for a lot more flexibility in terms of program design and use.
The 1980s were a turning point for programming languages. The idea of object oriented programming was introduced by Alan Kay in 1977, but it was not fully accepted until the mid 80’s when Simula was used to develop a new language called Smalltalk. The Simula language was improved upon by Bjarne Stroustrup who created C++. C++ was the first widely used object oriented programming language. The Simula language was improved upon by James Gosling who created Java. Java were also object oriented but they required a special platform called Java Virtual Machine which made it impossible to run Java programs on any other operating system.
In 2003, Larry Wall created Perl 6 which is an improved version of Perl 5. Perl 5 is a scripting language designed for creating web pages and it is also a popular scripting language that allows users to automate tasks on a computer via a software program called script.
As you can see, programming languages have evolved from fairly simple language structures to more complex ones with each step taking computers closer to being able to think like humans. The next step will be Artificial Intelligence which will require a whole new paradigm for thinking about computers and their interaction with us.