Programming Languages

Programming Languages


Programming languages are the foundation of software development, providing the syntax and semantics for creating a wide range of applications. From web development to system programming, each language has its strengths and use cases. This page surveys popular programming languages.

Table of Contents

  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  4. Python
  5. Rust
  6. C/C++
  7. SQL
  8. C#
  9. PHP
  10. Mobile Languages
    1. Kotlin
    2. Swift
    3. Dart (Flutter)
  11. Scripting Languages
    1. Bash
    2. PowerShell 
  12. Server-Side Frameworks
  13. Additional Programming Language Definitions
  14. Additional Resources
    1. Blog Posts
    2. Books by Rheinwerk Computing


JavaScript is a versatile scripting language primarily used for client-side web development. It enables the creation of dynamic and interactive web pages.


The key features of JavaScript include the following:

  • Ease of use: JavaScript runs in any browser, so it is uniquely suited to web development.
  • Event-driven: JavaScript responds to user interactions, making web pages more responsive.

Websites and applications that utilize JavaScript include Facebook and Google Docs. Learn more about JavaScript here.

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Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language known for its platform independence. It is widely used for building enterprise-level applications.


The key features of Java include the following:

  • Portability: Java code can run on any device with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) with the concept of “write once, run anywhere.”
  • Strongly typed: Type-checking ensures reliability and robustness.

Websites and applications that utilize Java include the Eclipse IDE and LinkedIn. Learn more about Java here.

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HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) structures web content, while CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) styles and formats it.


The key features of HTML and CSS include the following:

  • HTML elements: Tags like <div>, <p>, and <img> that define the structure.
  • CSS styles: Rules for styling elements, controlling layout, and enhancing visual presentation.

All websites utilize HTML and CSS in their creation; they are the building blocks of the web. Learn more about HTML and CSS here.

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Python is a high-level, interpreted programming language with a focus on readability and simplicity. It's used for web development, data science, and artificial intelligence.


The key features of Python include the following:

  • Readability: Emphasizes code readability with clean and simple syntax, facilitating collaboration and maintenance.
  • Versatility: Suitable for scripting, automation, and complex application development.

Websites and applications that utilize Python include Instagram and Jupyter Notebooks. Learn more about Python here.

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Rust is a systems programming language known for its memory safety and performance. It is used to build efficient and reliable software.


The key features of Rust include the following:

  • Memory safety: The ownership system guarantees memory safety without sacrificing performance, preventing common bugs like null pointer dereferences and buffer overflows.
  • Borrowing system: Ensures memory safety without sacrificing performance.

Websites and applications that utilize Rust include Mozilla Firefox and Redox OS.

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C is a low-level programming language, while C++ is its object-oriented counterpart. Both are used for systems programming and game development.


The key features of C and C++ include the following:

  • Performance optimization: Rust has fine-grained control over memory and hardware resources, allowing developers to optimize performance.
  • Classes and objects: C++ introduces object-oriented programming concepts.

Websites and applications that utilize C and C++ include the Linux kernel and Unreal Engine.

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SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used for managing and manipulating relational databases.


The key features of SQL include the following:

  • Data integrity: SQL ensures data integrity through constraints like primary keys, foreign keys, and unique constraints, maintaining consistency and reliability in database operations.
  • Declarative nature: Users can specify desired outcomes without detailing the procedural steps, enabling a focus on logical queries.

Websites and applications that utilize SQL include the MySQL database and Salesforce.

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C# is a multi-paradigm programming language developed by Microsoft. It is commonly used for building Windows applications and game development with Unity.


The key features of C# include the following:

  • Language Integration: C# seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft technologies like .NET Framework and Azure, providing a unified development environment for building Windows applications, web services, and cloud solutions.
  • Asynchronous programming: Supports asynchronous operations for efficient resource utilization.

Websites and applications that utilize C# include Microsoft Visual Studio and the Unity game engine.

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PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language designed for web development.


The key features of PHP include the following:

  • Web development frameworks: PHP boasts a wide range of web development frameworks like Laravel and Symfony, offering developers robust tools and libraries for building scalable web apps and APIs.
  • Server-side scripting: Executes on the server, generating dynamic web pages.

Websites and applications that utilize PHP include WordPress and Magento.

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Mobile Languages

There are a number of languages used in the creation of mobile applications.



Kotlin is a modern, statically typed language used for Android app development. An example of a Kotlin-developed app is Trello for Android.



Swift is Apple's programming language for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS app development. An example of a Swift-developed app is the Clash Royale game.


Dart (Flutter)

Dart is the language used with the Flutter framework for cross-platform mobile app development. An example of a Dart-developed app is Alibaba’s mobile app.

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Scripting Languages

A scripting language is a type of programming language designed for the rapid development of scripts, which are sequences of commands that automate the execution of tasks. Unlike traditional programming languages that are compiled into machine code before execution, scripts are typically interpreted and executed line by line.



Bash (Bourne Again SHell) is a Unix shell and command language used for scripting and automation. You might use Bash to write scripts for automating routine tasks on a Unix-based system.



PowerShell is a task automation framework from Microsoft, used for scripting and managing system configurations. You might use PowerShell to write automation scripts for Windows administrative tasks.

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Server-Side Frameworks

Server-side frameworks provide a structured environment for developing web applications. They handle the backend logic, database interactions, and more. Below lists popular server-side frameworks:

  • js (JavaScript/Node.js): A minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework.
  • Django (Python): A high-level Python web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  • Ruby on Rails (Ruby): An opinionated Ruby framework that emphasizes convention over configuration.

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Additional Programming Languages Definitions

In addition to the information laid out above, there are a handful of important terms you should also know: