Overview of programming languages (2022)

This article should give you an overview of the different programming languages and should show you that the programming languages are not so different in themselves. Here the most popular programming languages are briefly introduced and explained, these were taken from the so-called TIOBE index, which measures the popularity of programming languages. Which programming language to start with is not recommended here, even though there is a clear favorite. Which one this is and why, you read in this article.

Programming languages in 2021/2022

Here the following programming languages are briefly explained:

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

With the explanation the language is briefly introduced and explained, what can be programmed with the respective languages.

With this you should have a get a good overview and find here the correct programming language for your implementation.

Besides, you will get a micro-insight into what this language actually looks like, so you will quickly realize that most languages are quite similar to each other.

Only a few languages look completely different. The example used here is of course not a functional program, it is only intended to provide a section 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
  • Loops
  • Comment

If you don’t understand them, no problem. You will learn this language later anyway, no matter which language you start with.

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


The probably best known language for web applications is Javascript. This language can be used not only to program dynamic web pages, but also to create real applications and even games.

A huge advantage is that Javascript does not need any additional programs, because it can be easily executed in any common internet browser. In addition, there is another strength:

Because Javascript is executable in the browser, it can also be used to program apps for mobile devices. The Javascript program is simply launched inside a browser that the user can’t see.

So it seems that a normal app is used, and this app runs just as well on Android and iOS at the same time. The best thing about it is that you save double programming work. Thus this language is actually the favorite for everyone who wants to create as many different computer programs as possible.

For beginners there is the beginner course, which shows the beginnings of programming in Javascript. Click here to learn Javascript programming. This is a program excerpt from Javascript:

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

Java is platform independent, that means it runs on Windows as well as on Linux or Mac OSX. Android also relies on this programming language. Thus, 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 missing in the mobile area is the support for Apple devices, so you have to write a separate source code for it.

These languages are best suited for the backend area in large web applications. If you get stuck with Javascript, you should definitely look at Java .

Here is a Java code snippet:

C and C++

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

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

C and C++ are suitable for hardware programming, because these languages are translated into machine code. Operating systems, applications and games can be realized with these languages and are very performant. Because you have to take care of memory handling and access yourself, it can be a bit complicated for beginners.

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

C# (C Sharp)

C# is the consequent further development of C++ by Microsoft. It is very similar to Java in structure, but has little to do with Java. With C# (C-Sharp) you can write applications with the .NET-Framework and even games for PC and XBox are possible with the XNA-Framework.

This language is object oriented like Java. The possibilities to use C# programs on other platforms were limited until 2014. In the meantime there are through .NET Core is a platform-independent variant that allows C# programs to be used on multiple platforms. So you are no longer limited to Windows and you don’t have to use special frameworks like mono anymore.

The code snippet in C# looks something like this:

Visual Basic

Often called beginner language. The first version of BASIC was actually intended as an introductory language for programming beginners. Nowadays, Visual Basic is used as a language for applications in the .NET framework used.

But also in the office world one finds Visual Basic again. Whenever you use small additional functions for Word, Powerpoint or Outlook etc. you can use Visual Basic to write small macros that can do great things for you. In this language it is best supported by the manufacturer (z.B. you can also create Excel files with Javascript).

Visual Basic looks like this:

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

Here you can influence through the PHP program which part and content of the web page should be displayed. The PHP program is always started on the web server on which the website is hosted.

Especially popular: Queries on databases to display certain data on a web page. In combination with Javascript/HTML/CSS, PHP is a very powerful language.

The code looks like this for PHP:


Python is very popular with beginners and grew out of a hobby project. The name is not based on the snake species, but on the comedians Monthy Python.

With Python you can write a lot of scripts up to complete webservers. The executability of the programs on different platforms depends on the availability of an executable Python version on the respective device and operating system.

Attached is the code snippet for Python:

Delphi/Object Pascal

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

Unfortunately there are not so many known libraries for ObjectPascal anymore, which is why the language is slowly losing importance.

The syntax looks something like this:


This language was specially developed by Apple for Apple devices.

And this wants to be taken literally, because to be able to program Swift, you need XCode which is only available for the operating system macOSX.

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.


You just got a fright at the other languages because they are so text-heavy?

Okay, also for this there is at least a small remedy. Scratch is a language that is purely for learning programming and was developed especially for children and young people.

Logically, only relatively small projects can be created, but they are exciting. Small games, mini movies and even the control z.B. of LEGO robots is possible. An example of how to create a game in Scratch can be found in our free Scratch tutorial. The language looks something like this (and here the example program doesn’t even make sense anymore):


These languages are not actually programming languages, but are often mentioned along 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 define how this HTML structure should be displayed.

If you want to start programming websites, the point you have to tackle is HTML and CSS. Logically you can’t show the example program in HTML/CSS.

SQL is a language with which you can make database queries. You can use it to create a database, fill it with data and read it out again.

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

With SQL it is important to learn how a database works and how to use it. Databases are the "performant Alternative to files, but have a few specialties that must first be understood.

Conclusion on programming languages

This is only a small overview of programming languages that are still used today.

Of course there are many more languages. Quite clear advantage goes to Javascript, since one can create here with a language quasi all kinds of computer programs and one does not need in principle more than a Browser for it.

Scratch is then the variant for children and young people who do not yet have so much experience with the computer.

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

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