Coding & Computer Languages

Have you ever wanted to make an app/game/website on your own? Have you ever been interested in coding to where you looked into it? (If no, why are you even reading this article?) Well, with coding and computer languages, those types of things are possible. You might not realize it, but every single website ever made was made with some type of coding. You may be thinking; “I’ve made a website before but I didn’t have to code it.” Well, regardless of that, you still used a template to make that website. That template was made with code, as well as every video game, website, and piece of technology. This article, hopefully, is going to explain and rule out how computer languages were/are made and what their purpose is.

First, in order to fully understand how coding languages are made, you have to understand why they were made. The first and most obvious reason they were made was because computers existed. Computers are the literal “no duh” of why computer languages were made. If there weren’t computers, why would there be computer languages? Another reason for computer languages was to decode secret codes during WWI and WWII. These codes were used for long distance communication and were essential to the result of the war. These couldn’t really be called ‘computer languages’ at the time, but decoders. These decoders were (I guess you could say) the origin of computer languages/codes.

The earliest known calculating device is probably the abacus (clickable). It dates back at least to 1100 BCE and is still in use today, particularly in Asia. 1100 BCE was about 3120 years ago and could probably be called “the ancestor of the modern calculating machine and computer”. The abacus would later be replaced by the Hindu-Arabic notation. With its place value and zero, it gradually replaced the abacus, though the abacus was still widely used in Europe as late as the 17th century.

Previous to WWII, the first code ever was being created. According to www.britannica.com, this code was called Plankalkül, made by Konrad Zuse between 1943 and 1945. While this may have been the first code, it wasn’t the best. FORTRAN, developed by IBM, was the first professionally created computer language. In the text, it said: “The objective during FORTRAN’s design was to create a programming language that would be simple to learn, suitable for a wide variety of applications, machine independent, and would allow complex mathematical expressions to be stated similarly to regular algebraic notation.” The creation of FORTRAN sped up coder’s programming by about 500%, while the execution speed was only reduced by about 20%. “This allowed them to focus more on the problem solving aspects of a problem, and less on the coding.”

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortran

Lots of computer games were made with a specific type of code. One example of one of these games would be Minecraft (this link is blocked for the OSD, or Olathe School District, so it might not be accessible depending on where you are seeing this from). Minecraft was made with the coding language “Java”. (I have a whole article on minecraft right here for more info on the game) Another example of a game that used a specific type of code would be (and yes, I know I should just ignore this one) Fortnite. Fortnite was made with the coding language C++ and flew up in popularity when the game was released. Right now, though, it is a (this is a joke by the way) disgrace to even talk about the game.

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%2B%2B

Coding is very beneficial to us in our everyday lives and continues to grow and develop our technology. This doesn’t necessarily mean that coding is all good, though. There are several computer viruses/worms out in the world that caused billions of dollars worth of damage to the internet. For example, ILOVEYOU. (The youtuber, Disrupt, made a video about this virus and the link to that is here) The virus was made by a student trying to ‘fix’ the problem of the cost of things on the internet going up. His ‘fix’ to this was to make a program that sent an email to a random person and infiltrated their computer system. It would then steal passcode information and money. His teachers rejected the idea, saying that it was illegal, but it was too late. He had already pressed send. Other viruses/worms include “Mydoom”, “Code Red”, “Melissa”, “Sasser”, and more. Out of all of these viruses/worms, according to www.hp.com, Mydoom was the deadliest. It caused about $38 billion in damage, with its inflation-adjusted cost being at around $52.2 billion. The virus was a computer worm that was disguised as a badly typed email.

Image from https://www.haikudeck.com/mydoom-science-and-technology-presentation-4729d0fa5d

Today, coding has enhanced our technology and productivity by an incredible amount. Coding is, over all, essential to our productivity in our everyday lives. You might not realize it, but right now, as you are reading this, you are using something made by a very long string of code. Every app, every game, every website. All 3 of these things I just listed and more were all made by some sort of code. Some examples of creations with code could be Michael Reeves’ “screaming roomba” and his robot dog, Spot (created by Boston Dynamics), which was designed to map terrain on mars. Seems pretty cool, right? He made it pee beer into a cup.