Why Do We Have Programming Languages?

The importance of programming languages

Machine code is very difficult. Previously, we studied that machine code is not made for humans. It’s perfect for computers, but we need something more comfortable to read, write, and understand.

The time it takes to write a program, find errors and bugs in code, and update a program to add new features costs money. If the language we use can help us reduce the chance of introducing errors in our code, it will reduce the costs. If it helps us understand the code when we read it, it will let us add new features faster and also reduce costs. One goal of a programming language is that it must help us be efficient when we write programs.

It’s at this point that the higher-level programming languages enter the scene. They enable us to write our code in something that often, at least to some degree, resembles English. Previously, we saw one attempt to do this: assembly language. The introduction to this language helped somewhat, but it still wasn’t good enough. What we need is something closer to human language.

Assembly language vs. high-level programming languages

Take a look at the following snippet of an assembly language code:

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