Welcome to the Treehouse Community

The Treehouse Community is a meeting place for developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels to get support. Collaborate here on code errors or bugs that you need feedback on, or asking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project. Join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today. (Note: Only Treehouse students can comment or ask questions, but non-students are welcome to browse our conversations.)

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and a supportive community. Start your free trial today.

Digital Literacy Computer Basics Computer Languages Fundamentals of Computer Languages

damiun moore
damiun moore
375 Points

Why are there so many programming languages?

Why are there so many programming languages?

3 Answers

Hi Damiun, I'm a person that enjoys relationals, and most languages were created to address a specific problem or a specific type of software. I liken it to a tool collection. You need different tools for different jobs, so you wouldn't try to hammer in a nail with a screwdriver. So you can think of each programming language like another tool that's needed for certain types of problems/programs. Some are more versatile than others, just like you'd use an Allen Wrench more than say a Timber Scribe.

Just to note, just like a screwdriver is a common versatile tool, there are common programming languages too. Common "Front End" programming languages are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (meaning the part the person visiting a website sees and interacts with); common "Back End" programming languages are PHP, Ruby, and Python (the part of the site that stores the data from the user and other functions). All of these you'll find as "tracks" on the Treehouse site.

Again though, it really depends on what you're interested in doing. I looked into Android application development, and with that one you need to know XML and Java. Databases have many programming languages, but for now most are SQL based....but noSQL languages (for people who hate SQL) are gaining popularity. So it can get confusing to know which languages are best to learn for what. Please feel free to ask more questions to us about what you might like to learn!

If you haven't already seen it, you may find this interesting, given your question: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programming_languages

When I google on why so many programming languages Google says they found about 14,000,000 results. So not only is there a huge list of languages, there's a really huge list of pages about why there are so many.

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
215,954 Points

...or maybe just a lot of pages where people are asking why there are so many. :wink:

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
215,954 Points

The elaborate discussion above is very interesting, but for the purposes of the quiz, the answer is:

"Because sometimes when advanced programmers see room for improvement, updates are made and programming languages emerge and evolve."