Programming Language Categories | CompTIA IT Fundamentals FC0-U61 | 4.1

In this video you will learn about various programming language categories such as interpreted languages, compiled programming languages, query languages, and assembly languages.


In computer programming, an interpreted programming language does not need to be compiled before its programs are executed.  Instead, another program, called an interpreter, reads the program and executes it on the fly, meaning it is run line-by-line.  This contrasts with a compiled programming language, which is converted into machine language, the binary (0,1) instructions used by the CPU, before it can be run.

Scripting Languages

A script or scripting language is a computer language with a series of commands within a file that is capable of being executed without being compiled.  Scripting languages refer to interpreted languages that are frequently used to create scripts that are run from within an integrated development environment (IDE).  The IDE contains a text editor for writing language statements and an interpreter to test the program. After the program is written and tested, it can be saved as a script for reuse (if desired).


BASIC stands for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.  BASIC is a computer programming language that was developed in 1964 to provide a way for students to write simple computer programs.  Since then, the language has evolved into a more robust and powerful language and can be used to create advanced programs for today’s computer systems.  Any language with BASIC (or Basic) in the name is a descendant of BASIC, such as GW-Basic, Visual Basic, QuickBASIC, TrueBASIC, QBasic, etc.

BASIC Computer Language


Perl is a family of two high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages:  Perl 5 & Perl 6 (Perl 6 is a substantial rewrite of Perl 5). Perl combines features from a number of languages, including BASIC, and is often used as a “glue” language to connect different systems and interfaces together and for quick data analysis.

Perl Programming Language


JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages, such as displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. Scripts are typically stored using the .js extension.

JavaScript Programming Language


Python is a general-purpose coding language which means that, unlike HTML, CSS, & JavaScript, it can be used for other types of programming and software development besides web development. Python can be used for things like: back end (or server-side) web & mobile app development, desktop app & software development, processing big data & performing mathematical computations, and writing system scripts. Python’s design philosophy emphasizes code readability with its notable use of significant whitespace.  Its language constructs and object-oriented approach aim to help programmers write clear, logical code for small and large-scale projects.

Python Programming Language


Ruby is gaining popularity, and a framework called Ruby on Rails has helped to increase its usage for web programming.  The Ruby language is completely object-oriented, in that everything is an object.  For instance, even the most basic data types like integers have methods and instance variables.  This provides a greater ability to use method chaining, where many lines of code can be consolidated into one.

Ruby Programming Language


PowerShell is an automated task framework from Microsoft, with a command line shell and scripting language integrated into the .NET framework, which can be embedded within other applications. It automates batch processing and creates system management tools. It includes more than 130 standard command line tools for functions and enables administrators to perform tasks on local and remote Windows systems through access to Component Object Model (COM) and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).


Scripted Languages

A scripting language is a programming language for a special run-time environment that automates the execution of tasks; the tasks could alternatively be executed one-by-one by a human operator.  Scripting languages are often interpreted (rather than compiled). Scripted languages have a built-in command interpreter. A command interpreter runs the commands stored in source code or in bytecode.  Source code is human-readable code.

Markup Languages

A markup language is a computer language that uses tags to define elements within a document.  It is human-readable, meaning markup files contain standard words, rather than typical programming syntax.  Markup languages are used to annotate a document with tags that can indicate characteristics such as fonts, colors, hyperlinks,etc.  While several markup languages exist, the two most popular are HTML and XML.


HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.  HTML is the language used to create web pages.  Hypertext refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page may contain.  Markup Language refers to the way tags are used to define the page layout and elements within the page.  Unlike other languages discussed, HTML is not used interactively. HTML commands are written with a plain-text editor such as Notepad and saved using the .htm or .html file extension.  The file is opened in a web browser. HTML tags specify how the content in a web page should be displayed: for example, the color and font used by specified text, the background color, hyperlinks to other parts of the page or other pages on the web, etc.  Almost all HTML tags are paired. For example, <a href=>Technology Gee</a> would mark the text “Technology Gee” as a clickable hyperlink.  A tag starts with </ is a closing tag (for example, </a>). HTML is developed and maintained by the WHATWG community.  HTML can be combined with other languages in web pages.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and computer-readable.  Like HTML, XML is tag-based and uses </ at the start of an ending tag, but XML tags can be used to identify information types.  XML can also be converted into JSON for incorporation into JavaScript.


Compiled Programming Languages

A compiled language is a programming language whose implementations are typically compilers (translators that generate machine code from source code), and not interpreters (step-by-step executors of source code, where no pre-runtime translation takes place).  Interpreted programming languages are run line-by-line, markup languages work tag-by-tag, compiled languages convert the entire program (source code) into machine-readable code (also known as object code). During the process, the compiler stops if there are any errors.  Although compilers are processor-specific as well as operating system-specific, compiled languages can be used across different processors and operating systems, although modifications may be needed in some cases.

Here are some of the most common programming languages.


C is a high-level and general-purpose programming language that is ideal for developing firmware or portable applications. The C programming language was originally developed for use with Unix, but it is supported by most processor architectures and major operating systems.


C++ is based on C, adding additional features such as object-oriented programming and classes to make the language more powerful. In object-oriented programming, a class is a template for creating a specific type of programming object.


Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) is the second-oldest high-level programming language (FORTRAN is the oldest).  It is particularly popular for business applications that run on large computers. It uses English-like syntax to help make it largely self-documenting.


Java is a general-purpose programming language that is class-based, object-oriented, and designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.  It is intended to let application developers write once, run anywhere (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation.  Java is frequently used for creating client-server web applications as well as for programming mobile phones, smart cards, and many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to the Java website, over 15 billion devices run Java.


Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a programming language that is similar to Visual Basic, only it is embedded in an individual Microsoft application such as Excel, Word, Access, and other applications that have VBA support. Using VBA you can create macros or small programs that perform tasks within the Microsoft application. VBA can be used maliciously, so it is good practice to disable VBA by default and enable it only when working with VBA-enabled documents from trusted sources.  In Microsoft Office, open the Trust Center and disable all macros. Microsoft Office apps will prompt you when you open a file that contains macros, so you can decide whether to enable the macros in that file.

Query Languages

Query language (QL) refers to any computer programming language that requests and retrieves data from database and information systems by sending queries.  It works on user entered structured and formal programming command based queries to find and extract data from host databases.


Structured Query Language (SQL, sometimes pronounced “sequel”) is a domain-specific language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS), or for stream processing in a relational data stream management systems (RDSMS).  It is particularly useful in handling structured data, i.e. data incorporating relations among entities and variables. SQL supports extensions that permit the use of Java, .NET, Perl, Python, and other languages for accessing information stored in SQL databases.


XQuery (XML Query) is a query and functional programming language that queries and transforms collections of structured and unstructured data, usually in the form of XML, text and with vendor-specific extensions for other data formats (JSON, binary, etc).

Assembly Language

Assembly language, sometimes referred to as assembly or ASM, is a low-level programming language.  It is not just a single language, but rather a group of languages. An assembly language implements a symbolic representation of the machine code needed to program a given CPU architecture. Instead of being cross-platform, assembly language is specific to a processor type. Instead of being used to create large applications, assembly language is used for operating system-related functions such as device drivers.  Assembly language is affected by both the processor type and the assembler used.