A Brief History of Programming Languages

This is based on the Wikipedia article Timeline of Programming Languages as it appeared on 2/15/18. The article itself is much more extensive, this timeline will restrict itself to the better-known languages.

This is a highly opinionated list that has some exceptions I’ll probably add eventually…

  • 1954-1957 – Fortran (from concept to implementation) – John Backus at IBM.
  • 1956-1959 – LISP (from concept to implementation) – John McCarthy.
  • 1959-1960 – COBOL (from concept to implementation) – CODASYL Committee.
  • 1964 – BASIC – John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz at Dartmouth College.
  • 1970 – PASCAL – Niklaus Wirth and Kathleen Jensen.
  • 1972 – Smalltalk – Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg, Dan Ingalls, XEROX PARC.
  • 1972 – C – Dennis Ritchie.
  • 1972 – SQL – IBM.
  • 1980 – C with Classes – Bjarne Stroustrup.
  • 1983 – Turbo Pascal – Anders Hejlsberg at Borland.
  • 1985 – QuickBasic – Microsoft.
  • 1986 – Eiffel – Bertrand Meyer.
  • 1986 – Object Pascal – Apple.
  • 1986 – Erlang – Joe Armstrong and others at Ericsson.
  • 1987 – Perl – Larry Wall.
  • 1987 – Mathematica – Wolfram Research.
  • 1988 – Tcl – John Ousterhout.
  • 1989 – Turbo Pascal OOP – Anders Hejlsberg at Borland.
  • 1990 – Haskell.
  • 1991 – Python – Guido van Rossum.
  • 1991 – Visual Basic – Alan Cooper (who sold it to Microsoft).
  • 1992 – Borland Pascal
  • 1993 – Lua – Roberto Ierusalimschy and others at Tecgraf, PUC-Rio.
  • 1995 – Borland Delphi – Anders Hejlsberg at Borland.
  • 1995 – ColdFusion – Allaire.
  • 1995 – Java – James Gosling at Sun Microsystems.
  • 1995 – PHP – Rasmus Lerdorf.
  • 1995 – Ruby – Yukihiro Matsumoto.
  • 1995 – JavaScript – Brendan Eich at Netscape.
  • 1997 – Squeak / Smalltalk – Alan Kay and others at Apple.
  • 1997 – ECMAScript.
  • 2000 – C# – Anders Hejlsberg at Microsoft.
  • 2001 – Visual Basic .NET – Microsoft.
  • 2004 – FreeBasic – Andre Victor.
  • 2005 – F# – Don Syme and others at Microsoft.
  • 2005 – Haxe – Nicolas Cannasse.
  • 2007 – Clojure – Rich Hickey.
  • 2008 – Nim – Andreas Rumpf.
  • 2009 – Go – Google.
  • 2010 – Rust – Graydon Hoare and others at Mozilla.
  • 2011 – Dart – Google.
  • 2011 – Kotlin – JetBrains.
  • 2012 – Elixir – Jose Valim.
  • 2012 – Elm – Evan Czaplicki.
  • 2012 – TypeScript – Anders Hejlsberg and others at Microsoft.
  • 2014 – Hack – Facebook.
  • 2014 – Swift – Apple.