The Best Coding Inventions Of The Past Five Decades.

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Growth is an integral part of every field and that couldn’t hold truer for programming. With groundbreaking discoveries being made every year, it is truly stunning to see how far we have come. Today we have collected the top milestones of the past five decades, so read and enjoy.

The 1970’s

One of the most defining moments of the seventies was the programming language “Pascal” being discovered. Named after the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, this language was introduced to the world in 1970 by computer scientist Niklaus Wirth. The language left critics divided with Brian Kernighan publishing an article called “Why Pascal Is Not My Favorite Language” Although not very popular anymore Pascal is still used as an introduction to programming. One of the other notable creations of the 1970’s was the programming language “C”. Designed by Dennis Ritchie {who by the way also played a major role in the invention of the language “B”} this language was released in 1972. Widely used for systems programming and website programming this language was originally developed at Bell Labs to construct utilities running on Unix. C has also been successful in influencing a lot of later languages including C++, Java, JavaScript, and a lot more. In the late seventies, VisiCalc was released, the very first spreadsheet computer program for personnel computers. VisiCalc which stands for visible calculator is often credited with turning the microcomputer into a serious business tool rather than just a hobby for computer enthusiasts. This VisiCorp invention was a success of all kinds with it selling about a million copies in its time. 

The 1980’s

An exciting creation from the 1980’s was the first version of Microsoft Word. Developed in 1983 by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie Called Multi-Tool Word at the time of its first release, it was intended for Xenix systems. It wasn’t an instant hit, probably because of competition from the 1978 invention WordStar. The product saw various improved versions being released over the course of the next six years from word 2.0 to 5.0. Another milestone in this decade was the invention of the C++ programming language. Made by Danish computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup, this was originally meant to be an extension of the language C. Stroustrup created this language as he found Simula too slow for use, and BCPL too low-level for large software development. Other than C, C++ is also influenced by various other languages like ALGOL 68, Ada, CLU, and ML. C++ is one of the most commonly used programming languages today. The language Perl was also designed in the 1980’s. Introduced to the world by American computer programmer Larry Wall in 1987, this language was influenced by AWK, BASIC, C, C++, and a few others. Although several programmers have referred to Perl as a write-only language, it continues to be a relatively popular language to date. 

The 1990’s

One of the most significant programming milestones of the 1990’s was the development of the computer operating system “Linux”. Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds began working on Linux in 1991 while still a student at the University of Helsinki. At the time of its release, Linux was a small number of C files with a license prohibiting commercial use. Ironically enough the 4.15 version in 2018 had more than 23 million lines of source code. The famous language Java was invented in 1995. The language was designed by Candian Computer Scientist James Gosling, often referred to as Dr.Java. The first public implementation of Java was released by Sun Microsystems in 1996. Named after the Indonesian Java coffee, the language was pronounced one of the most popular programming languages in 2019 by GitHub. Along with Java, even JavaScript was introduced in 1995. Influenced by languages like C, Java, and Perl, the language was created by American Technologist Brendon Eich. Although similar in name Java and JavaScript differ greatly in design. With HTML and CSS, JavaScript is currently one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web. 

The 2000’s

A popular invention of the 2000’s was Apple’s iTunes. The initial release of iTunes was based on SoundJam MP. iTunes was first released on January 9, 2001, at Macworld San Francisco. Although it started out as a simple music player with time the iTunes turned into an extremely sophisticated content manager, hardware synchronization manager, and a popular e-commerce platform. Released on April 1, 2006 the Apache Hadoop is a noteworthy creation from the 2000’s. Developed by Doug Cutting, and Mike Cafarella, Hadoop is an open-source framework that is designed to facilitate the management and processing of huge datasets on clusters built from commodity hardware. Named after the toy Cutting’s son Hadoop is written in Java. 

The 2010’s

Late in 2011, Adobe Inc. released Adobe Creative Cloud. The Adobe Creative Cloud lets users access software that can be used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography. The Creative Cloud is fairly popular, with over 1.4 million subscribers. Yet another cool invention from this decade was Google Assistant. Google Assistant was first unveiled in 2016 as part of Google’s messaging app Allo, but it was later introduced as a standalone app in May 2017. Written in C++ the virtual assistant interacts with users mostly via natural voice, mimicking human conversations. There were certain claims that the Google Assistant collected sensitive information without the user’s consent. However, Google insisted that only 0.2% of the recordings were being listened to by language experts simply to improve Google’s services.   

The evolution of technology is undeniable and seeing the growth over the years only drives the point home. As we wait patiently to be dazzled by the inventions of the coming decade, let us know if we missed any cool coding action and what you thought was the biggest coding milestone in the past fifty years.

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