This article’s lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. For a detailed timeline of events, see Timeline of programming languages. The first high-level programming language was Plankalkül, created by Konrad Zuse between 1942 programmer en dBASE III et III PLUS PDF 1945.
When FORTRAN was first introduced it was treated with suspicion because of the belief that programs compiled from high-level language would be less efficient than those written directly in machine code. The first computer codes were specialized for their applications: e. Alonzo Church was able to express the lambda calculus in a formulaic way and the Turing machine was an abstraction of the operation of a tape-marking machine. To some people, some degree of expressive power and human-readability is required before the status of « programming language » is granted.
Jacquard Looms and Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine both had simple, extremely limited languages for describing the actions that these machines should perform. In the 1940s, the first recognizably modern electrically powered computers were created. The limited speed and memory capacity forced programmers to write hand tuned assembly language programs. It was eventually realized that programming in assembly language required a great deal of intellectual effort.