What is a High-Level Programming Language? Beginners Guide

A high-level programming language is a computer language where instead of giving the computer detailed instructions on how to do something, you give it high-level concepts, called algorithms in a high-level language, that are then compiled into machine code. This high-level code is difficult for humans to read and write but easy for computers to understand and run. 

The basic form of high-level languages is English mixed with special terms (called keywords) representing certain actions. For example, the following line of high-level code instructs the compiler to print “Hello World” out when executed: 

           print (“Hello World”); 

As you can see, the keywords print () represent an action. When this high-level code is compiled, it is converted into machine code, which the computer can then execute. 

The programming languages are essential for desktop and mobile application development or anything you want to create or provide solution for any business in the technology world. 

What are the benefits of a high-level language? 

High-level languages allow programmers to write high-level algorithms much easier for humans to read than writing them in machine code. These high-level algorithm concepts compile into machine code that computers can execute. It also simplifies programming because high-level language compilers check your high-level algorithm before compiling them to block out possible errors and warn you of any mistakes. 

One big upside to using high-level languages over low-level ones is that high-level languages use less memory space because they don’t require as much memory to run the program but take more time for the programmer to write it. Low-level languages like assembly language take less time for the programmer, but take much more memory for the computer to run, are very limited in what you can do, and are much more difficult to read. High-level languages simplify programming, but high-level code is still too complicated for computers to understand without being compiled first. 

Since high-level languages are all about giving high-level concepts to the computer, they can be categorized by their high-level concept algorithms. What high-level concept (algorithm) your program uses determines what type of high-level language it is in. 

What are the types of high-level programming available? 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of high-level programming languages out in the field.  

1. Procedural language  

This type of language has high-level concepts like loops and conditionals (if/then/else statements) that allow programmers to specify instructions for the computer to follow step by step. These instructions are called procedures or functions and heavily use brackets () for different code sections to separate instructions. 

This type of language usually works with data stored in variables, like buckets you store data in. 

2. Object-Oriented programming language  

This high-level programming language allows programmers to work with data stored in classes, like blueprints giving instructions on creating an object (a real-life thing). For example, you could have a blueprint for making a car, and each time you wanted to make a car, you would use the class. 

This high-level programming language heavily uses “dot syntax,” where variables/objects are accessed by putting two periods together with the variable name(car. wheels). Dot syntax is used by other high-level languages that involve working with objects, too, like Java or Python. 

3. Functional programming language  

This high-level concept algorithm focuses on high-level concepts like functions and recursion, allowing programmers to break high-level algorithms into smaller ones, each with instructions for the computer to complete. 

This high-level programming language works with data stored in immutable variables (variables that can’t be changed after they’re created) because it’s less complicated since programmers don’t have to worry about different parts of code messing up other parts if they were to modify a variable later in their high-level algorithm. 

4. Declarative programming language  

This high-level concept algorithm provides instructions so programmers can say “do this when this happens” instead of giving instructions on doing something specific (like procedural languages). 

Programmers accomplish this high-level concept using high-level concepts like conditionals (if/then statements) and loops (high-level instructions that repeatedly execute high-level code instructions). 

What do programmers do with high-level programming? 

Programmers break high-level algorithms into smaller parts called queries, each querying a specific action for the computer to take. An example of a query is asking the computer to find all people over 18 in a list of names. This high-level algorithm works with data stored in variables and uses dot syntax too.  

This is good for quickly processing huge amounts of data because it breaks high-level algorithms into simpler steps that allow the computer to do many things simultaneously. 

As you can see, high-level programming languages are very different from one another and provide high-level concepts that allow high-level programmers to create high-level algorithms using high-level languages. 

Real case scenarios as examples 

Suppose you want to program games or graphic-intensive applications. In that case, it’s recommended that you learn a high-level programming language that provides an Object-Oriented high-level concept algorithm and a Procedural high-level instruction set because these high-level programming languages give the programmer more control over what happens on their computer. 

If you want to process large amounts of data like photos, videos, or other forms of media, it would probably be better for you to learn a high-level programming language with a Declarative high-level instruction set and Functional high-level concept algorithm because this type of high-level programming language can all of your data at once without messing around with a lot of high-level instructions.  

What should a beginner expect? 

As a beginner high-level programmer, it’s probably best for you to learn a high-level programming language that uses an Imperative high-level concept algorithm because you can have both high-level code and low-level code in the same high-level program. 

Suppose you’re more interested in learning high-level programming languages. In that case, I recommend that you start by learning either Python or Java because these high-level programming languages are very popular and used frequently.  

However, suppose you want to get into computer engineering or become a professional programmer. In that case, I recommend that you look into C++ and Assembly programming because they give programmers more control over their computers than high-level programming languages like Python and Java. 

Final thoughts 

That’s pretty much it for this post. low-level programming; I’m just giving you information about high-level programming, so you don’t get confused when learning high-level concepts. Thank you for reading my blog!  

Jacob Barlee

Jacob Barlee is a digital marketer and technical writer at Mobzway. I’m passionate about exploring and writing about poker, casino software and online gaming development business. Mobzway is one of the top poker and casino software development company across the world.