What is a Second Generation Programming Language?

A second generation programming language is also known as an assembly language. These archaic programming languages were popular during the late 1950s. A second-generation language uses alphabet letters, so programming is technically easier than just using complex series of zeros and ones. Second-generation languages offer various assembly mnemonics, which makes it easier for programmers to remember the codes. They are generally not used today by the public, but some third-generation language programs are still used.

Computer Programming Language Generations

The term generation summarizes major evolutionary advances in programming languages. First-generation languages were basic data instructions for processors to execute. Second-generation languages use an assembler to convert language statements into machine language. Third-generation languages use high-level language statements that are converted by a compiler into specific programming language statements. A third-generation language, such as C and Java, require a considerable amount of programming skills and knowledge.

Fourth-generation languages closely resemble human grammar and language. These languages are often used for accessing databases. Fifth-generation languages use a graphical interface to create language statements that are compiled with a third- or fourth-generation language compiler. Some of the biggest computer businesses, such as IBM and Microsoft, make fifth-generation visual programming solutions for creating new apps. Programming with a visual interface allows users to easily understand and complete object-oriented programming tasks.

Second-Generation Programming Languages Characteristics

Second-generation structures are based on first-generation structures, but the data structures use simple generalizations, such as dynamic arrays and different lower bounds. Like first-generation, they are still linear and closely based on machine-addressing modes. Second-generation languages usually have strong built-in types, hierarchical name structures and better control of name spaces, which allows for efficient dynamic memory allocation. This is because hierarchical structuring increases control flow, which eliminates the need for confusing networks.

These control structures offer recursive procedures, parameter-passing modes and syntactic structures. Second-generation languages use word policies that establish keyword-in-context rules. During their peak of popularity, many second-generation programmers took advantage of the unlimited generalization functionality, which produced both desirable results and undesirable consequences. These languages are specific to a particular type of processor family and processor environment. They are occasionally used in kernels and device drivers to produce processing intensive games and graphics.

Limited Career Opportunities

There are very limited careers available for those who want to program in second- and third-generation languages. These are sometimes still used for obsolete business systems, industrial machines and manufacturing consoles. For example, industrial production and lumber manufacturing systems still use archaic third-generation based programs. A software programmer may find work in similar industries maintaining, trouble shooting and programming old systems.

These computer programmers sometimes work in an office writing and designing software that controls automated industrial machines and equipment. But unlike most computer programmers, they spend a lot of time on the production floor troubleshooting and fixing machine problems. They must optimally delegate machine tasks, feeding routines, tool selections, product paths and shape patterns. They will rely on graphical user interfaces to design and development new solutions as well as conduct daily calibration and diagnostics.

A second generation programming language is an outdated programming solution that has been replaced by efficient and user friendly alternatives. Anyone who wants to become a software can learn more about this exciting career here.