Everyone loves birthdays, especially the younger ones who simply cannot wait to hit 21, where after that, many of us would prefer time to stay still. Well, BASIC, the programming language that has managed to pique the interests of budding programmers worldwide for a long time now, has celebrated its 50th birthday. BASIC was a programming language that lives up to its full name, “Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”.
First developed by a couple of math professors from Dartmouth College, namely John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, which is a way for students or teachers alike to program a computer without having to go through the effort of actually taking courses beforehand. As the growth of personal computers exploded in the 1980s and the decade before that, so too, did the BASIC language become more popular among the masses.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates later devised their own variant of BASIC which will run on the Altair computer, and Microsoft’s Altair BASIC ended up as the company’s first product in 1975. Microsoft BASIC was eventually loaded onto majority of PCs in the 1970s and 1980s, and although BASIC did not command the attention from serious programmers ever since Windows was introduced, it has already left its indelible mark on the world of computing.