Advantages of high level language
We suppose you don’t need convincing to utilize high-level language because they are overtaking the industry. To explain the reason, we’ll dive into the upsides of a high level language:
1. It is simple to learn and less error-prone
The statements in high-level languages are written in English. That makes it easy for beginners to start programming because it’s similar to a human language. Simultaneously, newbies and expert programmers are less likely to make errors in code because the statements they use are words they say or write daily. Although the difference in familiarity isn’t as noticeable compared to middle-level language, (compare C# and C++, for instance), it is drastic when it comes to machine or assembly languages (low-level) with binary or assembly code. The other two require advanced knowledge and more time to learn, apply, problem solve and debug.
2. High level language is user-friendly
Although users still need to know a lot and study documentation, the fact it resembles the English language makes it much easier. Users find it convenient to specialize in more languages than one at the same time. They also discover that a transition to another or an updated version can be relatively comfortable. Further, because of its machine independence, programmers can work on several drastically different projects without knowing the structure or architecture of a machine or learning new syntax and code. The adjustments they may need to make are far less time-consuming and tedious than learning another programming language.
3. It has a higher abstraction level compared to low/middle languages
Abstraction, inheritance, and encapsulation are three principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Abstraction refers to the ability of a programmer to pick out the relevant data from a source object and hide all the unwanted parts to boost efficiency and decrease complexity. In other words, programmers can create multiple abstracted objects of a source object, each with only data, behaviors, and attributes relevant to the desired application, independent of the source. That is what makes the next merit of a high level language possible.
4. High level language is machine-independent
This type of programming language uses a human-friendly language, then interpreters or compilers translate it into machine-friendly code. These two execution models are what make it so powerful and versatile. The same source code in a high-level language can be translated into various machine languages with minor or no modifications. It’s easy to understand why this language is used for almost all programs nowadays, including desktop and mobile applications, system software, utility programs, websites, and more.
5. Problem-solving and debugging are easier
As pointed out, programmers are less likely to create errors while coding from the get-go. Familiarity is what makes finding problems uncomplicated, too. Finally, compilers and interpreters built into today’s software are constantly improving in guiding programmers in locating mistakes. Plus, there are websites that analyze code and note issues. Moreover, some websites like
stackoverflow.com (one of many) are online forums where programmers converge to share knowledge. Finally, there are myriad courses and guides available. All this makes the code debug process simpler, faster, and more efficient.
6. Increases programming productivity
All advantages we specified so far have led to a large boost in productivity for high-level languages compared to others. Programmers do not need to specialize in an obscure language to find work, and can easily work in unison. The familiarity makes introducing team members into the workflow simpler, and since source code can be compiled or interpreted in a wide array of ways, the invested effort is far better utilized. Plus, due to its nature, programmers spend far less time studying program code, syntax, and architecture and can focus on logic and troubleshooting. Lastly, these languages are easier to maintain.
Disadvantages of high level language
Without hesitation, let’s dig into the downsides of a high level language.
1. High-level language is slower due to translation
By now, users likely understand that the execution time of high-level language increases because source code needs to be translated via an interpreter or compiler to binary or assembly code. Therefore, high level language programs are usually slower than middle or low-level language ones. Thus, if time is of the essence, low or middle-level languages take precedence, as high-level one is time-inefficient.
2. It is less memory efficient
Another clear demerit of this type of programming language is the increased memory needs. High level languages must store users’ instructions before they interpret or compile them into a machine or assembly language. Those instructions occupy more memory, which can increase storage costs.
3. High level language object code is not efficient
As a result of compiling or interpretation, the result, called the object code, is inefficient compared to the code written in assembly or machine language. That is expected, and its multifunctionality makes up for that outside niche uses.
4. It doesn’t communicate with hardware directly
High level language, by nature, whether compiled or interpreted, cannot communicate with machines. That has benefits we went over but is also a limiting factor. In some industries with outdated but expensive equipment or security risks, it’s unfeasible to use anything but assembly or machine language. Also, that reduces control and access levels to that hardware. Thus, programmers unfamiliar with low-level programming languages may lose employment opportunities in niche areas.
5. High level language offers less flexibility
This downside of the language ties in directly with hardware control. Because programmers cannot directly provide instructions to the machine’s CPU, registers, and memory, they can’t or can with great difficulty perform certain actions. This lack of flexibility means some special features are out of reach for high level programmers. Or, at least, they are impractical compared to using assembly or machine language.