BASIC is a beginner-friendly programming language designed in 1964 as an easy way to teach programming concepts, and it is still used today for entry-level coding education.

What does BASIC Mean?

BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a programming language designed for ease of use, particularly among beginners. It features a simple syntax resembling everyday English and is characterized by line numbers, Which aid in debugging. BASIC allows users to write programs that can manipulate variables, perform mathematical operations, and control program flow through conditional statements and loops. Its simplicity and accessibility have made it a popular starting point for aspiring programmers and a useful tool in education and other domains.


BASIC has been widely used in various domains due to its ease of use and versatility. Key applications include:

  • Education: BASIC’s accessibility and beginner-friendly nature make it an ideal choice for teaching programming concepts in schools and universities.
  • Personal computing: In the early days of personal computers, BASIC was a popular language for creating simple games, utilities, and other user applications.
  • Rapid prototyping: Due to its quick development time, BASIC is suitable for rapidly prototyping ideas and experimenting with different programming approaches.
  • Control systems: BASIC has been employed in industrial and Embedded systems for controlling devices, monitoring sensors, and interfacing with hardware.
  • Spreadsheet applications: Early spreadsheet software like VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 utilized BASIC for their macro capabilities, allowing users to automate tasks and extend the functionality of the spreadsheets.


The development of BASIC began in the Mid-1960s at Dartmouth College. John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz created the language to make programming more accessible to non-technical students. The first version of BASIC, known as BASIC-64, was released in 1964. It quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity and ease of use.

Over the years, BASIC underwent several revisions and improvements. Notable versions include:

  • BASIC-PLUS: Developed in the late 1970s, BASIC-PLUS introduced enhanced features like structured programming support and improved error handling.
  • Visual BASIC: Released by Microsoft in the 1990s, Visual BASIC integrated a graphical user interface (GUI) and drag-and-drop programming, making it easier to create complex applications.
  • Visual Basic .NET: This version, released in 2002, brought object-oriented programming and .NET framework capabilities to BASIC.

Today, BASIC continues to be used as a teaching language and for developing simple applications. While it has been largely overshadowed by more advanced programming languages, its legacy and impact on the field of computing remain significant.