JS Questions: What is a Dynamic Programming Language?

This is the first in a series of posts I’m writing that aims to provide concise, understandable answers to Javascript-related questions, helping me better understand both foundational concepts and the changing landscape of language updates, frameworks, testing tools, etc. 

I’m starting with the basics: what is a dynamic programming language?

A dynamic programming language is a high-level language that compiles at run time. Run time is the moment when a program is executed. Compiling means translating the higher-level code (such as the js code written by a programmer) into a lower-level code–machine code–that the computer can run.

Dynamic languages lend themselves to certain types of behaviors, such as metaprogramming–code that can manipulate code. In dynamic languages, variables can be reassigned, and values can even be coerced into different types (such as using parseInt() on the string “1”).

In general, programs written in dynamic languages can be developed more quickly, but won’t run as quickly as those written in static languages.

Some examples of dynamic languages are:


  • Javascript
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Perl
  • PHP




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