Fortran, the first higher level programming language turned 50 this year. It was created to let non-computer scientists formulate their problems in a more natural language than assembler code. Hence the name is an amalgamation of the term “formula translator”. There has been a BBC Radio show observing the anniversary. And for the historically interested, there is an interview with John Backus, the team leader developing the first version from 1979.Â Telepolis has an article (in German) too.