What is a Hello World program?

Making a program say “Hello World” is one of the first skills that programmers learn. The objective behind a simple Hello World program is simple. A plain Hello World code illustrates the syntax and the programming language’s functionality in the simplest way.

What is a Hello World program used for?

The text “Hello, World!” was one of the first codes written by programmers. This cryptic phrase has actually achieved cult status since the US series “Mr. Robot” was released. However, it’s been a cultural asset in the programming community for some time. But what is the meaning behind it and why is it a rite of passage for those who learn programming?

A Hello World program is just a simple code which outputs the text “Hello World”. Creating a Hello World program is an easy introduction to programming, and you can see the result immediately. Beginners can quickly get a sense of how easy or complex internet programming languages can be. If you are considering learning Python, you will immediately see how concise the Hello World code is:

print ("Hello, World!")

The simple text looks much more complicated in Java:

class Hello {
  public static void main( String[] args ) {
    System.out.println("Hello, World!");

Beginners can see how the syntax differs between programming languages and how sophisticated programming paradigms are when it comes to complex programming.

What is the function of a Hello World program?

A Hello World program doesn’t offer a deep insight into a programming language, nor does it teach you any functions that go beyond the famous greeting to the world. Nevertheless, “Hello, World!” is one of the unspoken rituals which even experienced programmers follow when learning a new language. When it comes to children’s programming, a Hello World program allows kids to learn how to use code editors and a variety of interesting code languages in a fun and interesting way.

Whether you consider it a cult, a tradition, or a simple teaching tool, one thing is certain about Hello World, it’s fun to create a small program in a short amount of time that does exactly what you ask it to do. Programmer Erin Spiceland described the fascination of programming as “telling rocks what to think”. Nothing compares to the magic of creating a readable, working program with a few pieces of code like a simple “Hello, World!”.

Where does the name come from?

Many people who are programming “Hello, World!” for the first time will wonder who came up with the idea in the first place? The origin of the tradition dates back to 1972 and 1974. Brian Kernighan is a Canadian computer scientist and co-developer of the B and C programming languages and wrote the internal manuals for B and C. His aim was show how individual words could be arranged in a meaningful way using the B and C code languages. The inspiration for the famous greeting is said to have come from a cartoon Kernighan had seen on television.

The “breakthrough” of the familiar word came with the famous Bell Laboratories textbook “The C Programming Language”, which Kernighan wrote with the American computer scientist Dennis Ritchie. This was the first book published on the C programming language. It quickly achieved fame and is now considered a standard work. The text was written as “hello, world” in Kernighan’s internal instructions and in “The C Programming Language”. It subsequently became known as “Hello, World!” or “Hello World” in the programming community.

What are some examples for Hello World in different programming languages?

It is difficult to say how many programming languages there are in the world today. Estimates range from 700 to over 1,000 markup languages. The simple programming task “Hello World!” can be used to get a quick and clear overview of each syntax.

The following examples of Hello World programs illustrate the complexity or even conciseness and efficiency of different programming languages:


main() {
    printf("Hello, World!");


#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
    puts("Hello, World!");
    return 0;


#include <iostream>

int main()
    std::cout << "Hello, World!" << std::endl;


import std.stdio;
void main() {
    writeln("Hello, world!");

JavaScript (in the browser):

document.write("Hello, World!");


       PUT 'Hello, World!' TO TERMINAL;


    print "Hello, World!";


    print "Hello, World!";


SELECT 'Hello, World! AS message;

Unix shell:

echo 'Hello, World!'
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