Programming, coding, and developing are becoming vital skills in almost every industry on earth.
People with programming knowledge are needed to do everything from running automated mining operations to configuring a supermarket checkout. That's why so many people are starting to learn to program even if they're learning the easiest programming language.
Before we begin figuring out which programming language is the easiest, it is important to note that not everyone asks the question “What programming language should I learn first?” with the same end goal in mind.
Someone with an academic background who wants to learn programming basics to help their research will have completely different requirements to someone who wants to build a career as a back-end web developer.
In the same way, the easiest programming language for one person won’t necessarily be the easiest for someone else.
Now, even defining what I mean by the ‘easiest programming language’ is not a simple thing to do. By easiest, do I mean the easiest to learn, the easiest to write, the easiest to troubleshoot, or the easiest to find work with?
Do I mean something else altogether? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, which is why I have focused on a range of different languages in my search.
In this article, I have given preferences to languages which I think are contenders for the easiest programming language to learn. I believe that choosing an easy language to help you learn programming basics is almost essential if you want to succeed.
More difficult languages may seem interesting, but you will be more likely to get lost and give up if you try and learn them first.
Table of Contents
- 1. Possibilities of a Programmer
- 1.1. To Turn It Into a Career
- 1.2. Learning to Code Will Teach You Discipline, Accuracy & Attention to Detail
- 1.3. Even If You Aren’t A Developer, Programming Can Land You A Promotion
- 2. What Are The Easiest Programming Languages to Learn?
- 2.2. Ruby
- 2.3. Python
- 2.4. Go
- 2.5. Java
- 2.6. HTML
- 3. Conclusion
Possibilities of a Programmer
Before you even begin searching for the easiest programming language to learn, you need to ask yourself why you want to learn a language. The simple fact is that pretty much every language is suited to specific use cases, which means that your end goals will largely influence the language you choose.
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Some of the main reasons you should learn programming basics include:
To Turn It Into a Career
The most common reason for someone to begin coding is because they want to turn it into a career. If you are sick of what you’re doing and think it could be time for a change, then learn to code.
Highly experienced programmers and developers can earn six figures per year without any problems, and decent programmers are in high demand at the moment.
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Learning to Code Will Teach You Discipline, Accuracy & Attention to Detail
Writing code is difficult. If you have any doubts about your commitment to learning a new programming language, then perhaps you should reconsider your options - if you aren’t committed, you will find it extremely hard to become a successful programmer. But why?
- Programming requires extreme accuracy. Even one mistake can render an entire block of code useless, which can translate to hours of wasted time.
- Even if you choose the easiest programming language you will need to be committed and disciplined to succeed.
- Once you start to write your programs you will soon learn to pay extreme attention to detail. If you don’t, you will just end up wasting hours of your time.
Even If You Aren’t A Developer, Programming Can Land You A Promotion
Such is the influence of programming in the modern world. People without any coding skills whatsoever can quickly move up the career ladder by simply learning a new language. Take the following as an example:
Imagine that you are a researcher with a prominent university. To be able to write your research and data analysis programs, you decide to learn Python. Suddenly, you find yourself in line for a job as a head researcher or professor - simply because you can now write scientific computer programs!
This is just one example. The real message here is that no matter what field you work in, programming has the potential to fast-track your career.
With this in mind, let’s take a quick look at a few contenders for the easiest programming language to learn.
What Are The Easiest Programming Languages to Learn?
In response to popular demand, I have decided to put together a detailed list of what I believe are the easiest programming languages at present. Remember that new languages are created regularly, and most of these focus on ease of both learning and use, so this list may not be definitive or long-lasting.
Before we start, here are a few of the things that I thought about when searching for the easiest programming language. Each of these points was considered (where applicable), and taken into account when putting this list together:
- How easy a language is to learn. This includes not only learning the syntax but learning how to write programs or applications with it.
- How easy a language is to troubleshoot. A language that is super easy to learn, but difficult to troubleshoot will not be easy for beginner programmers.
- How many resources are available for learners of a particular language. This means that many of the languages outlined below are among the most popular in the world, simply because of the huge amount of resources available means they are the easiest to learn.
Now, without further ado, here are the contenders for the easiest programming language, in no particular order.
Ruby is a high-level programming language that allows full-stack web development through the popular Ruby on Rails framework.
It was designed to be easy to learn, easy to use, and a whole lot of fun. If you are hoping to kickstart your career as a full-stack web developer, Ruby is probably going the be the easiest programming language for you.
Originally designed for game development, Ruby has a very clear code that reads just like English. This makes it super easy to understand for beginner programmers. Some of the main benefits of learning Ruby include:
- It is a satisfying language. Ruby allows you to build games or websites without a whole lot of knowledge.
This means that you will spend less time learning syntax and concepts and more time learning by practicing. Learning like this is both easy and fulfilling, making Ruby a great language for beginners.
- It is quite flexible. As a dynamically typed language, Ruby can be used to build a whole lot of things. This is clearly shown in the fact that it was originally designed to write code for game development but is now mainly used for website construction.
- It has a huge community. Ruby has a huge following throughout the world. This is extremely beneficial for people trying to learn their first language, as it means that help and mentoring are readily available.
With an average salary of just under six figures and a high demand for developers, there is a lot of potential for career advancement through Ruby - even if you have zero programming knowledge before you start.
If you have been asking the question “What programming language should I learn first?”, you should seriously consider Ruby. BitDegree offers a clear, concise Learn Ruby on Rails course which is specially designed for beginners with little programming knowledge.
Many experienced programmers will argue that Python is - without a doubt - the easiest programming language. In reality, they have a case. Python is a relatively simple language, it is taught in schools throughout the world, and it is very readable and easy to follow.
If you are looking for the best programming language to learn first, then Python should be near the top of your list.
When you decide to learn Python, you will see that you don’t have to waste a lot of time learning difficult syntax or conventions.
It is very readable, which means that the commands you type will read similar to the English language. This will leave you with more time to focus on learning general programming concepts and to practice writing your code.
Python is the favored programming language for scientists and academics throughout the world. It is used by NASA to write programs for their various space research projects! If you work in a scientific field, then learning Python could help you advance your career or get a fast-tracked promotion.
If Python strikes your fancy, and you think that it could be the easiest programming language for you to learn, then take a look at the edX's Python course. You will learn Python syntax and how to use it, common uses for the Python language, and how to use Python libraries and databases.
A relative newcomer to the programming world, Go - also known as Golang - is a new language that is a direct alternative to Python.
Created by Google in 2007, Go has grown steadily over the years and is now used for things like web and mobile development. Like Python, Go is versatile, easy to use, and allows basic code to be written rapidly.
Unlike Python, Go is also very useful when it comes to building more complex systems or programs. It eliminates common mistakes that plague Python developers, and it has, therefore, gained a strong following around the world.
Some of the reasons why I believe that Go is one of, if not the easiest programming language include:
- It is super simple. Much has been made about the simplicity of Python and how easy it is to follow its code. However, it is said that Go is even easier to follow, making it perfect for beginner programmers.
- It is fast, which means that it is great for developing websites and games. These are two of the most common jobs for developers who are just starting, making Go a great first language.
- It has clear syntax. One of the things which make the Go language so simple is its clear programming syntax. This makes it very easy for beginners to pick up and means that you will spend less time learning the language rules and more time writing and practicing code.
If you think that Go ticks all the boxes as the easiest programming language, then sign up for a course today! A quick Google search will reveal several online courses. Do some research, sign up for your favorite, and start learning!
Java sits alongside Python for some reason: it’s also old, it’s instantly recognizable to the majority of people in the world (in name at least), and it’s one of the most widespread programming languages on the planet.
Now, although some people will argue with us on this, I believe that Java is a contender when it comes to the easiest programming language to learn.
As noted above, Java is an extremely popular language. This means that there is a huge amount of resources out there for people who want to learn the language.
Naturally, a lot of support means that you will find it easier to learn Java, increasing your chance of actually becoming a half-decent programmer.
Java is also a very versatile language which can be used for all sorts of things. Some of our favorite Java features which have landed it a spot on this list include:
- As already noted, the huge amount of resources to help you learn the language.
- The fact that it’s an open-source language. This may not mean a whole lot to you yet, but it will in the future.
- It is a universal language used for everything from mobile development to back-end web development.
- It is easy to learn due to its English-like syntax and relatively simple rules.
As you can see, Java is a great language for beginners. Check out this Java course and start learning Java.
Although it isn’t strictly a ‘programming language’, HTML has made this list since it is very simple and easy to both learn and use. It is used for front end web development - specifically for content management.
Have you ever wondered how webmasters can change the font, positioning, color, and size of their text? The answer is with an HTML markup.
Now, if you have asked yourself “What programming language should I learn first?”, but are hesitant to answer because you are afraid of the difficulty of learning a new language, HTML could be a good place to start.
It is nowhere near as difficult as any of the ‘real’ programming languages, but it will still give you a very good introduction to programming.
Sure, you can’t do as much with HTML, but that’s beside the point.
If you think that learning an easier language like HTML is the right way for you to start programming, then have a look at the Udacity's HTML and CSS course.
PHP is said to be the programming language of the internet. It was designed for website building, and it does its job extremely well. It is so good to use for web pages that over 80% of the internet uses PHP in some form!
As you can imagine, this means that there is and will always be work for experienced PHP developers. It is a relatively easy language to get started with, which makes it perfect for beginners.
It was originally designed to help simplify the web development process, which means that it is naturally easy to learn. Some people will argue that you don’t even have to understand PHP code to throw it together.
As a dynamically typed language, PHP is very flexible. This makes it relatively easy to put together the working code, as there are fewer rules to follow and more ways to achieve the same outcome.
PHP has a very large online community, which makes it a great language for beginners who are going to need support as they learn programming basics.
If you think that PHP is a good language for you, you should take a look at Coursera's PHP course!
The search for the easiest programming language is never an easy one. Different people will argue for and against different languages, so there is no definitive answer when it comes to determining the easiest programming language.
The languages outlined in the above article are among some of the best for beginners. They are all easy to learn, easy to work with, and have the potential for decent career advancement. If you are serious about becoming a programmer, consider the following when choosing a language to learn:
- What sort of work you want to do. For example, you wouldn’t learn HTML if you want to get into back-end website development.
- How much programming knowledge you have. If you already have a decent amount of programming knowledge, you will probably be able to handle learning harder languages.
- How much time you have to commit to your language. A lot of more complex languages require a huge time commitment, while simpler languages like HTML are much faster to learn.
Make sure that you do a lot of research before you settle on a language, and make sure that you understand how and where your chosen language is used.