The Top Six Easiest Programming Languages to Learn
February 6, 2023
Think about learning to read. First, you master the alphabet, learning to differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters. Next, you learn what each letter sounds like, how to blend the sounds together, and how to decode words. So, when you run across the word “sesquipedalian” for the first time as an adult, these early skills and habits will be what you automatically revert to as you unravel the word letter by letter, syllable by syllable. Reading doesn’t get easier, per se–especially as you learn more advanced syntax skills and tackle high-level works–but as your skills grow, you can interact with texts in ways that are increasingly complex. The same idea applies when exploring the easiest coding language to learn. Thus, the best and easiest programming language to learn will not only feature an intuitive and simple-to-grasp syntax but also teach you how to think and problem-solve like a coder.
What is the easiest programming language to learn?
“Easy” is always relative, and the easiest coding language to learn will depend on many different factors, such as your intended use for the language and your comfort level with technology. That said, according to developer surveys, general ease of use, syntax structure, accessibility to beginners, and resource availability, a handful of programming languages are typically considered easier (and more essential) than others.
The first language you learn is often considered to be the most difficult. Along with mastering the language itself, you’ll also be learning foundational concepts and habits of mind, like how to write code that is efficient and can be easily understood by others. Since you will likely learn multiple languages over the course of your career, you’ll then be able to apply these concepts to the next language you decide to study.
Also, it is important to ask yourself why you hope to learn programming. There are five different types of languages: procedural, functional, object-oriented, scripting, and logic. Procedural and object-oriented languages are most prevalent, with object-oriented languages having risen dramatically in popularity in recent years. Therefore, depending on why you’ve decided to learn to code, “easiest” and “most useful” may be synonymous.
Six Easiest Programming Languages to Learn
According to responses from Stack Overflow’s 2022 Developer Survey as well as programmer reviews, the following languages are typically well-suited for and popular among beginning coders:
What careers you might need HTML/CSS for: Web development, web applications, software engineering, software development, content editing and production.
The bottom line: If you hope to work in front-end, back-end, or full-stack development, HTML and CSS will be invaluable skills in your toolbox, and you don’t need much to get started—just a text editor. Furthermore, HTML and CSS can be important for non-web development careers as well, like graphic design and social media management.
Think of C as the Marvel of the programming world. The early days of Human Torch and Captain America paved the way for OG Avengers Iron Man and Thor as well as more recent offshoots like Deadpool and Ms. Marvel. With upwards of sixty derivative languages, including C++, C#, Swift, and R, C is one of the oldest and most foundational programming languages. Moreover, many experienced programmers suggest that C is the best and easiest programming language to learn. This is because it teaches new programmers fundamental coding concepts as well as how the computer works. Such deep understanding will be invaluable as you move forward.
Object-oriented languages are currently more popular (think Python and Java). However, procedural languages like C–those that tell what the computer to do step-by-step–will always be relevant. And since C forms the building blocks of so many other languages, you’ll utilize your knowledge for years to come.
In addition, popular “C-suite” languages include C++ and C# (pronounced “C sharp,” which will only make sense to anyone musically inclined). Both languages are typically much easier to learn if you already have a foundation in C.
What careers you might need C for: Software development, programming, and embedded software engineering, particularly within the automotive and robotics industries.
The bottom line: With only 32 keywords, C is a general-purpose language with a simple syntax and fast execution. Additionally, few available libraries mean you will learn to code cleanly and efficiently.
Given Python’s simplicity and versatility, many new coders consider it to be the easiest programming language to learn. Its syntax is purposely similar to the English language, which makes code writing feel more intuitive. In addition, Python boasts a vast online community, can be used for myriad projects, and has the ability to be downloaded on multiple operating systems. Moreover, there are in excess of 100,000 Python libraries, meaning that users have swaths of already-written code at their fingertips.
What careers you might need Python for: Machine learning, IT, software engineering, game development, AI, data science, academic research, and the financial tech sector.
The bottom line: A featured language in many introductory computer science languages and widely used in a number of industries, Python’s popularity won’t be decreasing any time soon. In addition, you can master the fundamentals in a few weeks to a few months.
What careers you might need Java for: Software programming, software development, game development, web development, app development, scientific research.
The bottom line: With a syntax similar to English and a number of existing frameworks, Java is a popular choice among new programmers. In addition, it teaches important concepts and problem-solving skills. These abilities make it easier to transition to other languages, like Python, C, and C++.
6) Go (GoLang)
What careers you might need Go for: Software engineering and development, web development, cloud computing development, database administration.
The bottom line: Able to be used with any operating system, Go is another highly versatile language. It has myriad applications and a thriving support community. Bonus: if you’re familiar with C, you should be able to pick up Go no problem.
I chose a language. How should I proceed?
To master the easiest coding language, you can choose from several available learning options, which range from pure self-study (YouTube tutorials, anyone?) to bootcamps and free courses. When choosing an option, consider your learning style–do you typically need more or less support? Do you want to be able to collaborate with other students? How quickly would you like to master your chosen language? Are you planning to take AP Computer Science or major in a computer science-related field in college? The answers to these questions should inform how you proceed.
Final Thoughts – Easiest Programming Language to Learn
The “easiest” coding language to learn depends on what you hope to use it for and your existing CS knowledge. A future data analyst might start with Python while an aspiring web developer might opt for C. Whatever you choose, it’s highly likely that your first language will only be the start of your programming journey.