One of the questions a lot of programmers ask, especially the newbies, is “what are the easiest programming languages to learn?”.
With the ever-growing technological trends in the world, programming has received more attention in the past few years. Coding can be difficult and tasking, especially in the beginning.
People always want things done the easy way, without all the unnecessary stress. And yes, I agree. Why go through all the unnecessary stress if there is an easy way to do it. Actually, it is very good to go for a simple language which is easy to learn. That way you have a lot of time to put what you have learnt to practice and apply them in real life situations. You don’t want to learn one programming language forever.
Programming is very challenging. In fact, it can be overwhelming to make a choice due to the large number of programming languages in existence. It needs a lot of dedication, open mindedness, consistency and some level of discipline to grasp.
This article will be looking at a handful of the easiest programming languages to learn. Below, in no particular order, is a list of the easiest programming languages to learn in 2020:
Python is an easy, general-purpose coding language designed with readability in mind. It was created by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer, in the year 1991. It is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level language. Python is arguably the simplest programming language as of now. The core philosophy of the language was summarized in the document “The Zen of Python:
- Beautiful is better than ugly
- Explicit is better than implicit
- Simple is better than complex
- Complex is better than complicated
- Readability counts.
The most notable feature of Python is code readability as it is always easy to read through the code and easily understand what it does. It also has an extensive library which contains built-in modules.
Also, python is a very powerful and popular programming language with a lot of applications in various fields, such as
- Basic programming applications (e.g. card games)
- Back end web development with the Django or flask framework
- Machine learning with the SciPy or scikit-learn libraries
- Data analysis and visualization with pandas and matplotlib
- Web scarping with Beautiful Soup and Scrapy.
- Video game development with the pygame library, etc.
It is therefore a very good choice for a beginner. The community is very robust and supportive so a beginner will easily find help when stuck.
Just like Python, Ruby is also very easy to learn programming language because of its simple syntax. Ruby is a simple, dynamic, and object-oriented scripting language. Learning a new programming language means learning a whole bunch of new, unfamiliar concepts and syntaxes. Ruby is actually similar to writing plain English, yes, it is that easy. The Ruby syntax is not just simple, but it is also brief, compared to other languages like Java.
With Ruby, you write a lot less code. It focuses on simplicity and productivity just like the Python language. Another factor that simplifies Ruby and makes it easy to learn is the friendly and supportive community and tons of free resource materials. It helps you as a new programmer to easily find solutions to problems you will likely encounter.
The Ruby on Rails Framework is a very popular framework of the Ruby language. They are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Ruby on Rails is a web application development framework that is actually written in the Ruby programming language. This framework can serve as both server-side and client-side technology (frontend and backend) for building web applications quickly.
Java is an object-oriented programming language created by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages. Java is used to build applications and platforms for many devices, including computers, laptops, gaming consoles, etc.
Java was designed for flexibility, allowing developers to write code that would run on any machine, regardless of architecture or platform. According to the Java home page, more than 3 billion computers and 4 billion mobile phones worldwide run Java. This explains why it is a highly demanded skill.
Java is beginner friendly, despite it being verbose (you have to write a lot of words compared to other languages). It is also easy to learn as it is a high-level language. There is also a large community of developers ready to help you whenever you face challenges and there are also a lot of resources to help you get a good handle of the Java language.
It is essential to note that Java got most of its syntax from C++, which is an older language. It is also way simpler than C++. Some of the area of application of Java in real time today includes:
- Desktop GUI (Graphical User Interface) Applications.
- Mobile applications
- Embedded systems
- Application and web servers
- Scientific applications
- Big data technologies
- Web applications
- Business applications, etc.
PHP which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a general-purpose scripting language. It was written by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP originally stood for “Personal Home Page”. PHP is generally regarded as an easy programming language to learn, especially for first timers in the programming world.
As a matter of fact, PHP is viewed as “nearly perfect” for a first programming language as it is easy to use and understand and also has a supportive and large community of developers.
PHP is widely used as a back-end programming language today on many websites. PHP’s popularity might be attributed to how it makes it easy for developers to retrieve and store data in databases while also processing and replying to users’ requests. PHP becomes easier to learn if you have previous knowledge of HTML.
C# is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft’s Anders Hejlsberg in 2000. It is especially suited for building programs for Windows environments and creating web applications in combination with the .NET Framework.
C# is known for its simplicity and easy to use features. It is statically typed and easy to read, making it easy to scour for tiny errors. It saves a lot of time. This makes it easy to learn and it does not make the language too overwhelming for beginners.
Just like the other programming languages earlier discussed, there is an ocean of other developers that make up the C# community. They provide the necessary support needed and also makes learning the language easier.
Some of the real-life applications of C# includes:
- Mobile applications
- Desktop applications
- Cloud-based services
- Enterprise Software
- Games etc.
is a programming language and free software for statistical computing and graphics. It was developed by the R Foundation for statistical computing in 1993. R is a programming language focused on data analysis and data visualization. With that in mind, it might not be the best language to start with if you’re looking to acquire skills and knowledge that are more generally applicable to the problems you’ll be solving as a programmer.
R can be overwhelming for a beginner but if approached with a sound and ready mind, it actually turns out to be very simple. Big thanks to the large R community who are ever willing to help you out. Anyway, it is not advisable to pick R as a first language if you are not interested into data science, statistics and other related fields.
Swift is a general purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc in 2014. Swift is the preferred coding language for Apple operating systems. It is used within the Apple ecosystem for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and Linux.
Swift is easier to learn compared to the likes of Java. It was designed to be very powerful, yet easy enough for beginners to learn. Swift uses a simple and expressive syntax that is easy to understand. Apple also made sure to provide enough free learning resources that covers the main principles of swift. And guess what? Swift developers are well paid. So, if you want to venture into iOS development, then you should start learning swift today.
Go or GoLang is a fast, statically typed, compiled programming language. It is very clean and easy-to-read. It was developed in 2007 but launched in 2009 as an open-source programming language. Go’s syntax is small compared to other programming languages, making it a very easy language to learn. You can fit most of it in your head, making you spend less time looking things up.
Go is very easy to handle and maintain, making it a great choice for a beginner. Despite its simplicity, it is as powerful as most of the other programming languages. Go has about 25 keywords presently which is about half if what some other languages have. This makes it easy to learn and assimilate.
HTML uses tags (such as <p>, <h1> etc.) to describe how elements and content will be rendered on web browsers. HTML is very easy to learn and is very popular among web developers. This is the first step in the journey of many programmers today.
So, what is CSS
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It was first proposed by Hakon Wium Lie in 1994 and then developed by World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) in 1996. CSS is always used alongside HTML to tell how elements look on the website when viewed by a web browser. It deals with the look, feel and aesthetics of websites.
With advancement in technologies, we can now also have animated content on websites and even determine when to be shown to users. We also now have a large amount of control over the positioning of elements on our webpages and on the webpage layout generally. a well written CSS can result in improved looks, readability and functionality of a website.
Just like HTML, CSS is not a real programming language, but rather a style sheet language. It is also on the list for the same reason as HTML. CSS is very easy to learn, understand and use. And it can also be a good starting point, alongside HTML, especially if you are pursuing a career in web development.
The above languages were selected based on:
- Developer Community
- In-demand rate
All of the programming languages above are relatively easy to learn. However, what determines the language you want to learn is not the simplicity but rather what you want to achieve with your programming skills. If you have a problem you want to solve or a project to carry out, it would be a wise decision to carefully examine each of the languages above (and even others not listed above here) and going for the most appropriate one for the task at hand.
In reality, no programming language is too simple or too hard. It depends largely on you, the student. To be a good programmer, it requires some sacrifices also. You must spend quality time researching and studying materials and resources (pdfs, articles, blogposts, tutorial videos etc.).
You must also be consistent. Try to write some lines of codes daily. The journey to being a good programmer is not a day’s trip. Take your time and understand the basics of the language before you delve deeper into the language.