Top 5 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

There are tons of stories out there of self-taught programmers. According to the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, although 75% of professional software developers had achieved at least the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher, it was still common to find a successful software developer who had never completed a degree.

Furthermore, it was found that just over 85% of respondents had taught themselves a new language, tool, or framework without taking a formal course. Suffice to say, you can teach yourself how to code. You just need the right resources.

First, you'll need to decide what your first programming language will be. It has to be something easy but its fundamentals and standards need to be transplantable to other languages. This is so when you decide to learn something more advanced, it will be a little easier.

Nevertheless, in the following guide, we've listed five of the easiest programming languages to learn (with a bonus surprise at the end). If you're looking to add spice to your resume or change career paths, your journey begins here.

The Easiest Programming Language for Beginners

1. Python

Python logo and wordmark

What Is It?

Python is a reflective multi-paradigm programming language originally released in 1991. In the last decade, its seen itself blow up in popularity. After Java became less open-source after Oracle's acquisition, people started looking for an alternative. Python is that alternative.

According to Statista, it's the fourth most used programming language but the first most popular general-purpose programming language. This can most likely be attributed to its ease of use.

Why Is It Easy To Learn?

What makes Python the easiest programming language to use and learn is its accessibility. It's an open-source programming language with a large international following.

Python is so easy to learn, that for many educators, it's the preferred first programming language for kids.

Python has a relatively simple syntax style. It doesn't force programmers to use curly brackets to section off blocks of code. End-of- statement semicolons are also optional. Python is so simple that it only takes a single line to complete a hello world application.

Thanks to it being open-source, it has a large community of developers backing it. It's not hard to find an online course or free eBooks that teach you high-level programming with Python. This is why Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn and use.

What Is It Used For?

The question should be: "What can Python be not used for?". Once again, Python is a high-level general-purpose programming language. Just because it's easy to use doesn't mean it's not powerful.

Python is quite popular in data science. It can be used to create data structures, algorithms, desktop and web applications. You can also download an additional package that allows you to develop mobile apps.

If you want to write easy to understand code, you should learn Python. In addition to this, Python developers are currently in high demand. It's arguably one of the best programming languages for professionals and scientists.

2. JavaScript

Javascript-shield.png - Wikimedia Commons

What Is It?

JavaScript was originally developed and released in the mid-90s. It is a scripting language that allows you to incorporate advanced features into a webpage. However, this is not its only use case...

Why Is It Easy To Learn?

JavaScript is in no way related to Java. But they share very similar syntax and rules. This is because the creators had originally planned to embed Java code into web pages to make them more dynamic. But they eventually decided to create a whole new language clearly inspired by Java.

So learning Java could make learning JavaScript easier. However, Java is one of the most semantically strict object-oriented languages and it's technically more robust than JavaScript. So learning JavaScript is easier and quicker.

To start learning JavaScript, all you need is a text processor and a JavaScript-enabled web-browser. Because JavaScript is the most used programming language in the world (according to Statista), you can find an abundance of support for it on the internet.

What Is It Used For?

JavaScript is commonly used to add additional functionality to webpages. However, it can also be utilized outside of HTML for server-side website deployments and desktop applications through software frameworks and run time environment like Node.js.

Once again, if you plan on becoming a web-designer or web-developer, you need to make sure that you learn JavaScript along with HTML and CSS.

3. Ruby

File:Ruby logo

What Is It?

Ruby is an object-orientated scripting language. It's the perfect alternative to programming languages like Python and Java. It's a dynamically typed multi-paradigm general-purpose language. And it's an easy language to learn for beginners.

Why Is It Easy To Learn?

Even though it's not as popular as the other programming languages on this list, it is inspired by most of them. This means what you learn from Ruby can be applied to other languages.

Ruby mixes procedural, functional, and object-oriented programming. It's not too strict or strongly typed making the syntax relatively easy to learn. For instance, you can define code blocks using curly braces or keywords.

What Is It Used For?

Ruby is a general-purpose programming language so it can be employed in a variety of applications. You can use it for front-end and back-end web development, database work, data sorting, web and desktop applications.

Despite Ruby's lack of popularity, it's still extremely useful. In fact, Twitter uses Ruby on Rails for its framework. Learning Ruby is still worthwhile.

4. Visual Basic .NET


What Is It?

Visual Basic .Net (VB .Net) is Microsoft's successor to Visual Basic. As with the original Visual Basic, it's derived from BASIC (Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), a programming language that was made to be accessible to non-computer scientists. VB .Net continues this tradition and is one of the easiest general-purpose programming languages to learn.

Why Is It Easy To Learn?

VB .Net was designed to be simple to learn and adopt. If you're looking for a practical introduction to object-oriented programming languages, VB .Net offers you the perfect start.

Its syntax is clear and some of its rules are lenient when compared to other OO programming languages. For instance, defining code blocks isn't rigid. Curly braces are unnecessary and you don't have to end a line with a colon or semicolon. It can be terminated with a new line.

In addition to its forgiving and loose syntax, there is a slew of textbooks, online courses, documentation and videos to help you learn it. Microsoft has also made their VB compiler in the .Net Compiler Platform open-sourced.

What Is It Used For?

When you start working with VB .Net, you can develop simple Windows desktop applications. As you progress, you'll be able to create classes, libraries, components, game development, web applications, Windows services, and access application object models. It's a good language to help you learn simple programming concepts. It's extremely beginner-friendly. While it's one of the easiest programming languages to learn, it's also one of the most flexible. Once you learn VB .Net, you can learn Java, C# or something more advanced.

5. Perl

Logo De Perl - Wikimedia Commons

What Is It?

Although Perl isn't an actual acronym, people often use it as a faux acronym that stands for "Practical Extraction and Reporting Language". This is a perfect description. Perl is a flexible high-level multi-paradigm open source programming language that was originally developed to manipulate text. It's evolved since then. It's now the perfect place to start if you want to learn to code.

Why Is It Easy To Learn?

Perl began its life as a simple scripting language and that simplicity still carries over to its latest version. Much like C, it's a procedural language. Because of its style and flexibility, Perl can be considered the easiest programming language to learn. There is more than one way to accomplish a task in Perl.

In most cases, you don't have to compile your code after writing it. You can write and run your programs fluidly which allows for quick debugging. Perl has a thriving online community and plenty of resources to help you get started. Visit Perl's website for more information.

What Is It Used For?

Initially, Perl was used to extract and sort text from a document. This is still its most popular use case because of how fast it can process data. Today, Perl is a fully-fledged programming language that can compete with programming languages such as Java, C#, C++ etc. It can be used to build graphical user interfaces, databases, data analysis, task automation, web development, etc.

Honorable Mention: HTML

HTML 5 Logo. Source: Pixabay

What Is It?

According to an early 2020 Statista tally of the most used programming languages, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the second most popular programming language in the world. This makes sense considering that the majority of web pages you view on your computer or mobile device are made up of HTML. While many would argue that it's a markup language and not a programming language, it's widely used and can still be used to make great things.

Why Is It Easy to Learn?

What makes HTML the easiest programming language to learn is all you really need to work with it is a simple text editor and a web browser. In addition to this, because of HTML's popularity, there are a plethora of online resources to help you learn how to code with HTML for free.

It's a markup language so its syntax is easy to adapt to. All you need to figure out is which tags go where and what their properties are. You'll be able to develop your first web page in no time.

What Is It Used For?

HTML is what web browsers use (partly) to form visual elements to display to users. The internet is essentially built on a foundation of HTML tags. In terms of programming, it's definitely the easiest language to learn.

In Summary

Any time you use any of your devices, you're using the fruits of a collaboration of a set of programming languages. Learning how to code is deciding to look under the hood to figure out how everything works, and how you can make it better.

It's daunting at first but once you get a hang of it, you begin to think differently. And it all starts with your first programming language. Hopefully, the above selections can get the ball rolling. Don't just stop at one, make it a mission to try as many as you can. Nevertheless, we hope that you've enjoyed reading this guide. Thank you for reading.

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