The 5 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

Getting started on your path to becoming a programmer or software developer can feel a bit intimidating. There are a lot of programming languages, frameworks, and technologies available, and choosing the best options to learn in the beginning can be difficult. 

Finding the best programming language for you depends on what you want to achieve with your programming knowledge. Are you looking for the easiest programming language to learn? HTML can help you get started. Do you want a universal language that’s applicable in many contexts? Python could be a good choice for you. Understanding your goals can help you decide where to focus your efforts to help achieve your career aspirations. 

This list of the easiest programming languages to learn can help you determine where to get started on your coding journey. 

Finding Which Programming Language to Learn

You may wonder which coding language to learn first. Different languages are more applicable in different disciplines, and the best language to learn depends on the type of work that interests you. 

For example, if you want to work in UX/UI or web design, you might start with HTML and CSS, which are the two significant languages that power websites globally. Conversely, working as a data analyst or data scientist involves data-focused languages such as Python. And, typically software developers and engineers work with Java, C++, JavaScript, and many more languages to build their products. 

Once you’ve decided where to focus your efforts, and which coding language to learn first, keep in mind that the process will take effort and discipline. Learning your first language can be challenging, as many topics and concepts will feel new. However, learning new technologies becomes easier once you get your first language under your belt. The basic concepts of writing code, working in a software development environment, and the structure of software code itself are similar between languages. Don’t worry about choosing the “perfect” first language, as you can always apply what you’ve learned to other programming languages further on. 

Completing a coding boot camp can help you get started in various programming-related fields. Georgia Tech Coding Boot Camp teaches programming concepts across many languages, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and more.

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The 5 Easiest Programming Languages

Learning programming can help you excel in various professional fields, as coding is a major skill used within some of the country’s top job markets

In this list, we’ll review some of the easiest programming languages for beginners to help you get started in the field. 

An image highlighting five of the easiest programming languages to learn.

1. HTML and CSS

HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is one of the most common programming languages for beginners, as it’s often seen as the most straightforward programming language to learn. As its name indicates, HTML is a markup language, not a programming language. However, HTML introduces similar mathematical and logical concepts that make it a great introduction to the process of writing code, and one of the easiest programming languages to help you get started on working with programming code syntax. 

HTML is used to write the structure of web pages using tags, including text, images, links, and more. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to create visual styles for different elements of a webpage. Learning HTML and CSS can help you improve your skills in your current role, or jump to an entirely new field. 

Knowing CSS and HTML basics is critical for web design, graphic design, UX/UI design, marketing, and more. For example, HTML and CSS are a critical part of the UX designer’s toolkit. HTML is also a fundamental part of building web pages and emails, so many developers and non-developers will encounter the language at some point in their careers. 

If you’re interested in learning more about HTML and CSS, consider completing a boot camp to pick up relevant, design-related skills. Georgia Tech UX/UI Boot Camp can help you develop professionally or embark on a new career path. If you’re interested in learning more, Yulia Chilikina’s story about how Georgia Tech UX/UI Boot Camp helped her advance professionally is a great place to start. 

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language that allows developers to implement complex, interactive elements on web pages. Without JavaScript, most websites would just display static information without animation or interactivity. Used on both the client (front end) and server (back end) sides, JavaScript allows web developers to provide dynamic experiences for their users. 

JavaScript works well in conjunction with other languages. Websites and applications still need HTML to set out the basic layout of the page and CSS to set the styling, but web developers can use JavaScript to improve and enhance these elements to make them more engaging for users.

JavaScript can enhance the functionality of a website with interactive elements. Web developers can use the language to add animations, focus user attention on specific website areas, or build applications on a web page. It can also aid in creating web or mobile apps using a variety of web frameworks like React, Node.js, and many more. 

JavaScript code is object-oriented, and learning JavaScript can help you become familiar with concepts used in other programming languages. And, since it’s still one of the most popular programming languages on the market today, learning JavaScript basics is a critical step for anyone looking to work as a front end, back end, or full stack web developer. 

Preparing for a software development career can involve learning JavaScript alongside many other coding languages and technologies. If you’re interested in learning more, our guide to a software developer’s career path can help you get started.

3. Python

Python is a prevalent first programming language for anyone wanting to get into the field. It’s used across fields, including web development, machine learning, data analysis, server management, software building, and more. It’s incredibly versatile and considered easy to learn, making it a great fit for beginners because its simple syntax is closer to natural language.

Many developers see Python as the most useful programming language, as it can be used for a variety of tasks across many fields. Python is a top choice for data mining, which is the collection and analysis of data to find patterns within. Many popular web and software applications are written in Python, so it’s likely that you’ll encounter it at some stage of your software development career. Learning Python can even be helpful for people who don’t work in programming, as it’s a popular language for automating repetitive tasks. 

Many data-focused career paths focus heavily on Python scripting, and it’s an essential skill for anyone wanting to work as a data analyst or back end web developer.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a data analyst, our guide to becoming a data analyst with no experience can help. This line of work is a great fit for anyone with a passion for math and strong analytical skills, and our overview of data analyst career paths can help you decide if the field is right for you. 

4. C, C++, and C#

C, C++, and C# are essential and powerful programming languages used in various fields. Learning one or more of these languages can be a major asset for developers in specific industries. 

C is the oldest of the three languages, with its introduction in the 1970s, and is generally considered a “low-level” programming language. While code written in C still has to be compiled (i.e., translated into machine code a computer can read), the level of abstraction is lowered after doing so. What does this mean? Generally speaking, code written in C is closer to a machine language than it is to a human-readable language. The language’s low-level nature makes C very efficient, but this lack of abstraction can make it more difficult for beginners to learn. C is used in operating system development, hardware firmware, and embedded software applications. 

C++ is another older programming language developed as an extension of C. Essentially, C++ is a version of C with more functionality. Higher-level functions like object-oriented programming make C++ slightly easier to use, but there are small sacrifices in terms of speed and efficiency. However, C++ is still quite fast and used in many fields — for example, C++ is one of the top programming languages for video game development. 

 

C# (pronounced “C sharp”) is a much more modern language developed by Microsoft in 2001. It’s an open-source, object-oriented language that excels in various contexts, including mobile applications, enterprise software, and game development. C# projects can be cross-platform, making the language a great first choice for anyone interested in software development. C# programming is often easier to learn than C or C++, as it’s a higher-level language. These factors make C# an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to learn the C family of languages

5. Java

Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language designed for general purposes. Java’s “write once, run anywhere” philosophy makes it popular for cross-platform applications. It’s prevalent in desktop development, mobile development, and more.

Java development is a strong profession with many opportunities, and Java is an excellent option for a beginner programmer — though not quite as easy to learn as languages like Python. Java’s syntax is similar to other languages (e.g., C, C++, C#) so, once you’ve learned Java, your skills can translate to other languages as well. 

Java is very popular for software development, as applications developed in Java can be deployed across multiple platforms. Java’s use is prevalent for mobile application development and is a major part of Android app development. In fact, large portions of the Android operating system are actually written in Java. 

If you’re interested in learning more about software development and Java’s role in software development, our guide to software developer career paths can help you get started. 

Begin to Learn Programming Today

Learning to code can help you make significant strides in your professional life, whether you’re interested in taking on new responsibilities in your current role or transitioning to an entirely new career. Technology continues to be an integral part of our lives, meaning that jobs that involve programming are likely to grow into the future. 

Enrolling in a boot camp is a great way to learn programming and various coding technologies. Georgia Tech Coding Boot Camp covers a variety of programming and web development concepts, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to work with experienced professionals and learn through real-world projects that you can use to populate your professional portfolio. And, with both full-time and part-time classes available, you’ll be able to learn in a way that works with your schedule and your life.

Easiest Programming Languages to Learn FAQ

Do you have more questions about choosing your first programming language? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you make your decision. 

CSS is often discussed alongside programming languages because the process of writing CSS code is similar to a programming language. However, CSS style sheet language is used for setting the visual style of web pages, emails, and other web elements alongside HTML, rather than executing functionality. 

JavaScript is a programming language that powers many of the websites on the internet. The language is typically used to create client-side, interactive applications, allowing websites to have rich feature sets and offer new functionality for users. Learning JavaScript is essential for anyone wanting to work in web development. 

Python is generally considered one of the more accessible programming languages to learn. Python’s syntax structure prioritizes readability, making it easy to understand and write Python code. While it’s easy to get started with Python, it’s a powerful and versatile language used by professionals across many industries. 

Python is developed under a completely free and open-source software license — meaning it’s free for anyone to download and use — even for commercial applications. Python’s open-source nature also means that it has an extensive developer community, so there are a variety of resources, libraries, and other community-driven initiatives available to Python developers. 

C is a low-level language, so code written in C is closer to the “machine code” that a computer uses to execute instructions than text-based high-level languages. This makes C code more difficult to write, but improves efficiency for applications written in C. C++ is an object-oriented language, so the code is slightly easier to write but somewhat less efficient. Both languages have their applications and use cases, so choosing between them depends on the kind of application you’re creating. 

image showing summarizing differences between C and C++

Java is a popular cross-platform programming language, meaning applications written in Java are easily portable across mobile and desktop platforms. Java is used in data centers, mobile applications, desktop applications, and more. 

Summing Up

Software development is a growing field with many opportunities. Consider learning one of the languages in this guide to gain an understanding of important programming concepts that will bolster projects throughout your professional life. 

If you’re interested in making a career change more quickly, consider Georgia Tech Coding Boot Camp. In just 12 weeks (full-time) to 24 weeks (part-time), you can gain the in-demand skills you’ll need to succeed in the exciting world of programming. 

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