The 6 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

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by Staff Writers
Published on November 2, 2021
Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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Learning to code is one of the best moves you can make to learn in-demand skills for today's job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers earned a median annual salary of $110,140 in 2020. Furthermore, the BLS projects 22% job growth for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, which is above average.

Learning to code also teaches you soft skills, which are very desirable in the tech industry. Working through coding problems can lead to increased problem-solving skills, creativity, and resilience.

Many developers learn to code by attending a coding bootcamp. This route can lead to quick employment and high salary potential. For example, 73% of graduates of Hack Reactor's 2019 software engineering bootcamp found a job within six months. These jobs paid a median annual salary of $80,000.

However, bootcamps are not the only option if you want to learn how to code. If you're a self-starter, you can save on tuition by mastering one or more of the easiest programming languages to learn.

Read on to find out which languages are the easiest to learn.

The 6 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

Python

Python is among the most prevalent programming languages used today. According to a 2020 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the fourth-most popular language among developers. Python appears to be on the rise, while other languages are declining in use.

Python is a general-purpose language that is one of the easiest to read and understand because of its similarity to English and its mandatory visual formatting. There are also many free learning resources online to learn Python and it has a large user community that can help you troubleshoot.

Ruby

Ruby is easy to use, and its syntax mirrors Python's. Unlike some other languages, Ruby can be used for multiple styles of programming, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural programming. Ruby is an excellent second language to pursue after mastering Python since they share elements in common.

Java

Like Python, Java is a general-purpose language with a great deal of users and available training resources. As such, it is also an excellent language to start with. Many developers use Java to create mobile applications and systems. You can find some Java bootcamps that focus primarily on Java or teach Java in their early stages.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a lean, agile language that can perform both front-end and back-end functions. Most developers use JavaScript for mobile application and web development. Most dynamic elements you see on a website were created using JavaScript. Since JavaScript is so popular, you can find many online learning resources — including online coding bootcamps — that can help you learn the language.

PHP

PHP is a server-side language that developers primarily use to make websites. Most web domains use PHP. Many content management systems, including WordPress, rely on PHP. Since so many websites use WordPress, PHP is prevalent across the internet. It is among the easier programming languages to learn, thanks to abundant resources for newcomers and relatively straightforward syntax.

PowerShell

Many developers consider PowerShell an excellent first language because its simple syntax makes complex scripts more digestible and easier to use. PowerShell mainly serves as a scripting engine, working alongside .NET. It is native to the Windows environment, and is often used in cybersecurity.

Other Easy Languages to Learn

While HTML and CSS are not technically programming languages, they are both essential for any computer science professional to know. It's especially important for web developers, mobile app developers, and UX/UI designers to get familiar with these languages. Luckily, they are also relatively easy to learn.

Finally, having basic knowledge of SQL is an essential tool to have in your belt if you plan to work with data. Data scientists, data analysts, cybersecurity professionals, and developers can all benefit from learning SQL.

HTML

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, allows users to perform basic functions on web pages. It works in conjunction with CSS to determine the look and basic functions of a website. You can learn the basics of HTML relatively quickly thanks to free online resources.

CSS

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is among the most important languages for new developers to learn. CSS allows users to style web pages through layout, color, and font. It also works with HTML to translate how the HTML elements will be portrayed on the screen.

SQL

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a language specifically used for communicating with databases and manipulating data stored in databases. Its syntax is very similar to English, so it's an easy and useful language to learn early on. It's especially important for anyone in a data-heavy role, including data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers. SQL is also used frequently in back-end development

How Do I Choose?

To choose the right programming language to learn first, consider your career path and which programming language best matches what you need for the job. You might also consider picking the language that interests you most. Many developers know multiple languages, which can provide them a boost in the job market.

You might also consider enrolling in a coding bootcamp. These accelerated training programs can take less time than a traditional degree program and provide career support services to help graduates pursue a new tech career.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

Which programming language is easiest to learn? true

Many programmers consider Python the easiest programming language to learn, although it can still prove difficult to get the hang of. There are many free online resources, Python bootcamps, and online Python bootcamps that can help you learn the language.

What language do most hackers use? true

Hackers can operate in a variety of programming languages, including Python, PHP, JavaScript, SQL, and C/C++. Review our list of the best programming languages for cybersecurity to explore the top languages used by both hackers and cybersecurity professionals.

Is Python easier to learn than Java? true

Many developers consider Python easier to learn, read, and understand than Java. In addition to the variety of free resources that can help developers learn Python, the language offers certain shortcuts that Java does not, including the reuse of variables. There is also a large and helpful Python user community.

Reviewed by:

In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico graduated with her bachelor's in computer science, which gave her the foundation that she needed to excel in roles such as a data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.

Monali is currently a data engineer at Mission Lane. As a data analytics captain at a nonprofit called COOP Careers, Monali helps new grads and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them on their professional development journey.

Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women, and educating youth. Monali's goal is to gain more experience in her field, expand her skill set, and do meaningful work that will positively impact the world.

Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

Whether you're looking for an online, in-person, or hybrid coding bootcamp, we've compiled a comprehensive list of the best bootcamps around. These are the top 10 most important programming languages to learn. Read on to see which one you should learn first to launch your tech career. Learn everything you need to know about coding bootcamps from what they are to the career opportunities they lead to.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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