The Easiest Programming and Coding Languages

6 min read

Share this Article

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.


  • Learning programming languages may expand your job opportunities and earning potential.
  • Web browsers, apps, games, and software are built with programming and coding.
  • You can learn computer languages, programming, and coding in virtual bootcamps.

Do you want to open doors to an in-demand tech job with good earning potential? If so, then you may want to consider learning one of the most popular programming languages.

Programming language skills can position you to work as a web developer, for example. The employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 23% from 2021-2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's much faster than the national average (5%) for all occupations!

Web developers use computer languages like Python, JavaScript, or HTML. These languages are the foundation of webpages, apps, and software. Developers often stack programming and coding languages together. By doing this, they can develop more complex front-end and back-end applications.

In this guide, we'll highlight some of the best programming languages to learn. We'll also explain the applications of popular programming languages and where and how you can learn these coding languages.

Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • C++
  • SQL

The 7 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

Python

Python is an object-oriented and high-level programming language. It has front- and back-end development functionality, which means that it works as a scripting language or a general-purpose programming language.

Python's syntax is similar to English. That's why it's one of the world's top languages used by developers and one of the easiest programming languages for beginner coders.

Python also has strong community support, with lots of online resources and guidance for new and experienced users. Python is also free to use and distribute, including for commercial purposes.

Example of Python Code:

# This program prints Hello, world!
print('Hello, world!')

Jobs That Use Python

Ruby

Ruby offers good functionality and requires fewer lines of code than other languages.

Ruby's website describes this back-end language as "a programmer's best friend." It's also "fairly easy to learn if you're willing to put in the work," according to Oracle Developers. Yukihiro Matsumoto, Ruby's creator, combined several programming languages to create a new language. One of his goals was to create a more natural programming language.

As an open-source, object-oriented language, Ruby is free to use, modify, and share. Keep in mind that Ruby is different from Ruby on Rails, which is a web application framework.

Example of Ruby Code:

=begin
Ruby program to print Hello World.
=end
puts "Hello World!"
print "Hello World!"
puts "Hello World!"

Jobs That Use Ruby

Java

Java is a very popular back-end language used in many development projects. This object-oriented language powers desktop and mobile applications, along with games. Java is also used in big data applications.

You can create a program in Java and deploy it on another device. Its security and portability contribute to Java's popularity as a programming language.

With syntax similar to English, Java is easy to learn and understand. And freeCodeCamp describes Java as the "market leader" of programming languages and a "safe choice" to learn for people who are new to the industry.

Example of Java Code:

// Your First Program
class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello, World!");
}
}

Jobs That Use Java

  • Software developer
  • Java architect
  • Android developer

JavaScript

You've probably used JavaScript without realizing it, even if you're not in the tech industry.

JavaScript is an object-oriented language. More specifically, it's a scripting language. Scripting languages allow developers to create and control the web functionalities we take for granted. Those functions include things like playing videos on a webpage, showing information in response to a click or screen tap, and on-screen animation.

Another key feature of this language is that it can interact with other languages. It's used in front- and back-end development. JavaScript is relatively easy to learn, and lots of online resources are available. However, you should prepare to invest several months in becoming proficient.

Example of JavaScript Code:

// the hello world program
console.log('Hello World');

Jobs That Use JavaScript

PHP

PHP programming language is used in web development. It's an open-source, back-end scripting language that is embeddable into HTML. You can also use PHP to make graphical user interfaces. This back-end language offers advanced functions for experienced programmers.

With PHP, you can collect data or send and receive cookies. You may find learning this language to be easier if you have some web development experience. But overall, it's still an easy language to learn, even with no prior tech experience.

Example of PHP Code:

<html>
<head>
<title>PHP Test</title>
</head>
<body>
<?php echo '<p>Hello World</p>'; ?>
</body>
</html>

Jobs That Use PHP

C++

People who develop operating systems, browsers, games, and apps use C++. Software engineers also use this object-oriented language for back-end development.

One advantage of C++ over other programming languages is that it's useful for cases where hardware and software are tightly integrated. C++ is also used to create database management software.

If you're an absolute beginner to programming, you may find C++ more difficult to learn than other languages like Python or Java. One reason is C++ has advanced syntax. Learning this language may take at least three months for a beginner. Expect to spend two years building up mastery in C++.

Example of C++ Code:

// Your First C++ Program
#include <iostream>
int main() {
std::cout << "Hello World!";
return 0;
}

Jobs That Use C++

  • Back-end developer
  • Software developer
  • Game programmer

SQL

SQL (pronounced "see-quel") is a structured query language. It's often used for back-end development and programming. With SQL, you can manage and update information within database systems.

SQL is frequently used to manage data from social media platforms and music streaming apps or for situations where a company wants to store and maintain relational-style data. SQL is a relatively simple language. It'll probably take a month to learn and about three months to become fluent.

Example of SQL Code:

SELECT * FROM database;
SELECT "Hello World";

Jobs That Use SQL

  • Data analyst
  • Data engineer
  • Data scientist
  • Database administrator
  • Researcher/educator

Other Easy Coding Languages to Learn

If you want to work in computer science, it's a good idea to learn multiple coding languages. Although the terms "programming" and "coding" are often used interchangeably, they aren't technically the same thing.

In simple terms, coding is writing in a language that both computers and humans can understand. Programming is creating a framework for code before code is written for a task. Here are some of the other languages used to develop digital projects and apps:

HTML

HyperText Markup Language — or HTML, for short — is used to structure and define webpage content. It's one of the best coding languages to learn because HTML is used to create and format elements like text, paragraph headers, images and webpage navigation.

One reason people consider HTML easy to learn is that you can use a basic text editor to write it. With a few months of practice, most people can learn to work on complex HTML projects.

Example of HTML Code:

<html>
<head>
<title>Example</title>
</head>
<body>
<p>This is an example of a simple HTML page with one paragraph.</p>
</body>
</html>

Jobs That Use HTML

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets — or CSS, for short — allows you to control the details of how HTML elements appear in a browser. With CSS, for example, you can change the colors, fonts, and size of text headings or links.

CSS is useful for making webpages and apps display in a mobile-friendly way. Developers usually stack HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop apps and websites. If you have some HTML knowledge, you'll probably find CSS easy to learn within a few days.

Example of CSS Code:

<style type="text/css">
h1 {
color: DeepSkyBlue;
}
</style>
<h1>Hello, world!</h1>

Jobs That Use CSS

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Programming Languages
Name of Language Pros Cons
Python Python is beginner-friendly, scalable, embeddable, and portable. It also has good supporting libraries. Python uses a lot of memory. It may be vulnerable to security threats. You must set up a work environment to use Python.
Ruby Ruby has lots of useful tools and libraries. Used with the Rails framework, Ruby has good security. Ruby is not the No. 1 language used by developers. Ruby is also slower when used for large apps.
Java Java can run on multiple operating systems. It's also simple to read, use, and debug. Java may use a lot of memory and can get lengthy and complex. Commercial developers must pay a licensing fee.
JavaScript JavaScript is popular, fast, and simple to use. You can use it on any webpage. JavaScript may work differently depending on the browser. It also has security flaws that hackers may exploit.
PHP PHP is free and open source. Its platform is independent and flexible. Knowing PHP may increase your job options. PHP isn't ideal for large-scale web applications. It also may not be as secure and is not good for supporting multiple features.
C++ C++ is fast, powerful, and works for a variety of applications. It's also easily scalable. C++ is more complex than other programming languages. You must follow strict syntax, or you'll have errors.
SQL SQL is simple, standardized, and fast. It doesn't require writing a lot of code to manage a large database. SQL has a big learning curve. You'll have to pay for enterprise-level SQL-based database platforms.
HTML HTML is an industry-standard technology. It's easy to learn and free to use. There are lots of templates and support. HTML-only webpages are basic in design and function. HTML can require lots of pages of complex code.
CSS CSS simplifies website management. You can make quick, consistent changes with lots of design options. CSS is good for SEO. Browsers may interpret CSS data differently. CSS can be vulnerable to security threats due to its open, text-based design.

Where Can I Learn How to Code?

If you're new to coding or want to learn more, coding bootcamps and online courses are both good options. With full- and part-time options available, you can complete a bootcamp in as little as a few months. Here are a few of the most popular bootcamps and online courses:

  • Flatiron School offers courses in software engineering, data science, product design, and cybersecurity engineering.
  • Udemy's Python Programming Bootcamp focuses on problem-solving. The goal is to give you "a complete understanding of Python and related technologies."
  • Coding Dojo offers online and in-person courses in UI/UX design, software development, and cybersecurity. Coding Dojo also promotes itself as a military-friendly coding bootcamp.
  • Coursera's offerings include Coding for Everyone: C and C++. This course focuses on writing and debugging code in C and C++ and learning to understand algorithms.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Easiest Programming Languages

Which is easiest, C++ or Java?

Easy is often a subjective measure. But compared to C++, Java has advantages that may make it an easier choice to learn or use.

Java is the most common development language. It's also a good choice for making Android apps or running e-commerce apps. It also has a short learning curve.

What language do most hackers use?

Ethical and unethical hackers use the same universally popular programming languages. The most popular languages for hacking include Python, JavaScript, SQL, and C.

Python may be used to write malicious programs. JavaScript can be used to hack web applications. SQL may be used to hack databases. And the C programming language can be used to hack databases.

Which pays more, being a Java developer or a Python developer?

Java and Python developers usually make similar annual salaries. According to Salary.com, Java developers earned an average annual salary of about $99,080, as of October 2022. Their estimated salary range typically was around $83,860-$111,720.

For Python developers, the average annual salary is $96,760, as of October 2022, according to Salary.com. The estimated salary range for Python developers typically was around $88,780-$105,240.

Is Python enough to get a job?

Yes, you can work in an entry-level tech job if Python is your only programming language. However, you'll likely have more opportunities if you have complementary skills and knowledge. Your background, professional interests, and soft skills matter, too.

Feature Image: traffic_analyzer / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images