While many skills can lead to employment and a successful career, few skillsets seem to promise as much opportunity as coding. From small startups to huge corporations, people who can use easiest programming language to code web pages, applications and utilities are always in high demand.
But there are so many different languages to choose from. Which is the easiest programming language for a novice programmer to learn?
First of all, it’s rare for a computer programmer to only know one language. Most coders know two or three programming languages and many are related in some way.
Similarly, Java is a compiled, object-oriented programming language, so if a programmer already knows Java, they may want to learn another compiled, object-oriented programming language.
Finding an additional programming language that is similar to what you know makes learning much easier.
But what if you have absolutely no coding experience? Which is the easiest programming language to start with? Well, strictly speaking, certain computer languages that I am about to recommend are not actually programming languages. Instead, they are markup languages and scripting languages.
Both markup languages and scripting languages tend to be easier to comprehend than programming languages, and so, you definitely will see markup and scripting languages on this list.
If you’re concerned about the difficulty of learning coding, perhaps you should choose one of those languages, even though a career coding with a markup or scripting language may pay a bit less than coding with a true programming language.
If you are primarily concerned with a high-paying career, however, you probably should be studying a true programming language, which is bit beyond the scope of this article.
Always check the local job listings in your area to see what programming languages are in demand. After all, programming languages fall out of fashion, and the last situation you want to find yourself in is to be an expert in a programming language no one uses anymore. Instead, you want to make sure that your skills are always sharp and up-to-date.
The Easiest Programming Languages You Should Learn
Please note that, while the entries are in a list format, the languages that I am about to list are not in any particular order.
Also, be aware that if you have a difficult time understanding one of the languages on this list, I highly recommend that you try learning a different computer language.
Different computer languages engage our brains in different ways, and a language that might seem impossible to you may be easy for someone else, and vice-versa. Eventually, you will find a language that you don’t have to struggle to master.
Now, without any further ado, here are the easiest computer languages to learn:
HTML is the language used to author the World Wide Web. Every browser, from Safari to Firefox can read HTML with ease with no additional software necessary on the user’s computer.
Even better, the only software a programmer needs to program in HTML is a text editor such as Sublime, or even Notepad. HTML is an excellent choice for the neophyte programmer, according to TechRepublic.
As you can tell by the name, HTML (or Hypertext Markup Language) isn’t a true programming language. Instead, as a markup language, HTML syntax is a standardized set of notations that describe the format that a document uses for display.
For example, with HTML, you can program a word on a web page to be bold or italicized. You can also decide which sentences on a web page will be headers or footers. These formatting commands are coded as tags.
Tags are based in English, so they are easy to figure out. For example, if you would like to place the word “markup” in italics, the syntax would be as follows .
The <em> tag stands for emphasis, which would tell the browser to put the word in italics. The word as seen in the browser would be “markup”, without the quotation marks. The tags would not be seen in the final document. For more HTML information, the w3schools site is excellent.
Any discussion of HTML should also include CSS. CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) are just what their name says they are — style sheets that help format the HTML code. HTML on its own is limited by the use of tags, among other reasons, but with CSS, all sorts of creative formatting solutions are available to the web developer.
Generally, the CSS for a webpage is placed into a separate file from a webpage’s HTML. This separation shortens load times and also helps to keep code neat. CSS also doesn’t require any sort of extra software on a user’s computer in order to function, nor does it require any specialized software for the coder. Just like with HTML, CSS can be created with a text editor such as Sublime or Notepad.
HTML and CSS work together in order to change formatting. In order for CSS to be able to work with an object in HTML, first, an HTML element must be assigned either a class or an id.
For example, let’s consider the following:
<p>This sentence is an example of how CSS can work with HTML.</p>
</p> The <p> tag is simple enough — it stands for paragraph.
Now to add a class to the example <p class = “sample”> This sentence is an example of how CSS can work with HTML</p>. The class has been added to the HTML so the CSS can work with the HTML element (in this case, the text).
The CSS syntax is slightly different. I will provide an example of it below. Just a reminder — the CSS will generally be in a separate file.
In this example, the CSS would change the text color of our sample to red. So the text would look like this “This sentence is an example of how CSS can work with HTML.” While a relatively basic example, this shows how CSS can help to create many interesting web effects when used in conjunction with HTML.
Without CSS, web pages would be a lot more boring. If you can recall what web pages looked like in the mid-90’s, that is what web pages would look like without CSS. They would be flat and uninteresting. With CSS, you have a lot more options. This site can show you what simple applications of CSS can do for a website.
While HTML and CSS are undeniably useful, they have diminished in importance somewhat over the past few years. Do-it-yourself web design programs such as Wix and Squarespace have proliferated recently, shrinking the market of individuals who need to hire web developers.
Because HTML is a markup language, it is usually commonly taught in schools(sometimes even in middle and high schools), which creates more competition.
Also, unlike some of the entries on this list, a keen eye for page layout as well as graphic design skills are also useful to a beginning HTML developer. Perhaps due to some of these factors, HTML/CSS developers generally only earn a starting salary of $36000 - $60000 per year, according to Payscale.
When a program needs to be compiled, it must be translated into machine code in its entirety before it can run. Meanwhile, if a program is interpreted, it is translated while the program is running, which saves a time-consuming step for the programmer.
Also, it can be a bit trickier to find errors in programs created in an interpreted language than in a compiled language, depending on the situation. But this is something that a careful coder can adjust for, and errors when coding any language should be expected and planned for to some extent.
Continuing on with our exploration of computer languages, PHP is often used by servers to communicate with websites.
Unlike our previous examples, when using PHP, the programmer will need a web server along with a browser such as Google Chrome. While needing a web server may seem like an unnecessary hassle, the flexibility and power that the language offers more than makes up for any inconvenience the requirements may bring.
So, which large companies use PHP? Well, quite simply, any company which keeps large databases would most likely use PHP. For example, Facebook is built on PHP — Facebook is a large database with some visual information and apps attached, and so uses PHP along with a number of other programming languages.
As for other well-known applications using PHP, Twitter used a number of different programming languages, including PHP. Also, WordPress is scripted with PHP, so there definitely is demand for PHP programming skills.
However, these skills are among the easiest to learn in the computer programming field, and so shouldn’t be a problem for the beginning programmer.
PHP is excellent for client/server work and also can be used for small applications. However, the modularity necessary for maintaining large non-web-based applications is not supported, so if you would like to program a large application without web functionality, you may wish to learn another language.
Programming games also would be difficult for PHP — the libraries and other support simply isn’t there, and while programming a game in PHP may be possible, there are other, easier, programming solutions.
Despite these issues, PHP is an excellent language for the beginner to learn and can be quite lucrative. There are many benefits to learning PHP, and any web designer or developer should probably familiarize themselves with the language and its benefits.
The final language examined by this article will be Python. While Python is considered to have a stronger learning curve than the other languages considered here, it still should be considered accessible by the determined beginner.
Python is a language based on English — the language is actually named after the Monty Python comedy troupe. According to CodeProject, it uses indentation instead of braces to organize its code which makes the code subjectively easier to read.
Also, Python is gaining in popularity, so students will find support for any project they find themselves coding. Simply for these reasons, Python has an advantage over other computer languages, which may not have the ease of syntax or popular support.
Programming languages using a compiler, such as Java, have the benefit of running slightly faster due to the fact that compilation is a separate step, while interpreters have to work “on the fly” in order to run executable code. But Python runs quickly enough for nearly any application that a beginning programmer could come up with.
Python also is the most flexible language that we’ve covered so far. From applications to games to web servers, Python has tools and libraries to aid the coding student in creating nearly anything possible. Visual Studio, BitTorrent and Dropbox were all authored in Python.
On the games side, Battlefield 2 and Civilization IV both have much of their coding in Python. Unlike, say PHP, Python is useful in nearly any type of situation and can be used to create both large and small projects.
To work with Python, first, you must install Python on your computer. Some computers (notably recent computers from HP and Apple) already have Python installed!
As noted above, Python uses indentation in order to organize its syntax. This means that if one indentation is out of place, the program could possibly crash. So the burden is placed on the programmer to keep things neat.
As a matter of fact, Python is generally recommended for students who have NOT had much programming experience, as the syntax is so different from that of other programming languages.
Considering those obstacles, it should be no surprise that Python skills are in high demand, and that even entry-level Python coding jobs pay at least $60000 per year.
While the challenges to learning Python are many, the rewards can truly be great. Adding in the consideration that Python is one of the most versatile languages for any side project the programmer can come up with, and it becomes obvious why Python is on this list.
Choose the Easiest Programming Language for You
No matter what computer language the student chooses, they will benefit. From discovering an enjoyable new hobby of finding a new source of income, learning a new computer language can only have an upside.
Choosing the appropriate programming language to learn is important, but not as important as choosing to learn a computer programming language in the first place.
Taking the first step is always hard, but is necessary on the road to improving yourself and the world around you.