Blog Post

Easiest Programming Languages to Learn in 2020 - 7 Languages for Beginners

Published on Apr 17, 2020

Learning to code is something many people aspire to, but unfortunately, many people quit before they get very far.

In this guide, we're going to walk you through the easiest programming languages to learn and suggest some places to get started. 

Before we get started, a quick caveat: some of the things listed below aren't exactly programming languages. But they are things you may want to learn, so we included them here.

Let's dive in.

 

1. HTML

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It's not quite a programming language because it doesn't really allow for much logic.

That being said, it's an essential skill for any developer who does anything with the web.

HTML is pretty easy to get the hang of, and there are many, many resources available. One easy place to get started is this free guide from W3Schools.com.

I recommend learning HTML to start if you're brand new to development because it's a quick way to feel like you've accomplished something. Just save some markup in a file with a .html extension, and you can immediately run it in any web browser to see what you've created.

 

2. Ruby

Ruby is (in my opinion) the most beginner friendly real programming language on the planet.

The syntax is very easy to read, and the community places a priority on following conventions and readability.

Beyond that, there are amazing books like this one for beginners that will get you up and running with a real application.

We also have a handful of playlists on our Youtube channel that will show you how to build real-world applications from scratch. 

Ruby was popularized by the Rails framework that makes it super easy compared to other languages to build web applications. While not as popular with startups as it once was, Ruby is still in high demand.

 

3. CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Invented in the late 90s, CSS helps you manage the design and layout of your websites and web applications.

Modern developers often use tools like Sass ("Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets") to make writing CSS even easier, but you probably need to start with the basics and learn the fundamentals.

Again, there are tons of free resources available for CSS. Just go on Youtube and search for "CSS Course".

Here is a really thorough one from freeCodeCamp.

Additionally, the website CSS Tricks is a must read and an incredible resource.

 

4. Javascript

As of 2019, Javascript was the most popular programming language in the world.

It's something that virtually anyone working in web development will need to learn at some point.

Fortunately, Javascript has become a much more approachable language over time, and tools like ReactJS make things like building user interfaces much more enjoyable.

Because Javascript is used so many different ways in so many areas of web development, it's more difficult to define what it is to a true beginner. I find the ecosystem can confuse people, and that's why it's this far down the list.

As with everything, there are tons of free resources on the web.

However, I personally learned on LinkedIn Learning (when it was Lynda.com), and I found the information to be structured really well. Also, they keep their material maintained much better than what you will find for free on the web, so you can count on it being more up to date and accurate.

They also have courses on just about anything you can imagine. I've kept a subscription for the entire time I've been a developer, and I highly recommend it.

LinkedIn Learning: Start your 30 day free trial

 

5. Node.js

Node.js isn't a language, it's just Javascript on the backend.

However, it's quite different from frontend development, and I put it in its own category personally.

Typically people start by learning Javascript as a way to enhance web pages or build frontend applications first and then move on to the server side. However, this isn't required, and Node can be an interesting starting point as well.

Again, there are tons of great resources.

Here's a great video from Traversy Media to get you started.

 

6. Python

Python is syntactically similar to Ruby, but I personally found it a bit more challenging to work with in the beginning.

It's incredible for working with anything related to data science, and it can be used in many other contexts as well.

If you're leaning toward working in machine learning or data science, this is the place to start - hands down.

If that's the direction you're going, you'll definitely want to check out Sentdex on Youtube. He has one of the most interesting Youtube channels around the programming space, and he has tons of free content about working with data in Python.

 

7. Elixir

Elixir is much lesser known programming language, but you can do some amazing things with it.

It was created by a former member of the Ruby on Rails core team, and the syntax is quite friendly.

There are two major differences though.

First, Elixir is functional, not object oriented. That changes the way you approach writing the code considerably.

Second, it's based on another programming language called Erlang.

Erlang was originally created by Joe Armstrong at the Ericsson telecom company in 1986. It was designed to manage telephone networks with incredibly high availability.

With Elixir, you can create massively concurrent systems that run on small servers. This is great for things like realtime chat applications.

There is a really nice walkthrough by Derek Banas on Youtube that will help get you started with Elixir.

 

Conclusion

It's an exciting time to be getting into software development. It's never been easier than it is now to get started due to the high availability of resources and information.

Don't forget to check us out on Youtube. We're posting videos every single day.