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10 Hardest and Easiest Programming Languages in 2023

Image showing a man looking at a tablet while surrounded by the easiest programming language like C, JavaScript, HTML, Ruby, Python and PHP on the left. The right shows the logos of toughest programming languages like C++, assembly language, Java, Haskell and Prolog.

If you are a beginner who wishes to start learning to code, it’s natural to look for the easiest programming language to start your programming journey. There are close to five hundred programming languages that modern coders use.

While most languages are pretty easy, some of them are the hardest programming languages to learn. It’s important to understand that the difficulty of a programming language is subject to vary by individuals, their skills, and experience.

With this article, we have tried to rank some of the common programming languages from easiest to hardest. You can check out their use cases and their pros/cons below to get the best out of your coding journey.

Programming Languages: Easiest to Hardest Ranked in Order

HTML, JavaScript, Python, PHP, and Ruby are considered the easiest programming languages to learn. They have relatively simple syntax and have readymade functions or libraries. This makes pretty beginner friendly and one of the most popular programming languages.

Whereas, languages like C++, Assembly Language, and Esoteric Languages (Cow, Malbolge, Whitespace, etc.) are considered among the hardest programming languages to learn. Some of them are hard enough to put their makers in distress. Others are complex in their syntax but offer high-efficiency results for specific requirements.

Check out the top programming language ranked in order from easiest to hardest:

1. HTML

HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is regarded as the easiest programming language to learn. It is used to define the text, color, and appearance of other dynamic elements/buttons on the webpage.

Applications of HTML

  • Create web pages
  • Define web elements structures
  • Defines the appearance of web elements
  • Modified versions of HTML are used to define pages and entire web applications. Eg: FBML in the case of Facebook.

Why HTML is Easy

  • Easy to understand, learn and remember the syntax
  • Simple open and close tags to implement core actions
  • Easy debugging

Check out a hello world program in HTML

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is a web programming language that allows you to develop interactive client-side web elements or web pages. It’s one of the easiest programming languages for beginners.

Combined with HTML and CSS along with frameworks like Node, Angular, and React, one can build both client-side and server-side web applications and websites. Hence, it’s considered among the best programming languages for web development.

Applications of JavaScript

  • Build client-side of the website
  • Build served side through in combination with Node.JS
  • Build browser-based games
  • Develop interactive, engaging mobile and web applications

Why JavaScript is Easy

  • Can be compiled with most browsers to get real-time results
  • Highly popular. Thus, many resources for effective learning
  • Greater results in fewer efforts
  • Great building block to learning other languages

Here’s a basic hello world program in JavaScript

3. Python

Python is a fairly easy, all-purpose programming language to learn because of its easy-to-understand syntax and variety of libraries, and readymade functions. This makes Python a good language for beginners to learn as well.

Applications of Python

  • Extensively used for machine learning
  • Used for data science and data analytics
  • Create programs for IoT and electronics
  • Web development through Django or Flask

Why Python is Easy

  • It uses English words in its syntax making Python programs highly readable and understandable
  • The syntax uses a lot of white space which makes it appear less overwhelming
  • It’s easy to debug
  • A great number of readymade libraries and functions

Find a basic Python Hello World program here.

4. Ruby

Ruby was born after combining several programming languages. It’s an open-source natural programming language and focuses on simplicity and productive use for back-end programming.

Applications of Ruby

  • Building servers
  • Helps in web scraping and crawling
  • Used in software development. Eg: HULU, Shopify, etc.
  • Web development through Ruby on Rails

Why Ruby is Easy

  • Syntax language uses a lot of English words.
  • Minimum and crisp code commands required to implement the heaviest of tasks
  • A free and open-source language that provides great flexibility and enables easy modification
  • Great community to support new learners

Check out a basic Hello World program in Ruby.

5. JAVA

JAVA is one of the most popular programming languages for software and application development.

It extensively uses object-oriented programming and is among the easiest programming language to learn. It works on Write Once, Run Everywhere concept.

Applications of JAVA

  • Build desktop software
  • Build mobile applications with elaborate backend support
  • Game development
  • Big Data applications

Why JAVA is Easy

  • Easy for people with prior experience in object-oriented programming
  • The syntax uses words from the English language
  • Concise nature of codes

Check out a basic Hello World program in JAVA.

6. C++

C++ is an extensive programming language that helps build programs where the hardware and software are intricately involved. Interacting with memory is a little difficult in C++ and the advanced syntax could put off beginners.

Applications of C++

  • Build operating systems. Eg: Linux Kernel, Google Chrome OS, etc.
  • Build elaborate software like Photoshop.
  • Build GUI-based applications like Microsoft Office.
  • Build database management software

Why C++ is Tough

  • It has a very typical, specific, and complex syntax
  • It’s difficult to learn without learning C
  • It’s tricky to manage memory
  • Although highly efficient, C++ is a very dynamic language and it’s a little difficult to keep track.

Here’s how to write a C++ Hello World program.

7. Assembly Language

Assembly language is among the hardest programming languages to learn as they’re run and used differently than the above high-level languages. It’s a low-level language used to directly communicate with hardware, only the code is readable by humans.

Reading and understanding Assembly Languages aren’t easy because the codes are assembled. You must also be familiar with the internal functioning of a computer/hardware/CPU to really work with assembly languages, thus making it one of the toughest programming languages to learn.

Applications of Assembly Languages

  • Develop hardware
  • Develop electronic microprocessors
  • High-performance device development
  • Build high-frequency trading platforms

Why Assembly Languages are Tough

  • Need a great understanding interaction of computers with hardware
  • Can’t be understood or interpreted without understanding the entire context of the code
  • Hard to debug
  • As a low-level language, one needs to fulfill a large knowledge gap before learning
  • Very complex syntax

Here’s a hello world program in Assembly language.

8. Prolog

Prolog, meaning Logical Programming lays utmost emphasis on building accurate logic from the start. It is one of the best programming languages for at language for AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) programs.

Applications of Prolog

  • Artificial intelligence software, systems, and applications
  • Build chatbots
  • Build cost-effective and low-maintenance programs

Why Prolog is Tough

  • Can’t get away with logical inconsistencies
  • Input and outputs can be inconsistent
  • Difficult to build logic as functions defined through goals, rules, and facts can restrict beginners with less logical proficiency
  • Uncommon data structures from common programming languages
  • Online resources can’t be applied directly for guidance

Check out some of the Prolog Programs.

9. Haskell

Haskell is a programming language built on Lambda Calculus. It works in a functional paradigm unlike most modern programming languages, which take a more intuitive outlook. This makes it a hard programming language to learn for modern developers.

Applications of Haskell

  • Extensively used to write powerful C codes for application development
  • Academic and research purposes
  • Industrial development
  • Data processing and software testing

Why Haskell is Tough

  • The syntax uses abrupt words
  • Very difficult to identify errors and correct them
  • More about focused, clear, and mapped thinking than actual coding
  • Huge jargon making it difficult to figure out

Check out an example of the Hello World Program in Haskell

10. Malbolge

Malbolge is one of the esoteric programming languages. Hence, it’s intended to be impossibly challenging to learn. The first Malbolge program wasn’t completed until two years after its creation. It was done by a compiler based on Lisp.

Malbolge is a self-evolving language whose syntax is almost impossible to comprehend because of the lack of white spaces or coherent words at all.

Applications of Malbolge

  • Although a few programs were written with Malbolge, it’s simply impractical to use if you can’t understand the syntax or the logic. This makes it the hardest programming language for anyone to work with.

Why Malbolge is Tough

  • Syntax almost can’t be understood
  • Language self-alteration leads to undefined or unexpected behavior
  • Scanty learning resources available

Here’s a Hello World Program in Malbolge.

Which Programming Language Should You Learn?

A man lost thinking about which is the Best Programming Language for him among Python. JavaScript, C++, and C#.

Choosing the best programming language to learn could be a task for a newbie. Although there are numerous coding bootcamps, online tech courses, videos, books, and websites to learn coding, you can keep the following factors in mind before choosing a language to learn:

1. Intention

You must know your aim of learning a programming language before beginning your learning journey. Some languages are more memory focussed, while some may focus on ease of access or running efficiency.

If you just wish to learn a language to gain a skill or for personal use, you can opt for a fairly easy language and work your way up. While the best programming languages for the job could be one with widespread acceptance or requiring high expertise.

2. Use case

Each programming language has its use. Different languages are used to train AI models, write programs for low-level devices, web development, application development, data science, analytics, game development, and software development.

Before selecting a programming language, you must know what you’re looking to build, then decide accordingly based on your skills and understanding.

3. Difficulty level

With the above list of the easiest and hardest programming languages to learn, you must have understood that each language takes some time to wrap your head around.

So, you must choose an easy language, to begin with, and then improve your skill proficiency to gain mastery of better, more complex programming languages.

4. Learning Resources and Community

In the tech world, the learning community plays a very important role in ensuring your growth. You can see which coding languages have the best and bigger community if you’re a beginner.

Similarly, you must have access to good learning resources if you are going to learn a new coding language. So, it’s wiser to choose a coding language that has easily accessible, good-quality learning resources available from the start.

Final Words

Learning new programming languages has many benefits. You gain more skills, become a better programmer, and widen your horizons in the tech world. Although, you must understand that it’s a continuous process.

One must give higher priority to learning a relevant and useful programming language rather than the simplest or toughest programming language. This would help you give meaning to your coding journey. We hope you could find the easiest and hardest programming languages to learn with this article.

If you wish to learn any of the above languages in your mother tongue and get free 100% placement support to get placed in top tech giants, do check out GUVI Zen Classes now!

Easiest Programming Language to Learn FAQs

1. Which is the easiest programming language to learn?

HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, GoLang, R, Ruby, Python, and C are considered to be the easiest programming languages to learn for beginners.
They have simple syntax with words closer to the English language and are fairly popular, thus enabling good availability of learning opportunities.

2. Which is the easiest programming language to start coding?

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are fairly among the easiest programming languages to start coding.
Afterward, you can take up coding bootcamps or certificate courses to learn more deeply.

3. What is the hardest coding language to learn?

Most esoteric programming languages like Malbolge, Cow, Whitespace, etc. are considered the hardest coding language to learn with close to no applications or advantages.

4. Which coding language should I learn first?

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and C are among the coding languages you should learn first before moving to more extensive programming languages.

5. How much time does it take to learn coding?

It could take anywhere around a month to a couple of years to learn coding and gain proficiency in a programming language, based on its difficulty and skills required to learn the same.

The key is to keep practicing and challenging yourself to get better.

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Author Bio

Saakshi Priyadarshini
Saakshi Priyadarshini
I love writing valuable content for the web audience and helping them find what they are looking for. I have donned the content writer hat for 2.5 years now. I have extensively written in the field of IT, edtech, and lifestyle genres for various businesses.

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