How hard is it to learn programming?

A lot of potential coding students have one question on their minds — how hard is it to learn programming? The answer is that the more effort you put into learning, the easier it is. 

When it comes to programming, certain languages are easier to learn than others. Overall, however, the effort to learn can exponentially benefit your career. 

A survey done in 2017 saw that there were over 115k average monthly job openings for programmers, and only about 33k hires were made. That means that the job market is wide open for those that want to make a career transition to programming.

If you’re considering going back to school or transitioning to a new career, now is the time to consider a bootcamp or traditional computer programming education. 

If you’re worried about how hard it is to learn to code, it might be easier to think about the language you want to learn. Different languages come with varying levels of difficulty. Knowing where to start can often determine how intensive a program might be.

What programming language do you want to learn?

Different languages allow for varied career paths. Here are a few of the most popular languages and where you could implement them in your career. 

Java – Used for Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Enterprise architecture

Python – Used for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), scientific computing, and internet development

Ruby – Used for Systems Administration, Robotics, Networking, Web App Development, and Security

HTML – Used for web development and email programming

C – Used for image processing, systems programming, computer graphics, and artificial intelligence (AI)

C++ – Used for windows platforms

Objective C – Used for software development

PHP – Used for web application development, command-line scripting, and server-side scripting

Now that you know what the most popular languages are, and what they can accomplish, it might make it easier to understand their level of difficulty.

Let’s take a look at the languages from easiest to hardest to learn.

The easiest programming languages to learn


When it comes to programming, HTML is the most basic code you can learn. It also happens to be one of the easiest. Chances are you already know a little HTML, which might make it a great fit for your introduction to programming.

HTML is the building block to web content and is typically a must-known for coders. 


As we already mentioned, JavaScript is a must if you plan to go into web development. It’s still easy to learn (along with HTML) and is the essential language of the internet. Knowing Javascript can ensure you know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to web development.


One of the most in-demand languages for coders, this object-oriented language, allows you to do everything from web development to system automation. If you want to be competitive in the job market, without studying one of the harder languages, this is a great place to start. 


PHP opens up a world of possibilities for the potential programmer. The language itself is known for being more forgiving than others and gives programmers experience in finding the faults in the code on their own. That kind of practice can be a massive help if you plan to move on to more complicated programming languages.


Java is one of the languages that have been around the longest. For over 20 years, this language has opened up the door because of its flexibility of use. Studying Java allows programmers tons of career opportunities compared to other languages and, even better, it’s an easier way to write complex codes for web development and applications.

These are the hardest programming languages 

C Including C++, C# and Objective C

C is an essential language for anyone that wants to code within the IT industry. It is also the foundation of other C languages such as Objective C and C++. However, it remains one of the more difficult languages to learn and is not suggested as a starting point for new coders. 

If you do plan to move through your coding education, C is a great language to learn because it is the building block for learning even more languages. 


One of the least intuitive languages when it comes to coding, Assembly is basically a step above binary. It is one of the hardest to learn and takes intensive study to master. 


Chances are you won’t see a lot of need for knowing the TeX language. Like Assembly, it’s been around for a long time (since the 1970s) and isn’t widely used anymore. It was initially intended to be used as a markup language. 

Choosing your language

When it comes time to start your coding journey, it’s up to you to determine which languages will suit your career goals. Whether it’s a hard language or not won’t matter as much if you’re willing to invest the time and dedication it takes to learn it. 

Take a look at the use cases for each language and start to understand if those areas are ones you want to spend your time in.

The good news is that there is a never-ending need for programmers, so whatever you choose, chances are you have a stable career path ahead of you.