Easiest Programming Languages to Learn for Front-End Development

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore options for beginners as well as 5 popular programming languages among front-end developers.

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Coding can be challenging, but starting with a programming language that’s easy to learn and aligned with your career goals can also be rewarding. Front-end development focuses on everything the user sees when they engage with a website or application. This includes the visual and interactive elements of a user interface (UI), such as the design, structure, navigation modules, and content. You'll need to use unique coding languages to create and optimize these components. In the following article, we'll outline five popular languages among front-end developers. 

Read more: What Does a Front-End Developer Do?

1. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

HTML is technically not considered to be a programming language. It's a markup language. Markup languages are easy-to-understand computer languages consisting of keywords or tags that enable you to format pages. They are essential to front-end development and are great starting points for beginner-level coders.

Use cases

HTML uses tags to define data, allowing the web browser to read it, process its purpose, and display it appropriately. You'll use HTML to create a wide variety of formatting elements, including headings, paragraphs, links, and bullet points.

What makes HTML easy to learn?

HTML is a broadly used language that helps get you into the habit of thinking like a coder. As you're getting started, you may find that at its core, HTML relies on basic, simple rules that you can learn in a matter of hours without any strong programming foundation needed.

Websites have been using HTML since the 1990s, and it has mostly stayed the same since. HTML is a popular choice among web developers, website editors, bloggers, and mobile app developers. What you learn today will likely still be relevant years from now.

2. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading style sheets (CSS) is considered to be one of the building blocks for creating web pages. It's often learned alongside HTML. CSS enables you to change the appearance of your website, such as the background colors, animation definitions, and text color. All of these abilities can help enhance the website or page's readability, aesthetics, and function for a better user experience.

Use cases

As a front-end developer, you'll use CSS to style web pages and websites. While it's easy to learn, CSS has a lot of nuances. For this reason, many front-end developers use it with CSS preprocessors, which compile the code and provide additional features not found in CSS. This includes loops, which you can use to repeat instructions, and variables, which define values to use for your document or program without retyping the definition.

What makes CSS easy to learn?

Like HTML, CSS is simpler than many other programming languages. It's a rule-based language that you can learn through formal education, but many people are able to teach themselves using books and online tutorials. If you're like many learners, you'll likely be able to grasp the basics of programming with CSS within a few weeks and be well on your way to building websites and pages.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript has been around since 1995, when Netscape Communications first designed it to let you create complex functions on websites and pages. Today, JavaScript enhances the user experience by creating dynamic, user-friendly web pages. According to a study by Statista, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language worldwide [1]. It can be used for everything from web, mobile app, and game development to building web servers. Berkeley Extension also mentions that it's one of the easiest programming languages to learn, even if you don't have much coding experience [2].

Use cases

As a front-end developer, you'll use JavaScript to create a rich user experience with interactive elements. You'll use it to create tabs, site navigation menus, image sliders, form validations, accordions, pop-ups, and more. JavaScript has been used widely to create some of the most popular websites, including Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

What makes JavaScript easy to learn?

While JavaScript is easy to learn, it helps if you have some experience with HTML since both languages coexist in web pages together. Once you've got the fundamentals of JavaScript down, you'll be able to use this high-level programming language relatively quickly. It has intuitive features that make it suitable as a first programming language. Because it shares many similarities with other languages, JavaScript is an ideal language to learn if you plan to continue learning other languages. 

How to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

You can learn HTML and CSS online at your own pace. For example, John Hopkins University offers a beginner-friendly online program that can be completed in just 40 hours: HTML, JavaScript, and CSS for Web Developers.

4. React

React is a JavaScript library and a popular programming language for beginners. You can use it to create dynamic pages quickly and switch between different elements smoothly. You'll also be able to place HTML coding within JavaScript and use it along with Virtual DOM.

As a front-end developer with user experience as a top priority, you could benefit from learning this programming language, especially given how user-friendly the elements are and how functional and fast the web pages will be.

Use cases

As a front-end developer, you'll likely use React to easily build high-quality, rich user interfaces. Because this programming language has reusable components and development tools, you may be more productive using React. There are a number of popular companies and apps that use React in their front-end development, including Dropbox, IMDb, Tesla Motors, Airbnb, and PayPal.

What makes React easy to learn?

React is a simple library with a dedicated community of developers. This open-source, free programming language streamlines the process of building interactive elements. If you are familiar with using JavaScript, you're likely to have an easier time learning React. Having a basic programming foundation may also help simplify the learning process.

Read more: How to Become a React Developer in 3 Steps

5. Python

Python is a versatile, popular language that can be used in both front-end and back-end development. This general-purpose programming language was designed with simple syntax for readable code. Because it's considered to be a general-purpose language, many computer science degree programs include it as an introductory language.

Python is used by companies large and small to do everything from running data analytics to creating interactive gaming or e-commerce experiences. Some of the benefits of using Python in front-end development include modifying UI components by simply dragging and dropping the elements onto the page and calling events using code.

Use cases

Although JavaScript has traditionally been the go-to front-end programming language for decades, Python has become another option. Python interpreters, such as Brython, let you implement functions and scripts into JavaScript so that you can interact with its libraries. These implementers give you access to the latest front-end development solutions.

As a front-end developer, you can use Python to call server-side functions from the browser. You may also use it to set up, maintain, and update databases. In front-end development, Python also makes it easier to handle binary data, generate PDFs, and use your preferred Python packages, including APScheduler, GoogleNews, and LunarCalendar, among many others to build your web pages and apps.

Read more: What is Python Used For? A Beginner's Guide

What makes Python easy to learn?

Learning Python is easy because the syntax is made up of straightforward commands. It was designed to prioritize readability, which makes it relatively fast to learn, even though it’s a fairly dense language. It's also an interpreted language, which means that you'll be able to test your lines of code and make any necessary changes. The coding experience is intuitive and streamlined, and the robust selection of libraries helps make this a powerful programming language for beginners.

Where to start

Ultimately, the easiest programming language to learn depends on your goals. If you’re brand new to coding and interested in pursuing a career as a front-end developer, HTML can give you an excellent foundation to build on. But if you’re already somewhat familiar with that language, you might opt to learn CSS, JavaScript, React, or Python. 

When you begin learning how to program, you’ve got several options. You can try self-learning by reading books or following online tutorials such as Coursera's free Python programming tutorials. But if you’re looking for more formal training, you might consider the options in the following few sections.

Practice your Python skills independently with tutorials

Not ready to commit to a course or a boot camp yet? You can read step-by-step guides for troubleshooting Python basics like syntax, if-else statements, exceptions, and working with loops in Coursera's free programming tutorials.


Online courses

There are many high-quality programming language courses available online. You can connect with various options on platforms like Coursera, which hosts programming courses from top-tier universities and organizations covering high-level and specific languages. 


These accelerated, intensive programs are offered by universities, colleges, and independent companies designed to prepare you for a job. This streamlined option may take weeks or months to complete, however, it can help you advance toward your goals of learning how to code. 

Degree programs

If you choose to pursue a degree in computer science or a related field, part of your studies will include learning multiple programming languages. Pursue one of these majors to learn other skills that could be useful for pursuing a career in front-end development. These skills include website design principles, testing and debugging websites, and creating websites and pages that optimize the user experience.

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Article sources


Statista. "Programming language popularity worldwide 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/869092/worldwide-software-developer-survey-languages-used/#:~:text=The%20most%20popular%20programming%20language,of%20the%20software%20developers%20surveyed." Accessed August 30, 2023.

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