The Hardest Programming Languages

Hardest programming language

In order to run, you must first learn to walk. In order to create programs, you must learn to code. A rule of thumb with learning is to build upon what you understand and know and develop new abilities and skills. The nature of programming is cumulative, what you know now can be used to learn something else later. With so many computing languages emerging, it’s difficult to understand all of them, so most start with the easier ones because they are the foundation of all the other newer ones.

The idea that a programming language to learn is easier or more difficult is often misguided, as different disciplines require different focus and skills. It’s like choosing a sport to play; they all require some athletic ability at the simplest level, but you are able to play some better than others based on your fundamental skills. 

How do I know if it will be more difficult? 

Arguably the hardest programming language is the one that create more troublesome problems within their means of work. For example, some difficulties come from poor memory management. Knowing when to store things or delete things from memory can create problems if mishandled. Errors such as memory leaks or premature frees cause crashes when a program is trying to run a function because there is nothing to recall, or something is misplaced.

The time and effort required to learn a language depends on how easy the programming language is designed to understand and use. Scripting languages are the most simple ways to learn, as it is just input and output by the programmer. But esoteric programming languages strays far from the typical logic used, as the goal of this language is to replace or remove conventional language. 

Language Libraries 

Understanding certain languages and their libraries also plays a factor in deciding which are more difficult than others. Libraries are groups of pre-compiled and non-volatile routines used by programs to help the programmer reuse and recall certain behaviors easily. Things like configuration data, documentation, templates, value or type specifications, or even classes are considered part of libraries. Some programming languages have better libraries than others, allowing newcomers to understand and learn better, and a more experienced programmer to implement behaviors into an existing program. 

New coders can use API, or Application Programming Interfaces, which are ready-made sets of codes to design website features. This uses behaviors derived from the language library to carry out functions. HTML and PHP function well as being an easy language because the scripts they use are universal and provide a basic idea of how some functions work together. Building blocks of coding make newcomers comfortable with the whole process. 

Memory Management 

Programming languages have typically two forms of memory management; Manual and Automatic Memory Management. Both have pros and cons, and can contribute to how difficult or how easy it is to learn some languages. 

Manual Memory Management languages are more hands-on as the programmer can control when memory can be recycled, for example, by making calls to heap manage functions, allowing more freedom to stop when needed to troubleshoot or understand what exactly is going on. Manual Memory does not recycle any memory without an instruction to do so; but this can also cause problems as well. 

The programmer must write plenty of code to do repetitive memory-storing functions, and this requires a significant amount of space for any interface and more overhead memory for objects. In turn, causes more headaches as recycling takes up more time than needed. Also having so much freedom with the code allows more room for human errors with writing code. Small errors in tabs and linefeeds may end up ruining the whole code. These languages are not forgiving, as one would have to sift through everything to find and fix a bug in their own code. Some notable languages that use Manual Management include C, C++, Fortran, and Algol.

On the other hand, Automatic Memory Management allows the programmer to not worry about memory allocation and recycling; the language itself recycles blocks of memory which are unreachable from the variables and pointers automatically. This is called garbage collection, and it serves the purpose of making coding cleaner and efficient. But on the flipside, it doesn’t allow the programmer to explore other possibilities or even stretch their creativity. Java, Javascript, Python and Haskell are examples of languages that utilize garbage collection.

So, which ones are the easiest?

Easy is relative especially with languages. Most are distinct by their functions; for example C++ is used for client-server application and embedded firmware, whereas JavaScript is used for Front-End development and gaming. Computer programming requires multiple different languages to achieve different things, and as such, they require different foundations of coding and vary in difficulty.

But the consensus is that HTML, JavaScript, PHP and Python are some of the easier ones because of how general-use they are and how user-friendly and forgiving they can be.

So let’s get into some of the most commonly used languages


C++


Memory Management: Manual
Uses: System/Application Software, Client-server Applications, Embedded Firmware
Pros:
 Object-Oriented Programing makes it easy to understand logic. Flexibility allows C++ to run on different operating systems with ease. Manual Memory Management allows for more direct control over code

Cons: Pointers take up a lot of memory, more room for human error in the code. Also less forgiving with errors, making it more difficult to learn. Object Oriented Programing can lead to duplication and lots of unnecessary code. Security can also be an issue
Examples: Mac OS, Linux, Web Browsers
Level of Difficulty:
*****


C#


Memory Management: GC (Garbage Collector)
Uses: Windows-Based Platforms
Pros: Functionality with Windows and .Net, one of the most common languages, and similar to Java. GC allows programmers to spend more time with other important functions. Compiled language secures your source code.
Cons: Compiling code is tedious to do every time, limited to .NET framework and Windows. GC restricts programmer from being flexible with functions
Examples: Windows Desktop Applications, Oculus Rift VR, Unity
Difficulty:
***


Java


Memory Management: GC (Garbage Collector)
Uses: Internet of Things, Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Computing

Pros: Straightforward to use, write, compile, debug and learn Java. Object-Oriented allows you to form standard programs and reusable code. Memory allocation is separated between heap and stack to organize memory. It is secure and has no explicit pointer.
Cons: Memory-Consuming and slower than compiled languages. Garbage collection affects the performance of the application.
Examples: Minecraft, Eclipse, Netbeans Android Apps
Difficulty:
**


JavaScript


Memory Management: GC (Garbage Collector)
Uses: Front-end website development, gaming development
Pros: Speed of execution, reduce time for compilation. Simple and straightforward to understand and learn. Client-side script allows the server load to be lower. Versatility as front-end and back-end development
Cons: Security is client-side, code is viewable by user without authentication, lack of debugging facility. Single inheritance and not multiple inheritance
Examples: Microsoft, Paypal, Netflix, Uber, Facebook, eBay

Difficulty: ***


PHP


Memory Management: Manual
Uses: Web application development, server-side scripting, commande line scripting 
Pros: Very Flexible and runs on many operating systems, freedom to be creative and not have many limitations. Open-source community to help and troubleshoot bugs, used as an “assembly language” 
Cons: Language is too simple, too flexible to be consistent, security is a risk because of simplicity 
Examples: wordpress, drupal, joomla, Facebook 

Difficulty: *


Python


Memory Management: GC (Garbage Collector) 
Uses: Web programming and internet development, scientific computing, graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
Pros: easy to read and understand code, open source with many public collaborators, versatile, can be used for game development, web development, good general purpose programming. 
Cons: interpreted language makes it slower than others, threading only allowed one thread at a time, not used for mobile applications or development.
Examples: Google, Netflix, Facebook, Dropbox, Mozilla 

Difficulty **


If you’ve just started learning programming, finding the right language to learn can be more complicated as you can see. Because of the variety of functions and uses and applications, one language may not be enough to compete with the rest of the world in programming. Understanding what programming that is most useful to you will help you out in the long-run.