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Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao

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Which language is easier for a beginner: JavaScript or Python? The short answer

I originally answered this question in a tweet:

Python is easier syntactically, but JavaScript is easier from a motivation standpoint: there's many more visually engaging things you can do as a beginner.

I suspect the motivation is a way bigger aspect than the syntax, so I think JavaScript is the easier language for beginners

And really, that's it. That's my entire opinion. Both are great languages, and unless you have any particular thoughts on career or use for programming you want in the future where one language is clearly better than the other (web-dev for JavaScript; or AI for Python, for example), then in my opinion, the easier language to learn is the one that motivates you the most to learn it.

After all, there's plenty of learning material for both. And when it comes down to it, they're not wildly different in terms of complexity, at least not at a starter level. So the limiting factor isn't complexity or lack of materials. It's your motivation: Are you going to stick through it, or get distracted half-way through because you don't feel like it's going anywhere?

That's where JavaScript is a clear winner. I'm a python dev, I prefer it over JavaScript where there isn't a clear choice. Yet I'll freely admit that starting out with JavaScript is way more engaging for beginners because of the visual and interactive projects you can build right away with a text file and a browser without even installing anything. That motivation effect can't be ignored, because the single biggest challenge you'll face learning programming, is finding the motivation to stick with it through the difficulties and the confusion that you'll face regardless of which any language you pick up first.

Good luck!

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