Is Javascript or Python Easier To Learn? There Is A Clear Winner

So, you want to know if JavaScript or Python is easier to learn? Well, luckily for you I know how to code in both well and I can tell you there is a clear winner.

If you are deciding which programming language to learn first, you should know that JavaScript is a much more difficult language to learn than Python. Both languages are dynamically types, high level programming lanuages that are pretty similiar.

However, there are a few key reasons why you will have a much more difficult time learning JavaScript than Python. Specifically as a beginner programmer. If you are a professsional programmer, I would assume you aren’t reading this article! So we’ll focus on the prior scenerio.

Let’s get into it.

1. JavaScript Has More Quirks In The Syntax

jabascript joke

One of the main reasons why JavaScript will be more challenging to learn than Python from a beginners perspective is simply because it has a lot more quirks in the language that is uncommon in other languages.

JavaScript was first created in a very short time frame and had a lot of issues that needed ironing out. Although the language has made many improvements since its creation, it still has a lot of those quirks.

On the opposing side, a main consideration in the Python language was keeping it’s syntax clean and readable with a lot of syntactic sugar. They even omitted brackets from the Python language!

This allows you to both read and write Python more cleanly than you can with JavaScript.

In addition, JavaScript has harder concepts to master within its syntax. Such as first class functions, asyncronous programming, the prototypal inheritance, are all concepts that take more time to understand and master. On the other hand Python’s object model is easier to understand.

2. JavaScript Versions Are Drastically Different From One Another

Another major hurdle you need to overcome with JavaScript is the constant new versions that come out for the language. Writing JavaScript in its previous syntax, ES5, looks much different than ES6. As a JavaScript developer, you need to be able to understand and write in these different versions.

Not to mention that ES7, ES8, and ES9 are also growing in popularity. You will have to learn the additions created here as well.

Here’s a quick example of how different the functions look in ES5 syntax vs ES6 syntax.

function eS5Func() {
  console.log("Calling ES5...");

const eS6Func = () => {
  console.log("Calling ES6...");

const eS6Func = () => console.log("Calling ES6 shorthand...");

Not only do these functions look very different, but they also act differently when the code is executed! Such as the way variables are hoisted. Something you will surely be very annoyed by when trying to rewrite and debug your code.

While versioning happens in Python as well, such as writing Python2 vs Python3 code. It doesn’t feel very different.

There have been many times I would write Python2 or Python3 code and not bother to check which I was using until it became necessary.

However, in JavaScript its important to know for many reasons. Such as browser compatibility or understanding how the code is actually working.

3. The Environment That It Is Written In

Which brings us to our next major point. The most difficult part about JavaScript is not about learning the language. It is about understanding the environment that JavaScript is written in.

If you want to learn JavaScript, you will essentially be learning web development at the same time. You will need to learn how to use JavaScript with HTML and CSS, as well as understand backend technologies and databases.

Throw in version control systems like git, networking and protocols, and command line tools, then you’re going to be deep underwater. Just like I was when I was first learning how to become a web developer!

This is not the case with Python. You do not need to learn HTML, CSS or anything else before you learn Python. You can just focus on learning the language.

This is a hug advantage when learning Python! Focusing on one language at a time will help you to learn the language and core programming principles much quicker and more easily.

While you can do this with JavaScript, it really isn’t where the language shines. Most of the important things you can do with JavaScript will involve DOM manipulation or interacting with the web in some manner.

Is JavaScript Easy To Learn After Python?

In fact, it might not be a bad idea to learn JavaScript after you learn Python. Since it is easy to learn Python by itself, you can teach yourself the core concepts of programming with this language. Once you feel comfortable, you can easily learn JavaScript after Python. Especially since the two languages are so similar.

However, if your main goal is to learn web development. It is likely a better use of time to skip Python for the time being and jump right into JavaScript!

Wrapping Up

So that’s about all you need to know! JavaScript is indeed, not, easier to learn than Python.

JavaScript has more quirks in its syntax, its constantly updating versions and the environment that it is written in, makes JavaScript harder to learn than Python.

You can make your life a bit easier if you choose to learn Python first, then JavaScript after. However, if you want to be a web developer, it is probably not worth the time commitment to learn Python first.

Here are some great courses to learn Python and some other great courses to learn JavaScript.

If you are new to programming and want to know the best language for coding interviews, check out this article!

Happy coding y’all!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

If you’re interested in freelance coding / writing services or want to partner with The Code Bytes, you can get in touch with me here!