Python vs. Java: Which Programming Language is Better?

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Selecting a suitable programming language between Python and Java can be a tough decision, especially for beginners. As a matter of fact, they are both excellent programming languages that are widely used.

The choice between Java vs. Python depends on the intended application and as such, it could be dangerous to make claims as to one being the best of the two as they are both equally good.

Though different in use, it is important to note that Java and Python share important similarities. In this post, we would compare both languages using some factors that would help both beginners and developers  make a choice. However,  let’s begin with a bit of knowledge on both programming languages.

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Python vs. Java
Python Vs Java
Python vs. Java

Python is an high-level programming language with a simple syntax that is highly scalable. Created in 1991 by Dutch programmer, Guido van Rossum, the high point of python is its ability to write less code for the same amount of work when compared to other programming languages.

Java is also a high-level programming language. Created by James Gosling in 1995, it is a class-based, object-oriented programming language. It is extremely scalable which makes it widely used when it comes to enterprise level development. One thing that makes Java very unique is that once the code is written, it can run anywhere “Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA)”.

Note that Java is totally different from JavaScript.

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Now, let’s do a comparison.

Learning

Java has always been the number one language for teaching new programmers until recently that python took its place. Why? Very simple. Python make use of a  simple-to-use, English-like syntax (dynamically-typed) which definitely offers great first time coding experience to the learner.

Java, on the other hand, uses a compiled language (statically-typed), and can take some time to set up/work with.

Writing
Python is very easy to write than Java
Python is very easy to write than Java

Java requires developers to write longer lines of code to accomplish common programming tasks, which in turn means longer time to code. It could be fun though unless you have big projects at hand of which time is of essence.

On the other hand, Python enables developers to write succinct  and easy-to-read code without having writing longer lines of code.

Versatility
Java is more Versatile than Python.
Java is more versatile than Python. (Picture Source: cleveroad.com)

Why write a code when it can’t be used on various platforms? Java makes it easier for programmers to create portable cross-platform applications that can run on any device on which Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is running without any special compilers.

On the other hand, developers have to use a Python compiler to convert code written in Python into a code understandable by a specific operating system.

Speed and Performance

Truth be told, none of the programming languages is suited for high-speed computing, but when it comes to performance, Java has the edge. While a Java application can be easily optimized without using any additional tools, it cannot be used to accomplish CPU-intensive tasks.

A Python application would have to be run with some implementations such as (CPython, PyPy, or Cython) to enhance its speed.

Popularity
Top programming languages (April 2018).
Top programming languages -April 2018. (Source: tiobe.com/tiobe-index/)

Both languages are popular in their own sense. While Java is popular for developing apps for the world’s most popular mobile operating systems, Android, Python is becoming a language of choice for all the current trending technologies in IT (Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud etc).

Most of the times, the choice of programming language is about the skills and preference of the user and not necessarily the language itself. With both Java and Python being very complete and resourceful, the priority of all the above listed points also depends on your actual task/project and personal preference.

So, which do you think is better for your learning or next project?

 


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