Both Java and Python are among the oldest as well as most popular programming languages in the world. For more than two decades, they have been helping developers to create reliable apps and websites. Just because both of them are good enough to do their job, programmers often get confused about which is the best among them. And that started the debate of Java vs Python which has been going on for a while now in the developers’ community.
A programming language is the most basic and yet important tool in the toolbox of a programmer. So it is quite obvious for programmers to seriously analyze their options before picking a language for their next project. Experts out there are weighing these programming languages against each other and comparing their characteristics, architecture, functionalities, and more. But they often forget to compare how useful a programming language is for the project.
So, using that perspective, here in this article, we will first have a look at the basics of Java and Python, and then we will compare them about what advantages they offer over their rivals. In the end, we will help you decide which language will be suitable for your project in 2023. So, let’s get started.
In 1995, Sun Microsystems created an object-oriented and general-purpose programming language called Java. It is class-based and has a simple syntax just like C and C++.
If you write a program with Java then it can run on any operating system that supports Java Virtual Machine (JVM), because this programming language was designed to be platform-independent. So, if you are building enterprise software, mobile, or a web application then Java is the perfect choice for you. It can also be used to develop graphics programs, games as well as embedded systems for customer electronics and industrial automation.
Developing complex applications is now easy with Java as it allows you to use objects and classes to build them. Because it is highly scalable and has high portability, java is popular among developers. Java supports all types of programming paradigms event-driven, functional, and procedural. Additionally, Java is a Secure programming language that enables you to develop secure and reliable apps.
In 1991, Guido van Rossum built a high-level, object-oriented, general-purpose, and interpreted programming language called Python. While designing it, the emphasis was put on the significant use of whitespace and code readability.
To create different code blocks in programming languages like C++ or Java, you have to use curly brackets but not in Python. It offers tabs and whitespace to do it for you.
Using Python, you can have clear programming on both large scale and small scales as it offers a setup for it. It consists of features like dynamic typing and automatic memory management. Python also supports multiple programming paradigms and offers a comprehensive standard library as well. And having a comprehensive collection of such standard libraries, Python is sometimes considered a “batteries included” programming language.
Being designed specifically to be highly readable, Python can be easy to learn, understand and use. The best thing is that programmers can express their concepts in fewer code lines because of its syntax which again is simpler in comparison to Java or C++.
Now, let us dive into Java vs Python.
Java vs Python
Java and Python programming languages indeed have many similarities but they also possess some unique traits that give them an advantage over each other. Here, we are going to discuss what kind of advantages these programming languages hold over each other.
Advantages of Java Over Python
- Java is used widely so obviously it has a larger community as well. They are ever ready to help you get through your Java development problem. Also, a vast amount of online resources are available that can guide you through different types of Java development best practices. Java has been employed for software app development for more than two decades now.
- Java doesn’t have dynamic typing but has a superior compiled nature which makes it faster than Python. Hence, when you are running large programs, the execution will be quicker.
- Java programming language never allows direct memory access. And all the unused objects in the system memory are easily cleaned with its inbuilt garbage collector. This helps in reducing the potential vulnerabilities in your software system. After all, Java offers better security in comparison to Python.
- Every variable declaration here must include their data types before they are assigned any value because Java is a statically typed language. This could come in handy for the compiler to catch any type mismatch errors in the early stages of the compilation process. This gives Java the advantage of having quick bug detection over Python.
Because it is a dynamically typed language, it allows variable declaration without the need of specifying the data type. This could mean getting potential bugs in the later stages which leads to having longer debugging cycles.
- Instead of separately writing the implementation of specific data types every time, Java allows users to build generic classes or methods that provide certain functionalities across different data types. It is possible because Java possesses strong static typing capabilities. This helps users save a lot of their valuable coding time as well as the costs associated with long-term maintenance.
- Java programming language has an enhanced in-built garbage collection mechanism which is why it performs better than Python. This is also why there are fewer memory leaks during an execution of a Java program in comparison to the execution of Python programs. Therefore, Java would be an ideal choice to create high-performing and scalable real-time applications.
- In the case of error handling, most of the errors are related to either variable declarations or syntax which are managed at compile time instead of run time. And Java has far better exception-handling mechanisms in comparison to Python which comes in handy in detecting and eliminating bugs and offering an enhanced software development cycle.
Advantages of Python Over Java
- Python is easier to read, learn and use. Because it is a simple and concise programming language that comes with a syntax that is more like the English language.
- The simple syntax and dynamic typing from Python reduce your development time.
- Java supports only object-oriented and procedural programming styles whereas Python supports both of these programming paradigms in addition to imperative programming style as well.
- While using Java, you have to include what type of variables you are using which makes debugging a little difficult in certain cases like when you are developing a large application. But with Python being dynamically typed, you no longer have to declare what kind of variable you are using.
- In comparison to the Java libraries, Python’s are more versatile so of course the latter offers more flexibility to developers in creating tier apps. For instance, popular frameworks like TensorFlow can now quickly create AI apps with the help of several libraries that perform different tasks separately but more efficiently, and that too within a shorter time frame.
- Python comes with a variety of libraries such as Sklearn, Matplotlib, Pyspark, TensorFlow, Seaborn, Pandas, and more. These libraries are specifically curated to carry out tasks related to data visualization, data analysis, and machine learning. So, it’s not just Java, possibly no other programming language is as adapted as Python to work with ML and data science technologies.
- Robust features, libraries, and versatility has made Python one of the most popular programming languages as it can help software programmers build powerful and complex apps without writing too many code lines for it.
Java vs Python: Performance
When speaking about performance, Java is proven to be more efficient compared to Python. It is much faster too which makes it perfect for the development of faster web and mobile applications.
The reason why Java code runs faster than Python is because Python is an interpreted language whereas Java is a compiled one. In addition to that, Python is dynamically typed so it conducts type-checking during runtime. Meanwhile, Java is statically typed so it conducts type-checking during compilation.
Java vs Python: Salary
Payscale is very high in both programming languages. So if you want a comparison then also, you wouldn’t get a clear win for which programming language might get you paid well. One of the major reasons behind this is although both languages are used extensively in the software development industry, they have different use cases.
However, if we consider a certain niche, say, software engineer then learning and implementing Java would certainly get you paid way better than Python. But if you are a data scientist or an ML engineer then Python would win.
In the end, the salary of a Python developer was approximately $105,000 and the salary of a Java developer was around $95,000 in 2022. So, it would be fair to say that in recent scenarios, Python is winning in terms of salary comparison.
Java vs Python: What Should You Learn in 2023?
Here in this article, we discussed which is the best programming language in Java vs Python. Now, after such a lengthy discussion it’s time for the truth. Which one of these should you pick in 2023?
- It is obvious from our discussion above that if you are a software engineer then Java is the best choice for you especially if you are into mobile application development.
- Both Java and Python offer dedicated libraries for backend web development. But Java also offers extensive frameworks and database integration tools that can help you build fast and efficient backend APIs. So, here also, Java for the win.
- Lastly, if you are working in data science, data analysis, or machine learning in 2023, then it is highly recommended that your go-to option should be Python. This programming language comes with a variety of libraries created specifically for such domains. So, that would make it easy for you to become a successful data scientist or an ML engineer with Python in your arsenal.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and that it has been of help to you. If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comments section below. We will get back to you ASAP. Also, now I ask you, which one do you prefer to work with, in 2023? Java or Python?