Python VS Java – a comparison that you will find referenced in many different places on the internet. Whether it be online programming forums or a heated debate in some specific group, both Python and Java are extremely popular programming languages, and thus have a lot of support from their fanbases. The discussion of which one is better, however, can be a confusing one, especially if you’re completely new to the world of programming, in general. That is why a Java VS Python comparison article can help you make up your mind – if you’re interested, read on!
For starters, we’ll talk about both of the programming languages separately. After that, I’ll tell you some of the main points that make up the difference between Java and Python. Finally, after going over some of the main comparison criteria, we’ll move on to the actual comparison itself, and try to answer the question – should I learn Python or Java?
Table of Contents
The Battle Between Programming Languages
I know what you might be thinking – why in the world do we need to talk about Java or Python individually? Why can’t we just go straight to the Python VS Java comparison itself? Well, having a quick overview of both of the programming languages in question is good for both beginners and advanced programmers alike. How? Let me explain.
If you already advanced in the field of programming, you might not feel how you do most of your work automatically, without actually thinking about it. That’s why it’s nice to go over through some of the basics – you might refresh your memory and check your facts, so to speak. Naturally, the true use of such individual descriptions is mostly going to be felt by the beginner programmers. This way, newbies can not only find out which of the language is better (or more worth learning) but also learn some fundamental information about two programming languages in the process. It’s a win-win situation!
That being said, let’s start this Python VS Java comparison article by talking about Python.
Python was created by Guido van Rossum and was first released to the general public in 1991. It is an interpreted, high-level programming language, object-oriented through and through. All of these points are the leading reasons why it has become one of the most popular coding languages in the world.
High-level programming languages emphasize simplicity over anything else. Python’s whole design philosophy is based on and centered around readability – the language uses whitespace and very simple syntax to reach this goal. It has become widely known that, for this reason, Python is on the top of the list of the easiest to learn programming languages.
Comparing Python vs Java, the object-oriented part is also very important. OOP, or Object-Oriented Programming, is a form of programming philosophy that focuses on the objects and data instead of the logic that’s required to manipulate it. Inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation are just a few of the main features that define object-oriented programming. Why are OOP languages popular? Among other things, OOP allows easier maintenance of the code and enables the programmer to reuse it for other, separate projects.
When it comes to usage, Python was originally intended to be used mainly as a Linux development-based language but has since become one of the most popular web development tools in the world.
These are just some basic facts about Python – they should help you develop a fundamental understanding of the language, and ultimately aid you in the Python VS Java discussion. That’s just one side of the coin, however – next up, let’s take a look at Java.
Java was created in the same year as Python, by James Gosling and two of his other colleagues. And yes, what you’re thinking is true – the name is a spin-off from the coffee. We can finally put that speculation to rest.
If readability is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about Python, then the acronym WORA should be the thing that we think about when referencing Java. WORA stands for “Write Once, Run Anywhere” – it’s the slogan that Java is famous for, and it reveals the most prominent feature of the programming language. Java is universal – just as the slogan states, it is intended to be able to run on any platform and with any app out there.
Java was developed on the foundation of C and C++. This was a strategic maneuver since these were the most popular coding languages in the 90s, and it made Java’s learning curve all that much easier for people who already knew how to use C and C++. Although not as “pure” as Python, Java was still designed as an OOP language.
Java is mostly popular with Android app development and big data companies. Given this, you could say that when it comes to the Python VS Java discussion and the choice between Java or Python, the two coding languages don’t pose a huge threat to each other job market-wise.
So, then – you now know more about both of the programming languages from the Java VS Python debate. However, just so that the information would stay in your head, let’s briefly discuss the difference between Java and Python.
The Main Differences
One of the first differences that are commonly pointed out in the programming language comparison is that Java is faster than Python. It is worth mentioning, however, that this applies only for specific projects – modern processors tend to compensate for slower programming languages. That being said, Java is considered to be the faster of the two. This is mainly because Python is an interpreted language, and determines the data type during runtime.
Another big point to note in this Java VS Python article is the difference in the code itself. Java requires you to write longer and slightly more complicated lines of code, as opposed to the super-short and minimal coding efforts of Python. Furthermore, Java requires you to declare the type of the variable you want to use, while Python (being dynamically typed) does not.
These are just a few technical differences between Java and Python. Once we get into the Python VS Java comparison itself, we’ll talk a bit more about the less-technical side of things. Let’s continue to try to answer the question “should I learn Python or Java?” by talking about some key points of interest.
Adequate comparison criteria are extremely important when it comes to analyzing two programming languages – the Java vs Python comparison is no different. There are multiple different points that we could discuss, but it would frankly be impossible to touch on all of them in this single tutorial. Because of this, I’ve selected some of the more commonly asked and discussed points to talk about.
There are three key criteria that we’ll be using for our comparison – ease of use, popularity, and salary. Let’s quickly talk about each of them, and then move on to the Python VS Java comparison.
Ease of Use
Most of the people that are searching for a programming language to start learning, give priority to the easier, less time-consuming languages. This might be different for advanced learners that have already mastered one or two different languages, but if you’re just starting, chances are that you’re going to want to get into programming as fast and easy as possible.
Even though a lot of industry veterans don’t agree, the fact is that beginner programmers prefer easy languages. You could argue for why that’s the case, but the competitive job market has something to do with it. Since the specialty is as popular as it is, multiple professionals are competing for the same job position. That’s why people want to be done with their studies as soon as humanly possible, and get into the job market to start making a name for themselves.
Even though a programming language popularity might seem somewhat arbitrary, it’s a very important aspect of the Python VS Java comparison. First of all, the programming community doesn’t have time to waste when it comes to lousy and kind-of-working programming languages. That’s why, if a particular language is popular, you can be automatically sure that it’s going to be doing something right.
Furthermore, dedicated communities support their beloved programming languages in many different ways. Active participation in discussions, answering questions, or even creating learning material for beginner programmers online – all of these things add up to create a thriving and engaging community. If you choose to learn a programming language that has a great and active fan base, you will never have to worry about encountering a problem and not being able to find a solution.
And, of course, there’s the salary. Honestly, this is probably the very first thing that many people think about and get motivated by when thinking about a programming job, and learning some sort of a programming language. It’s no secret that programmers make a lot of money – the field of Computer Science is one of the most profitable career building path choices in the world!
That being said, however, you should also know that different programming languages bring in different numbers. This is also true in this Python VS Java comparison – if you’re trying to decide whether you should choose Java or Python, the difference in salary might be a big factor that influences your choice.
We’ll go over the points one by one, and you should be able to decide at the very end. Let’s start with ease of use.
Which one is Easier to Use?
Python’s reputation of being “super easy to use” exceeds itself. Even though Java isn’t necessarily a difficult programming language to get a hold of, Python is still seen as the much easier and, well… More readable alternative.
Which one is More Popular?
Honestly, when it comes to the Python VS Java discussion, both of these programming languages are popular in the world of coding. It’s rather difficult to distinguish a single, more popular one simply because they are mainly used for different purposes. While Java is very well-known and praised in the app development communities, Python stands strong among web developers.
One thing is for certain, though – both of these programming languages have huge and dedicated communities and a ton of content surrounding them online. If you’d like to learn either one of them, you shouldn’t encounter any problems whatsoever.
Which has the better Salary?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average annual salary of a Java developer is estimated to be around $88,100. This comes out to be $7340 per month. The same site states that Python developers can expect to make $92,000 per year or almost $7670 per month.
As you can probably see for yourself, the difference between Python vs Java is rather small. Even though Python developers tend to make a little bit more money than their Java colleagues, both salaries are quite above the average.
So, now that you know the difference between Java and Python, the question still stands – should I learn Java or Python? As you’ve probably understood by now, both of these programming languages are rather similar in the benefits that they offer. Whether it’s Java or Python, you can be sure to make a great living, have huge community support behind your back and multiple opportunities to build a solid, long-term career path.
It all sort of depends on your aims. If web development is your thing, and you want to have an almost guaranteed job position, then Python is the way to go. However, if you lean more towards app development and big data management, Java is a great alternative.
By now, you should not only have a better understanding of Python vs Java programming languages in question but also be able to compare them both from technical and more subjective standpoints. You’ll make a good choice if you choose either of them. If you want to learn more about other programming languages, follow the link to the courses section and grab the best one for you.