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Python vs C: Similarities and Difference between Python and C

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Both Python and C have had decades to mature into well-polished programming languages. When you think about it, both of these languages have been put in use in one way or the other due to the vast number of applications and solutions that can be built using the same. Even though there are a small number of similarities, the differences outweigh them, and it is very vital that you know about these differences.

In this Python vs C blog, we will take a look at the following aspects:

Also, make sure to check out the Difference between Python and C video on our YouTube channel:

Let’s begin this C vs Python difference blog by first understanding Python’s rise to popularity!

What makes Python special?

If you are on this page, then I am sure you already know a little bit about Python. No doubt that it is one of the world’s most popular programming languages right now.

It is used to perform a lot of activities and solve a lot of problems easily in many fields. This is possible because of the nature of the language itself. It is both high-level and object-oriented, which makes it very simple to implement solutions to complex problems.

Python is a multi-paradigm programming language that supports the following paradigms:

  • Imperative programming
  • Functional programming
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Procedural programming

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One thing you have to note about Python is its simplicity in terms of syntax and execution. The entire philosophy of Python is to make sure that users have ample time to concentrate on the logic rather than break their heads on complex syntax. 

Less code to achieve great results is something that definitely stands out in Python. It is considered to be the top choice for beginners and programming enthusiasts who are looking forward to learning programming or starting a career in it.

Next up on this ‘C Language vs Python’ discussion, let’s take a look at why C has been the go-to language for learners and developers over the years!

Prepare yourself for the industry by going through Python Interview Questions and Answers now!

C Programming Language

The C programming language has been a favorite among millions of developers around the globe ever since its launch. It is one of the languages that has been in development and usage for decades. 

It has risen to popularity due to many reasons. Programming wise, the following reasons are why C language is very good at providing well-rounded solutions to programming problems:

  • It provides support for recursion in functions to be easily used.
  • C supports the implementation of exclusive memory addressing via pointers.
  • It is efficient in terms of code length as it proves to be less overhead, hence speeding up execution.

To add to this, the C language is very well known as a mid-level programming language. It can handle both high-level operations and low-level tasks with ease.

The C language is so critical in many businesses out there. For example, Google says that they make use of C and C++ in most of their speed-critical systems.

Among thousands of companies, be it startups or well-established giants, C programming is used everywhere! The following is a small list that denotes its usage:

  • Facebook: Thrift, HHVM, and Apache Hive
  • Microsoft: Windows and Visual Studio
  • VMware: The complete product lineup
  • Apple: Mac and iOS are written in C/C++

Apart from these companies, even Linux developers and hardware manufacturers make use of the C programming language thoroughly.

This programming language is built in a way that it provides users with access to memory, as mentioned above. This changes a lot of things in the procedural programming paradigm by making it more efficient and easy for learners to adapt to new libraries, frameworks, or even syntax, when used with other languages.

If you want to know about Constant and Variable in C, refer to our C programs blog!

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Next up, let’s dive straight into understanding the differences between C and Python!

Python vs C Language

Let’s now take a detailed look at the difference between C and Python programming languages.

Comparison Factor Python C Language
Architecture Python is a general-purpose and multi-paradigm programming language, which is also interpreted and high-level C is a classic example of a procedural programming language that has multiple uses in a variety of domains
Execution Python supports dynamism in that it uses an interpreter to execute code and run all programs C works based on first compiling the code and then executing the code snippet or program
Variable Declaration Python does not require the variable type to be mentioned as it is one of the loosely-typed programming languages C requires a compulsory declaration of variable type before it is used in the program in any way
Debuggability Python is known for its interpreter architecture, and on the occurrence of an error, the program execution will be stopped C has to forcefully compile the entire program even though there are errors before showing it to the user
Built-in Functions Python supports a plethora of built-in functions that are used to simplify a variety of tasks C offers comparatively less number of functions, which adds to the program overhead and code length considerably
Pointer Usage Python does not support the usage of pointers to keep the language simple and not to let users worry about memory C offers complete support for using pointers, thereby giving users exclusive access to memory addressing
Garbage Collection Python has provisions for automatically performing garbage collection activities and other memory handling tasks C does not support automated garbage collection of any sort or any other automated memory management tasks
Rapid Prototyping Python is purpose-built to provide developers with tools and options to help in rapid prototyping C language is not purpose-built to scale prototypes rapidly into production or work with them effectively to push to a product
Average Annual Salary In the United States, Python Developers get around US$125,000, and in India, they get around ₹800,000 C Developers get paid around US$95,000 in the United States, and in India, they get around ₹600,000
Multiple Variables Python supports the usage of lists, dictionaries, sets, tuples, and more as the data types C supports only the standard data types, such as int, float, char, and more
External Libraries Python has hundreds of libraries in all domains, be it AI, ML, gaming, Web Development, etc. C does offer decent libraries to work with but nowhere near the amount that Python offers.

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I hope you got a clear idea about the difference between Python and C language. I am sure that you are now asking the question: Which should I choose?

Well, it really depends on what you want to learn and how you will implement your learning.

Python is amazing when there is a requirement for faster development and a beginner-friendly language!

Whereas, there is no beating the C language if you have to build OS architectures like Linux derivatives or if you have to perform any other processor-intensive tasks or design applications.

Both Python and C languages have their own pros and cons, and both have maintained their positions among the top 10 programming languages for over a decade now.

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Which one do you think is the right fit for you? Go down to the comments section and let us know.

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About the Author

Senior Consultant Analytics & Data Science

Presenting Sahil Mattoo, a Senior Consultant Analytics & Data Science at Eli Lilly and Company is an accomplished professional with 14 years of experience across data science, analytics, and technical leadership domains, demonstrates a remarkable ability to drive business insights. Sahil holds a Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence from Great Lakes Institute of Management.