Python vs Java: Which is better?

Java and Python are two of the most popular programming languages in the world right now, so much so that many developers swear by them and use them daily, but when it comes to using them one of the most obvious questions that you would confront is, ‘which one should I choose?’.

Python vs Java: Which is better?
 09th Aug, 2019
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In this article, we will do an in-depth comparison between these two languages which help you decide on which one is the best for you. So, let’s do the ‘Java vs Python: Which is better?’ analysis.

We will be comparing these languages on the following parameters:

Here’s a video on Java vs Python from Intellipaat:

So let’s get started.

Python vs Java: History

Before we begin our ‘Java vs Python: Which is better?’ analysis, let us take a closer look at the origins of these two languages.

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Before we begin our ‘Java vs Python: Which is better?’ analysis, let us take a closer look at the origins of these two languages.

Java

The Java language project was initiated in June 1991 by James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton. It was originally called ‘Project Oak’ but was later renamed to ‘Project Green’ and then finally to ‘Java’ (named after Java coffee).

Python

Python was created in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum as a replacement for ABC language. It was named after the famous British comedy group ‘Monte Python’. It was developed to interact with the Amoeba operating system.

Python vs Java: Architecture

Both these languages are very popular but are quite different when it comes to what goes on under the hood.

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Let’s take a closer look at how these two languages work and turn your code into instructions that a machine can understand.

Java

Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language. It is built on the principle of write once, run anywhere (WORA). Java achieves this principle of WORA with the help of JVM or Java virtual machine. Java is both compiled and interpreted. A developer writes the code and then compiles the code file using the Java compiler and finally converts that code into bytecode in a file with the .class extension.

Go through this Java Tutorial to get a better understanding of the concept!

Now, this .class file is interpreted and run by the JVM. The Java virtual machine has a just-in-time compiler (also called a JIT compiler) that helps it covert the bytecode that is in the .class file into machine code or instructions that the processor can understand.

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Python

Python is an interpreted, high-level, object-oriented scripting language. By saying Python to be an interpreted language, we mean that unlike Java, no bytecode is produced here; the code is simply run through the interpreter which interprets and executes it, line by line.

Want to become a master in Python programming? Check out this Python Training!

Unlike Java, there are no additional steps involved in the process of the code being converted into bytecode and then being interpreted by a runtime environment.

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Python vs Java: Performance

Now, let us see the difference between the performances of these two languages.

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Java

As Java is a compiled language, it is faster among the two. It uses JVM and its just-in-time (JIT) compiler. As it is a statically typed language, there is no need to detect the data types of variables on runtime which gives it a significant boost in performance.

Python

Python is slower than Java as it is an interpreted language, and hence Python detects the data type of a variable on runtime and is therefore slower.

For more in-depth knowledge, check out our online Python Tutorial to excel in your career!

Python vs Java: Getting Started

Now that we are a bit more aware of these languages, let’s see how to get started with them.

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Java

Getting started with Java is a little tedious. First, you must download the Java Development Kit (JDK) from the official Oracle website, then install it. Then, you have to add the JDK’s file system location to the PATH variable. Only then can you use JDK and write Java code. Also, for Java, you can use one of the many IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) like Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ, etc.

Become a master of Java by going through this online Java Course!

These can help you with code completion and refactoring and write more code with fewer keystrokes.

Python

Getting started with Python is relatively straightforward. You have to just download the Python programming package from https://www.python.org and install it. Then, you will have access to the ‘python’ command from the command line and to IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) which is a small IDE that can be used to write and execute Python code. You can download and use other IDEs like PyCharm to improve your productivity.

Python vs Java: Syntax

This is probably one of the topics in our ‘Java vs Python which is better?’ analysis in which these two languages could not be more different.

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Although both languages are extremely popular, one of the major differences between them is their syntax.

Java

Java’s syntax, like many other languages from its time, is inspired by the very popular ‘C’ programming language. Java has the basic curly braces to mark the beginning and the end of a code block such as conditional statements, loops, functions, etc. Also, Java uses semi-colons to mark the end of a statement. Every program in Java must be written within a class; also every program must contain only one main method from which the execution of the program will begin. This, among other things, makes the code written in Java very verbose or long, which is one of the reasons why people do not prefer working with Java. Here is an example of Java code:

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Python

Python’s syntax is designed to be very intuitive and easy to read. Unlike Java, there is no need to wrap your code in a class; also there is no need to have a main method in Python. Also, Python is not inspired by the ‘C’ language; in its syntax, it is more similar to a language like Lisp. Because of this, Python does not use semicolons to end statements and curly braces to define a code block, but it rather uses indentation, i.e., a consistent use of whitespaces to determine the start and end of a code block; also each line of code is treated as a statement in Python. This makes the code more readable, precise, and compact. The code for the above program in Python would be as shown below:

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For a better comparison, let’s see how many lines of code each language takes to swap two numbers.

Java

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Python

As you can see, Java takes around eight lines of code to swap two numbers; whereas, Python takes only three lines.

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Python vs Java: Where are they used?

Although both languages are extensively used in many companies, there are particular domains where one is more popular than the other.

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Java

Java is extensively used for desktop application development. This is because Java has a rich library of GUI components in its Swing framework. Now, with the introduction of JavaFX components, you can use Java to build high-performance modern GUI desktop applications. You can also build web applications and web APIs in Java using its Spring Framework. Java is also used heavily in the backend server-side programs especially in the financial industry. One of the major reasons for Java’s popularity is that it is used for developing Android applications. Java is also heavily used in Big Data processing in frameworks like Hadoop, Spark, etc.

Python

Because Python is so easy to use, many startups and MNCs are using it to rapidly develop applications for release in the market. Python is vastly used in the scientific computing industry, especially in Data Science. Because of the abundance of Python packages available for scientific computation and data manipulation, such as NumPy, Pandas, SciPy, etc., Python is heavily used for Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and so on. Python also has two very popular frameworks for web application development, Flask and Django.

Python vs Java: Learning Curve

We’ve compared the two languages on many parameters. Now, let us see how much time it will take for you to learn these languages.

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Java

Java is one of the languages that has a very steep learning curve. Because of its vast in-built libraries, verbose syntax, and complicated installation steps, it takes a lot of time to get a good hand on using this programming language, effectively.

These are described in Java’s online reference guide and on our Java Community!

Python

Python is very easy to learn, thanks to its readable and concise syntax. Python also has a very useful inbuilt standard set of libraries to perform some important tasks such as connecting to a database, network programming, etc.

Check out this Python Community by Intellipaat!

Further, in our ‘Java vs Python which is better?’ analysis, let’s see the popularity tends of these languages. Both these languages are quite popular, but which one is more popular and where will be analyzed now.

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Java is certainly more popular than Python in India, but as you can see the disparity between the popularity of the two is decreasing.

This blog will help you get a better understanding of Mobile Technology for Android and iOS using Java!

In USA, on the other hand, Python is more popular than Java and getting more popular as time goes by.

Python vs Java: Salary

Let us now see how much salary these languages can bring to you. Let’s first do a Java vs Python salary comparison in India.

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As you can see, if you are a fresher, Python will bring you more income, but as you get more experienced you get better salary hikes in Java than in Python.

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Check out this insightful video on Java

Python vs Java: Conclusion

From this ‘Java vs Python: which is better?’ analysis, it is clear that both these languages have their own pros and cons.

Java is faster, and because of it being statically typed it is more preferred in large-scale industries such as the financial industry and also is more popular in domains like mobile applications and Big Data.

Whereas, Python is easier to read, use, and learn and is vastly used in the scientific community. It is also deployed for rapidly building products in startups and for developing web applications and web services.

Therefore, there is no clear winner, but if you wish to choose one among them you should choose it based on which domain you wish to work in and also on how much time do you have. For example, if you wish to develop Android apps you can use Java, and if you wish to quickly learn and develop a web application for a web service then choose Python.

Hopefully, this article helped you get acquainted with the two most popular programming languages and decide on which one would be better for you.

 

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