Java vs Python: Know The Key Differences Between Them

Of all the programming languages, Java and Python are the most widely used and recognised languages today. Since its launch in 1995, developers worldwide have adopted this programming language for various applications and products. However, with its simple commands and easy-to-understand interface, Python is quickly growing in popularity each year.

Therefore, Python vs Java is a highly contentious topic among IT professionals. Both these languages outdo each other in various areas depending on the factor used for comparison. For instance, Java is better than Python regarding concurrency, speed, and efficiency. Meanwhile, Python is the clear choice when it comes to simplicity, size of the code, etc.

The Origin of Python:

You can know a lot about any language if you understand its roots. Python was invented in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum in the Netherlands. However, its application and implementation began around December 1999. The first version of Python was 0.9.0, which Rossum published in February 1999. Python was a derivative of ABC, a general-purpose programming language. Today, Rossum is still instrumental in directing how Python progresses and evolves. However, a core team of developers handle its maintenance and operation. 

Features of Python:

Many IT professionals ask whether they should learn Java or Python for jobs. These features of Python can help you decide.

  1. Easy to use and learn: Python has a syntax similar to English, making it easy to adopt and use for developers and programmers.

  2. Expressive programming language: Developers can complete large chunks of code in Python using just a few lines.

  3. Cross-platform programming language: Python works easily across every operating system.

  4. Free and open-source: Python It is an open-source and free programming language that developers can access from anywhere in the world.

  5. Standard library: Python provides extensive libraries like Pandas, MatPlotLib, NumPy and Request. They simplify a developer’s work significantly.

  6. Flexible and compatible: Python is highly diverse and can integrate easily with a wide range of frameworks and tools to solve several problems and business challenges.

Drawbacks of Python:

  1. Mobile computing: Python is not the best when it comes to mobile computing. Thus, it isn’t widely used for mobile app development.

  2. Interpreted language: This makes Python slower than other languages. 

  3. Dynamic: Python is highly dynamic; thus, it shows errors during run time. This error is not usually generated or detected during the compilation stage, making it hard to fix. For developers who wish to run large code sections, this could result in inefficiency and time lost. 

The Origin of Java: 

When Java was created, it was first named OAK. Its primary purpose was to handle set-top boxes and portable devices. However, the product did not make any impact in the market. In 1995, Sun Microsystems company changed OAK to Java after modifying the language in an attempt to leverage the growing internet and web development industry.

In 2009, Oracle acquired Sun and consequently took ownership of the three key assets Sun owned. These were MySQL, Solaris and Java. 

Features of Java:

  1. Object-oriented programming language: Being an object-oriented language, Java provides several critical features such as Inheritance, Data Encapsulation and Data Hiding. This means Java is well-suited to mapping real-world entities to objects while solving real-world problems. 

  2. Platform-independent: Code compilation in Java is not platform-dependent. Instead, it functions as a platform-independent bytecode. Once this is done, the JVM or Java Virtual Machine interprets the code. 

  3. Secure: Java enables developers to create tamper-free and secure code through public-key encryption.

  4. Multithreaded: You can perform multiple tasks on Java at the same time. 

  5. High-performance language: Java uses JIT (Just in Time) compilers to ensure high performance. They compile bytecode to native codes during run time, thus enhancing Java’s performance. 

  6. Distributed: Java provides peak performance when it is in a distributed environment. It enables users to manage and create several distributed apps together. Developers can save the code on several machines and access it simultaneously. This helps create large projects with the help of Remote Method Invocation. 

  7. Dynamic: Java has been designed to change with any modification in its environment. Low-lying constructs such as pointers aren’t covered in Java. A pointer is complex and unsafe for programmers in the initial stage. Java focuses on the simplicity of code and using pointers can add avoidable challenges. Since the code in memory is directly accessible, it could compromise its security. Thus, certain levels of abstraction are used in Java since pointers aren’t.

Drawbacks of Java:

  1. JIT compilers: Code execution slows down when developers use a Just In Time compiler.

  2. Higher hardware costs: The hardware cost increases with the high processing and memory needs. Java also requires more space and memory than other programming languages. 

Python vs Java:

Now that you know the features and benefits of both languages, take a look at the differences side by side to get a better idea. 

Factor

Java

Python

Compilation

Compiled Language

Interpreted Language

Static or Dynamic

Statically typed

Dynamically typed

String operations

Provides limited string related functions

Provides a wide range of string related functions

Learning curve

Complex

Easy to use and learn

Multiple inheritances

Done partially using interfaces

It offers single as well as multiple inheritances

Braces vs. Indentation

Uses curly braces to define the start and finish of all function and class definitions.

Uses indentation to divide code into distinct code blocks

Speed

Runs much slower than Python

Runs faster than most programming languages, including Java

Portability

Can run on any mobile device or computer that can run JVMs (Java virtual machines)

Less portable than Java and requires an interpreter installed on a target machine to translate its code

Read file

Requires ten lines of code in Java to read from one file 

Requires only two lines of code

Architecture

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) provides the runtime environment for code execution and converts bytecode into machine language.

The interpreter translates the source code into bytecode that is machine-independent.

Backend Frameworks

Spring, Blade

Django, Flask

Machine Learning Libraries

Weka, Mallet, Deeplearning4j, MOA

Tensorflow. Pytorch.

Game Development Engines

JMonkeyEngine

Cocos. Panda3d

Famous companies using this technology

Instagram, Airbnb, Spotify

Google, Uber, Dropbox

Best features

  • A large number of libraries

  • Widely used and popular

  • Excellent tooling

  • A large volume of documentation available

  • Easily readable code

  • Rapid development

  • Beautiful and simple code

Best use for

Desktop GUI apps, web app services and embed systems

Numeric and scientific computing and machine learning apps

Database support

Provides stable connectivity

Has weak connectivity.

Code example

class A {

 public static void main(String args[]){

     System.out.println("Hello World");

 }

}

Hello World in Python:

print "hello world";

TIOBE Rating

1

3

Average salaries

In the United States, Java developers earn an average salary of USD 103,464 per annum.

In the US, Python developers earn an average salary of USD 118,626 per annum.

Final Verdict - Java or Python?

Python is a simple and intuitive programming language. Its syntax is very similar to English and almost as simple. New programmers will find it easier to use Python than any other language. This open-source programming language also has many tools and features to facilitate growth. Meanwhile, Java was first developed as a programming language that can be used for any general development purpose. 

Both these languages have practically limitless scope in today’s world. If you started reading this thinking, ‘Should I learn Java or Python?’ you probably have a clearer picture now. Whichever language you ultimately choose will depend on your business objective, career goals and development project costs and budgets. 

To give your career the boost it deserves, enrol in a training course for either of these languages today on Koenig.

Also Read:

1. Data Science vs Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

2. Popular Java Interview Questions and Answers

3. Python Interview Questions and Answers

Armin Vans
Sheyans is a Android Certified Developer and certified professional with rich experience in Application Development, Programming, and Corporate training. He delivered training on CEH, CPENT, ECSA, Security+, CNDV2, CISSP, CISM, Android, iOS, Java, Objective C, Swift, and Xamarin Mobile Framework.

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