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The Difference Between Java and Python: Experts’ Opinion

The Difference Between Java and Python

Python vs Java: How to Make The Right Choice

Python vs Java - which is your type? The most popular websites in the world like Google or Facebook have both in their back-end, as for different tasks developers prefer to use different languages. When it comes to the choice between Python and Java, it’s not easy to make a decision

 Both of them are high-level programming languages based on an object-oriented paradigm. Being highly versatile and efficient, they are widely used to develop IT solutions, including web apps, APIs, mobile apps, internet of things, data science and many others.

As CTO, you need to be absolutely sure you make the right choice between the two programming languages, which is quite challenging. We suggest you spend some time reading this article that was prepared to help you to sort out which technology perfectly meets your goals. We’ve compared the two by their key features and shared our own experience. So, have a nice read!.

The two languages compete with each other as both of them offer great opportunities for developers. In recent years Python has made great progress and became the favorite one for millions of programmers around the globe for its best applicability to cutting-edge technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. Meanwhile, Java never gave up its leading positions.

What is the difference between Java and Python? Which one should you prefer? Let us help you to sort it out!

Data streams

Which is More Popular Now?

Java or Python? Both of them are always listed among the top 10 programming languages in different ratings together with C#, C++, Javascript, and PHP. With the release of Kotlin language the competition became tougher and all the market leaders, including both Python and Java, now have to offer more advanced features to hold their positions.

According to TIOBE Index*, the most widely used programming language today is Java. It has about 9 mln coders. Python is ranked to be the 3rd on the list. As by the same index, over the past 5 years, Java has shown some negative dynamics, but the setback is not gradual. The same situation is described by Google Trends:

Google Trends dynamics for Java and Python

Python is definitely on the rise now. According to the PYPL** Index that measures the frequency of language tutorials search on Google, Python is the most searched language today.

PYPL publishes separate ranking for US, India, Germany, UK and France, and in every country Python is number one. Java is the second to come on the list. And both of them are way ahead of all the others in the Index.

Both languages are ranked among the market leaders by their shares. As by Datanyze statistics, today Java holds 6th position on the global market of programming languages (2,69%) and Python is listed in 8th place (0,82%). Major players remain the same - PHP (42,61%), Microsoft’s ASP.NET (25,07%) and PHP 5,6 (10,69%).

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES MARKET SHARE TABLE:

Ranking Technology Domains Market share
1 PHP 2.718.101 42.59%
2 ASP.NET 1.608.427 25.20%
3 PHP 5.6 672.733 10.54%
4 Lua 430.087 6.74%
5 PHP 5.3 230.453 3.61%
6 Java 171.868 2.69%
7 CSS 127.347 2.00%
8 Python 53.070 0.83%
9 HTML 44.915 0.70%
10 C# 26.154 0.41%

© Datanyze statistics

* TIOBE Index: TIOBE ratings are calculated by counting hits of the most popular search engines. There are 25 search engines that are used to calculate the TIOBE index. The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index started in the year 2001 and updated once a month.

** PYPL Index: The PopularitY of Programming Language Index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google. The index is updated once a month.

Python Key Characteristics

Python is a high-level object-oriented programing language. It lets developers work rapidly and efficiently integrates different systems. Looking at the difference between Python and Java, the first one definitely boasts higher coding speed and indeed it is easy to use.

Python supports multiple programming paradigms, including OOP, functional programming, and procedural programming. Together with its great simplicity, it ensures code reusability and readability.

For these features, this programming language competes for many others, including Java, especially when speaking of AI, ML, and data science programming.

Choosing Python, you’ll get excellent library support. Many other developers can advise you how to use it better - Python has a huge developer community around itself. Thus it is a great starting point for beginners.

Listing Python’s key advantages, first and foremost it’s worth mentioning that it’s an open-source language. Being easy to learn, it has a robust and extensive library and user-friendly data structure. Together with that, it works great with an object-oriented programing paradigm. Another advantage - support is always available.

Python is very scalable, thus it can be used to build a wide range of systems, including web backend development, enterprise resource planners, programming language development, database applications, graphics, networking and server-based applications, prototyping, and artificial intelligence – data science, machine learning, and deep learning.

Who uses Python?

Companies that use Python

Java Key Characteristics

Java is a high-level cross-platform, object-oriented multipurpose programming language. Well-known to be extremely stable and highly concurrent, it is widely used by large organizations for building enterprise-scale web applications. Together with that, it is widely used in Android App Development. The key advantage of this programming language is that once you write code in Java, you can run it anywhere. To allow computers to run Java programs across multi-platforms, it uses JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Java software can be used to develop a wide range of applications - network, desktop and mobile apps and frameworks; web apps and frameworks; graphic user interface in desktop apps; enterprise and scientific apps; and web servers and web services.

Global enterprises using Java:

Global enterprises using Java

Java’s key benefits include code reusability, speed – using JVM for just-in-time compilation, object-oriented approach and platform independence. You write once and then run your code anywhere with JVM!

To get a better feeling of the both

click here to request our best cases of development on Python and Java

Programming Languages Advantages and Disadvantages

Which language is better Java or Python?

Python advantages

  1. Presence of third party modules that enable interaction with other languages and platforms. For example, you can use bundles with the same Java and C++.
  2. Extensive support libraries. As lots of frequently used programming tasks have already been scripted into Python standard library, the length of code to be written is much shorter.
  3. Open source and community development. Python language is free to use and distribute, including the use for commercial purposes. The community around it contributes greatly to its further population through hosting conferences and mailing lists.
  4. Easy to learn and well supported. Python is famous for its easy-to-learn syntax which helps beginners to utilize this programming language. It has vivid code style guidelines (PEP 8), hence it provides a comprehensive set of rules to facilitate the formatting of code.
  5. User-friendly data structures. Python features built-in list and dictionary data structures that can be used to construct fast runtime data structures. In addition to that, Python provides the option of dynamic high-level data typing which reduces the length of support code that is needed.
  6. Productivity. Python offers enhanced process control capabilities as well as integration and text processing capabilities. It also has its own unit testing framework, all of which make it more productive compared to Java. It has all the capabilities for building complex multi-protocol network applications.
  7. Best applicable to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science technologies.

 

Python disadvantages

  1. Python is not the best choice for mobile development, its language doesn’t have enough capabilities for mobile computing.
  2. Memory consumption is high thus it’s better not to use it for memory-intensive tasks.
  3. Runtime Errors. Because the language is dynamically typed, it requires more testing and has errors that only show up at runtime.
  4. Speed. Both languages are highly efficient, but when speaking of some specific tasks, like the development of applications for working with stock exchange data in real-time with the processing of huge data per unit time or specific tasks of parallelization of calculations in scientific projects, Python is a bit slower than Java.

 

Java advantages

  1. Platform-Independent at both the source and binary levels. Java has an outstanding ability to move easily from one computer system to another.
  2. Java has an inherently integrated distributed computing feature that involves several computers in one network to work together.
  3. Java is a compiled language. The programs are compiled into Java Virtual Machine code called bytecode. The bytecode is machine-independent. It can operate on any machine that has a Java interpreter. You need to compile the program one time, and then the bytecode generated by the Java compiler will run on any platform.
  4. Reliability. Java has a feature of early checking for possible errors, which helps to detect many problems on the initial stage.
  5. Multi-task language. Java can perform several tasks simultaneously within one program. It is called multithreaded programming. This feature is vital in visual and network programming.

 

Java disadvantages

  1. The higher complexity of programming language learning, especially compared to Python.
  2. Look and feel: The default look and feel of applications written in Java using the Swing toolkit is very different from native applications. It is possible to specify a different look and feel through the pluggable look and feel system of Swing.
  3. Java is a single-paradigm language.
  4. Memory is managed through garbage collection. Each time the garbage collector runs, it affects the performance of the application.

When Your Project Needs Python?

Most of the standard tasks, like website development, are easily realized with the help of both Python and Java. But today developers tend to use Python more as it is easier to learn and use. Together with that, it is highly efficient. This is a big plus for data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The programmers of these technologies would choose Python because of its simplicity and accessibility.

Python is the best choice for beginners. It is easy and quick to learn and it has a great community around it. No doubt that you will be lead and supported by the necessary data. Python uses dynamic type, while Java uses static type. This significantly affects the design, troubleshooting, and writing of codes. Obviously, dynamically typed languages are easier and shorter.

When Your Project Needs Java?

How is Java different from Python? When it comes to speed and optimization Java has better offerings thanks to its JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

The difference in performance between Java and Python is not that great, but when it comes to some specific things, like fast processing of huge amounts of data per unit time, it becomes really significant.

Java uses a JVM to perform a just in time compilation, so if speed is your target, then Java should be your choice. Java has better concurrency compared to Python. The ability of multiple codes to be executed at the same time is called concurrency in programming; Python is more sequential. Java's favorite statement is that you write code once and then you run it anywhere. Hence, it is a much better choice for cross-platform development.

Still cannot decide which one suits you more?

Ask our team to advise

Python vs Java: Summary

Choosing between the two might seem not easy, like choosing between Mercedes-Benz and BMW - each one looks great and drives fast. But the decision is quite obvious when you know your task in detail.

Most development tasks are indeed quite typical and you can easily do them using these two programming languages. But in each case, there are specific needs and certain circumstances that lead you to the right decision.

Let’s have a brief look at some classic cases when you can use both Python and Java and you have to choose one. Imagine a situation when you need to create a web application for some Pharmacy network. The time is limited to 3 months, the budget is 30K USD and you cannot exceed it. Here we would say Python would be a good choice as it performs fast and the development price is lower.

Another example - you are developing a mobile application for some bank, and you need a solution that will ensure big data processing at a high speed and with zero error capacity. Dealing with such resource-intensive tasks you need a lot of data to be stored and managed, memory consumption is much higher. That’s where Java would help - it is more efficient in such tasks (both memory consumption and mobile apps development).

If you deal with a lot of information that needs to be carefully analyzed, you use machine learning. Developing a solution for that kind of task is better with Python.

your task requires: Java Python
High development speed and a lower budget   +
High speed and greater memory consumption +  
Web development + +
Mobile development +  
Machine learning   +
Data mining   +
Code succinctness   +

Each task can be analyzed like this - you outline the major goal and enumerate inevitable conditions (time, budget, memory consumption, etc.). To figure out which one suits you more, let’s make a short comparison of Python and Java:

  • As it is a compiled language, Java takes less time to execute a code compared to Python. In terms of speed, in some cases, Java is faster, but in 90% of tasks, there will be almost no difference between the two.
  • Java requires more lines of code to make the same tasks that Python would easily do with fewer words.
  • In many cases, Python offers greater developer productivity, language flexibility, better library and support, and ease of learning.
  • For the purpose of developing an AI (artificial intelligence) or ML (machine learning) technology, more often developers would prefer Python, not Java. The reason for that is pure and simple - Python has a wide range of ready solutions and a great community.

 

To make the comparison more vivid, let’s compare the two facing the same tasks.

Conclusion

Similarities between Java and Python are numerous! Both Java and Python offer high - level programming opportunities, both have libraries with and huge communities around them, both are object-oriented, support encapsulation, and polymorphism. It’s up to you to decide which one meets your requirements.

With Python, you get the simplicity of development while Java will offer better speed and efficiency. No doubt you better choose Java if you want to develop mobile applications, web applications, and the internet of things.

Python’s main advantage and it’s the best selling point for future growth is simplicity and use in data science (Big data or Data mining), artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies are the mainstream for today and for the nearest decade. All of them are better presented in Python, both in its community and in libraries. Thus Python stands a better chance in terms of future usage.

HuskyJam team knows it for sure. Need proof? Click here to ask for a case study of what we’ve already done in Python!

So, Python versus Java? Your task will give you the answer!

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