Python vs Java: Battle of the Best

Modern enterprises and software developers are increasingly ‘polyglot’ – proficient in more programming languages & libraries than ever before. In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the number of programming languages with that a developer is likely to use on a daily basis. Python and Java are established, robust professional programming languages because of their efficiency, versatility and automation capabilities. Both include their own benefits and drawbacks. Let us analyze which one suits your goals.

Similarities of Python and Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language with syntax analogous to C and C++. Python is a powerful, efficient and readable high-level language with effective memory management. Java is the older dominator while Python has gained popularity in the last few years. Though both languages have several key differences, they share some similar properties, as listed below:

  • Open-source language
  • Cross-platform support
  • Object-oriented approach
  • Employs immutable strings
  • Includes extensive standard libraries
  • Members of Algol family
  • Compile to byte code
  • Vibrant community support

Python vs Java – a Closer Look

Aside from these similarities, there are key differences between Python and Java as both languages are uniquely designed around their respective efficiencies. Let’s look at some key differences:

Python vs Java: Usage Statistics

According to Similartech, Python has wider usage with 127,539 websites as opposed to 110,668 in Java. Python is a favorite in industries like IT, food & drink, electronics & technologies, business & consumer – more about this here: Python in Engineers in these five areas love Python.

Python vs Java Performance

Both Python and Java compile bytecode and execute in virtual machines. However, Python generally compiles code at runtime whereas Java does it in advance & distributes the bytecode. Thanks to a just-in-time compiler, that converts all Java code into native code quickly, this significantly enhances performance.

Performance is where Java scores over Python since Python doesn’t offer native performance as Java does. That said, you can accelerate python performance through through optimized programming and framework implementation. For example, you can achieve C++ like performance with Python code using Cython.

Python vs Java: Code Readability & Formatting

Java coding & formatting employs multiple extensions as well as denotations. In addition, the reference points are divided into several stages. On the other hand, the coding & formatting of Python is linear as well as less dispersed that makes it simpler to comprehend. Therefore, in terms of code readability and formatting, Python is more preferable than Java.

Python vs Java: Dynamically or Statically Typed

One of the most significant differences in Python vs Java is that Java is statically typed whereas Python is dynamically typed.

In Java, the variable names along with their types are explicitly declared. It will throw an exception when you attempt to assign a wrong type of object to a variable name. Generally, statically typed languages define the variable at compile time. Since Python is a dynamically typed language, you don’t need to declare anything. Container objects in Python can hold objects of any type, including lists and numbers. In addition, it doesn’t require casting so you don’t need to remember the type of an object when you retrieve it from a container.

The main benefit of static types is that the compiler can do all types of verification and catch bugs at an early stage of development. However, this includes its own overhead, affecting productivity. Dynamically typed verifies the types on the fly at the time of execution, which enables you to write code little quicker since you don’t have to mention types every time. However, you might find some error due to the interpreter misinterpreting the variable type.

Python vs Java: Compiled or Interpreted Languages

Python is an interpreted language that executes your code directly without compiling it into machine-language instructions. Java can be either compiled or interpreted. As a compiled language, it employs compiler to convert source code into machine-language instructions. Compiled language includes its translation overhead but once it is done, the code can be loaded as well as executed n number of times. On the other hand, interpreted languages must be parsed, interpreted & executed every time the program runs as such increasing the cost of running the code.

Python vs Java: Mobile Development

The major drawback of Python when comparing with Java is that it doesn’t have native support for mobile development. Neither Android nor iOS supports Python as an official language. It takes more effort and time to develop a rich user experience offering mobile application with Python. Further Pythons architecture supports microservices which is a new trend in mobile development. Java, in contrast, is the preferred language of the android application development.

Python vs Java: Security

We can write a secure application in Python, but Java is the winner here. Java is widely used for developing banking apps thanks to its advantage in security functionality & environment. Java allows you to access private attributes using public setters & getters and includes security features like advanced authentication, cryptography, and access control to ensure security.

On the other hand, Python allows you to access everything directly from anywhere at any time since all are in public. It even allows you to delete attributes, which is not possible in Java.

Python vs Java: Set Up

Compared to Python, Java takes a considerable amount of energy and time to get started, and you’ll need proficiency in object-oriented programing. Even for the simple classic, “Hello World”, Java requires you to perform class structure and compilation to run.

Python, in contrast, is easy to download and install and once installed, you can run your python code on any command prompt directly with the help of REPL (Read Evaluate Print Loop).

Python vs Java: Resources

Java is seen more frequently in large organizations, as it demands more time and a sizable investment. Python can be more cost-effective than Java for small and medium-scale projects.

Python vs Java: Syntax

Python and Java are fundamentally different when it comes to code syntax. Consider the following examples:

File input/output requires lots of classes to import and we need to handle exceptions of some methods as wellIt handles file input/output in just two lines
Missing of the semicolon at the end of statement raises an errorDoesn’t need a semicolon
The code won’t work without curly bracesNo concept of curly braces, but mandates indentation to enhance code readability
Must declare the type of dataNo need to declare the type of data

As you can see, Java can be demanding compared to Python.

Both Python and Java offer significant advantages under the right circumstances Choosing the right programming language for your project ultimately depends on your needs. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each language. Overall, Python is a simpler and user-friendly language with plain code and it is easier to learn. On the other hand, Java remains a fast and secure language and should be considered when speed and security matters. Want to check out more comparisons of Java to other programming languages? Check out Python vs. PHP: The Battle Is ON or PHP Vs Javascript: The Right Tech For Your Next Big Project.


Creative Copywriter at Clarion Technologies
Vinugayathri has been an avid reader & writer in the tech domain since 2015.She is a strategist and analyst of upcoming tech trends and their impact on the IoT and AI landscape.

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