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Java vs Python - Which One Should I Learn?
Many novice programmers often face a very common question: deciding on the most suitable programming language to commence their learning journey. Choosing the right programming language, in the beginning, is the most difficult and vital task. When you choose the right language at the beginning itself, it instills confidence in you and persuades you to learn further. There are a variety of programming languages, each having its own strength and weakness, but the two most popular languages that dominate the industry are Java and Python.
When it comes to selecting Java vs Python as the appropriate programming language to start your career with, there may be a variety of opinions held by different individuals. Some prefer Java for its super speed and efficiency whereas, some prefer Python for its simplicity and extensive libraries. There are a lot of factors like speed, flexibility, reliability, simplicity, etc. which should be considered while deciding which language to learn. Both Java and Python offer many advantages.
In this article, we will understand the similarities, differences, and features of Java and Python which will assist you in determining the most suitable language for you.
Java Programming Language
Java is one of the most popular Object-oriented programming languages which was released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. Java is a high-level platform independent programming language that works on the principle of “Write Once, Run Anywhere”. Java finds its application in web development, enterprise applications, desktop, and Android apps.
What makes Java preferable over Python is its speed and efficiency. Java is very fast compared to Python. This is so because Java is statically typed which means the data type of the variable is previously known at the time of compilation. In addition to it, the code is directly compiled into machine code and can be executed by the processor.
Also, Java is platform-independent which means the Java code can be run anywhere. It is possible due to JVM(Java Virtual Machine) which interprets the compiled code and runs it on the platform. The Java bytecode is an intermediary code that can be run on any platform.
Security is another feature that makes it a more popular choice than Python. Java is known for its security and sandboxing feature and byte code verifier. Python is more vulnerable to security concerns. Here Java has the upper hand.
Java has a wider usage, it is the primary language to build Android apps. Not just Android development, it is also used to build web and desktop apps. There are many Java-based frameworks that help in backend development.
Java supports multithreading which is more concise and robust than Python.
It is important to take into account the weaknesses along with the strengths. Java has the following drawbacks- greater memory consumption, large boilerplate code, and a steep learning curve.
Python Programming Language
Python is an object-oriented programming language created by Guido Van Rossum in 1991. The main purpose behind creating this language was to emphasize readability and provide a simple syntax. Many of the programming fields like Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, etc. require a sound knowledge of Python.
Python is renowned for its simplicity. Python has a lucid syntax as compared to other languages. It is also an interpreted language.
When it comes to syntax, Python is very simple to grasp and learn. It is preferred over Java by many beginners due to its ease of syntax. In Python, indentation plays a very important role as if you have extra whitespaces it might result in an error.
Python has several diversified applications ranging from Backend Development to Data Science and Machine Learning. Python makes it easy to write code. In Python, there is no boilerplate code like Java which makes it less verbose.
Python has a plethora of libraries and frameworks that can be utilized for a broad range of purposes. Some of them include- Django, Flask, TensorFlow, Numpy, etc. Python libraries are majorly revolving around machine learning and data analysis whereas Java libraries are more software development oriented.
There are a few pitfalls that Python has including slower execution time as it is interpreted so the execution happens line-by-line. It also uses dynamic typing, where type checking takes place during runtime rather than at compile time. This can result in errors that are only detected during runtime, increasing the likelihood of bugs in Python code. Python's memory management can be less efficient as compared to Java's. Also, Python has a Global Interpreter Lock which lets only one thread be executed at a time which limits the functionality of multithreading.
Java vs Python: Which is better for career development?
Java and Python both dominate the industry and choosing one from a career development perspective can be confusing. The first thing is to keep your goals and interest in mind before making the right choice. Many people start their careers with Python because of its simple syntax and diverse applications and eventually learn Java. Learning these languages can help you to grow in your career and land a good job and income as both these languages have high demand.
The world is becoming data-oriented. Python is a data-centric language with applications in Data Science, Data analytics, machine learning, etc. These fields are in demand and will continue to grow. Many companies and industries are adopting Python as their tech stack. As the demand increases, so will the jobs, and eventually pave a good career. Python is also used in web development and has a variety of libraries and frameworks that makes tasks easy. If you are intrigued by data and fields like data analytics, data science, or machine learning-artificial intelligence, Python is the match for you. It will help you to accelerate your career as these fields are in demand. It has a larger scope as it has diverse applications in the industry. Companies like Google, Meta, Spotify, and NASA, among others heavily rely on Python to provide various services.
Java, on the other hand, is used for building large-scale applications. Enterprise applications use Java. Also, many people use and prefer Android phones which use Java as the primary development language. As long as there are Android phone users, Java will be in demand and is expected to rise over the years. In cloud development, desktop applications, web applications, scientific applications, and game development, it plays a major role. Java is widely used in backend development and also in financial applications as Java is more secure. A few companies that use Java extensively include- Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. In short, Java dominates majorly all the domains, and choosing it will definitely help in career development.
Now that you know both strengths and weaknesses of Java and Python, it depends on your specific goal and interest when it comes to learning. Many programmers begin with one and eventually learn the other over the course of their learning journey.
While choosing the most appropriate language to begin your journey, first evaluate your goals. It is important to take your goals into consideration. If you want to explore the field of backend development or Android development, Java is the best choice. When it comes to Data Science or Machine learning, Python is the best fit.
There are various resources like certificate programs, boot camps, or even tons of free resources available over the internet which will help you to kickstart your coding journey.
Summing up, Java vs Python-which one to learn can be confusing at the beginning, but you need to consider your goals before choosing anyone. Both are the top languages in the industry and have widespread applications. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of each language and aligning them with your goals will set you on the right track. Alongside learning, it is equally important to stay motivated and enjoy the process of learning.
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