Which is better: Python or Node.js?


It is never easy to select a backend programming language. After all, many languages have advantages and disadvantages that you must analyze to ensure that it is the best tool for the application you are trying to develop.

Backend development languages such as Node.js and Python are popular. Both have very robust packaging ecosystems and communities, making it difficult to choose between the two.

In this article, we will compare both Node.js and Python, as well as the instances in which one would be preferable to the other, so that you may select the best choice for your backend.

NodeJS

Node.js is an asynchronous JavaScript runtime that runs on Google's V8 engine. It is often used in the development of real-time applications, backends, and desktop and mobile applications.

NodeJS is not a programming language, but rather an open-source JavaScript runtime environment. Ryan Dahl originally released it in 2009. NodeJS 12.6.0, the most recent version, was published in July 2019.

Node.js is a multi-paradigm that works with the following paradigms −

  • Event-driven

  • Imperative

  • Object-oriented

  • Functional programming

It quickly became popular because it allowed JavaScript developers to write JavaScript code outside of the web browser for the first time. It has evolved into a powerful competitor to older languages such as Python over the years, and it now includes a number of backend development tools such as Express.js, Fastify, and NestJS.

Python

Python is a high-level, object-oriented, dynamic, and multipurpose programming language. Python's syntax, dynamic typing, and interpreted nature make it an excellent scripting language.

It supports a variety of programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural styles. Additionally, because it is an interpreted language, it cannot be converted to computer-readable code before running at runtime.

Now let us compare both NodeJS and Python in various aspects and decide which one is better.

Architecture

NodeJS

Node.js is an event-driven system that supports asynchronous input/output. Because no process blocks the thread, a specific process is called as soon as the corresponding event happens. The event-driven architecture of Node.js is ideal for creating chat applications and web games.

Python

Python, on the other hand, is not designed in this manner. With the help of specific tools, you may utilize them to create an asynchronous and event-driven app. Asynchronous code can be written in Python using modules such as asyncio, much as it would in Node.js. However, most Python frameworks do not include this library, thus some extra work is required.

This event-driven architecture incorporates Node. Hence NodeJS is better.

NodeJS: 1
Python: 0

Speed

NodeJS

First and foremost, because JavaScript code in Node.js is interpreted with the V8 engine (in which Google has made significant investments), Node.js's performance is excellent.

Second, because Node.js runs code outside of the web browser, the app uses more resources and performs better. This also enables you to use features that are not enabled in browsers, such as TCP sockets.

Third, the event-driven non-blocking architecture allows several requests to be processed simultaneously, which speeds up code execution.

Finally, Node.js has single module caching enabled, which decreases app loading time and improves responsiveness.

Python

Python and JavaScript are both interpreted languages, which means they run slower than compiled languages like Java. In this scenario, Node.js wins over Python.

Python, unlike Node.js, is single-flow, which means that requests are processed much more slowly. As a result, Python is not the ideal choice for projects that value speed and performance or that require a large number of difficult calculations. Python web apps are thus slower than Node.js web applications.

Node.js wins in terms of performance and speed since it is faster.

NodeJS: 2
Python: 0

Syntax

NodeJS

In reality, Node.js syntax is very close to JavaScript syntax in browsers. As a result, if you are comfortable with JavaScript, you will have no trouble learning Node.js.

Python

Python's syntax is frequently regarded as its most significant benefit. Software developers who code in Python must write fewer lines of code than those who work in Node.js. Python's syntax is simple and free of curly brackets.

As a result, the code is significantly easier to read and debug. In fact, Python code is so readable that even clients with limited technical knowledge may understand it. But, once again, it is a matter of personal preference.

But, in the end, Python wins because its syntax is easier to understand and understand for beginners.

NodeJS: 2
Python: 1

Scalability

Scalability is the ability to serve the increasing number of requests with no performance decrease.

It is crucial if you expect your product to develop and want to be ready for −

  • an increased number of users

  • a huge number of data to be processed (content-heavy applications)

  • a bigger number of features (meaning the bigger number of requests for the app to handle).

Node.js and Python approach scalability differently − Node through its architecture, and Python through its tools.

NodeJS

Node.js is an asynchronous JavaScript runtime that runs on Google's V8 engine. It is often used in the development of real-time applications, backends, and desktop and mobile applications.

NodeJS is not a programming language, but rather an open-source JavaScript runtime environment. Ryan Dahl originally released it in 2009. NodeJS 12.6.0, the most recent version, was published in July 2019.

Node.js is a multi-paradigm that works with the following paradigms −

  • Event-driven

  • Imperative

  • Object-oriented

  • Functional programming

It quickly became popular because it allowed JavaScript developers to write JavaScript code outside of the web browser for the first time. It has evolved into a powerful competitor to older languages such as Python over the years, and it now includes a number of backend development tools such as Express.js, Fastify, and NestJS.

Python

Python is a high-level, object-oriented, dynamic, and multipurpose programming language. Python's syntax, dynamic typing, and interpreted nature make it an excellent scripting language.

It supports a variety of programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural styles. Additionally, because it is an interpreted language, it cannot be converted to computer-readable code before running at runtime.

Now let us compare both NodeJS and Python in various aspects and decide which one is better.

Architecture

NodeJS

Node.js is an event-driven system that supports asynchronous input/output. Because no process blocks the thread, a specific process is called as soon as the corresponding event happens. The event-driven architecture of Node.js is ideal for creating chat applications and web games.

Python

Python, on the other hand, is not designed in this manner. With the help of specific tools, you may utilize them to create an asynchronous and event-driven app. Asynchronous code can be written in Python using modules such as asyncio, much as it would in Node.js. However, most Python frameworks do not include this library, thus some extra work is required.

This event-driven architecture incorporates Node. Hence NodeJS is better.

NodeJS: 1
Python: 0

Speed

NodeJS

First and foremost, because JavaScript code in Node.js is interpreted with the V8 engine (in which Google has made significant investments), Node.js's performance is excellent.

Second, because Node.js runs code outside of the web browser, the app uses more resources and performs better. This also enables you to use features that are not enabled in browsers, such as TCP sockets.

Third, the event-driven non-blocking architecture allows several requests to be processed simultaneously, which speeds up code execution.

Finally, Node.js has single module caching enabled, which decreases app loading time and improves responsiveness.

Python

Python and JavaScript are both interpreted languages, which means they run slower than compiled languages like Java. In this scenario, Node.js wins over Python.

Python, unlike Node.js, is single-flow, which means that requests are processed much more slowly. As a result, Python is not the ideal choice for projects that value speed and performance or that require a large number of difficult calculations. Python web apps are thus slower than Node.js web applications.

Node.js wins in terms of performance and speed since it is faster.

NodeJS: 2
Python: 0

Syntax

NodeJS

In reality, Node.js syntax is very close to JavaScript syntax in browsers. As a result, if you are comfortable with JavaScript, you will have no trouble learning Node.js.

Python

Python's syntax is frequently regarded as its most significant benefit. Software developers who code in Python must write fewer lines of code than those who work in Node.js. Python's syntax is simple and free of curly brackets.

As a result, the code is significantly easier to read and debug. In fact, Python code is so readable that even clients with limited technical knowledge may understand it. But, once again, it is a matter of personal preference.

But, in the end, Python wins because its syntax is easier to understand and understand for beginners.

NodeJS: 2
Python: 1

Scalability

Scalability is the ability to serve the increasing number of requests with no performance decrease.

It is crucial if you expect your product to develop and want to be ready for −

  • an increased number of users

  • a huge number of data to be processed (content-heavy applications)

  • a bigger number of features (meaning the bigger number of requests for the app to handle).

Node.js and Python approach scalability differently: Node through its architecture, and Python through its tools.

NodeJS

Node.js eliminates the requirement to build a large monolithic core. Instead, you develop a set of microservices and modules, each of which communicates with a lightweight mechanism and runs its own process. You can easily add an additional microservice and module, making the development process more flexible.

You can also simply scale a Node.js web app horizontally and vertically. You add new nodes to the system to scale it horizontally. You add extra resources to the nodes you have to scale it vertically.

Finally, in terms of typing, Node.js provides more alternatives than Python. You can use either weakly or strongly typed JavaScript or TypeScript.

Python

Multithreading must be enabled in order for an app to scale. However, because it employs the Global Interpreter Lock, Python does not support multithreading (GIL).

Although Python contains multithreading libraries, it is not "true" multithreading. Even if you have several threads, GIL prevents the Python interpreter from performing tasks concurrently and instead forces it to operate just one thread at a time. Python must utilize GIL despite the fact that it degrades speed because Python's memory management is not thread-safe.

Python is also dynamically typed. However, dynamically typed languages are not appropriate for large projects with increasing development teams. As it expands, the system becomes increasingly complex and difficult to maintain.

In terms of scalability, Python clearly falls short of Node.js.

NodeJS: 3
Python: 1

Extensibility

NodeJS

Node.js is simple to customize, expand, and combine with other tools. It can be expanded using built-in APIs for constructing HTTP or DNS servers.

It can be integrated with Babel (JS compiler), making front-end development with earlier Node or browser versions easier.

Jasmine can aid with unit testing, and Log.io can help with project monitoring and troubleshooting. Migrat, PM2, and Webpack can be used for data migration, process management, and module bundling.

Moreover, frameworks like as Express, Hapi, Meteor, Koa, Fastify, Nest, Restify, and others can be added to Node.js.

Python

Python was first launched in 1991, and many development tools and frameworks have been produced since then.

Python, for example, can be combined with the popular code editor Sublime Text, which provides some extra editing features and syntactic extensions.

The Robot Framework is available for test automation. There are several sophisticated web development frameworks available, including Django, Flask, Pyramid, Web2Py, and CherryPy.

As a result, both are easily expandable/extensible. Both gets a point here

NodeJS: 4
Python: 2

Libraries

NodeJS

NPM - the Node Package Manager - manages libraries and packages in Node.js. It is one of the largest software library repositories. NPM is quick, well-documented, and simple to use.

Python

Pip, which stands for "Pip installs Python," manages libraries and packages in Python. Pip is fast, reliable, and simple to use, therefore developers find it simple to learn to work with.

So, Both earn a point.

NodeJS: 5
Python: 3

Universality

NodeJS

Node.js is mostly used for back-end web application development. However, you use JavaScript for front-end development, therefore the front-end and back-end share the same programming language.

You may use Node.js to create not only web apps, but also desktop and hybrid mobile apps, as well as cloud and IoT solutions.

Because Node.js is cross-platform, a developer may write a single desktop application that works on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Because a single team of developers can accomplish it all, such universality is a terrific approach to decreasing project expenses.

Python

Python is a full-stack programming language that can be used for both back-end and front-end development. Python, like Node.js, is cross-platform, thus a Python program created on a Mac will run on a Linux machine.

Python comes pre-installed on both Mac and Linux, but you must install the Python interpreter yourself on Windows.

While Python is excellent for web and desktop applications, it falls short in mobile computing. As a result, mobile applications are rarely created in Python. Python is becoming increasingly popular for IoT and AI solutions.

Node.js and Python are neck and neck in terms of universality. It is fair to give each of them a point here.

NodeJS: 6
Python: 4

Community

NodeJS

Node.js has a large and active community. It is a mature open-source language with a large user base. After 10 years, developers from all around the world have grown to enjoy this technology. You can simply find Node.js developers as business owners. You can always count on peer help as a developer.

Python

Python is a little older than Node.js and is also open-source. The user community has a large number of contributors of all degrees of experience. Again, as a business owner or developer, you profit from the big community.

Python and Node.js both have active communities, thus they both get a point.

NodeJS: 7
Python: 5

Learning Curve

NodeJS

Node.js is a JavaScript-based framework that is simple to learn for new developers. As long as you're familiar with JavaScript, learning Node.js shouldn't be too difficult.Node.js installation is straightforward, however, it presents several advanced subjects. For example, its event-driven architecture may be difficult to grasp at first. Event-driven architecture has a significant impact on app performance, but it takes time to grasp.

However, the entry-level for Node.js is still relatively low. However, this may imply that there are a large number of inexperienced Node.js engineers. This may make it more difficult for you to find work in such a competitive environment. However, if you are confident and have a strong portfolio, you can easily overcome this obstacle.

Python

If you don't know JavaScript and have to choose between Python and Node.js, you should probably start with Python. Python may be easy to learn because of its basic and condensed syntax. Writing a function in Python usually requires fewer lines of code than writing the same function in Node.js. This is not always the case, as the length of your code is heavily influenced by your programming style and paradigm. Another advantage is that there are no curly brackets like there are with JavaScript.

Python also teaches you how to correctly indent your code because the language is indentation and whitespace sensitive. The difficulty with indentation and whitespace-sensitive languages is that a single indentation error or a missed bracket might ruin your code for no apparent reason. Furthermore, new developers may struggle to solve such difficulties.

Installation

Python installation is more complicated than Node.js installation. Python should be easy to install if you have either Linux or Windows. If you use MacOS, you will notice that Python 2.0 is preloaded; however, you cannot use it since it will interact with system libraries. You must instead download and use another version. When configuring the development environment, make sure to select the correct version.

Because both Python and Node.js are straightforward to learn, it's difficult to say which is easier. It is also a matter of personal taste. As a result, both technologies receive a point.

Use Cases

In terms of use cases, both have their specific uses in various fields hence both get a point here.

NodeJS: 8
Python: 6

Conclusion

In this article, we learned about the features and applications of Python and Node, as well as the differences between them. Finally, we compared Python and Node to determine which one is better.

Updated on: 25-Nov-2022

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