Node JS vs Python: Difference Between Node JS and Python [2023]

Node.js and Python have widely discussed programming languages when it comes to back-end development. In this article, we will explore the various features of Node.js and Python, and determine how the two differ from each other so you can choose the right technology for your next project.

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What is Node.js?

Based on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine, Node.js is an open-sourced server-side platform written in C++. Thanks to V8′ optimised performance and fast speed, Node.js is able to compile Javascript-based functions to machine code in a relatively efficient manner.

Unlike Python, it is not a programming language but has a built-in Javascript interpreter, and optimizers and compilers. Node.js works on an event-driven I/O model that helps developers in the creation of data-oriented real-time applications written in Javascript.

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It was invented by Ryan Dahl in 2009 to be used in Google Chrome. Node.js is compatible with Mac OS X, Microsoft’s Windows, and Linux operating systems. It is better suited for web applications and web development. Data streaming applications, JSON APIs based applications and Data Intensive Real-time Applications (DIRT) are some of the most suitable applications for Node.js.

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Node.js Features

  1. It runs on a non-blocking Javascript-based model that is single threaded and has event looping benefits for the server.
  2. Google’s high speed and performance V8 JavaScript Engine equips Node.js with the fastest code execution library.
  3. Node.js eliminates the need for buffering as the output data is segmented in pieces.

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What is Python?

Python is a high level, interpreted popular programming language that is widely used in backend development. It is an object-oriented, multipurpose language that supports dynamic typing, making it faster, reliable and simpler to use. Python’s close to human language syntax makes it an ideal language for scripting.

It was invented by Guido van Rossum in 1991 and primarily runs Google’s App Engine. Since Python is an interpreted language, its execution takes longer but this results in a faster and more efficient development process. Python supports functional programming, Object Oriented Programming as well as procedural programming.

Python Features

  1. It is an open sourced language and has the largest community of all programming languages
  2. Python has extensive libraries for analysis, testing, etc that make writing codes using it efficient and faster
  3. Python can be integrated with  C#, Java, COM, ActiveX, and several other programming languages
  4. Python code is not made computer-readable code at runtime. It is interpreted
  5. Multiple programming patterns are possible with Python
  6. Python’s interpreter can include low-level modules that facilitate customisation of tools.
  7. Python is the leading language for back-end development, performing numerical calculations and implementing machine learning. Learn more about Python.

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What are the major differences between Node.js and Python?

Although Python is not event-driven or asynchronous, it can be made so with the help of additional tools like asyncio.  Node.js is event-driven and supports asynchronous programming. This also means it is a non-blocking model where no process gets blocked and is called immediately as the event occurs.
Performance and Speed
Since Python is a single-flow interpreted language that supports dynamic typing, the execution is much slower in comparison.  Node.js code is interpreted by V8, known for its high speed, and is executed outside the web browser, its performance is faster and more efficient. Also, since Node.js is non-blocking and even driven, and is cache-enabled, this facilitates faster execution. 
Python is as close to regular English language as possible which makes it simple to understand and learn. It also needs fewer lines of codes.  Node.js syntax is not very unlike Javascript. While it isn’t tough, Python’s syntax offers unmatched simplicity and readability. 
Project Size
Python is suitable for larger projects since its scripting is far more efficient.  Node.js is recommended for smaller projects.
Python uses PyPy.  It uses Javascript as its interpreter. 
Python can be integrated with development tools and frameworks like Django, Flask, Pyramid, Web2Py, or CherryPy. Node.js is highly extensible. It can be customised and integrated with a variety of tools such as Babel, Jasmine,, Migrat, PM2, Webpack, etc.  
Python is most suitable for web (backend) development; it is the ideal framework for machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data solutions, government projects and data analysis.  Because of Node.js’ event-based model, it is best suited for providing IoT solutions, creating real-time chatbots and messengers, and building single-page apps. 

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Similarities between Node.js and Python

While there are several differences between Node.js and Python, the two frameworks also share some similarities.

  1. Node.js is packed with one of the largest software library repository that is managed by NPM (Node Package Manager)

Managed by Pip (Pip installs Python), Python packages and libraries are also extensive. They are extremely fast and easy to use.

  1. Both Node.js and Python can be used for back-end development and front-end development. They are also cross-platform frameworks, meaning an application or program written on one operating system will work on another as well.
  2. Both Node.js and Python are easy to learn. With a decent knowledge of Javascript, beginners can easily grasp Node.js. Also, since Python’s simplicity when it comes to its syntax makes it extremely easy to learn and understand. It also takes fewer lines of code.
  3. Both Python and Node.js have a large and active community of developers having varied levels of experience. Since Python is relatively older, its community is significantly larger than Node.js’. In any case, business owners and developers alike can benefit from these open-source platforms.

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In conclusion, there really are no winners when it comes to technologies. Both Python and Node.js have their respective strengths and weaknesses. It mainly depends on the project you’re working on and your preferences. Whichever technology you choose to go ahead with based on your requirements, will get the results you are looking for. We hope this helped!

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What is Django and what are its features?

Django is an open-source backend web framework developed in python that helps in fast development of applications. The advantage of using such a framework is that one doesn't have to manually write the code for authentication, file upload, etc. but can directly use the framework provided by the various libraries and modules in Django. Django can be integrated with various client-side frameworks and also provides templates for different functionalities making it versatile. It uses cryptographic hash functions to ensure security. It follows the DRY principle i.e. Don't Repeat Yourself. Some popular applications that use Django are Instagram, Bitbucket, Mozilla, Spotify, etc.

What is meant by interpreted language? How is it different from compiled language?

An interpreted language is a language in which an interpreter program reads the code line by line and displays errors as it executes it. Debugging is done at runtime. Some examples of interpreted languages are Javascript, Perl, Python, etc. Compiled languages read the entire program and convert it into machine-level instructions. Interpreted languages require fewer steps to execute as compared to compiled languages. However, compiled languages execute code faster because they process the entire code at once. Interpreted languages read and analyze each and every line. So, if we consider a loop statement, the statement inside the loop is analyzed multiple times. Hence, they tend to be slower.

What is meant by event-driven programming?

A program that executes when an event occurs and responds to the actions of the user is called an event-driven program. Events could be keystrokes, mouse clicks, etc. An event-driven application has to regularly monitor the user actions and might include sensors that continuously detect the state changes. These applications are very flexible and additional functionalities can be implemented and integrated easily into the existing application. In an Event-driven architecture, event producers produce events and send them to the event broker which in turn interacts with the event consumers based on what they want to consume.

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