Python vs C++: Difference Between Python and C++ [2021]

There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding Python and C++ as to which is the better learning tool in the programming paradigm. However, there is no right answer to that. Python is more suitable for web programming while C++ scores where hardware-related programming is concerned. In any case, both languages differ from each other in a number of ways and have varied uses.

In this article, we will look at the features and applications of both programming languages and draw a comparison between the two. So, let’s get started!

What Is Python?

Python is a high-level, object-oriented programming language invented by Guido Van Rossum in 1992. It is one of the fastest interpreted languages with built-in data structures, an enormous library and seamless support for packages and modules. This allows for code reusability and faster implementation of algorithms, making it a widely popular choice for application development. 

Python also supports dynamic binding and typing, and since its focus is on simplicity with respect to language and readability, it allows programmers to write simple, crisp and logical codes. 

A Python developer can hope to earn a yearly salary of US $92,000 (US $7670 monthly) on an average.

Google, Twitch, Telegram and Lyft are some of the popular companies using Python. 

Python Features

  • Python is an open-source, cross-platform and portable OOP language
  • It is an interpreted language
  • It has a simple syntax in comparison with C, C++ and Java
  • Python has an extensive prebuilt library, making development easier. This includes XML parsers, CSV file readers or writers, zip file readers or writers, several XML parsers, among others
  • Codes on Python are simpler to write and debug
  • Garbage collections make Python codes easier to maintain
  • It is ideal for large programs 
  • It is used in data analysis, Machine Learning, testing of code, Deep Learning, and AI. It also finds use in IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Python can be integrated with C, C++ and Java

What Is C++?

C++ is a general-purpose, intermediate-level language invented by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979. It was created as an extension to C, the procedural programming language, and includes classes. C++ includes features of both high-level and low-level languages and has undergone significant changes over time to include object-oriented programming and numerous other functional elements. 

C++ allows complex coding and low-level memory management. It provides better control over hardware and can be used to perform intensive functions. 

As a C++ developer, you can expect to make an average salary of US $95,000 per year (US $7920 per month).

Netflix, Uber, Spotify and Instagram are some of the famous companies that use C++.

C++ Features

  • C++ is generic, imperative and object-oriented
  • It is a compiled language
  • It is both low-level and high-level, making it suitable for almost all platforms
  • It is case sensitive
  • C++ supports classes and objects, polymorphism, encapsulation, high-level data abstraction and encapsulation
  • It is statically-typed and allows code reusability 
  • It supports pointers
  • C++ can be integrated with C
  • C++ is mainly used for game development and embedded systems. It is also used for writing operating systems.

Python vs C++

PYTHON C++
Code
The simplistic and friendly approach of Python allows users to write crisp codes in less number of lines. C++ codes require a large number of lines and are more complicated to write. 
Compilation
Since Python is an interpreted language, it needs to be run through an interpreter prior to compilation. C++ doesn’t require an interpreter for compilation since it is pre-compiled.
Syntax 
Python shares similarities with regular English language and is easier to write and remember.  C++ codes are complex and require knowledge of predefined syntax rules, programming conventions and structures. Thus, they aren’t as easy to write as Python.
Speed & Performance
Python is slower in comparison to C++. It supports dynamic typing (data type is determined during run-time), which means type errors are interpreted during compilation. The fact that it uses an interpreter slows down the process of compilation.

However, this reduces complexity and increases Python’s efficiency and flexibility. 

C++ is statically typed which means the data type (int, char, float, etc) needs to be assigned while writing the code. This leads to a shorter run-time and thus, faster compilation. However, it makes C++ less flexible and hampers the potential usefulness of its codes. 
Memory Management
Python supports garbage collection and thus, memory is automatically managed. Programmers do not have to directly allocate or deallocate memory.  C++ doesn’t support garbage collection which means you have to manually manipulate memory while writing codes. 
Rapid Prototyping 
The less number of lines in Python allow rapid prototyping.  C++ codes do not support rapid prototyping due to their large size.
Scope of Variables
In Python, the scope of variables extends outside the loops or block. In C++, variables are only  accessible within the loop or body of structures. 
Functions
Python holds no restrictions on parameters and return types Every body of code with defined parameters and return types must match the parameters and return type of function call on C++
Efficiency
Python’s simplicity, closeness to human language, easier maintenance makes way for greater efficiency.  C++ is less manageable and more complex as compared to Python. 
Usage
Python is widely used for web (backend) development; it has a highly efficient framework when it comes to machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analysis.  C++’s closeness to hardware makes it a popular choice for sophisticated embedded systems and enterprises. It is used in hard-core graphics game development. While it can perform machine learning and data analysis, it is no match for Python. 
Ease in Learning
Python’s friendly approach in terms of syntax makes it a better option for beginners.  C++ requires knowledge of various programming conventions and needs more research and time to learn. However, knowledge of C++ will help you learn other programming languages like Python faster. 

Must Read: Python vs Java

More Syntax Differences Between Python and C++

Whitespace 

  1. Python depends on indentations to create the structure of the code. The end of a line is automatically the end of a Python statement unless you need the statement to continue for several lines. In this case, a backslash (\) is used. In case of If and While blocks of code, no parentheses is required to demarcate the function. 
  2. C++, on the other hand, requires semicolons and curly brackets for demarcation. The end of a C++ statement is denoted with a semicolon and the body of an If or While block or other programming structures need to be enclosed within curly brackets to define the scope of the function and avoid run-time errors. 

Both C++ and Python developers are divided on this reliance on formatting.

Boolean Expressions

  1. Python has several possibilities when it comes to boolean expressions. Constants (0 and False) are labelled as False. Empty sequences and collections (such as (), [], {}, set(), range(0)) are also considered False. Further, zeroes of any numeric type are also defined as False. Every other value is defined as True.
  2. C++ considers all numerical values equivalent to 0 to be False. Every other value is considered True.

Variables

  1. In Python, variables behave differently from C++. Names are used to reference values in Python instead of variables. Further, everything is held as an object. You don’t have to assign a memory location or type to them. An object is automatically created in the memory and has no type. This makes way for flexible and powerful programming. 
  2. In C++, variables are used to indicate values. They are assigned a memory location, a type and how much memory it will use. Further, C++ also supports pointers unlike Python. 

Python vs C++: Which Is Better?

Now that you have looked at the diverse features, strengths and weaknesses, and applications of Python and C++, you will have figured out that the programming language you choose depends on your personal preferences and requirements. 

If your focus is on system programming, faster execution and complete control over memory management, C++ is the language for you.

However, if you are a beginner looking to branch into software development, Python might cater to you better with its simplicity, easy-to-read, closer-to-human language approach. Python also wins when it comes to faster development, efficiency in performance and compatibility with other programming languages. So, it isn’t just restricted to beginners. 

Python offers extensive support with machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also the leading language for web development. C++ falls significantly short in this department, much like Python does when it comes to games development. 

It is also interesting to note that since C++ is a comparatively complex and tougher language to learn, transitioning from C++ to any other programming language would be a piece of cake. So, truly, there is no winner here. Take your time, study the languages separately and together, and make your decision. We are sure either programming language will serve you brilliantly. 

Also Read: Python Project Ideas for Beginners

Conclusion

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