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Python vs Java in 2024: Difference Between Java and Python [Full Comparison]

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18th Feb, 2024
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Python vs Java in 2024: Difference Between Java and Python [Full Comparison]

Programming is now the pinnacle of technology which has immensely made several advances that have changed the world. A programming language is a group of commands, instructions, and codes to design a software program. The programming languages used by developers are integral to software development, and this is why they can’t be ignored. Here, we are going to read about a keen comparative analysis between Java or Python which is better and which can be preferred for its remarkable potential. 

Choosing between various programming languages is often a difficult task for developers, let alone choosing between the two industry leaders. Are you also facing one of those dilemmas? This article is a developer’s one-stop-shop for a list of features that they should consider when deciding between Java and Python. 

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Java and Python both have been at war for the top spot. Python has been constantly improving, while Java is used in significant organizations like Uber, Google, Airbnb, and other 10,188 companies prefer Java over Python. Python, on the other hand, is widely used in companies like IBM, Intel, Infosys, Spotify, etc. Python is inclined to be used more by software development companies than others. Both languages do their jobs well, but certain microscopic features differentiate them. In this Python vs Java which is better tutorial, you will learn the fundamental differences between Java and Python to differentiate amid Java or Python which is better for future. Java or Python, both are great technologies, and we will understand them in detail to figure out which is the best option for you. 

Java Vs Python

What are the basic differences between python and java:

Java

Java is an age-old programming language released by Sun Microsystems in the year 1995, which is still prevalent in 2024. Java is a high-level programming language that is similar to C++, but it is strictly a program-oriented language. It is a tool in the tech stack language categories. It was made with the intention of a write-once-run-anywhere language, with zero dependencies or glitches possible. Java is a fast, secured and reliable language that is used everywhere to keep up with our day-to-day chores. 

One of the biggest benefits of Java is it is an easy-to-learn programming language without any hassle of compiling or debugging, unlike other complicated programming languages. Java also helps in allowing users to download untrusted code over a network without any harm, and run it in a secure environment. It will not infect the host system with a virus which makes the program unique.

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Python 

Python is a dynamic, general-purpose programming language. It has been used widely in companies around the world solely focusing to analyse data and automate operations based on DevOps which helps in creating feasible enterprise applications. It is a desirable option for Rapid Application Development, courtesy of its built-in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and binding. Python reduces the cost of program maintenance.

One of the benefits of Python revolves around how the interpreter and resource library is available for free on the internet. Python, therefore, becomes an excellent option for anyone not willing to invest too much in development costs. And, Python has fascinating real-world applications. For example, Python is often used as a support language for software developers which helps in testing as well as building control with adequate management styles. It also helps a great deal to work with project management as well. 

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In the age-long debate of Python vs Java which is better, it could be understood that both software has advantages and disadvantages as well which makes them equally popular languages to be used among organizations. 

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Parameters for Comparison

Considering that both these programming languages are market leaders, a few technical comparisons will shed better light on how they are different from each other. Below are the parameters to consider for a difference between Java and Python. 

Popularity 

Difference between java and python in terms of popularity:

Both languages have always fought for popularity. After the arrival of JavaScript, however, they have been in a close tussle for the best spot. 

In Stackoveer’s 2018 survey of developers, Python was crowned as the fastest-growing programming language after surpassing C++. Java reflected as a popular choice by many developers, even though the gap between both languages had reduced significantly. 

However, as per GitHub’s Octoverse in the year 2021, Java ranked 3rd in the popular most used languages by defeating both JavaScript and Python. In this race of which is better Java or Python, Java has its lead. 

However, according to the 2021 Stackoverflow’s Developer Survey it has been analyzed that more than 48.24% of developers work with Python, whereas only 35.35% of developers still stick to Java. 

In terms of popularity, among which is best Java or Python it can be said that both of these software pose tough competition, and are equally used worldwide. 

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Syntax 

Difference between java and python in terms of syntax:

Python is an extremely dynamic language. While typing, the developer doesn’t have to input the variables. These are input during the runtime. This makes Python an easy language, almost similar to English. 

Another element of the ease with the language is that it does not follow indentation rules or enclosing braces. The result is a language that is beginner-friendly and uncomplicated to read. Furthermore, Python is known not to use any enclosing braces or indentations, unlike Java or other tech stack languages. It is convenient for people to write pseudocode. This makes the code a beginner-friendly program, unlike other languages.  

Java is diametrically opposite in this respect. It has very strict syntax rules, where you need to type in all the variables, and should there be an error or anomaly in the code, the program won’t run.

For example, in Java, to define a block or method with multiple lines, we need to put the lines inside of curly brackets. Whereas, Python allows indentation for writing blocks with multiple lines as well. 

Java is not a very beginner-friendly code. On the other hand, Python does not abide by strict syntax rules. However, it totally depends upon the perspective of the developers. If a developer is comfortable with following indentation rules like Java, they are more inclined towards Java. If the developer wants to keep the program to be simple without a lot of variables and anomalies, especially in some large codebases, they can definitely stick to Python. Therefore, in the syntax comparison between Python vs Java which is better, both have taken the lead depending upon the developer’s choice of language. 

Our learners also read: Learn java online free!

Performance 

Difference between java and python in terms of performance:

Both Java and Python are run by compiling the bytecode and running them on virtual machines. This makes both languages cross-platform, with no operating system differences. It might seem that both have similar performance, but there is a fundamental difference between the two. 

Java is characterized by static-typing syntax. With this kind of syntax, the compilation is a lot easier and faster than dynamic-typed syntax. It is less prone to errors and targets the platforms that it is aimed for better. 

Java also comes with a Just-in-time (JIT) compiler. This device compiles the bytecode into the native machine, because of which the compiled code can be called directly. This function primarily adds to the speed and efficiency of the language. However, Java codes are also quite long and can get difficult to understand. 

Source

For Python, the code is processed during the compile time, and this is when the variables are considered. The code typed in dynamic-type syntax isn’t as agile or verbose to comply with every platform. 

Since Python is tested usually during the runtime, any problem with the program can keep the whole application on hold. All of these variables together have led to reduced efficiency and speed of the language. 

Sometimes, the differences between Java and Python can come out to be very significant. A simple binary tree test, for example, can run ten times faster in Java than in Python. 

As per the August TIOBE Index 2021, it has been understood that Java is one of the best-performing programming languages, putting Python third. However, as per the TIOBE index of August 2022, it has been seen that Python is now an unstoppable language that has now the highest market share of more than 15.42%. Java has ranked for third position after Python and C with a rating of 12.40%. In this race of which is best Java or Python, Python steals the show in 2024. 

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Machine Learning 

Java vs Python usage in Machine learning:

Machine Learning (ML) is an important aspect of the programming languages because it can derive insights by making predictions with the usage of appropriate datasets. In some cases, the ML algorithms are difficult in terms of implementation, because of the requirements of significant and theoretical with practical expertise in the subject. Let’s learn in terms of a Machine Learning library, which has a widely used language in the case of Java or Python which is better for future. Scikit-learn is one of the most stable learning websites for ML in Python.

Python is syntactically very easy, and therefore people from different backgrounds found it as a comfortable choice. With Python, they were easily able to experiment with machine learning and use it in their respective fields. This is how Python initiated the adaptation of machine learning by many organizations. It because of its history in developing organization-specific machine learning that it has a vast library and resources that are being accessed and developed further. Read more about the python libraries for machine learning.

Java is also considered an option by many. With characteristics such as easy debugging and usage, it is used for large-scale operations and enterprise-level programs. Weka, Mallet, Deeplearning4j, and MOA are the libraries a developer can use for Java.  Java is sometimes considered to be a tad bit outdated in terms of ML because of its complicated syntax, however, it is still a widely used language among developers. 

Therefore, in this aspect of Machine Learning, it can be understood that Python has more credibility than Java taking into account that the question is Python vs Java which is better for future. 

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Read more: Python Project Ideas and Topics

Game Development Engines 

Java vs Python application in game development engines:

C++/C# is undoubtedly the leader in PC Game development, and both Java and Python cannot compete against it. C# has always provided a seamless user experience to gamers with the best performance. Now, Java or Python particularly is not slow, but they can’t provide the experience C# has been providing so far. 

While answering the most widely asked question which is better Java or Python, Python is better in gaming development than Java. Java is also a good data science language that supports the terms of Big Data. However, Python has the upper hand in gaming development functions because of its low syntax complexities and user-friendly for beginners. Thus, in the case of which is faster Java or Python, Python definitely takes a lead in this one. 

Read more about PyGame: Game development with Python.

Learn more: Python Developer Salary in India

Web Development

In back-end web design, both languages, Java or Python, or both, are utilised. The backend of web design is the area of the process that deals with writing the server-side code. 

It is exceedingly tough to meet all design objectives, from security to dependability and efficiency, while creating your unique backend technology from the beginning using python or java. Because of this, software engineers have produced platforms, which operate as an overlay and let you design your technology without having to start from scratch.

Django and Flask are the two most used Python systems. Flask is a tiny web framework that provides you with essential features, such as request routing, with no extra effort. Django is a more feature-rich alternative that may assist you in creating a strong foundation while maximising productivity and security. Django has a strong ORM layer that makes it easier to work with datasets and execute various operations according to the data. You can easily use python or java, whichever you prefer. 

Language Development and Users

Both programming languages enjoy an active user base around the globe. Python has an active user base that organizes group meets named PyLadies, where women meet and code. This language has a strong community of over 1600 user groups, in more than 37 countries and 191 cities. Let’s discuss about the difference between java and python based on language development and users. 

Python is best suited for the following kinds of programs: 

  1. Games
  2. Image processing and graphic designing 
  3. Language development 
  4. Machine Learning Apps 
  5. Operating Systems 
  6. Prototyping  

On the other hand, there are numerous Java User Groups (JUGs) across the world and various high-profile events like JavaOne are organized by Java Programmers. 

Java is best recommended for these programs: 

  1. Middleware Products 
  2. Mobile Applications 
  3. Enterprise Solutions and Embedded Systems 
  4. Desktop GUI Apps

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Java vs Python

Summary of differences between Java and Python:

CHARACTERISTIC PYTHONJAVA
SyntaxEasy to learn and useComplex includes a learning curve
PerformanceSlower than Java Relatively fast
Cross-PlatformYesYes, thanks to the JVM
Game Development EnginesYes, Cocos, Panda3dYes MonkeyEngine

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Jobs and Salary

Money becomes a factor when developers face a dilemma between Java vs Python, which is better for future. Speaking of money, employment and pay scale doesn’t appear to be any objective distinction or comparison between Python and Java. The median yearly income for Python developers in the US is roughly $96,000, whereas for Java developers, it is roughly $97,000.

Since both are in high demand, you can launch your career as an intern or software developer if you become proficient in either. You shouldn’t use these considerations while selecting a programming language. Instead, when considering ‘Java or Python which is better for placement,’ pick the option that best fits your unique requirements.

Game Development

There is no point in asking ‘Java vs Python, which is better for future game development’ because the developer community knows that C++/C# is far ahead of them both. Although Java and Python are not slow, they do not offer the best performance for game development. The game development industry demands the finest performance to deliver smooth customer experiences.

Nevertheless, several well-known games, including one of the all-time greatest-selling titles, Minecraft, have been developed using these languages. A well-known Java open-source game development engine is called JMonkeyEngine. OpenGL also offers interfaces for the Java programming language, which is useful if you want to play around with computer graphics or create your engine.

Although Python alone isn’t a strong option for creating games, it may be used with various engines and frameworks, including Cocos, Pygame, Panda3d, and others. A common scripting language choice for many developers, including those who create video games, is Python. So, to conclude this Java vs. Python comparison for game development, both are equally good, each having pros and cons.

Stability

In this section, let’s explore Java vs Python, which is better in terms of stability. In contrast to Python, Java has stringent syntactic requirements that the writer must follow to include all variables. As a result, there is a greater volume of code to review, fix, and overall manage.

However, this has a positive aspect! The code must be extremely carefully written because everything must be verified and evaluated before running. As a result, the software may be more reliable and crash-free. For this reason, Java is typically seen as the ideal choice for businesses, including banks. Actually, Java is frequently strongly linked to traditional corporate languages.

However, Python has also demonstrated that it can easily handle complex software. Python is not inherently unstable; in fact, Java is known for its exceptional program reliability. In contrast, large corporations like Android, Docker, and Airbnb use Java in their tech stack. However, it’s also true that Python is used in the tech stacks of Reddit and Instagram (a Python web framework created in Django).

Security

Now, let’s discuss Python vs Java, which is best in terms of security. Well, Python appears to have a modest advantage over Java, as security flaws in Python are being disclosed less frequently than in Java. This isn’t a good predictor, though, because a language like Java that has been around for so long is bound to have more “reported” flaws.

But unlike other widely used languages, Java has a unique risk in the form of deserialization problems (it’s crucial to note that Java 17 includes capabilities to tackle this problem). Java has several advantages over Python, including robust data types, and its built-in security package provides encryption, public key infrastructure (PKI), XML signatures, and authentication.

Java uses dynamic checking and static analysis to ensure that all running programs adhere to security standards. At the time of compilation, the JVM’s bytecode compilation process performs malware and virus checks. Since Python relies heavily on developers’ excellent habits, it lacks most of this imposed discipline.

Availability of Libraries and Frameworks

Here, we discuss Python vs Java, which is better for the future when it comes to library and framework availability:

Python

Python has many frameworks and packages that cover different fields. Python offers everything, including tools for web development (Django and Flask), data analysis (Pandas and NumPy), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (TensorFlow and PyTorch).

A vast array of packages meeting various needs may be found in the Python Package Index (PyPI), which makes Python programming comparatively easy.

Java

Java boasts a broad ecosystem with frameworks like Spring for online and enterprise applications, Maven for dependency management, and Hibernate for database operations. Java’s ability to support a wide range of development requirements is guaranteed by the large standard Java library as well as additional community libraries.

Dynamic vs. Static

This topic presents yet another ‘which is best, Python or Java’ conundrum. It is up to personal preference whether to choose statically typed or dynamically typed languages.

Java is static, whereas Python is dynamic. Unlike static languages, which carry out type checking during compilation, dynamic languages only check the type at runtime. Assuring that every reference type corresponds to its expected values is known as type checking.

In this manner, if an integer variable, for instance, is assigned an alphabetic value, the computer won’t become confused. Of course, miscommunications or errors may occur, and when working with dynamic languages, the likelihood of them increasing is increased.

However, dynamic languages are generally easier to debug and have a lower verbosity. Is being simple a valid justification for being prone to mistakes, though?

Learning Curve

Aspiring developers often ask the same question, ‘Should I learn Java or Python?’ Given its well-known simplicity and intuitiveness, Python is a great choice for someone learning programming for the first time. Compared to other older languages like C++, Java is easier than Python but still rather complicated. Java is not particularly difficult overall, but it does take some expertise and a general understanding of programming concepts.

Even now, many new developers start with Java, even if learning it takes a little more time and effort than Python. All of these languages are fun and simple to learn because of the wealth of resources available, including community forums, instructional materials, and online courses.

Portability

Here, we discuss which is better, Python or Java, in terms of portability:

Python

Code written in Python is very portable. With the right environment setup, a Python script can run on any operating system. The Python interpreter plays a major role in this portability. A system cannot run Python code if the necessary interpreter is not installed. Dependencies are another possibility; certain Python libraries might not work or act differently on particular systems.

Java

Java’s Virtual Machine (JVM) makes Java portable. Your Java code is compiled into bytecode, which the JVM may run natively on any platform after it has been compiled. This implies that Java applications can run smoothly on any platform with a JVM implementation, making Java applications extremely portable.

Speed and Memory Usage

Now let’s compare and contrast Java with Python in terms of their speed and memory usage:

Python

For the most part, Python is slower than Java. This is mostly because it is an interpreted language that runs code more slowly than a compiled language. Python’s dynamic typing may require more memory than statically typed languages since it needs to store more data regarding variable types.

Java

Python is frequently slower than Java, particularly when high performance is necessary, such as in high-frequency trading platforms or gaming applications. Although applications may use more memory due to Java Virtual Machine (JVM) overhead, Java’s Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler optimizes the bytecode at runtime, enhancing efficiency even further.

Mobile App Development

Here is a comparison of Java vs Python, which is better in terms of mobile app development:

Python

Python isn’t usually thought of when one thinks of developing mobile apps. Python isn’t as streamlined or effective as other languages, even if it provides frameworks like Kivy and BeeWare that enable the building of mobile apps. It’s also possible that the apps lack the responsiveness and performance of those created in their original tongues.

Java

The link between Java and Android makes it a powerful platform for developing mobile apps. Since the Android SDK supports Java, it is the main language for creating Android apps. Java is a great option for developing feature-rich, fast mobile applications because of its stability, effectiveness, and portability.

Interpreted vs. Compiled languages

Due to Python’s interpretive nature, it can quickly translate code from human to machine language, facilitating debugging and code review. The language Java is compiled. Before running source code, compiled languages convert it into machine code.

Java or Python Which is Better for Future?

Java vs Python which is better? This is a question that has been up for debate for several years now. This debate of Java or Python which is better for future can only be solved once we understand the advantages of Java vs Python

Advantages of Python – 

Python’s adaptability is hard to match, and because of its flexibility, exploration is encouraged. This prevents programmers from being restricted to creating only a certain kind of app. You can create fresh and unique things with just one preferred language. 

  • It enables advancements: Python is quick and user-friendly for development since it has dynamic typing. Additionally, it employs parallel programming, which allows each unit of code to operate independently, to deal with problems and obstacles more quickly.
  • It is more flexible: Python supports a range of programming languages and concepts, giving it a more adaptable strategy for coding and development. This makes it suitable for start-ups that might need to switch strategies suddenly as well as for engineers who prefer flexibility.
  • It might improve efficiency: Python is considered more productive than Java because of its dynamic typing and simple syntax. It also provides access system and control capabilities that can increase the productivity of programmes.
  • It provides comprehensive libraries: These libraries can handle several common operations and commands. Additionally, it has code that can be utilized for a variety of tasks, like creating documentation, and CGI.

Advantages of Java – 

Java has several benefits, two of which are efficiency and effectiveness. It’s also regarded to be one of the simpler programming languages to master. You won’t need to spend as much time studying how it all operates as you would with a reduced language because many procedures of this increased language run automatically. If you spend enough time learning and practising, you will be able to master it rather fast. Java has other benefits, such as the following:

  • It is safe: Java doesn’t use explicit references, operates in a virtual server called a ‘sandbox’, checks for unlawful programs using byte-code verifiers, and supports safety in addition to the entire Java package and the security checks.
  • It is object-oriented – It provides a more logical method for developing large projects since you can build categories that include data, methods, and entities that are members of those categories. Additionally, it offers adaptability, simpler troubleshooting, and the capacity for code reuse.
  • It offers multi-threading: With Java, you may execute many threads simultaneously. To improve efficiency and speed while executing several threads, they share a shared memory space.

The question of java vs python which is better, will always remain. You must use the one that is most convenient for you. 

So, What to Choose: Java or Python?

Now that you know the advantages of Java over Python and vice versa, decide between Python and Java based on several significant considerations. Your present experience is the first, and knowing the steps involved in how to learn Java and Python and comparing them is second.

Learning Python will be a marginally better option for you if you begin a software developer career. Java is a safe choice if you learn a new programming language besides the one you now know to expand your potential and advance your career.

Python is the best choice for individuals who wish to learn to code quickly. In contrast, Java is best suited for enthusiasts who have more time to dedicate to learning an effective programming tool. One important thing to keep in mind is that your commitment will be rewarded with a greater salary.

The region where each language is implemented is also an essential consideration. Java and Python are both object-oriented and general-purpose languages. In real-world applications, though, each has its uses and can be ineffective in others.

Conclusion

Python vs Java performance: Having considered both languages against various parameters, it is not clear which language trumps the other one. 

Java may be a more popular option, but Python is widely used. People from outside the development industry have also used Python for various organizational purposes. Similarly, Java is comparatively faster, but Python is better for lengthy programs. 

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Eventually, it depends upon the type of program a developer wants to create. If you consider the above parameters, and a language ticks most of your boxes, it is safe to go ahead with it. However, if you are beginning to foray into development, Python might be a better choice. On the other hand, Java will be the preferred option for enterprise-level programs. 

It can clearly be concluded which programming language should be a winner. However, in terms of faster credibility and learner’s friendly attitude, among which is faster Java or Python, Python has definitely more credibility. 

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Profile

Arjun Mathur

Blog Author
Arjun is Program marketing manager at UpGrad for the Software development program. Prior to UpGrad, he was a part of the French ride-sharing unicorn "BlaBlaCar" in India. He is a B.Tech in Computers Science from IIT Delhi and loves writing about technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the advantages of Python programming language?

Python is one of the easiest languages to learn and use. It is syntax-oriented, a concept that allows the user to express concepts in fewer lines of code. Python code is easy to read, even for those who’ve never programmed. The language is supported by a community that’s constantly coming up with new solutions to problems. And the main reason for its success is its flexibility. It can be used for development of desktop applications, web apps, servers, and more.

2What are the applications of Java programming language?

Java programming is the language for application programming. It is a simple, object oriented and platform independent programming language. It is used for creating web-based applications, mobile applications and desktop applications. The language is used to write programs that can be run in any computer. The applications can be run on multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris etc. The applications can be written in any of these operating systems and work on other operating systems too. Java applications are written with the help of java programming language and then compiled into bytecode. This bytecode can run on any operating system or platform.

3Which is better - Java or Python?

Both Java and Python are powerful and flexible programming languages. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, so it really depends on how you want to use them. Both were developed in the late 1990s, and they are general-purpose programming languages that can be used to write programs for any purpose, from games to web applications, scientific simulations, and more.