Python vs. Javascript Throwdown: Which One Should You Prefer?

Introduction

There are so many programming languages out there that it can be a bit overwhelming to know which is right for your project, and picking the right language is crucial for getting the best performance in the least amount of time. We’ll compare and contrast the two most popular languages- Python vs. JavaScript, and explain which situations are best aligned with each.

JavaScript was rated as the most popular developer language in 2019. Many packages and frameworks are built on top of JavaScript, and some of the most popular are React, Angular and Node js.

Python is also one of the top 5 programming languages, and it’s the fastest-growing major language in the world right now. While Python has been growing steadily for twenty years or so, it has experienced exponential growth in the past five (5) years because of its adaptation as the primary language for machine learning and data science.

JavaScript and Python have some similarities in their language specifics, but there are significant variations in the core use cases of the two programming languages. Let’s have a throwdown on Python vs. Javascript, analyzing both of them in detail.

JavaScript 

The first thing to know is that javascript is not the same as Java. Java is a general-purpose scripting language, while JavaScript is a high-level client-side scripting language used to make websites interactive. For example, when we access a web page, the HTML and JavaScript that make up the page are sent to our computers and run via the web browser. 

A brief history of JavaScript is that it was created by Brandon Ike in 1995. It was inspired by the program’s Java scheme and Java shelf. Brandon Ike partnered with the company Sun in order to prevent Microsoft from taking over JavaScript. In doing so, they decided to situate JavaScript as the companion language to Java, which was an already created programming language at the time. The naming was a marketing ploy to gain acceptance in the coding environment. 

Read more about its inception

JavaScript is weakly typed, which means that implicit type conversions are allowed. For instance, when you define an integer variable and add a string to it, the result is converted to a string. Java script’s coding syntax is considered C style, which means the syntax of the if statements, for loops, and other aspects are based on C and C++ syntax for the same operations. If you’re not already familiar with C or C++, JavaScript will have a steeper learning curve.

The primary use of javascript is how easily it interacts with HTML through the document object model or DOM. Dom is a system for representing the HTML file structure of a web page. This means that all the parts of a web page are linked together in a tree-like structure so they can be easily referenced and altered using a scripting language like JavaScript.

Source

Python doesn’t have a comparable elegant way to interact with the DOM like JavaScript. While a Python implementation of this is possible, it requires a lot more effort. 

JavaScript allows the writers of the code to convey the code’s function to the readers in simple English. Although it may look sloppy at times, it throws a huge paragraph to explain the little complex codes, enhancing the ability to tell what is going on in the function with simple text that is easy enough for anyone to read. 

JavaScript teaches you how to write in top-down design as well as add preconditions and postconditions at the beginning of each function you write in order to explain to the reader the before and after of your code.

Read: Javascript Developer Salary in India

Python 

Python is a general-purpose server-side programming language. It does the behind-the-scenes work for a website. Most websites will use a server-side programming language for some tasks, but it isn’t centered to load a page, whereas javascript and HTML are necessary. When a visitor signs in to a website, the website keeps track of the username and password by often using a server-side programming language like Python. 

A brief history of Python is that Guido van Rossum designed it in the 1980s in the Netherlands. The easy-to-use ABC programming language influenced it. The language was not named after the snake. The BBC comedy show called Monty Python’s Flying Circus gave the idea of “Python” to the creator, Guido van Rossum.

The language is used to store and retrieve user credentials from the database that they’re kept in. And, if a website uses Python as its server-side language, the chances are that the Django package is being used. That’s because Django is one of the most popular server-side web frameworks for Python.

Unlike JavaScript, Python is considered to be strongly typed. If we were to try to do this same example we did in JavaScript, adding a string to an integer, the Python interpreter would actually throw an error. We will have to explicitly convert the integer into a string, and then we could add the two together to achieve the same result.

Python also has a different coding syntax. One noticeable difference is that instead of relying on brackets like the C style of JavaScript, Python uses indentation to group the coding blocks. Python syntax is generally more intuitive and user-friendly than JavaScript, especially for a new programmer. 

It is also important to note that Python separates itself from other server-side programming languages because it’s very easy to use and powerful in analyzing data. This is why it’s been a go-to language for fields like machine learning data science and other math and heavy analytics fields. Popular machine learning packages like Py-Torch and scikit-learn are a lifesaver for Python developers. When topped with popular numeric packages like pandas, NumPy and matplotlib, the use cases of Python are drastically increased. 

Read: Python Developer Salary in India

Python vs. JavaScript: In Action

Now, let’s take a look at a few examples to see how both of these languages have been used to create some well-known software. One famous project Python was used to create is Spotify. Python is used on the back end of the application. So, when Spotify suggests a similar artist or genre, it’s using Python to analyze your music listening data and then serve a recommendation. 

On the other hand, an excellent example of a project using Javascript is Netflix. All of the dynamic behavior of the web page is rendered in JavaScript. For instance, when we hover over a show, the clickable box that displays the name of the show enlarges and starts playing an episode. Netflix is a great example of how JavaScript can be used to make our web page interactive and responsive.

Python vs. JavaScript: The Verdict 

There are multiple points to ponder upon in this comparison. 

Python is extremely easy for beginners to use because with one look at Python you can deduce what the code is going to be doing in the function. Python’s written code is human-readable, and it’s concise as compared to C. Many people even joke that a Python script is executable pseudocode due to its straightforward syntax.

Python, which is designed for handling large data sets, is supported by a large community of data scientists that makes it easier to use by developing beautiful open-source libraries. Topped with efficient file-handling and support for a range of platforms, Python is easily the best language out there for data scientists.

Due to its server-sided nature, Python has easily overshadowed all the other languages used for managing backend processes and flows. Topped with its data handling expertise, which is an essential element of managing a website’s backend, Python provides a complete package for developers.

While Python stands out under the hood, in this head-to-head Python vs. JavaScript analysis, JavaScript has mastered the art of giving the optimum finish to the part that directly goes to the users. From animations to designs, JavaScript is capable of beautifying the user experience, without worrying about the data concerns. Eye-catching product unveils, live interactions, and on spot responses, have been powering websites of some of the major players. 

Javascript is known to be a more complex modern programming language compared to Python. But still, a person might be inclined to use JavaScript because it is quite helpful when going into a career path in web development or enterprise resource planning.

However, people in the tech industry today have an easier time knowing how to use Python to find new jobs compared to JavaScript, while Javascript is mainly used for adding interactive elements to websites, making a web, and mobile apps, servers in browser and game development related fields that have a limited number of jobs.

Also Read: Python Project Ideas & Topics

Final Thought

Hence, in the fight of Python vs. JavaScript, Python is the clear winner when it comes to the scope in the current industry, but JavaScript leaves Python far behind when it comes to designing beautiful visuals for clients and users.

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