Java or Python? Language for the beginner programmer
Choosing a programming language is a key decision for a novice programmer. Of course, nothing prevents to change the language in the course of learning or start learning the second after mastering the first, but the right decision at the very beginning of the adventure with programming can greatly accelerate your career. Today we are wondering whether Python or Java will be better for a start.
If you check out our IT community survey 2021 report, you’ll see that both Python and Java rank among the most popular programming languages – with a higher score for the latter. But does the fact that Java is more popular than Python mean that it is worth starting to learn coding from this language? This point is not at all so obvious.
Many well-known web services are based on Java. Although this language is already 24 years old, there is no indication that it will soon fade into oblivion. On the contrary, its popularity increases from year to year. It is estimated that today can program in it even more than 45% of developers in the world. Its big advantage is very high compatibility, which makes older applications that are written in Java work without any problems now and will work without interference in the future, despite the constant updates of Java.
Java is a high-level object-oriented programming language, the father of which is James Gosling. It was he who supervised the development team that developed Java at Sun microsytems in 1995. This language focuses strongly on object programming, but unlike C++, from which it draws a lot, there is no multiple inheritance here. There is an inheritance from one parent class.
A big advantage of Java is independence from architecture thanks to the fact that here we have a compilation to intermediate code, which is executed by a virtual machine (Java virtual machine) regardless of the operating system. No wonder that years ago this language was advertised with the slogan: “write once, run anywhere” (“write once, run anywhere”).
Python is also a very interesting programming language. Its name does not come from a snake, as it might seem at first, but from the name of the English group of comedians Monty Python.
Python is a high-level language that is characterized by very simple syntax. Its main creator is the Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum, who assumed that Python would be the successor to the ABC language. The first version of python was released in 1991, then the light of day saw another.
It is a very flexible language that allows for a lot of freedom. You can use it for both object-oriented, structural and even functional programming. Many people point out that Python is similar in many respects to Perl, but in fact we are dealing with a simpler and more transparent syntax. Python uses dynamic types, and all values are passed by reference. This programming language allows you to create web services, desktop applications, web applications, scripts, and even games. Several 2D and 3D engines are available.
Which language to bet on?
Thinking about the choice between Java and python, a novice programmer has a dilemma. It is worth considering several aspects, especially since both of these languages are well suited to start your coding adventure.
Python, however, seems to be easier to use for a “rookie” and basically no complicated configuration requiredto start working with him. In the case of java, you need to spend a little more time on configuration.
In addition, Java needs to be compiled. For more complex applications, you will need to use one of the build tools (Ant, Maven, Gradle). Python is an interpreted language and basically the only problem is dependency management.
Python is attractive for a novice programmer also because it is very concise, you do not need to write so much code in it to perform one task, as is the case with Java. Perhaps at the beginning of the adventure with coding it will seem insignificant, but when it comes to working on more advanced projects, Python’s brevity becomes invaluable. By the way, you should immediately develop the habit of writing simple and transparent code. The tendency to complicate is not a virtue in the case of a programmer.
Far more important than what the aesthetic issues look like are the capabilities of both languages. What can you create by writing in each of them?
To a certain degree of complexity, python seems a more reasonable choice-because of its greater expressiveness. A framework such as Django, Flask or web2py will definitely make your work easier. Uploading to the server from the point of view of the “rookie” is also easier. After all, you are loading code, not war-a / jar-A, as is the case with Java.
The more applications are loaded or expanded, the more the benefits of Java become apparent. On a well-configured Java environment, it is very efficient, and the application scaling process has been repeatedly practiced by thousands of Java teams around the world. Therefore, Java is the most beloved language of financial environments. It is often used as the core of trading applications or other financial systems. However, this does not mean that Python scales poorly, just that there are other challenges associated with it.
Applications on Android
In fact, there is no such possibility when it comes to Python. However, it should be remembered that the Android environment increasingly relies on Kotlin (one of the languages launched on JVM, which is gaining popularity, especially on Android).
Data Science and AI
Here both languages for a long time coped relatively similarly, but now Python declassifies Java. Yes-most popular libraries offer APIs in Java, but Python is much more popular here. His scripting nature and concise syntax it seems to correspond more to the persons who deal with these plots. For example, TensorFlow (a machine learning library from Google) exposes APIs in both Java and Python, but only the latter has their “stability guarantee”, as the most mature version.
Also, many scientific problems are solved with the help of python. Libraries such as SciPy, NumPy or EarthPy they are used by scientists for calculations or visualization. When it comes to data visualization, this is another strong point of python.
Java is also very strong when it comes to big data. Hadoop or ElasticSearch are written in Java. Of course, these are services that you can use with any other technology, but it shows the potential of the language. Big data posts are often combined with knowledge of Java, which has a slightly larger share here than Python.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that Python is often used for scripting games.
I’ll take the risk of saying that Java’s greatest strength is the JVM. Yes, the same JVM that-when misconfigured-will give you a headache. Why does it make a difference? Bo you can fire some cool programming languages on it. Kotlin, Scala, Clojure, Groovy. Bonus Jython (Python implementation on JVM) and JRuby (Ruby on JVM). Javanese often learn other languages of the JVM family. General Scala and Kotlin are gaining popularity. They can be used as a complement to the good old Java, or they can be chosen as the main language for the project. Most importantly, after compilation, they will be fired in the same way as Java. This expands the range of development opportunities for developers of this ecosystem and undoubtedly brings a breath of freshness. We are also pleased with the development of Java itself, which introduced functional elements in version 8. In addition, every 6 months a new version is released, and each introduces minor changes to the language, which make Java has more and more features familiar from other languages.
Libraries are the strength of the Python ecosystem, which support a great many different areas of life. It gives you a lot of opportunities to try different things. One of the noticeable drawbacks of this ecosystem is that two versions of Python-2 are still being developed.X and 3.X.this is a rather strange situation, but pythonians somehow cope with it and say that in everyday work this is not a problem. However, in 2020, support for Version 2 ends, so for now it only makes sense to learn version 3.
There is a lot of talk in favor of python as a more interesting language for learning programming. First of all, it is the simplicity and variety of projects in which you can participate-once you become a programmer. After all, the term artificial intelligence stimulates the imagination much more than a trading system.
More and more people are noticing this. It is worth mentioning that it was Python in 2015 that overtook the French language in terms of popularity in British elementary schools. It seems that the Python offensive is intensifying around the world, although until recently it was java that dominated the teaching. However, the trend is changing. Who knows, maybe soon Python will appear at the forefront of reports and will become the leader for a long time?