Is Python or Java Easier to Learn?
Java and Python are two of the most popular programming languages in the world. They have been used to create applications, games, and other products that make our lives easier. So which one is better?
Python is a less complex programming language that is easier to learn for beginners because of its intuitive coding style. Although Java is more difficult to learn, it does have unique advantages to Python.
In the article below, you will learn what areas Python is better at than Java and which features help Java still have appeal for beginners. You’ll also learn the advantages and disadvantages of each and who should be using one over the other.
What Is Python?
Python is responsible for creating many of the world’s applications and software. Its use in our modern-day world cannot be understated and we continue to rely on Python to improve our society.
Python is an interpreted high-level programming language that is known for being easily readable. The way Python can structure its language allows programmers to write code that is clear and logical, no matter what size project.
Python was created in 1989 by Guido van Rossum at the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C++ or Java.
The programming language has a lot to offer programmers looking for an easy-to-read language with the capability of supporting both imperative and functional programming paradigms. The multi-paradigm nature of Python also makes it very flexible and structure supportive in terms of meta-features like magic methods that can make code more readable when used correctly.
What Is Java?
Like Python, Java has been a mainstay in modern technology since it was invented about 30 years ago. However, it has been used much more frequently in web development and continues to be influential in many apps that are created.
Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language that is meant to run on multiple platforms without needing recompilation. Java is similar to C and C++, but it is better for processors because of its low-level design.
Java was originally created in 1991 when computers were mainly using punch cards and Fortran. James Gosling was the creator, and he made the programming language while working for Sun Microsystems. Since then, Java has been used for various applications and is one of the building blocks of web development.
Java is a unique programming language and has been around for over 20 years. Java 5.0 saw the introduction of generics into the codebase to increase efficiency and type safety – by 2004, there were about 200 changes in this version compared to its predecessor release from 2001.
Another major update was made available in 2014 with SE 8; it’s one that many programmers are excited about because it increases performance while also maintaining compatibility across different versions of Java applications. They will still work regardless if you launch them using an older or newer version operating system.
What Are the Differences Between Python and Java?
Python and Java might be some of the most powerful programming languages in today’s world but they have a lot of key differences that make each one unique.
The most significant difference between Java and Python is that Java uses automatic memory management while Python does not. Python also relies on dynamic typing, while Java uses static binding.
Static binding is when a type identified for an object cannot be changed dynamically. This requires the programmer to know the possible types of objects they will define in their program before writing them. Dynamic binding can bind a different type than originally specified, but this can produce undesirable and potentially difficult-to-find bugs.
Another significant gap between these two languages is their scope – what they are capable of accomplishing. For example, if you want to write mobile applications, Java is the language for you. But if you are looking to do some more sophisticated programming or focus on graphics and animation, Python would be a better choice.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Python and Java?
Because the two programming languages have their own system of accomplishing different tasks, they each have clear advantages and disadvantages when using.
What Are the Advantages of Python?
Python is a better language for learning how to code because of how easy it is to use when you are just starting out.
- Python has better syntax – When a programming language has better syntax, it means that it is easier to learn. There aren’t as many complex structures you need to memorize. Most of the coding templates have been created for you.
- Much better with data analysis and visualization – People use Python more when developing tools for machine learning, AI, and deep learning. It can process the data more efficiently and help people be able to understand it.
- Can use with other frameworks like Django – Python can be compatible with other frameworks like Django which makes its computing power even more comprehensive.
Even though Python can be easier to learn for beginners, it doesn’t have all the features you will need when programming.
What Are the Advantages of Java?
Java might not be the best when you’re just starting out, but it will come in handy the more you progress in your skills.
- Java is structured well – Java is verbose and very readable even when you have large amounts of code that need to be deciphered. It makes it much easier to find bugs and solve problems.
- Java has wide application use – There are many applications that already use Java as their primary programming languages, like Android apps for mobile and some desktop applications.
- Large existing library – There is already a large number of frameworks and libraries that exist for adding more functionality when coding.
Now that we’ve covered the advantages of Python and Java, here are some reasons why you might want to reconsider using one over the other.
What Are the Disadvantages of Python?
Python just isn’t as robust as Java as a programming language so you are going to run into situations where you simply can’t use Python because of its limitations.
- Harder to transition – Because Python prefers a logic-based approach to coding it will abstract specific core concepts that are foundational to coding. This makes it difficult to transition from Python to another language like Java.
- Not many platforms use Python – There is not as wide a range of use as there is for languages like Java. Python still has a ways to go before being as mature as Java.
- Python is slower – Python is an interpreted language which means it will be slower when running than programs that use Java.
Python is good for beginners but falls short when you need it for more complex projects. Even though Java is better in these situations, it still can’t do everything.
What Are the Disadvantages of Java?
Java may be king for large projects but its age is starting to show now that new languages are continually updating and improving their code.
- Losing its appeal – Java has been around for quite a while and it’s starting to see newer languages being developed that improve the experience of the coder. Languages like Kotlin are starting to take precedence over Java.
- Too late with updates – Java did finally add some support features like Futures, Streams, and Lambdas but it was a little too slow in doing so. This has caused many developers to move on to a new language to fix their problems when Java wouldn’t
- More boilerplate code – Because Java is very verbose you end up repeating a lot of the same code without adding a lot of functionality. This type of code is inefficient and not ideal for developers.
- Java Doesn’t Scale Well – In order to grow its system, Java needs more resources which means it doesn’t scale well as a language since there will be an upper limit on how much can be used at once.
Java has a chance to continue to develop its code to appeal to developers, but it might be taking too long for the work to have a positive effect.
Who Should Use Python?
We’ve established that Python is good for beginners, but what does that mean? Who can really benefit from using the language and in what situations might they consider using it?
Python is best used for beginners learning how to code on simple projects that need to be done relatively quickly. The extensive libraries help coders pull functionality relatively faster compared to the other programming languages.
Python is widely considered easy to learn. On a ranking of programming languages by difficulty called the “TIOBE Index”, Python ranked as the third easiest language in 2009 (after BASIC and Java).
In 2013, on the other hand, based on data from Google Trends, Java was rated easier than Python (with C behind both of them) with regard to searches accessing documentation from Google Groups or tutorials from Code Academy. Differences in language design present trade-offs which dictate how much assistance is given to optimize code.
Python can also be great when you’re trying to get ideas down fairly quickly. You won’t need to write as much code from scratch and figure everything out for yourself since there are libraries of information.
You also want to consider using Python if you are trying to share your code with others. Python is fairly easy to read, so anyone looking over the code should have a good idea of what you are doing to provide feedback.
Who Should Use Java?
We know Java is a robust programming language that works for complex projects but what kind of developers need these features and what would they use it for?
Java is best used for people with a programming background who are interested in app development. Versatility and speed make it sometimes preferable to other languages that are also very popular in the industry, like Python or Ruby.
Java powers Android phones but not iPhones – both of which operate on OSes that have been built around Java. Google hasn’t said exactly why they only use Java on Android, but one reason may be because Apple doesn’t allow programs to execute on its devices from the memory without express permission (iOS does this).
Java is a popular choice for enterprise use because it provides many features that can be used to build large products with security and scalability in mind. Java has an extensive library of APIs which makes it easy to perform tasks like image manipulation or file compression, even if you are not familiar with the underlying technology at work.
Java is also focused a lot on web development and is more common for the developer who has years of experience behind them. These developers can use Java for asynchronous programming or natural language processing.
Java was at one time the most widely used server-side language being used in the industry. That title has fallen now that new languages are being introduced to developers.
How Do You Choose Python Versus Java?
You’re going to need to choose one over the other if you are working on a programming project because the two will not work together.
Coders who are just starting out should use Python, but if a coder has more experience or they need a complex project finished, Java will be the best option.
You need to ask yourself what your skill level is and how complex the project is going to be to determine which programming language to use.
If you have a simple project you are trying to get accomplished quickly, you will want to choose Python because of its ease of use. For difficult projects that will require more syntax, Java will be best.
Always ask a programmer friend what they recommend for the type of project you are attempting to complete. Their expertise and experience will help you understand the intricacies of your project and why one language would be preferred over the other.
Python Is Easier to Learn Over Java
If you are just starting out, using Python as your primary programming language will help you get started quickly and finish your code in no time. This makes Python the better option to choose when you are learning for the first time.