Java vs. Python: Which Backend Language Should You Choose

Java vs Python

Choosing the most suitable programming language for the backend development of any website is crucial. However, it may be quite confusing, given the variety of options, and different features of the language that make them suitable for different tasks. Java and Python are popular programming languages used for developing websites’ backends. An experienced backend developer knows well the key differences between them and uses Java for complex enterprise-level applications and Python for websites with databases.

Check out the key differences between Java and Python based on factors like performance, popularity, frameworks, cross-platform compatibility, and machine learning libraries.

  1. Performance
    Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language used by several MNCs for their digital products backend development. It can handle more robust programming tasks than its front-end counterparts and can run in any system that supports a Java Virtual Machine. Python on the other hand is a popular language used by industry giants like Spotify, Instagram, etc. It supports a wide variety of programming styles which includes functional, procedural, and object-oriented approaches. However, it is slower than Java in various implementations.
  2. Popularity
    Java and Python have been quite popular with 45% of developers using Java and 39% of developers using Python. However, in the last few years, Python has witnessed astronomical growth and is expected to soon overtake Java in terms of popularity.
  3. Syntax
    Python is an easy-to-learn and use language where you don’t need to determine variable types as the interpreter infers these variables and checks are made at the runtime. Unlike Java, it doesn’t use braces and follow indentation to perform the same tasks that make it easy for beginners to read and understand the codes.
    Java is a statically typed language that follows strict syntax rules. Here, developers need to declare the variable types and if there is any error, the code would not compile, to begin with. With a higher learning curve, Java can be difficult to learn for beginners who do not know C, C++, or other programs.
  4. Web Development Frameworks
    Developers using Python for backend development can use Django or Flask as the frameworks. Flask is a micro web framework with basic functionalities while Django is a full-featured framework that helps you build an efficient and secure backend especially for websites and applications dealing with databases.
    When it comes to using Java for enterprise-level applications, developers use Blade and Spring that commands a massive ecosystem and a large community.
  5. Machine Learning Libraries
    When building websites powered with machine learning and AI features like using Chabot, Python provides the most desirable option as it comes with extensive libraries and a huge ecosystem. Backend developers can use its libraries, such as TensorFlow, Sickit-Learn, Facebook’s PyTorch, and Keras while developers using Java can use DeepLearning4, Mallet, MOA, and Weka libraries for support.

Hence, it can be safely said that based on the websites or app development requirements, developers can choose Java for server-side coding for large complex cross-platform compatible websites and apps or Python for sites dealing with databases or involving AI and machine learning tasks.