Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners

The number of languages for programming has been in headway for the last decade. Despite that, two differing languages widely acceptable among masses of programmers–recognized as Python and Java–could not lose their prominence in the sector.

Python is one of the top ten fastest growing languages according to GitHub’s annual Octoverse report. While Java’s popularity in programming has not yet been overcome by even Python. This is how these two languages have been competitors of each other, and each tries to sway the other by its progress or popularity.

But what are these programming languages? Why do we need them? If you are just a beginner, then this is most likely that you get struck by such questions. But if you’ve been introduced to the basic idea of them, then the option of choosing one that’s a cut above must be perplexing your mind.

So before we delve into these complexities, let’s discuss the characterization of each with their main functions so that those of you who are just beginning can also familiarize themselves with their basic ideas.

Java programming

Java is a high-level and object-oriented programming language which was first introduced in 1995. It was originally composed for small hardware devices, but due to its increasing popularity, it was soon integrated into World Wide Web.

Java produces software for multiple platforms. It is an independent and statically typed general-purpose programming language the basic idea of which is “write once, run anywhere”. This dependence on machine in Java is the reason for rapid compilation of database. In our day it’s needed to facilitate various platforms such as games and social media apps.

Python programming

First introduced in 1991, Python is also object-oriented and high-level programming language like Java. It is attention-grabbing because of its increased productivity that it provides. Also, it is easy to read as it combines dynamic typing and dynamic binding. Unlike Java, it is mainly used for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and web development.

Which is better Python or Java?

  • code comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • syntax comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • variable comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • speed-comparison-python-vs-java
  • portability comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • database compatibility comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • learning curve comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners
  • legacy code comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners

Passing a definite statement right at the beginning of our discussion sounds a bit devious. But I’ll leave you with my choice before moving on with their impartial in-depth analysis. Then it’s for you to decide whether Python suits you more or Java with your individual interests, although both come handy with their separate pros and cons.

Personally, I would say that Python is one step ahead of Java because of its powerful configurations. Its various features and dynamic nature also make it more reliable, and although I’ve been the user of Java too, I still like keeping Python over Java when it comes to the understanding of programming languages.

But why do I say this? Let’s get into their detailed discussion and analyze their features by drawing a corresponding comparison between the two. And also, do not forget that Java has not lost its credibility and is regarded by programmers because of some specific functions that they can’t enjoy when using Python.

Learning curve

python vs java learning curve

From the point of view of a beginner, the learning curve for Java is unusually steep in comparison to its competitor Python. Python with its flexible language for decoding and functions that can be performed quite easily is good for beginners as it is not very demanding.

Programmers or developers of any level can learn how to use Python, and then they are good-to-go to start off. Below is the detailed analysis of both Java and Python to highlight my experience and to identify their main components.

Python vs Java performance

python vs java performance

Even though Java is known for its faster speed, but Python is more productive language than Java. Both of them in their performance come with their perks and shortcomings, and this helps us determine to choose what’s best for us in accordance with our personal biases. Because languages cannot merely be determined by their speed, there are numerous other factors too that a programmer must take into account.

Java’s database connectivity, for example, is widely-used to connect. Whereas Python’s database accessed layers are weaker than Java database connectivity. Similarly when it comes to writing codes, there is no need of declaring variables in Python as it is dynamically typed language. While in Java, variables have to be declared clearly before the compilation of the code.

There are several other variations of readability and formatting, machine learning, typing of codes, network programming and etc that you needn’t forget to delimit the scope of their performance in the execution of your tasks.

Python vs Java speed


Sometimes users prefer Java only due to its faster speed than Python. Java has an edge over here because it’s compiled and statically typed language. On the other hand, Python is an interpreted language, and this is why the process of programming gets slowed down during runtime. Because it is also dynamically typed language, so the syntax is checked at the time of execution.

Python also determines the type of data at runtime that requires more time and memory. This makes its speed even more slower. Java programs are compiled directly as its “just-in-time” jit compiler compiles Bytecodes into native machine codes instantly.

Python vs Java readability and formatting

syntax comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners

This is where in my views Python overtakes Java for beginners. Although arguments over which is easier in its readability are subjective with everyone’s own inclinations. One of the reasons why I personally place Python over Java is because it incorporates many English words in its syntax, and therefore it’s easier for beginners to learn and understand.

This also makes it more readable than all the other programming languages. Also when you are typing, notice that codes for Python are comparatively too much shorter and more concise than Java. While to keep the code simply readable in Java, more efforts are required by programmers that makes it time-consuming for them.

As to formatting, definitely Python has an advantage over Java as the major difference of readability separates the two. In addition, Python uses indentations to separate the code blocks.

But in Java they are separated by curly braces which is why it is not the easiest language for individuals who just began to learn programming languages. Even for simple logic, it contains many lines of code as compared to clean and shorter codes of Python.

Typing in Java vs typing in Python

code comparison python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners

The most significant difference between the two languages comes with their typing styles. As mentioned earlier, Java is statically typed language while Python on the contrast is dynamically typed language. Similarly variables of either language have to be typed according to its classification. Java expects its variables to be declared before they can be assigned values.

But if Java comes with the benefit of its speed because of its just-in-time (jit) feature, there is no room for programmers to type variables on their own freewill. While variables can be changed and typed until the runtime in Python. So if there are any errors in bugs, they can easily be fixed before the execution of codes.

Relatively slower speed in the process of programming may be a downside when using Python, but Python’s trump card of providing programmers enough volume for fixing errors before execution is not the pet of Java.

Also, once again, Python consists of shorter codes as compared to Java. These codes are also easy to understand and type. It is because of these features, Python’s dynamic system is known for brevity, fluidity, and experimentation in code.

Machine learning Python vs Java

Obviously Python because of its easier syntax and arrangements of code is better when it comes to machine learning. This is specifically for those who have entered the journey of programming. Also those of you who are from various other disciplines, and the integration of Artificial Intelligence is your need, then it’s better to go ahead with Python.

Because in order for you to initiate your project, you must have to learn the needed programming language. So rather than wasting a lot of time in learning Java, learn to use Python in as less time as possible.

machine learning python vs java - Python vs Java : Which one is better for beginners

That’s why data scientists and research analysts also prefer Python over Java. It consumes less time. Therefore, developers do not really have to worry about debugging codes that you have to do while using Java on your own. This is one reason why Python has gained more popularity in machine learning than Java in recent times.

But if software engineering is your major, then mastering both languages for machine learning will have more rewards for you. Still begin with Python. The reason for me emphasizing a lot on Python in the beginning is not only its simple and readable language.

But Python also comes with a variety of third party libraries to carry out almost every possible task. The use of these libraries makes it more adaptable for learners and users. Some of the most popular libraries are Pytorch, Matplotlib, seaborn, Sklearn, and TensorFlow.

Python vs Java network programming

Let’s be more practical here and not overlook the constructive side of Java. Network programming comes rather at an advance level, and mostly people who need it have their job prospects in their minds. There are always exceptions. For them I would say that now since they know the basic essentials of both the languages, they can choose whichever they think is best for them for their personal projects.

Because java is listed above any other programming language in enterprises because of its extraordinary popularity. Until employers have some knowhow of all the languages themselves, there are high chances that they would want you to be skilled in Java than any other language. It is also up to the mark in providing a stronger support for socket programming that helps in laying foundation for the communication between servers and clients.

But then nobody would want to invest a lot of their time in writing extended codes especially if they’re working independently. Look into the possibilities of the aspects of both languages, and then see which is the one you can begin with as this is an area that hinges on one’s personal picks.

Python became more popular than Java for the first time in history

In the new TIOBE ranking, the Python programming language has surpassed Java to become the world’s second most popular. Python is quite easy to learn and widely used in many areas, will overtake C which is ahead of Python right now, in three or four years.

The Java language displaced by Python moved to the third position, which also became a sensation: until now, the two top places in the Tiobe rating, without options, were shared only by C and Java.

Python posted 2.27% growth over last year, which contrasts with a concurrent 4.47% decline in interest in Java.

TIOBE tracks the popularity of programming languages ​​by counting the results of search queries related to programming. For example, it monitors the presence of a combination of the words programming and language in it.

The ranking is compiled on a monthly basis, the data is taken from the most popular, according to Alexa ranking, websites. These include the search engines Google and Bing, as well as portals YouTube, Blogger, Amazon, and the streaming service YouTube. At the same time, the rating does not compare languages ​​by the amount of code written in it.

Python vs Java TIOBE comparison

Earlier in July, Python was ranked second in the RedMonk rankings. There also Python bypassed Java for the first time, breaking the duopoly, with the difference that the leader at RedMonk is not C, but JavaScript.

RedMonk compiler Stephen O’Grady compares Python to Perl during its heyday. He called Python “the language of first hope,” which serves as the glue that holds thousands of small projects together.

RedMonk Q320 programming language ranking

Different reports that compares Python and Java on user base

Stackoverflow – comparison

Stackoverflow - comparison of Python and Java

benfrederickson – comparison

benfrederickson - comparison of python and java by github users

Conclusive remarks

My personal opinion does not mean that you should opt for what I am favoring. Python may definitely be my choice for beginners, but I’ve been the user of Java too, and it’s not substandard at all. Although it is likely that Python would continue to give Java tough time because of its rapidly growing progress, but Java’s popularity is something of its own.

If Python is enjoying an upper hand due to its readability and flexibility, then Java has an advantage over Python because of its singular speed. So decide after considering all the characteristics I’ve stressed above. See what fits your needs or what is the choice of your supervisor if you are working under one. Remember, try evaluating everything from your own perspective after reading about it.

Also read