Don’t worry: you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out:
- What they’re typically used for;
- How they compare when it comes to their popularity, learning curve, and more.
What Is Python, Exactly?
Python is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. “General-purpose” means that it can be used for any type of project. That’s why this language isn’t a purely front-end or back-end one – it can be both. “Object-oriented,” in its turn, means that objects are the main building blocks that Python code consists of.
Here’s the scope of projects that typically involve coding in this programming language:
- Data science;
- Computer vision and image processing;
- Scientific computing;
- Database programming;
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning;
- Back-end (i.e. server-side) development.
This language’s main application has always been in front-end (i.e., user-side) web development. It’s responsible for most, if not all, interactive elements you can see in web applications. Without it, websites would remain static, like in the 1990s.
- Back-end (i.e., server-side) development – mostly, thanks to the Node.js framework;
- Browser game development – you can use Phaser.js and the likes to create games;
- Cross-platform mobile app development – React Native and Ionic frameworks are designed for it.
Let the Battle Begin!
Round 1. Popularity
However, its competitor isn’t far behind it. Python got ranked third among all respondents and fourth among professional developers, with 48.24% and 41.53%, respectively. What’s more, it’s the first most wanted language for the fifth year in a row – 19.04% of developers want to learn it.
Round 2. Learning Curve.
Typically, if you want to write a particular algorithm, Python code will also be shorter and more readable than its rival’s counterpart. That doesn’t just make the learning curve gentler in the case of the former. It makes debugging and troubleshooting a lot easier, too!
So, the winner is… Python!
Round 3. Performance
For this comparison, let’s consider the runtime performance only. In simple terms, it’s how fast a program gets executed.
Why is JS in the lead on this one? That’s all thanks to its V8 engine that comes with the Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler. Python can’t boast JIT compilation – and nor does it support multi-threading, by the way.
Round 4. Earning Prospects
This might not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s worth giving a thought – even if you’re a first-year tech student right now. After all, you’ve chosen to go to college, not just for kicks. You’re building a skill set to boost your employability and secure a better future for yourself.
- $109,741 (United States; Indeed);
- $59,454 (worldwide; Stack Overflow Developer Survey).
- $106,671 (United States; Indeed);
- $54,049 (worldwide; Stack Overflow Developer Survey).
So, it’s a tie!
In Conclusion: Which One Should You Pick?
But if working with AI, machine learning, and/or Big Data sounds more alluring for you, Python is among the tools of the trade here. It’s also widely used in server-side development, so if you want to work on that front, go for this language.