Python vs. Java: When to use which


September 23, 2019

Pythonvs. Java: When to use which

Python vs. Java: When to use which

Java and Python are high-level programming languages based on Object-oriented paradigm. A programming language is a language tool used to instruct a computer on a specific action to carry out. Programs are usually coded in an editor or integrated development environment (IDE) with the language rules, syntax, and structure.   

Although there are lots of programming languages, Java and Python are among the dominant players.  They are versatile, efficient and can be used to develop a wide range of solutions ranging from mobile apps, API’s, web apps, embedded applications, internet of things, data science and lots more. Java is the most popular programming language with about 9 million coders, while Python is second.

Java and Python can be used to develop full-stack applications that means they support server-side, client-side, and database models. 

What is Python?

Python is a high-level object-oriented easy to use programing language. It lets you work rapidly and integrates systems efficiently. Guido van Rossum created Python, and it was first released in 1991. Python is dynamic and supports multiple programming paradigms, including OOP, functional programming, and Procedural programming. The language goals are simplicity, beauty, explicit, code reusability, and code readability. The language is highly scalable and can be used to build a wide range of systems such as rapidly

Desktop Application – graphics design apps, scientific apps Image Processing apps and information processing apps amongst others.

  • Operating system design
  • Mobile frameworks and applications
  • Enterprise resource planners
  • Programming language development
  • Database applications
  • Graphics
  • Networking and Server-based applications
  • Prototyping 
  • Artificial intelligence – data Science, machine learning and deep learning

Global organizations using Python - many global brands around the world use python. Some top organizations running their application on Python include

  • Instagram
  • IBM
  • Netflix
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Google
  • Dropbox etc

Top advantages of Python include

  • Large community 
  • Open-source
  • Robust and extensive library
  • Support availability
  • Easy to learn
  • User-friendly data structure
  • Supports Object-oriented programing paradigm

What is Java

Java is a high-level cross-platform, object-oriented multipurpose programming language. It is one of the most popular programming languages and uses the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to allow computers to run java programs across multi-platforms. It will enable developers to write code once and run anywhere, which is a significant selling point of the language. Compiled Java code can run on any platform, unlike some languages that are platform dependent. Developed by James Gosling in 1991 but appeared first in 1995. The language is simple, Object-oriented, threaded, dynamic, execute with high performance with its Just-in-time compilation mechanism, robust, scalable, and secured.

Java is the most popular programing language in the world today used by over 9 million programmers and running across billions of devices. Java can be used to develop a wide range of applications including

  • Network Applications
  • Mobile apps and frameworks
  • Web applications and frameworks
  • Operating system design
  • Web Servers and Web services
  • Enterprise and scientific applications
  • Robotics
  • Graphic user interface
  • Desktop applications 

Global organizations using Java

  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • Google
  • Slack
  • Netflix
  • Spotify

Top Advantages of Java

  • Code Reusability
  • Speed – Using JVM for Just in Time compilation
  • Object-oriented approach
  • Platform independent - Write once run anywhere with JVM (Java Virtual machine)

When to use which?

Python is most loved because of its simplicity. It’s easier to learn and use. However, if you want to build an application, you have to critically analyze the strengths and weakness of the languages before making a choice. If you are a beginner and you want to learn a programming language quickly, then Python should be your choice. Python is more suitable for Data science and artificial intelligence. AI developers prefer Python over Java because of its simplicity, ease of use, and accessibility.

However, a big advantage of Java over Python is in performance. With its Java virtual machine (JVM) java is the most efficient language when it comes to speed and optimization. The difference in performance between Java and Python is significant. Java uses a JVM to perform a just in time compilation so if speed is your target; then Java should be your choice. 

 Java handles concurrency better than Python. The ability of multiple codes to be executed at the same time is called concurrency in programming; Python is more sequential.

Java's mantra of write once run anywhere makes it better suited for cross-platform development. Python requires lesser code and can compile even when there are bugs in your code. Python is easier to use/learn and offers more simplicity of code generally.  

Another aspect to consider between these two languages is typing. Python uses dynamic types, while Java uses static type. This significantly affects the design, troubleshooting, and writing of codes. Obviously, dynamically typed languages are easier and shorter. Take a look at code below that displays the word “I am a developer” in Python and Java 

Python Code

Stuff = [“I am a Developer”, 8]

For i in stuff:

Print (i) 

Java Code

Public class Test {

Public static void main (string args [ ]) {

String array [ ] = {“I am a developer”, “6”};

For (String I : array ){





These two languages share many similarities. They have extensive libraries with a huge community. They are Object-oriented, supports encapsulation, and polymorphism. While embarking on a project, you should decide a language that works best for you. Python clearly has the edge in simplicity and getting your projects up and running while Java outshines Python in speed and efficiency. If you want to develop mobile applications, web applications, and internet of things Java should be your choice. Python can as well be used for a wide range of application, but its edge over Java is simplicity and use in data science (Big data or Data mining), Artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI is the future, and Python stands a better chance in terms of future usage. will find bugs in either Python or Java; start using it for free



Nick is our Marketing Owner and works from our UK office, he has a wealth of experience in digital & data marketing and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner.