Guide / Tech / Why Java Should Be Your First Language Instead of Python

Why Java Should Be Your First Language Instead of Python

Updated on July 23, 2021 | by Alex Smith

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As of 2019, two of the most popular programming languages are Java and Python. These two languages, however, are vastly different. As a result, most novices and newcomers are perplexed while deciding which of these two languages to utilize as their first programming language.

Which programming language should you learn first?

Let’s make it clear: Java, rather than Python, would be a superior first programming language. 

Take a look at the reasons why you should learn Java first! 

Comparative Parameters

Given that both of these programming languages are market leaders, a few technical comparisons will help clarify how they vary. The parameters to consider for a difference between Java and Python are listed below.

Popularity

In terms of popularity, there is a difference between Java and Python:

Both languages have always competed for public attention. However, since the introduction of JavaScript, they’ve been vying for the top rank.

Python was named the fastest-growing programming language in Stackoveer’s 2018 developer survey, surpassing C++. However, although the gap between the two languages had narrowed dramatically, many developers preferred Java.

Syntax

In terms of syntax, the following are the differences between Java and Python:

Python is a very active programming language. The developer does not have to enter the variables while typing. Instead, these are entered during the execution of the program. Python is thus a simple language, essentially identical to English.

Another feature of the simplicity of the language is that it does not use indentation or enclosing braces. As a result, the language is user-friendly and straightforward to read.

Java is the polar opposite in this regard. It has very tight syntax constraints, requiring you to type in all of the variables, and the program will not run if there is an error or anomaly in the code.

To define a block or method with many lines in Java, for example, the lines must be enclosed in curly brackets. Python, on the other hand, allows indentation when composing multiple-line chunks.

Performance

In terms of performance, the following are the differences between Java and Python:

Java and Python are both executed on virtual machines after being compiled into bytecode. As a result, both languages are cross-platform, with no variations in operating systems. However, although they appear to operate similarly, there is a significant difference between them.

The syntax of Java is characterized by static typing. The compilation is easier and faster with this syntax than with dynamic-typed syntax. As a result, it is less prone to errors and better targets its intended platforms.

A Just-in-time (JIT) compiler is also included with Java. This device converts bytecode to native machine code, allowing the produced code to be executed directly.

This function largely improves the language’s speed and efficiency. Java codes, on the other hand, can be quite long and difficult to comprehend.

Python code is processed during compile time, which is when variables are taken into account. Thus, to conform with every platform, code written in dynamic-type syntax isn’t as agile or verbose.

Because Python is typically tested during runtime, any issues with the program can put the entire application on hold. All of these factors together have resulted in a decrease in language efficiency and speed.

The differences between Java and Python can be quite considerable at times. For example, in comparison to Python, a simple binary tree test can execute ten times faster in Java.

Advantages of Java

Java is a verbose, legible, and well-structured programming language. In Java, larger volumes of code are considerably easier to read. Java is used across various platforms, including Android apps (mobile), server backends, and desktop applications (Java FX). Therefore it’s a good starting point for any of them. 

1) Earlier applets were built for Java-enabled browsers, but these are now obsolete. 

2) Android supports Kotlin as a programming language, although it is still dependent on the JVM.

Disadvantages of Python

Developers are beginning to prefer alternative languages over Java (for example, Kotlin over Java on Android), resulting in decreased Java usage. It took a long time for the language to incorporate support for features like Futures, Streams, and Lambdas. Although Java has transitioned to a 6-month release cycle, it may be too late for developers to return. Java contains a lot more boilerplate code than Python.

Advantages of Python

In comparison to many other languages, it has a fundamental syntax. They are widely utilized in the fields of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and AI in general. Very handy for data visualization and analysis. With frameworks like Django, it’s used in web programming.

Disadvantages of Python

It’s frequently challenging to transition to languages like Java after learning Python, whereas the transition from Java to Python is relatively easy. Python favors a logic-first approach and separates fundamental notions from how programs run. Fewer platforms use it. Python is slower than Java in most circumstances since it is an interpreted language.

Conclusion

So, the benefits are nice, but what should you choose?

It is debatable. I’ll give you a few tips to help you decide:

If you want to study computer science or engineering, I recommend starting with Java because it will help you comprehend the inner workings of programming. You can also hire a Java developer if you find some difficulties dealing with tasks alone as Java developers are experts. Following Java with Python will help you grasp how it simplifies things.

If you want to make mobile apps in the future, study Java first because Android requires it, and you can learn Swift quickly after learning Java if you’re going to work on iOS. 

Good luck!

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