Face-Off: Python and JavaScript

Face-Off: Python and JavaScript
Face-Off: Python and JavaScript

Python vs JavaScript is always the trending topic. Beginners are always confused about which to choose.

The choice of language to start with should depend on various aspects such as the interest of development (Web development, Android development, iOS development, system software), career prospect, utility and other personal preferences.

But to get to know a language before to jump to the conclusion is equally important. It gives you the bird’s eye view of the thing you will be diving in. At the end of this article, you will be able to decide which to choose and why?

Python

It supports multiple programming paradigms like object-oriented programming, functional programming, imperative programming, and procedural programming. It has applications in almost all the different spectrums of the IT industry. It is widely popular as the first preference for data science. It is because of the great range of packages available for data manipulation, visualisation and pre-processing.

It can also be used for web development. People assume they can’t do software development with Python. It is a wrong assumption. To develop android applications using Python one needs to learn python frameworks like Kivy and BeeWare.

Let us see some of the features of Python:

  • It is a high-level object-oriented programming language.
  • It comes with REPL(Read-Eval-Print-Loop).
  • It is easy to learn.

Python Libraries

It has a collection of vast libraries. Libraries enable you to build better software with reusable code. It speeds up the development process and opens the door for innovation. Some of the top libraries are:

  • Image processing
    • OpenCV
    • Mahotas
    • SimplelTK
    • SciPy
    • Pillow
    • Matplotlib
  • Web development
    • Snap
    • Request
    • Pylons project
    • TurboGears
  • Data Science
    • Tensorflow
    • Theano
    • Sci-kit Learn
    • Scipy

Python Frameworks

There are two types of Python frameworks – Lightweight and Heavyweight frameworks. Heavyweight frameworks include all the libraries and tools developers required to create a full-fledged application. They mostly have well defined boilerplate code and the developer just has gaps to fill to make his app.

Some of the heavyweight frameworks are like Django, TurboGears, Web2Py, and more. Lightweight frameworks do not provide complete features and functionalities. Developers need to add certain specific libraries to create several features. It provides more flexibility and less boilerplate code to start with. Some of the lightweight frameworks are Flask, FastAPI and Cherrypy.

Python is also known as “batteries included programming language”.

JavaScript

It is an object-oriented programming language. It is highly used in browsers to support dynamic view of web pages. Generally, developers start learning HTML and CSS.The functionalities and behaviour of the webpage is governed by javascript. Javascript is heavily used for web application development. Javascript offers many frameworks and libraries to make it easier for the developers to enable rapid software development. One can easily learn JavaScript framework such as React Native to create android applications also.

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Let us see some of the features of JavaScript:

  • It supports both client-side and server-side.
  • It is a cross-platform language.
  • It is a scripting programming language.

JavaScript Libraries

JavaScript contains a bunch of libraries to make the developer’s life easier. JavaScript libraries like jQuery, React, are preferred by Companies like Facebook, Tesla, Instagram, Airbnb and more. It is supported by powerful libraries to create applications in less time. There are even recent developments in javascript to support machine learning on the browser side with machine learning libraries such as ml5, tfjs and D3 for visualization. You don’t need to worry about exploring AI and machine learning if you are interested in web development. You can do it with javascript too!!

JavaScript Frameworks

Some of the popular frameworks that one should learn are – Vue.js, React.js, Angular, Node.js, Ember.js. Companies like PayPal, Netflix, eBay, Walmart, Facebook, Twitter and Google are rapidly adapting to the latest frameworks.

Python supports less in-built features compared to JavaScript for mobile development. The development time is also more in Python than JavaScript. The most popularly used Python frameworks for web development are Django and Flask.

Trending on StackOverflow

Python is on the first position in the stack overflow programming languages survey 2020. JavaScript secured the third position last year. The graph of JavaScript keeps fluctuating but always remains in the top five programming languages.

It is clear from the above graphs, that python is becoming popular every year without any single drop. Whereas JavaScript is a constant language in the top five programming languages.

Advantages of Python

  • It is an open-source language, and available to developers to contribute to it.
  • Easy to integrate with other programming languages.
  • The syntax is pretty simple.
  • Improves productivity because of its easy syntax.

Advantages of JavaScript

  • It is very popular. It is the heart of web development.
  • It is a client-side programming language, which reduces the load on the server.
  • It is faster.
  • It is browser compatible and can load on almost all browsers.

Disadvantages of Python

  • It is memory inefficient.
  • It is not meant for mobile development because of its slow processing and memory efficiency.
  • It is slower compared to other programming languages.

Disadvantages of JavaScript

  • A single error will not let JavaScript run on the browser.
  • It does not support networking applications.
  • It is not secure, as anyone can see your code on the browser.
  • It is a single-threaded language.

Salary of Python Vs JavaScript Developers

The highest salary of a Python developer according to ZipRecruiter is $163,500 and as low as $53,500. The average salary of a JavaScript developer is $115,000. The salaries might vary slightly as per country currency or region. The salaries of both languages are high burning packages. In this case, one can ignore the salary and emphasise on the interest.

Key differences between Python and JavaScript

PythonJavaScript
It is an interpreted programming language.It is an object-oriented programming language.
It uses a class-based inheritance model.It uses a prototype-based inheritance model.
Python uses Indentation sensitive.JavaScript uses curly braces to maintain clean code.
Python is a strongly typed language.It is a weakly typed language.
Python can be used for backends.JavaScript is used for frontend.
Python is slow.It is faster compared to Python.
Python has mutable and immutable data types.JavaScript does not have this concept.
It can be integrated with other programming languages like Java, C, etc.It cannot be integrated with other programming languages.
The rating by TOBIE is 3Its TOBIE rating is 7

Differences based on key points

Learning Time: JavaScript has a non-stop learning curve. It contains libraries for every purpose either for web development or mobile development. If you start learning JavaScript, you will be amazed by the ultimate libraries and frameworks to work with. But if you have an interest in web development, you ought to learn JavaScript.

Python has limitations. You only need to learn the syntax of Python and the rest of the work is logic. It takes less time to master Python. If you are a beginner and want to learn any programming language fast, you can choose Python.

Use Cases: Python is widely used in software testing, scientific computing, automation, etc. But you cannot choose it for major mobile development. JavaScript is used in web development, mobile development and desktop programs. With Tailor-made runtime environments JavaScript can run on the server, IoT devices, etc.

Philosophy: JavaScript is more flexible. It is not that readable compared to Python. It emphasises on code readability and maintainability. Since Python does not use curly braces and semi-colons, code looks more clean and causes fewer errors. You just have to care about indentation.

Arrays: JavaScript contains arrays as inbuilt data type which is not in Python. In Python, the purpose of arrays is served by lists. Python lists are similar to tuples, the only difference is of types of braces and mutability of values.

Encoding Format: Python code is ASCII by default and is not encoded to any other unless specified. JavaScript is to be encoded as UTF-16.

Hash Tables: Python contains hash tables as inbuilt features like dictionaries, sets, etc. Whereas there is no inbuilt feature for hashtable in JavaScript.

Packages and Package Manager: Package managers are the most used by developers to manage their dependencies in a project. They allow you to install and uninstall dependencies. Without the package, manager life becomes tough as you have to manage those dependencies and their placement in a project file manually and check the vulnerabilities.

JavaScript has a Node-based package manager named npm. There are other popular package managers such as yarn and bower for JavaScript. Python has pip as its package manager. It is used to install packages from the Python Package Index. It is regularly updated and a new version is released every three months.

Conclusion

If you want to build web applications, the best choice is JavaScript. If you want to remain flexible and explore more field such as data science, machine learning, web development (backend) and automation, then you should prefer Python. It completely depends on personal preferences. Both the programming languages have their own pros and cons. Hope this article helped you gain better insight into the languages and perspective.

Happy Learning!