C++ vs Java vs Python: Which One To Choose?

C++ vs Java vs Python: Which One To Choose?
C++ vs Java vs Python: Which One To Choose?

Introduction

Today almost everything is being automated and programmed; right from banking applications to automatic attendance monitoring systems, everything is being governed by Computers. No wonder the number of software developers is expected to reach 28.7 million by 2024 (Source: Statista).

There are around 600 programming languages out there. The demand and popularity of programming languages fluctuate every year. Also, new programming languages are coming with attractive features. When faced with so many potential ways of getting started in computer programming, it becomes tedious to decide which path to choose from.

However, over the years, C++, Java, and Python have maintained their popularity in terms of competitive coding and programming. Also, with C++, Java, and Python, there is almost nothing you can’t build.

In this blog, the three programming languages will be discussed along with their features, advantages, what they are best suited for and the important differences between C++ vs Java vs Python are being discussed. Read out the blog for more details.

C++

History: C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup along with Dennis Ritchie (creator of C) in Bell Laboratory during the 1970s. C++ was created as an extension of C, adding object-oriented features.

Popularity-wise, C++ is the second oldest programming language and ranked 4th in the TIOBE programming language ranking.

Image Source: TIOBE

Features

  • C++ is a fast and compiled programming language. Because it’s a compiled programming language, C++ is Platform dependent.
  • Using C++, the programmer can gain full control over the hardware as it has many libraries for directly handling the hardware-level tasks.
  • C++ can quickly adapt to take advantage of Hardware changes, so its also gaining popularity along with the sudden rise of containerisation, GPUs, and Cloud computing.
  • Because it is super-fast, C++ is heavily used in performance-critical and resource-constrained systems.

Some statistics showing the popularity of C++

Use-Cases

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C++ is widely used among programmers as it supports Object-oriented programming as well as gives access to hardware.  Using C++, many high-level end-user applications can be developed:

  • GUI Based Applications: Adobe Photoshop. Illustrator and WinAmp Media Player are developed using C++.

  • Operating Systems: Apple OS has some parts written in C++. Most software from Microsoft, like Visual Studio IDE and Internet Explorer, are also developed using C++.
  • Browsers: Because of the faster execution time of C++, C++ is widely used in browsers for rendering purposes.Examples Google File System and Chrome Browser and Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Cloud/Distributed Systems: C++ is a good choice for the implementation of Cloud Systems as it is close to hardware and also provide multithreading support.

Java

History

Java was developed in the early 1990s by James Gosling as an object-oriented language. The principles for creating Java were, “Simple, Robust, Portable, Platform-Independent, Secured, High-Performance, Multithreaded, Architecture Neutral and Dynamic”.

Popularity wise, Java is the third most popular programming language right after five years of its release till now (even after two decades).

Image Source: TIOBE

Features

  • Java is platform-independent, it is the first programming language that achieved the, “Write Once, Run anywhere” title
  • Java supports automatic garbage collection and memory management, which manages the object life cycle.
  • Java supports multithreading which allows writing programs that can execute many tasks simultaneously.
  • Java enables high performance using Just-In-Time compilers, also Java programs can carry an extensive amount of run-time information that can be used to verify and resolve accesses to different objects at run-time.

Use-Cases

  • Mobile App Development: Most android applications are built using Java, even the most popular android app development IDE, ‘Android Studio also uses Java to develop Android applications.
  • Web-Based Applications: Java provides vast support for web development using Servlets, Struts, and JSP. 
  • Big Data Technology: Hadoop HDFS platform, which is used for processing and storing big data applications, is written in Java. Java is also used in Apache Camel and Apache Kafka
  • Game Development: Java provides the support of an open-source 3D engine, so Java is extensively used in Game development. Many popular games, including Minecraft and Mission Impossible III, are written using Java.

Python

History: Python was designed by Guido van Rossum in the 1990s as a side project and developed by Python Software Foundation. It was named after the BBC’s TV show – “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

Python focussed on developer experience and is highly productive, simple, and yet very powerful and is incredibly popular. TIOBE has ranked Python as the third most popular programming language.

Image Source: TIOBE

Features

  • Python is an expressive language, meaning it can perform many complex tasks using very few lines of code.
  • Python is an interpreted language. It makes debugging a lot easier.
  • Python has a lot of libraries and modules, many complex tasks can be executed very simply using these libraries and built-in functions. As of now, there are more than 137,000 python libraries.
  • Python is extensively used in Data Science, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and deep learning.

Use-Cases

  • Web Scraping: Web scraping involves the scraping of a massive amount of data from the web. Such data is useful for corporations and is extensively used in a Lead generation for Marketing. Python’s Selenium, PythonRequest, and Mechanical Soup are used to build web scraping applications.
  • Data Science: Python has numerous powerful libraries like scikit-learn and TensorFlow, making it incredibly popular for advanced data work, including data extraction, data mining, and data visualisation.
  • Machine learning: Nowadays, most e-commerce websites offer enhanced user experience and improved search functionalities using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence using Python.

C++ Vs Java Vs Python

The following table summarizes the significant differences between C++ vs. Java vs Python.

TOPICC++JavaPython
Compiled vs. InterpretedCompiled Programming LanguageJava is both Compiled and Interpreted.Interpreted Programming Language
Platform DependenceC++ is platform dependentJava is platform-independentPython is platform-independent
Operator OverloadingC++ supports operator overloadingJava does not support operator overloadingPython supports operator overloading
InheritanceC++ provides both single and multiple inheritancesIn Java, single inheritance is possible while multiple inheritances can be achieved using InterfacesPython provides both single and multiple inheritances
Thread SupportC++ does not have built-in support for threads; It depends on LibrariesJava has built-in thread supportPython supports multithreading
Execution TimeC++ is very fast. It’s, in fact, the first choice of competitive programmersJava is much faster than Python in terms of speed of execution but slower than C++.Due to the interpreter, Python is slow in terms of execution
Program HandlingFunctions and variables are used outside the classEvery bit of code(variables and functions) has to be inside the class itself.Functions and variables can be declared and used outside the class
Library SupportC++ has limited library supportJava provides library support for many concepts like UIPython has a huge set of libraries and modules.
Code LengthCode length is lesser than Java, around 1.5 times less.Java code length is bigger than Python and C++.Python has a smaller code length

There is an endless debate regarding the best programming language, C++ vs Java vs Python. In general, there cannot be a single winner. Each programming language is designed to address a particular problem and is well-suited to address that issue. So, it is important to first list down all the requirements and the priorities and then decide which path to choose

As you now have a clear overview of the three popular programming languages and the differences between C++ vs Java vs Python, let’s have a look at which one to choose in different situations and different requirements.

Again the above categorisation is just for reference, the programming language to choose more or less depends on the requirements. So it is crucial to first understand all the requirements, and then choose the one between C++ vs Java vs Python which can do the most without presenting many issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Python better than C++?

As far as language simplicity is concerned, Python is better than C++. Also, Python has huge built-in library support and is extensively used in Data Science and Machine Learning. While C++ is quite faster in terms of speed of execution.
So overall it depends on the requirements if the target is to do Machine Learning, then go for Python. If the target is to do system programming, then go for C++.

Which is better C++ or Java?

Both C++ and Java are high-level languages, and both have their pros and cons. C++ is known for high-performance, speed, and memory management. While Java is known for platform independence.
Overall, C++ is a simple language and is much easier to write code in C++ than in Java. C++ provides a vast library (Standard Template Library) and resources needed for competitive programming. While Java is extensively used for development purposes.

What’s the difference between Java C++ and Python?

Java is platform-dependent and is a compiled programming language and C++ is compiled and platform-dependent, whereas Python is interpreted and Platform-independent. For more differences between C++ vs Java vs Python, refer to the difference table above.

Is Java closer to C++ or Python?

Java is closer to C++ than Python. Both Java and C++ are compiled programming languages and strictly use syntax norms.

What is Python not good for?

Python is not good in terms of speed of execution and Memory Consumption.
Speed of Execution: Python is an interpreted language and is slower than Java and C++.
Memory Consumption: Due to the inflexibility of data types, Python memory consumption is too high. Therefore it’s not suitable for memory-intensive tasks

Is C++ or Python better for games?

C++ is closer to hardware and allows the management of the memory directly and is thus extremely popular for gaming. On the other hand, building games in Python requires less time and Python’s PyGame and Pyglet ( top game development modules) make Python good for simple 2D games.

Key Takeaways

This blog attempted to give a brief overview of the three most popular programming languages, C++, Java, and Python, along with their use-cases. Important differences between C++ vs Java vs Python are also being discussed. You can also check out the video by our mentors.

Once you have understood and made up your mind to learn a programming language, make sure to check out the Guided Paths available on CodeStudio for free. These Guided Paths are designed to give an overall understanding and to equip you with the necessary knowledge.

By Manvi Chaddha