What is Java?

Java is a very popular programming language that has been around since 1995. In fact, in May 2020 it fell from no. 1 to no. 2 in the TIOBE index of popularity for the first time since 2015 (It was surpassed by C).

Java is a compiled, statically typed language known for its stability. It requires more code than some other programming languages, and even though that means building a product may take longer, it also makes the software more stable. Additionally, Java has many libraries that add to its stability and make coding easier. It is also often used to build mobile applications, because it is the official language of Android. This means that if you’d like to build Android apps, learning Java would be a good idea.

Despite fierce competition, Java still remains widely used. Over the last couple of years, starting in 2017, the pace of releasing new versions of Java quickened significantly. Since then, the new versions come out every 6 months, with the last one being released in March 2020, and the next one planned for September.

That being said, Java is not the easiest programming language to learn. It will most probably take you a while to become proficient in it. However, its popularity and the need for Java developers will make it worth it.

Python vs Java

Python vs Java

Python and Java are both high-level and object-oriented general purpose programming languages. Both are extremely popular (with Python’s relatively recent rise to popularity) and between them they can cover almost any type of application imaginable. Choosing which one is better for a given project is best done by optimizing the parameters we want to achieve. Ahead, one of the most popular of software development debates: Python vs. Java. 

Which one would you choose? Python, which is clean, readable, allows for impressively quick development and implementation, and offers possibilities in machine learning? Or the more complex and time-consuming Java with its wide and robust libraries, relatively easy scalability and slightly shorter compilation time? If you don’t know the answer yet, fear not. Below we discuss all of the most important aspects of each language and suggest which one will satisfy your software needs best! Python vs. Java: the final throwdown. 

Java vs Python: in numbers

Although a language’s popularity does not necessarily mean quality and best fit for particular software design needs, a significant number of users is needed for a project to be easily recruited for and managed. See below for the comparison of popularity Python vs. Java and its brief explanations. 


The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages compiled monthly and based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors using a given language. You can read more about the index and the organization at: https://www.tiobe.com/

Python vs Java
  • Java and Python consistently rank as the most popular languages amongst software engineers, programming students and developers. However, as TIOBE indices over the years indicate, while Java maintains its popularity since its conception, Python has had meteoritic rise over the years, especially in the early 2000s. Treading behind in its early years, it has become the third most popular programming language according to TIOBE.
  • Python vs Java
  • Python has also been awarded TOBIE’s language of the year three times since the ranking started in 2003, and was most recently crowned in 2018. Java has been language of the year twice, most recently in 2010. 

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey is, according to the creators, the largest and most comprehensive survey of coders around the world. 2020 was the 9th consecutive year for the survey with 90,000 developers responding. More information on SO’s website: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/

Python has surpassed Java in popularity this year, both when it comes to answers from all respondents and answers from professional developers only. SO analysts indicate that as Python has edged out Java, C# and PHP in recent years, it has become the fastest-growing major programming language today.

Python vs JavaPython vs Java

GitHub users

GitHub is one of the world’s largest code development platforms. It is the largest host of source code in the world with more than 40 million users and over 100 million repositories (including at least 28 million public repositories). Ben Frederickson used GitHub’s archives to track programming languages its users write code in. Every user interaction with a repository is counted as using the language of that repository. The aggregated number gives the Monthly Active Users (MAU) each language has. More info on methodology and sources: https://www.benfrederickson.com/ranking-programming-languages-by-github-users/

Python vs Java
Python vs Java
  • Python has surpassed Java in popularity amongst GitHub users in recent years. However, Java is still the third most used language on the platform. 

Other rankings comparing Python vs Java in numbers

  • Number of pull requests in a given language is used to rank programming languages in GitHub Octoverse
  • How likely programmers are to switch a language was measured using blog posts discussing moving from one language to another in order to rank programming languages by Erik Bernhardsson
  • Number of people transitioning languages on GitHub was used by the team at sourced

Python vs Java from the managerial perspective 

Project managers and CTOs use different criteria when assessing the usability of a programming language compared to learners, developers, and engineers. We delve into some of the most important aspects of software development from a managerial and institutional perspective below.

Python vs Java: Developer productivity

    • Points for Python
    • Python is a dynamically typed language, whereas Java is statistically typed. This means in Python declaring the type of the variable is not necessary when writing the code. This leads to greater flexibility and more compact coding.
    • Python is known for being concise and readable, allowing for fewer lines for code than Java to perform similar tasks. Some coders claim that developing can be up to 10x faster (in terms of developer’s productivity) in Python than in Java.
    • Because of its development time efficiency, Python is preferred when releasing an app under the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) model or building and testing prototypes, even if the final product is to be written in a different language. 
    • Points for Java 
    • Static typing in Java means the language is less prone to bugs than Python. 
  • Both Python and Java get an efficiency boost with their wide variety of web development frameworks such as Django or Spring. Such frameworks help developers quickly build a variety of programs, from small web apps to complex systems.
  • As a result, Java projects usually take years, with a year-long project considered “small”. Conversely, projects developed in Python can be finalized within months. 

Java vs Python: Scalability and flexibility

    • Points for Java
    • Java, because of its powerful libraries, is a great tool for designing sizable projects that are easily scalable. Java Platform allows for expanding your code with as many features as you want. Java’s development environment offers a wide choice of APIs, frameworks, plug-ins and libraries, as well as Runtime Environment and Java Virtual Machine, offering flexibility and scalability.
    • Existence of intermediary bytecode in Java allows the use of other languages apart from Java in JVM, which can also compile to bytecode and be run within the virtual machine. The most popular of those include Clojure, Groovy, Kotlin, and Scala. This paved a way for a robust “JVM ecosystem,” which allows sharing and support of common libraries and frameworks for other languages that work in JVM without any modifications.

Java vs Python: Speed

    • Points for Java
    • Java, as a compiled language, is slightly faster in terms of code execution than Python. Generally speaking, developing very big projects with Java allows you to run them at high speed. A good example of Java’s abilities in that scope is Twitter, which was initially developed using Ruby on Rails. Twitter eventually switched to Java, and JVM is now used for web app’s back-end.
    • Points for Python
    • Python, as an interpreted programming language, is not the quickest and takes longer than Java to execute code. However, it is possible to achieve C-like performance in terms of speed with the use of Cython, which is a popular superset of Python often used for machine learning algorithms.

Environments of operation

    • Points for Java
    • Java is one of the preferred languages for Android app development. This gives it an advantage in projects that will eventually move or be used in mobile environments. 
    • Points for Python
    • Python’s interpreted nature allows delivering applications through different platforms, which makes Python a language suitable for general development. 
    • A mix of ultra-powerful specialized libraries and general flexibility in coding makes Python a preferred language for projects biased towards data science, deep learning, image recognition, or machine learning.

Python vs Java: Cost

    • Points for Python
    • Because of developers’ higher efficiency, lower number of person-hours and lines of code needed, projects developed in Python are generally cheaper. 
    • Moreover, Java usually requires larger development teams than Python.


    • Points for Java
    • When security is of high importance, Java may be more advantageous. It is commonly used by banks when creating their web applications due to its good results in security functionality and the environment. 
    • Java’s environment includes access to a variety of security features, such as advanced authentication and access control, or cryptography. 
    • Points for Python
    • Projects developed with Python, with a skilled coder at the steering wheel, can be as secure as those developed with Java. It just takes a bit more expertise. 
    • Additionally, Python has become the preferred choice for fintech companies due to its various characteristics. As security is a chief concern for all FinTech products, the sector’s reliance on Python suggests security is also easily achieved when developing projects with this language. 

Python vs Java from developer perspective 

Developers focus on different features when looking for a language to learn and develop in

Entry point and learning curve

    • Points for Python
    • Python has a relatively low entry point and it is easy to grasp the basics of writing code in Python. It’s the perfect choice for programming newcomers and junior developers, however it has a steeper learning curve and becoming proficient in it takes time and expertise. 
    • Issues with Java
    • Java has a much higher entry point, meaning it is much more difficult to start coding after getting the basics and each API (application programming interface) has its own intricacies. 
    • Points for Java
    • However, once a developer puts in the work to grasp and learn full capabilities Java offers, higher-quality code can be achieved from day one. This means that if you have the time, it will be worth it!

Community and library support

Both Python and Java are open-source and boast huge and active communities which contribute to the languages themselves and offer support for newcomers and experienced users alike. Additionally, both languages come with a wide array of libraries, created and supported by the community. 

Python vs Java: summary

Python impresses most with developer productivity, as it allows for fast development of applications and less person-hours. Java, on the other hand, compiles faster, but neither language is a top speed performer. Both programming languages are aided by a vast array of libraries and an involved and supportive programming community. 

In terms of preferred language for a given project, Python is ideal for projects that benefit from speedy development and a lower budget. It is also perfect for applications developed under the MVP model, and projects that require sophisticated data analytics and data visualization. Java on the other hand seems to suit mobile app development best, as it is one of Android’s preferred programming languages. It is also widely popular in the banking sector, with a proven security record.

Python vs Java: differences and uses

Good forStatistics, analyticsLow budget projectsTight deadline projectsMachine learningFinTechEnterprise-scale projects (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)Projects that benefit from JVM and Java-particular libraries
Bad for Data processing—it is not designed to perform well in highly specialized apps for data processingAnalytics and statistics—Java cannot offer advanced packages in this area

Python vs Other Programming Languages

Java in numbers

Statistics of Java programming language based on TIOBE index, Stackoverflow Developer Survey 2020 and The State of Developer Ecosystem 2020 by Jetbrains.

  • Number2 in TIOBE index
  • Used by40,2%Developers
  • Loved by44,1% Developers
  • Primary language37% Developers
  • Want to learn8,8% Developers

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