Should I learn Java or C++?
If you want to work on big data, web applications, cloud-based app development, and Android apps, you should learn Java.
On the other hand, if you are interested in systems programming, game development, search engines, etc. you should learn C++.
I have used both Java and C++ and found that each of them was more useful than the other depending on what I was working on.
I have used C++ more than Java because of my Electrical and Electronic Engineering background.
It is worth noting that C++ was designed with an orientation toward system programming and embedded, resource-constrained software and large systems, with performance, efficiency, and flexibility of use as its design highlights.
Java on the other hand is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let programmers write once, run anywhere (WORA).
This means that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need to recompile.
If you are interested in working on electronics and large systems, you should straight away learn C++ over Java. However, there are many factors to consider when learning a new technology or programming language.
Popularity, opportunities, types of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when choosing to learn a programming language or a framework.
POPULARITY AND OPPORTUNITIES
If you want to learn a programming language or framework solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn Java.
Java is a very popular choice for web development, big data, cloud development, Android applications, etc. while C++ is very popular for systems programming and game development.
Generally, Java is more popular than C++. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Java is the 6th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 33.27% of professional developers.
On the other hand, C++ is the 10th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 20.17% of professional developers.
So, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Java.
Plus, there are more opportunities for Java Developers than C++ developers because of its popularity.
Java is also one of the most popular programming languages taught to many students of computer science in many universities around the world.
However, because Java is very popular and commonly used by many companies, there is going to be more competition for Java opportunities than for C++ opportunities.
In this regard, a C++ developer may get a job easily because of less competition.
Another popular criterion that many people use as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.
Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.
Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned. The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.
Generally, C++ developers get higher salaries than Java developers. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, C++ Developers get an average salary of $68,000 per year while Java developers get $64,527 per year.
Glassdoor reported that in the United States, C++ developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $94,116 per year.
On the other hand, Java developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $78,896, about $15,000 lower than C++ developers.
So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a language or framework, you should learn C++, because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a C++ developer than as a Java developer.
Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others. If you want a programming language that you can learn relatively quickly and develop different types of applications, you should learn Java.
Although Java is verbose and not very easy to work with, it is more beginner-friendly when compared to C++.
C++ is one of the most difficult languages to work with. C++ is not very easy to learn and work with, C++ concepts that allow developers to allocate and deallocate memory make it even harder to work with the language.
Other programming languages like Java have a garbage collector for this purpose so that developers don’t have to manually manage memory.
The good news is that there are many helpful resources for both Java and C++ to help you learn the languages. The Java and C++ communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.
PERFORMANCE AND FEATURES
If you plan on working on applications where top-notch performance is critical, you should learn C++ at all costs.
C++ is a very fast and high-performance language compared to Java. C++ is one of the few high-level programming languages in which petaFLOPS computations have been achieved, others being C, Julia, and Fortran.
C++ has many advanced features that make it a popular choice for developing operating systems, compilers, game engines, video games, servers, space probes, desktop applications, telecommunication systems, embedded systems, and many other large applications.
C++ is used by many companies such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, IBM, Epic Games, LinkedIn, NASA, Apple, and many others.
Java helps developers to write once and run everywhere (WORA). This makes Java very popular in the enterprise world. It is suitable for Android app development, web development, big data, micro-services, etc.
Another great feature of Java is its interoperability with other languages like Kotlin and Scala. This makes it easy to call Kotlin or Scala code in a Java codebase and vise-versa.
As a result, developers can add more functionality to their Java codebase seamlessly using Kotlin or Scala.
Although Java is not as performant as C++, it powers some of the complex applications developed by companies like Google, Oracle, Airbnb, Intel, Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, Pinterest, Uber, LinkedIn, Spring, Flipkart, TripAdvisor, and many others.
Once you have evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn depending on the factors that are on your side.
If you want to work on large systems, performance-critical applications, games, and get a high salary, you should learn C++ over Java.
If you want a popular language that can help you work on big data technology, cloud-based applications, web applications, distributed applications, and Android apps, you should learn Java over C++.