Should I Learn Python or C++?
If you are interested in working on systems, games, search engines, etc. you should learn C++. On the other hand, if you are interested in working on web development, machine learning, automation tools, and data science, you should learn Python.
I have used both Python 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 Python 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.
Python on the other hand focuses on simplicity and readability. Rather than building all of its functionality into its core, Python was designed to be highly extensible through modules. Python is commonly used for web development, machine learning, and data science.
If you are interested in working on electronics and large systems, you should straight away learn C++. 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 Python.
Python is a very popular choice for web development, data science, machine learning, automation tools, etc. while C++ is very popular for systems programming and game development.
Generally, Python is more popular than C++. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Python is the 4th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 43.51% 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.
Further, more developers love Python than C++. Python is loved by 67.34% of developers versus 32.66% of developers who dreaded it.
C++ on the other hand is loved by 48.39% of developers versus 51.61% of developers who dreaded it.
So, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Python.
Plus, there are more opportunities for Python Developers than C++ developers because Python is used by many companies and startups than C++.
However, because Python is very popular and commonly used by many companies, there is going to be more competition for Python 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 Python developers.
Glassdoor reported that in the United States, C++ developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $94,116 per year, and Python developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $82,930, about $11,000 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 Python developer.
Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others. If you want a programming language that you can easily pick up and develop different types of applications, you should learn Python.
Python is far much easy to learn than C++. Python is beginner-friendly and it has an English-like, easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with C++.
Contrastingly, 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 Python 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 Python and C++ to help you learn the languages. The Python 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 Python. 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.
Python has a large standard library that provides tools and features suited for many applications. It supports many standard protocols and formats like HTTP, MIME, and many others.
It also includes modules that can be used for relational database connection, unit testing, and manipulation of regular expressions.
Python is not as performant as C++ but it has many amazing features, libraries, and packages that make it a popular choice for web development, scientific and numeric applications, system administration, GUI development, and more.
Python powers some of the complex applications developed by companies like Google, NASA, IBM, Microsoft, Meta, Cisco, Duolingo, Pinterest, Reddit, Pixar, Netflix, 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 learn easily, develop applications quickly, and work on machine learning, data science, and web development applications, you should learn Python.
If you want to work on large systems, performance-critical applications, games, and get a high salary, you should learn C++.