Should I learn Python or Java?
If you are interested in working on web development, machine learning, automation tools, and data science, you should learn Python. If you want to work on big data, web applications, cloud-based app development, and Android apps, you should learn Java.
I have worked with both Python and Java on simple web development projects, I have found each of them very useful but I have enjoyed working with Python because of its simplicity.
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.
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.
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 Java is a very popular choice for web development, big data, cloud development, Android applications, etc.
Generally, Python is more popular than Java. 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, Java is the 6th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 33.27% of professional developers.
Further, more developers love Python than Java. Python is loved by 67.34% of developers versus 32.66% of developers who dreaded it.
Java on the other hand is loved by 45.75% of developers versus 54.25% of developers who dreaded it.
So, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Python over Java.
Plus, there are more opportunities for Python Developers than Java developers because Python is used by many companies and startups than Java.
However, because Python is very popular and commonly used by many companies, there is going to be more competition for Python opportunities than for Java opportunities. In this regard, a Java developer may get a job easily because of less competition.
Java is also one of the most popular programming languages taught to many students of computer science in many universities around the world.
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, Python developers get higher salaries than Java developers. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Python Developers get an average salary of $71,105 per year while Java developers get $64,527 per year.
Glassdoor reported that in the United States, Python developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $82,930 per year, and Java developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $78,896, about $4,000 lower than Python developers.
So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a language or framework, you should learn Python over Java because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a Python 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 easily pick up and develop different types of applications, you should learn Python.
Python is far much easy to learn than Java. 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 Java.
In contrast, Java is verbose, it is not very easy to work with a Java codebase, and Java is not a beginner-friendly language, especially when compared to Python which is easy to pick up.
The good news is that there are many helpful resources for both Java and Python to help you learn the languages. The Java and Python communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.
FEATURES AND APPLICATIONS
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 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.
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.
Java 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 a popular language that you can learn easily, develop applications quickly, fetch a higher salary, and work on machine learning, data science, and web development applications, you should learn Python over Java.
If you want a 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 Python.