JavaScript vs Python: What Developers Say

02 Jul 2021

#Idealogic Insights

#Mobile Development

#Web Development

In our previous articles, we said that as mobile and web adoption keep growing, the IT industry rides the wave — with the mounting demand for IT solutions also rises the supply. The number of developers increases every day — they are attracted by the innovativeness of the industry, constant development, flexible working conditions, and, of course, attractive remuneration.

Today, there are about 700 programming languages in the world, but the list of truly notable ones is rather short. JavaScript and Python are considered to be the two most popular programming languages, and software engineers constantly argue as to which one is better. Today, we’ll compare JavaScript and Python and get to know where best to apply them. And make no mistake — this article is no mere theory. We sat down with Idealogic JS and Python developers and asked them about the programming languages in practice. But before getting down to their insights, let’s first remind ourselves what JavaScript and Python actually are.

What is Python

Python is one of the most popular and widely used general-purpose programming languages. It was invented in the 1980s by Guido van Rossum as an object-oriented programming language. It means that Python developers build apps and websites with virtual building blocks (objects). Python and other object-oriented programming languages provide developers with the ability to create virtual objects that can be given unique abilities and attributes. Such a model allows for reducing the complexity for Python developers as it mimicks real-world building frameworks and gives software engineers a clear structure.

What is JavaScript

While Python is in essence an object-oriented programming language, JavaScript, on the other hand, is a scripting one. It means that JS basically tells computer programs (web applications, websites, etc.) to perform some action — to “do something.” Scripting languages automate app and website processes that otherwise would need to be done by users. Without JS and other scripting languages, any updates on a web page that you visit would require you to manually reload it. Scripting is also responsible for all the animations, refreshing, adjusting, etc.

Python or JavaScript: When to choose?

Both Python and JavaScript are quite popular among software engineers. JavaScript is considered to be the most widely used programming language with over 67% of software developers using it as of 2020. Python holds the second position and is used by about 44% of IT specialists globally. Still, Python developers constantly argue with JS developers as to what language is superior. Either of the languages has some advantages and drawbacks as well as best suited use cases. So, when to choose JS over Python and vice versa?

What JS developers say

  • According to JavaScript developers, JS is a go-to programming tool for frontend web development — all the visible parts that users interact with while surfing the web.
  • JavaScript is embedded in all major web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) — all of them have engines able to render JS. For JavaScript developers it means that there is no need to download any compliers or additional programs — they can type JS commands directly into an HTML document.
  • JavaScript has high backend potential as well: it is comparatively fast and thus good for highly loaded apps and complex actions execution. JS is also widely used for validation purposes.
  • Thanks to the fact that JS is inherently asynchronous, it is a great match for real-time applications and websites with dynamic content (think interactive forms, scrolling photos, and animations). JS is widely used for turning static web pages into dynamic ones.
  • Also, JavaScript developers claim that it is a popular tool to use in mobile development (think React Native).
  • It has its own libraries and frameworks which help JS developers use pre-written code for basic JavaScript functions which may significantly facilitate and speed up the process. Some of them are ReactJS, AngularJS, and SvelterJS.

What Python developers say

While JavaScript does hold a top position in terms of popularity and usage, Python can also boast some specific features that make it stand out.

  • First of all, starting to code is easier with Python as the very coding process is much more intuitive. Moreover, due to the fact that it’s object-orientedб everything is always very structured in Python.
  • Secondly, Python has also established itself as a go-to tool for Artificial Intelligence development as well as data analysis and Machine learning. Moreover, having a wide scientific community behind it, Python has been at the heart of VR software development from the very inception of the latter.
  • Despite being applicable for developing both “client side” (frontend) and “server side” (backend), Python is mostly used for the latter.
  • Python is a perfect tool for connecting existing components of the software or web application together since it uses objects as building blocks.
  • Python is well-suited for creating native apps for desktops.
  • Python also has a large community and is often preferred by old-school developers.
  • Just like JS, Python can boast a few of its own frameworks and libraries that help Python developers code easier and faster.
  • It was used to build a great number of huge and significant projects such as YouTube and Instagram. Among other large organizations that use Python are Spotify, Amazon, NASA, CERN, Reddit, and Wikipedia.

Summary

Both Python and JavaScript have proved to be great programming languages that can cater to various software development needs. There is no ultimate answer as to which one is better as it significantly depends on the conditions of each and every situation. At Idealogic, we have both JS and Python developers and actively use both programming languages. Our choice usually depends on general criteria such as product functionality, desired appearance, preliminary size, and scaling plans.

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