When it comes to learning an object-oriented programming language, you might consider starting with either Python or Java. While Python can be more user-friendly than Java, as it has a more intuitive coding style, both languages do have their unique advantages for developers and end users. However, if you are just beginning your path towards a programming career, you might want to start by learning Python, as it is less complex. On the other hand, you will be ahead of many of your colleagues if you are able to understand both. With that in mind, here are the main similarities and differences.
Java is unique in its own way and for an advanced programmer, no problem to use. The first Java version 1.0 was released in 1995. By 2004, Java 5.0 was released; this version saw the insertion of generics into the Java language, providing Java with more efficient code and type safety. To date, the latest version of Java is SE 8, and it made its debut in 2014.
Currently, it is widely used as the key programming platform on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Java programming language forms a large part of the basis for Android’s operating systems. Java syntax is primarily a derivative from C++ and combines universal, organized and object oriented programming that offers automatic memory management. Using Java byte-code is advantageous to porting since it has similarities to machine code. Other benefits to Java include:
•Curly braces used for noting the start and end of functions
•Programs are larger
•Does not compile native bytecode
•Can be run on any operating system that can run the Java Virtual Machine
•Cannot change data types of variables
•Object-oriented programming is mandatory
Python was first released in 1989. As a high-level programming language, it makes a strong case for readable code. In addition to supporting object-oriented programming, it also supports imperative and functional programming. This multi-paradigm language is also structure supportive. It offers ‘meta-programming’ and ‘logic programming,’ as well as ‘magic methods.’ Other features include:
•Duck typing (Strongly typed)
•Uses whitespace to convey the beginning and end of blocks of code.
•Programs are small and therefore run much faster
•You need less code to create a program
•This program is slow in execution
•Compiles native bytecode
•You can assign a string to a variable that once held an integer
•Easier to read and understand relative to Java
•Is not supported across a wide variety of platforms
•Object-oriented programming is optional
Both of these development programs come with their strong suits. While Java allows you to enjoy cross-platform support, you can still execute Python on at least 10 different operating systems. You need to determine what your end goal is before you decide on which program to use. Java, however, is not recommended for beginners as it is a more complex program. Python is more forgiving as you can take shortcuts such as reusing an old variable.
Additionally, many users find Python easier to read and understand than Java. At the same time, Java code can be written once and executed from anywhere. A benefit to the Java platform is that it lets you download questionable code and run it in a secure environment, which cannot affect its host system. Furthermore, Java is network-centric, meaning you can create network-based applications.
Whichever you choose to learn is based upon your preferences, determination, and background. If you already comprehend the basics of Python, you might want to expand upon your knowledge before moving on to Java. However, if you have the time and will, learning Java allows you to program for a wide variety of environments that might make it more fulfilling in the long run.
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Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Google Plus, Twitter @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.
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