The first language you decide to learn as a software developer can have an impact on your career path, it also affects how long picking up programming concepts will take. So choosing which language to learn first is an important decision.
Deciding on whether to learn Java or Python first can be difficult especially as both are so popular and there are so many languages to choose from. Both languages have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing between them can be hard.
If you want a career in machine learning or data science then it is best to learn Python first, if you want a career in backend development working on big enterprise applications then learning Java first would be best.
Understanding Java and Python
When it comes to learning programming, Java and Python are two of the most popular languages. Both are used for backend development so deciding on which one to learn first can be difficult. Let’s explore the language and explore a brief history of both.
The initial version of Java, a high-level, object-oriented programming language, appeared in 1995. It is well-known for its stability, security, and performance and is frequently used to create games, mobile apps, and enterprise-level applications.
ava may operate on any machine or operating system that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed because it is also platform-independent. Additionally, because the language is statically typed, variables must be defined before they may be utilized.
Java’s scalability is one of its key benefits. It is favored by developers because it can manage complicated systems and large-scale projects. Additionally, Java contains a sizable library of pre-built classes and APIs, which speeds up development and simplifies code writing.
However, compared to Python, Java has a more difficult learning curve. Its syntax may be more convoluted and difficult for beginners to understand. Furthermore, developers may find Java’s extensive boilerplate code to be both time-consuming and annoying.
A high-level, interpreted programming language called Python was originally made available in 1991. It is popular in industries like data science, machine learning, and web development because of its simplicity, readability, and usability. Python can operate on any device or operating system since it is platform-independent.
Python’s simplicity is one of its key benefits. It is the perfect language for beginners because of its simple grammar and ease of reading. Python also contains a sizable library of pre-built modules and packages, which speeds up development and simplifies code writing.
For complicated systems and large-scale projects, Python might not be the ideal option. It is less effective at handling big amounts of data than Java and is slower. Furthermore, Python’s dynamic typing can make it more difficult to find faults and errors in the code.
Pros and Cons of Learning Java First
Pros of Learning Java First
Here are some of the advantages of learning Java as your first programming language:
- Easy to learn: Java has a straightforward syntax that is simple to comprehend and understand. It is an excellent language for new programmers because it teaches them the basics of the field.
- PortableAny platform with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed may run Java code, making Java code portable. As a result, it is a flexible language with a wide range of applications.
- Object-oriented: Java is an object-oriented language, which implies that it places a strong emphasis on things and how they interact. Because the code is divided into smaller, more manageable pieces, this makes it simpler to design complex programs.
- Good for backend development: Java is a well-liked option for backend development because it is frequently utilized for server-side programming. It contains a huge selection of frameworks and libraries that may be utilized to create scalable and reliable applications.
Cons of Learning Java First
While Java has many advantages, it also has some drawbacks that learners should be aware of:
- Verbose: Java is a verbose language, therefore compared to other languages, it uses more lines of code to do the same work. Coding in general may become more challenging as a result.
- Memory-intensive: Memory-intensive: Because Java uses a lot of memory, it can be difficult for some programs to execute on older computers.
- Steep learning curve: Although Java is simple to learn, there is a steep learning curve when it comes to more complex concepts like concurrency and multi-threading. Beginners may find it difficult to master these ideas because of this.
Pros and Cons of Learning Python First
Pros of Learning Python First
Python is a popular programming language that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially in the field of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Here are some of the pros of learning Python first:
- Simple Syntax: Python’s comparatively simple syntax makes it easier to learn for new users. A wonderful first language for beginning programmers, the language is made to be simple to understand and write.
- Large Community: Python has a sizable and vibrant developer community that actively contributes to the language by building libraries and frameworks that facilitate software development. This indicates that new programmers have access to a tonne of support.
- Flexible: Python is adaptable and may be used for a variety of tasks, including scientific computing and web development. This makes it a flexible language that may be applied to a range of businesses and professions.
- Great for Prototyping: Python is a great language for prototyping and testing ideas. Its simple syntax and ease of use make it easy to quickly create and test new ideas.
Cons of Learning Python First
While Python is a great language, there are also some cons to learning it first. Here are a few:
- Not Very Fast: Python is not particularly quick because it is an interpreted language, which makes it slower than compiled languages like Java. In some applications where speed is crucial, this may be a drawback.
- Less Structured: The flexibility of Python can potentially be a drawback. The language is less organized than some other languages, making it more challenging to collaborate with other developers and maintain huge codebases.
- Less Popular in Industry: Python is still less popular than some other languages like Java and C++, despite being on the rise in various areas. This implies that you might be better off learning a different language if you’re searching for work in a particular industry.
Choosing Between Java and Python
When deciding whether to learn Java or Python first, there are several factors to consider. This section will explore some of the key considerations to help you make an informed decision.
Factors to Consider
One important factor to consider is your primary purpose for learning a programming language. If you are interested in data science or machine learning, Python may be the better choice due to its robust libraries and ease of use. On the other hand, if you are interested in developing enterprise-level applications, Java may be the better choice due to its scalability and performance.
Another factor to consider is the job market. While both languages are in high demand, Java is often used in more traditional enterprise environments, while Python is more commonly used in data science and web development.
Finally, consider your learning style. Python is often considered easier to learn due to its simple syntax and readability, while Java may be more challenging for beginners due to its complex syntax and object-oriented programming concepts.
Which Language is Best for You?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to learn Java or Python first will depend on your personal goals and preferences. If you are interested in data science or web development, Python may be the better choice. If you are interested in enterprise-level development or Android app development, Java may be the better choice.
It’s also worth noting that learning one language can make it easier to learn the other in the future. Both languages are widely used and have large, supportive communities, so no matter which language you choose to learn first, you will have access to a wealth of resources and support.
Which is more in demand: Python or Java?
Both Python and Java are widely sought after by employers in terms of job demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of software developers will increase by 22% between 2019 and 2029, which is substantially faster than the average for all occupations. This implies that both Python and Java developers will have plenty of employment options.
It’s important to note, meanwhile, that Python has seen continuously rising demand in recent years. In reality, Python has been the most widely used programming language since 2018, according to the TIOBE Index. Python’s acceptance as the preferred language for data science and machine learning is part of the reason behind this.
On the other hand, Java has long been a well-liked language for business development and is still frequently utilized in sectors including finance, healthcare, and government. Java is utilized by more than 9 million developers and is present on more than 3 billion devices worldwide, according to the Java SE Overview.
Overall, Python and Java are both in high demand, so choosing which language to learn first will depend on your learning preferences and the kind of company you want to work for.
Which Pays More: Java or Python?
Which language pays more is a frequently asked question while deciding between Java and Python. According to a Stack Overflow study conducted in 2022, Python developers make more money overall than Java developers. It’s crucial to remember that this could change according to the region, sector, and level of experience.
Both Python and Java are generally in demand and can result in lucrative employment. When choosing which language to learn first, it’s important to take into account aspects other than money, such as personal hobbies, employment potential, and learning curve. Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that just because you learn one language doesn’t mean you can’t later learn the other. Many programmers are multilingual and employ a variety of languages.
Ultimately, the decision of which language to learn first should be based on your goals and circumstances. Java and Python have their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to decide which one best aligns with your needs.
Nathan Britten, the founder and editor of Developer Pitstop, is a self-taught software engineer with nearly five years of experience in front-end technologies. Nathan created the site to provide simple, straightforward knowledge to those interested in technology, helping them navigate the industry and better understand their day-to-day roles.