Python versus Java - where is the difference?

Sunscrapers Team

26 October 2022, 11 min read

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What's inside

  1. Introduction to comparing Python to other languages
  2. Python vs. Java - clash of the titans
  3. When to choose Python and when to use Java?
  4. Advantages of Python and Java
  5. Summary

Introduction to comparing Python to other languages

Since Python is one of the most popular languages, it is often compared to others, such as Java, its biggest competitor, a prevalent and widely used programming language and platform.

Python was designed to be accessible, and what comes with it - writing Python code is considered rather easy. A considerable advantage of Python is also its wide selection of libraries and frameworks. There are Python libraries dedicated to machine learning, data science, data visualization, data analysis, game development, and much more. Some of the best-known Python frameworks are Django, Flask, and Pyramid.


public class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello, World");


print("Hello, World")

Multifunctional, object-oriented Java that can be used to design desktop, web, and mobile apps versus Python - general-purpose, strongly associated with Data Science and Machine Learning.

What makes them different, and how to decide which one to choose?

Python vs. Java - clash of the titans

Python is a high-level, interpreted, general-purpose programming language, while Java is a high-level, compiled, object-oriented programming language.

Python’s design philosophy emphasizes code readability with significant indentation. Java is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.

Let’s focus on the key differences between Python and Java.

  • Language type

First things first -as already being said, Python is an interpreted and dynamically typed language while Java is a compiled and statically typed.

It basically means that Python has a faster launch time but slower run time, while Java, on the contrary - has a slower launch time and a faster run time.

  • Speed

Language does not have a speed per se but semantics. To compare speed, you must choose specific implementations to compare.


  • Java is faster as it is a compiled language; it takes less time to execute a code.
  • Python is an interpreted language, and it determines the type of data at run time, which makes it slower comparatively.

Python is slower to run than Java. So, when developing heavy applications, better choose Java.

Python is faster to write than Java. So, when developing small applications, better choose Python.

However, Python is more suitable because it can adapt to legacy systems easier. Instead of rewriting and redoing the system (like with Java), you can make adjustments.

Also, an important note to additionally increase Python efficiency is that you can use Cython and Jython for writing C/C++ modules and Java code.

To sum up, if you have a tight deadline, use Python. It only takes 2 lines of code in Python and 10 lines to read from a file in Java.

  • Entry point

Python is always described as a perfect language for beginners because it is user-friendly, and writing a code, even if it’s your first try, is relatively easy. It means that the entry point for Python is low.

At the same time, Java is fairly complicated and can take some time to understand and master. Learning how to write in Java is way more difficult and time-consuming. The entry point is higher than for Python.

  • Stability

Both languages are also compared in terms of stability - which apps are more stable?

Java is considered a language for corporations and big companies. It is because Java is a strong, robust language with a large code volume. Besides, Java is constantly updated, and libraries and frameworks are upgraded, so the constant reviews keep the applications stable, and crash or lag is less possible when there is heavy traffic.

Python, however, is also successfully used by tech giants. And honestly, it is as stable as Java. Every new release of the programming language aims to increase and improve the stability during the development process.

What is the difference? Enterprise-friendly library support. This is why Java is considered more stable than Python in a corporate environment.

  • Cost of development

Development in Java requires more resources, both money and time-wise.

Python is less expensive, which does not automatically make it the worst choice. You can learn enough Python in an afternoon and already feel productive.

  • Trending technologies

When discussing trending technologies, you can’t miss Python. There is no better programming language than this one for artificial intelligence or machine learning (and a lot more). Thanks to its extensive AI/ML library support, Python is definitely a go-to language.

Java enjoys more undeviating refactoring support than Python because of its static type system and universality of IDEs in development. It is more popular for mobile and web applications.

Language typeinterpreted, dynamically typedcompiled, statically typed
Speedlightning fast development speedhigh code complexity and volume
Entry pointlowhigh
Stability (corporate purpose)stablemore stable (thanks to the enterprise-friendly library support)
Resourcesless expensivebigger investment - money and time-wise
Trending technologiesgo-to languagedevelop mobile applications, web applications, and the internet of things

When to choose Python and when to use Java?

In general, programs written in Python are expected to run slower than those written in Java. BUT let us remember that it takes way less time to develop a program in Python than in Java. Python programs are usually three up to 5 times shorter than Java equivalents.

This difference can be attributed to Python’s built-in high-level data types and dynamic typing.

Because of the run-time typing, Python's runtime must work harder than Java JVM.

Considering the above, Python is much better suited as a "glue" language, while Java is better as a low-level implementation language.

The two together make an excellent team. Python and Java are commonly called “a perfect couple”. And here are the reasons why:

  • components can be developed in Java and combined to form applications in Python
  • Python can also be used to prototype components until their design can be "hardened" in a Java implementation
  • in this development, a Python implementation written in Java is under development, which allows calling Python code from Java and vice versa
  • Python source code is translated to Java bytecode (with help from a run-time library to support Python's dynamic semantics)

The question remains: When to use Python and when to use Java?

And as usual, there is no straight right or wrong answer. Your choice depends on your project, your needs, and your expectations.

In general,Java is designed to run anywhere but is mainly used for enterprise applications and desktop GUI apps, while Python is for web, and scientific.

Python is a versatile, easily readable language, popular with startups to make some kind of concept and SMEs, and great for MVP development and prototyping (and continuing to develop this prototype). Python has become a top language in the industries such as fintech, machine learning, and big data. Google uses it for web scanning, and Pixar Animation Studio uses it for movie production. Do you use Spotify? Python is responsible for the song recommendation feature.

Java is a strongly typed object-oriented language and, to be honest, is everywhere: in an android smartphone, in a browser, on a credit card, in Tesla... In general, Java is used for “BIG” projects, large and complex. It is because strongly typed allows for detecting and eliminating most errors at the compilation stage. You can use Java in much more straightforward projects, but it requires managing many additional steps.

If what you care about the most is development speed and you do not want to risk the quality of the final product, use Python. If you value software stability above anything else and have to handle more complicated tasks, you should probably consider Java.

Over the years Python has gained popularity, and its community is constantly growing. Python will be the best choice for you if your path lies somewhere around Web Apps, Big Data, Machine Learning, or AI. It is the favorite language of scientists, statisticians, and computer network specialists and, interestingly, very often chosen by hackers.

Java - backend language is perfect for creating desktop software, mobile applications (Android runs in Java), and games. Corporate and large companies often choose Java for all applications they need to run their business.

Advantages of Python and Java

Like Python, Java leads the rankings, and both languages are trendy and in high demand. It is not an easy choice - Python or Java - both languages have their strong and weak sides.

Advantages of Python over Java

  • Faster launch time. Python has a faster launch time than Java.
  • User-friendly. Python is perfect for junior developers because it is very intuitive.
  • Speed. Building a project with Java can take months because of its high code complexity and volume. This is why projects written in Java often go on for years. Python doesn't have these problems. You can finish the whole project in a matter of months.
  • Resources. Java development is a bigger investment, i.e., it requires more time and money. Python is less expensive, which is why it is the preferred choice.
  • Trending technologies. No programming language is better suited for trending technologies (-) than Python. Python's design and features give it an advantage over all other languages for these trending technologies.

Advantages of Java over Python

  • Faster run time. Java has a shorter run time than Python.
  • Stability. Java has enterprise-friendly library support. These libraries are the reason why Java is more stable than Python.


The main flaw of Python is the runtime - relatively slow compared to other languages, especially Java, which is considered a fast language. But the good thing is that Python gives the ability to integrate other languages (with higher performance) into the code.

Another thing is that Python is very intuitive. It does not require as many lines of code as Java. One of the many reasons Python is so popular is its simplicity - particularly helpful in code readability.

Python is actually one of the best programming languages for beginners. Its syntax is similar to English, which makes it easy to read and understand. With some time and dedication, you can learn to write Python, even if you've never written a line of code before.

Python is also the recommended language on the Raspberry Pi platform (Pi - Python Interpreter) and its use on desktop applications has increased over the past years.

MicroPython implements the Python 3 programming language optimized to run on microcontrollers. For hardware platforms with limited resources, like a microcontroller, you would think that a language like Python would not be a very good option — but that is precisely what MicroPython was created for.

You may know that a microcontroller is small and not as powerful as your computer. However, you may not know that microcontrollers are all around you, adding intelligence and control to your devices. Microcontrollers do relatively simple things daily, reliably, and in a compact package. They compress a CPU, memory, and IO into one general-purpose chip rather than requiring a whole board of chips that team up to perform a task. Microcontrollers are useful, even if their processing power and memory capabilities are limited.

Python is also the most popular introductory teaching language at the Universities. It is very important because the choice of what language to teach first influences many student’s first impression of computer science. Chosen language might also indicate the broader trends in computer science education.

Python surpassed Java, which has been the dominant introductory teaching language over the past decade. Some schools have fully switched over to Python, while others take a hybrid approach, offering Python in CS0 and keeping Java in CS1.

To choose wisely, you must analyze what you expect from the language, your project, and your needs. Both languages are suitable for many people and large communities behind them. If you learn one, it does not mean you won’t need another one.

At Sunscrapers, we trust in Python, but we do not hide from complex projects and other languages if necessary.

Thank you for reading. We hope we have helped answer all your questions regarding this subject. And if you feel like Python is the choice for you and your project, check out the other blog posts we wrote.

FYI, we will be keeping this post up to date and comparing other languages to Python.

Stay tuned.

Sunscrapers Team

Sunscrapers empowers visionary leaders to ride the wave of the digital transformation with solutions that generate tangible business results. Thanks to agile and lean startup methods, we deliver high-quality software at top speed and efficiency.




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