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Python vs. Javascript: Benefits and Differences of Each Programming Language

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Python vs. Javascript: Benefits and Differences of Each Programming Language

When it comes to programming, there are hundreds of languages at your disposal that you can use. From standard options like Java, Python, JavaScript, and C++ to esoteric options like #hell and !I!M!P!O!S!S!I!B!L!E!, there is no shortage of ways you can convince your computer to do tasks for you.

Python and JavaScript are two prevalent programming languages that you’ll encounter as a programmer. Their wide breadth of uses makes them extremely effective languages to learn. With these two languages under your belt, you can make almost anything. But what’s the difference between them? Let’s take a look under the hood.

Python vs. Javascript: A Side-by-Side Comparison

PythonJavaScript
Main UseScientific Programming, backend ProgrammingUser-Faced Programming, interactive Webpages
Designed byGuido van RossumBrendan Eich
ParadigmObject-oriented, procedural (imperative), functional, structured, reflectiveEvent-driven, functional, imperative, procedural, object-oriented programming
First ReleaseFebruary 20th, 1991December 4th, 1995
Stable ReleaseDecember 2022June 2021

Python vs. JavaScript: What’s the Difference?

Many differences between Python and JavaScript must be considered when deciding which language you want to learn. The two languages have different uses and practical applications, for starters. So, you’ll need to determine which language is most useful for your current project. They also have many differences under the hood that make them different when using them.

From how they define code blocks to how they name variables, the two languages are not analogous, and you’ll need to learn quite a bit of new information when going from one language to another.

Practical Applications

The first significant difference between Python and JavaScript is their practical applications. Python is an object-based backend programming language, while JavaScript is an event-driven front-end programming language designed for creating interactive web pages.

Python is a general-purpose programming language that supports multiple paradigms, making it an excellent choice for programmers who don’t necessarily know what they’ll be programming next. Thus, it’s found a home in scientific programming and laboratories where users will use the programming language to perform mathematics and other tasks for their research.

Conversely, JavaScript is an event-driven front-end programming language designed to interface with humans rather than computers. JavaScript is designed to create interactive web pages, namely the elements your layperson users will see. While JavaScript is generally used for web development, frameworks like ReactNative allow people to use JavaScript to program for multiple platforms. So, any application you use may be running JavaScript behind the scenes!

Python can be used for web development, but it’s typically used on backend tasks like creating and managing servers rather than front-end tasks like creating a web application that allows users to try on makeup virtually.

Structure and Syntax

JavaScript and Python also differ significantly in structure and syntax. Therefore, you’ll need to learn when to use certain structural and syntactic rules when switching between these two languages because messing up the syntax and structure will cause your program to break.

Javascript code
Whether JavaScript or Python is better for you depends entirely on your very specific intentions and uses in programming.

Code Blocks

One crucial way JavaScript and Python differ is how they define code blocks. Code blocks need to be defined, so the code knows when to start and stop executing commands and which commands to execute together to produce a particular result.

Code blocks in Python are defined using indents. In a Python code block, you’ll see many indented lines of code; these indents indicate that the code in the indents is grouped together under the code that is not indented. The more indents you see, the more code blocks within code blocks exist. Code blocks in Python look like this.

if x = 5:
            print(x)

JavaScript defines its code blocks using curly brackets. They also use indentations, but the indents are for making the code more readable rather than to define the code block. JavaScript code blocks look like this:

if (x = 5) {

console.log(x)

}

Defining Variables

There is also a difference in defining the variables you use in your code between Python and JavaScript. Python’s variable definition code is relatively simple. It uses = to define the value of a variable, such as:

x = 5

JavaScript has two functions that allow it to define variables var and let. It looks like this:

var x = 5;

let x = 5;

The difference between var and let is determined by where the variables are available. Variables defined with let are only available in the block in which they’re defined. Variables defined with var are available throughout the rest of the code. In JavaScript, you must end the line with a semicolon, but in Python, you just start a new line.

Python and JavaScript also use different case standards when naming variables. For example, Python uses snake_case, lowercase letters separated by underscores. In contrast, JavaScript uses lowerCamelCase when the first word is lowercase and every new word is capitalized.

Defining Constants

Constants are variables with values that cannot be changed during the execution of the program. How you define constants in Python differs from how you define constants in JavaScript. This is how you define your constants in Python:

CONSTANT_A = 5

This will define the constant in the code and make it so that any executed code cannot change “CONSTANT_A.” You must type the constant name in all caps with underscores separating any words.

To define a constant in JavaScript, you use the following code string:

const CONSTANT_A = 5;

The const command creates a read-only reference to the value you designate, in this case, 5.

Data Types and Structures

There are also differences in the types of data and data structures you use when using Python and JavaScript. For example, you can use three numeric data types in Python and two in JavaScript. These data types can store numerical data to be manipulated by your code.

You can use three different Python numeric data types: integers (int), floating-point numbers (float), and complex. Each type has various features that allow you to manipulate them within your code. Conversely, the two types of numerical data types in JavaScript are Number and BigInt. Both integers and floating-point numbers are considered to be Numbers.

There are also the None and null values. These represent a numerical variable that doesn’t have a value yet. This function defines variables that will be given a value by the code later but don’t start with one. JavaScript also has an undefined variable value, allowing you to create a variable without assigning it a value. You must declare a value for your variables in Python, even if the variable’s initial value is “None.”

There are also differences in the data structures used by Python and JavaScript. For example, Python has a built-in data structure called tuples that can be used to organize data. JavaScript has no equivalent function, but you can use the features of the code to produce a similar data structure manually.

Some data structures have analogous functions between the two languages, such as Lists and Arrays.

There are more differences between Python and JavaScript on the code side. Still, many of these require higher levels of knowledge of programming and mathematics to understand. So, we won’t be covering those in this article. However, if you’d like a more in-depth article about the differences in syntax and structures in Python and JavaScript, let us know!

Python vs. JavaScript: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • Python is often referred to as a “batteries included” programming language due to its comprehensive standard library.
  • Guido van Rossum began working on Python as a successor to the ABC coding language in the 1980s. The language first debuted in 1991.
  • As of 2022, 98% of websites use at least some JavaScript in their design.
  • JavaScript was initially only used for web pages. However, newer libraries allow the programming language to be used with applications and servers.
  • While Java and JavaScript have similar names, they are not at all alike.

Python vs. JavaScript: Which One is Better for You?

The real question in determining what programming language you want to use for your project is its purpose. For example, client-side programming would benefit from and be well done in JavaScript. However, backend coding would be better done in Python. Python is generally not suitable for creating GUIs and client-side interfaces. Rather, it’s less ideal than something like JavaScript for that purpose.

With the massive breadth of programming languages available, it makes sense to want to use the best programming language you can for your project. JavaScript and Python are different animals, and you’ll want to heed their differences when choosing one for your project. However, it’s possible to use both languages in one project to create and manage different things simultaneously! So, maybe you don’t have to choose!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is JavaScript used for?

JavaScript is primarily used for programming client-side, user-facing interfaces.

What is Python used for?

Python is primarily used for backend programming. However, it is a general-use programming language that can effectively be used for many different projects.

What are the main features of Python?

Python is often loved for its easy-to-learn, easy-to-read code. It is also open source and the libraries for the program are freely available.

What are the main features of JavaScript?

One of the most important features of JavaScript is that it’s a lightweight programming language that can run in web pages without causing significant lag or slowdown. It’s also excellent at creating interactive programs that allow users to interface with a more heavyweight program in the background.

Which is better, Python or JavaScript?

Neither Python nor JavaScript is “better” or “worse,” they’re just “different.”

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