Python, on the other hand, is incredibly popular outside of the web and is considered data science royalty. The latest TIOBE index placed Python in the top spot as the most popular programming language based on search engine results and the number of skilled programmers and resources available.
When looking at Node.js vs Python, it is essential to look at their defining features and other factors that make them unique. This can help you decide if you should choose one over the other or if they can help you achieve your career goals. Let’s start with an overview before we go over the differences between Node.js and Python.
What Is Python?
Python was first released by Guido van Rossum back in 1991 and was intended to be a replacement for the ABC language. Python is general-purpose, interpreted, high-level, and dynamically typed. It’s also object-oriented and designed around code readability. To that extent, it has good whitespace and built-in indenting that makes the code look a lot better.
Python is open-sourced for commercial projects and otherwise under the GPL license. It has a rich standard library and supports garbage collection. Python can also integrate with many other languages and platforms using the Python Package Index (PyPI) third-party modules. Python is debatably the language of choice for software developers in the AI or machine learning field.
What Is Node.js?
Node.js can run on OS, Windows, and Linux. It is also part of the popular MEAN and MERN stacks. It has a wide range of uses, which makes it an ideal choice for new coders to learn. There is also a strong Node.js community of developers who help each other with projects.
Python vs Node.js: An In-Depth Comparison
Node.js vs Python: Typing and Syntax
Python is also built around readability. For example, instead of curly braces to delineate blocks and lines of code, Python uses indents. Therefore, all code written in Python will be more neat and readable than code in a language doesn’t use indents. It can also be much more forgiving since it doesn’t use semicolons.
Python vs Node.js: Speed and Performance
When looking at Python vs Node.js performance, it’s essential to remember that they are pretty close in form. They are both interpreted, dynamically typed, and high-level technologies that work with popular languages in coding. However, when benchmarked, Node.js comes out on top.
With that said, Python isn’t slow either. It’s only slow when compared to Node.js for crunching large numbers. For most casual applications, the difference will be immeasurably small. Unless you’re trying to handle huge traffic as Google or Facebook does, or you’re trying to count large datasets, you’re probably not going to be losing much of your day running Python over Node.js.
Node.js vs Python: Libraries
Both Node.js and Python have a huge community of developers. They, in turn, create a plethora of libraries that allow community members to execute specific tasks without having to write code from scratch. In other words, libraries afford developers code reusability, allowing for a quicker software development process.
Some of the more popular Python libraries include Pandas, NumPy, and Tensor Flow which can be used to perform data management, simplify mathematical equations, and train machine learning models. Meanwhile, Node.js users can utilize libraries like Express, React, and Request to perform multiple tasks in a more efficient manner.
Python vs Node.js: Applications
Backend Web Development
Learning Node.js is also preferable for its speed and performance, making it an ideal language for real-time applications like instant messaging. Because of this, it’s also good for high-load applications or vendor applications where speed of processing is important.
Python still has some benefits for the backend, however. Python is reliable and consistent. It’s also easier to use and set up, and more friendly to beginners. It’s also preferable for scientific purposes. If your backend needs to perform data science or machine learning-related functions, then Python will work well for you.
Data Science and Machine Learning
With Python, you have a springboard for starting in data science where a variety of modules and frameworks are readily available. Python is a popular choice for data scientists today which means you can also access various learning resources. While it’s possible to build data science models in Node.js, it isn’t preferred because you would have to build everything from scratch.
Node.js vs Python: Scalability
Scalability refers to the system’s capacity to scale without having to fully rework the base code. This is important because today’s applications need to adapt quickly to increasing requests or fluctuating processing demands. A lot of experienced programmers agree that Node.js and Python have great scalability potential.
Python is great because it has built-in data structures, dynamic binding, and dynamic typing. This allows developers to add, remove, or tweak lines of code almost seamlessly as they scale an application. Meanwhile, Node.js is best when used for building network applications, real-time applications, JSON API servers, and distributed single-purpose applications.
Python vs Node.js: Community
Both Python and Node.js are supported by active communities of developers. This provides new programmers with access to an abundance of learning tools and resources that can help them learn Python and Node.js easily. If they are stuck, they can easily ask another experienced developer for assistance. They can also refer to online tutorials or enroll in free courses.
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If you are new to Python and Node.js, you may not even have to worry about writing everything from scratch. Thanks to the huge communities of developers, there are plenty of libraries available that can help you skip through the arduous legwork and go straight to achieving specific tasks in development.
Node.js vs Python: Salary and Job Outlook
Both Python and Node.js are useful skills to have especially if you are venturing into backend development or data science. These career fields are also expected to see significant growth between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development jobs will grow by 25 percent while data science jobs will grow by 36 percent in that period.
When looking at Python vs Node.js salaries, it is evident that both skills can help pave the way for a lucrative career. According to Payscale, those with Python skills make an average of $94,000 a year holding positions such as data scientists and analysts. Meanwhile, those with Node.js skills make an average of $95,000 in roles like software developers and engineers.
Should You Use Node.js or Python?
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a career that is geared toward data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence, Python would likely be the better choice. It also has a simpler, cleaner syntax which makes it more accessible to beginners. Ultimately, when choosing between Node.js vs Python, it all depends on the intended use, career goals, existing skills, and interest.
Pros and Cons of Node.js
- Pro. Can multitask and build scalable applications.
- Pro. Supported by active communities of developers.
- Pro. Efficient handling of processing requests.
- Con. Lack of library support compared to other technologies.
- Con. Can be impeded by heavy computation.
Pros and Cons of Python
- Pro. Beginner-friendly and easy to read.
- Pro. Supported by large communities of developers.
- Pro. Huge collections of libraries and resources.
- Con. High memory consumption.
- Con. Weak in mobile computing.
- Con. Not as fast as other languages like C++ or Java.
Node.js vs Python FAQ
Is Node.js faster than Python?
Yes, Node.js is faster than Python because it runs on the powerful Chrome’s V8 engine. This allows it to handle higher memory and processing speed. Python, on the other hand, executes the code line by line which leads to a slower speed. It also has a high memory consumption which may impede your development process.
How are Python and Node.js related?
How can I integrate Python with Node.js?
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