Developing any sort of application, be it web or mobile, demands careful analysis and the knowledge of leading programming languages. Moreover, there are hundreds of programming languages and frameworks – both front-end and backend, at present in the global market. Hence, it becomes a daunting task for the developers to select one programming language for the development project.
Another reason that adds to this confusion is that every project has its own set of requirements and limitations. Similarly, the programming language also has its strength and drawbacks. Especially when we talk about backend frameworks, things become more crucial and complex. There are many backend frameworks, but they all have different capabilities.
That’s why today, we will be comparing the two most popular and effective programming languages viz. Python and Node.js, especially for backend so that you can get an idea of what suits your project needs.
What is Python?
First introduced in1991, Python is a high-level programming language that enables the developers to create exceptional web and mobile applications. Due to its clean and multipurpose coding background, Python has gained huge momentum in the past few years. The developers need to write just a few lines of codes to achieve the desirable outputs.
You can seamlessly use Python programming language to create robust web, mobile, and even desktop applications. It even offers extensive set of libraries and frameworks to ease the development work.
Python offers many benefits to the developers. To name a few, we have:
- It is easy to write codes in Python programming language
- The learning curve of Python is smooth. That means, it is easier to learn Python and write good code using it.
- As the programming language was introduced way before Node.js, it certainly has a larger community that could help you in every coding situation.
- Python is an interpreted language, that means the code gets executed line by line. Hence, if any error occurs in your code, then the execution is stopped there only!
- It offers vast library support so that things can be developed much easily and smoothly.
- Lastly, Python is a free and open-source programming language. So, you can download the source-code and can even modify it as per your use.
As every programming language has certain limitations, so does Python.
- Slow Speed of the Python due to lack of multithreading capability.
- The Python programming language uses a lot of memory when developing applications.
- Python is generally good in developing web applications, and not very good in developing mobile apps. That may be due to poor memory power!
- As Python is a dynamically typed language, so the value of variables can change anytime in the future which can cause runtime errors.
What is Node.js?
Besides faster run-time and scalability, Node.js offers many other advantages to its users.
- Offers asynchronous event-driven inputs and outputs that facilitate the development of real-time applications.
- The speed of code executions and performance is much higher than Python.
- You can seamlessly scale the applications and can even create bigger and more complex applications with Node.js.
- Has a large community of experienced developers.
Similar to Python, node.js also has some limitations in developing applications.
- Dealing with a relational database is a tedious task when dealing with Node.js.
- You cannot smoothly use callback functionality in Node.js as it ends up with tons of nested callbacks.
Hence, this was the basic overview of both the programming languages. But before proceeding further, it is vital to know how the selection of programming language actually affects your project?
How the Choice of Programming Language Affects your Project?
Before you initiate your development project, it is always wise to consider and analyze the tech stack required to develop it. Especially when it comes to the backend, selecting a suitable programming language becomes critical.
Now, as discussed earlier in this blog, every programming language differs in its strengths and limitations. Hence it becomes critical to analyze the ups and downs of a programming language before choosing it for your development project. Furthermore, many factors like budget, target audience and scope of the application also affect the choice of the programming language. Hence, before selecting any of the specific languages, it is vital to know what suits your business goals and customer needs.
With a detailed comparison of the two most popular backend languages i.e. Python and Node.js, you will have a better idea of how various programming languages differ in application areas and benefits.
Which is better, Python or Node.js?
Now that you are aware of why the selection of technology is vital for your project, let us compare the two most effective programming languages of all time, Python and Node.js. This comparison is based on some pre-defined factors that play a vital role in the development market.
Node.js is an event-driven backend framework that offers asynchronous input and output. That means, a certain process is assigned to each outcome and as soon as that event occurs, that process is called without blocking the other threads. This event-driven architecture of Node.js makes it the best programming language in web game and chat application development.
Python, on the other hand, does not have event-based architecture. Instead, it requires special tools for supporting asynchronous programming. One such tool/library that is extensively used to carry out asynchronous programming in Python is asyncio. The Python developers use that library to develop asynchronous applications. However, many leading Python frameworks do not support it and require additional activities to work on it!
2. Speed and Performance
Additionally, in Node.js, a single module caching feature is available which further speeds up the loading time of the apps. All these optimizations make Node.js perfect for developing real-time web applications.
Python on the other hand is somewhat slower than Node.js because of the absence of an event-driven framework. Python processes the information in a single thread, unlike Node.js where multithread phenomena are used. Hence, the processes are called out every time an event occurs, and that makes the loading time of the apps a bit slower as compared to Node.js applications.
However, there is one Python framework called Django which can easily manage the high loads of the application, but it is still not as effective as the Node.js framework.
In today’s competitive world, if your application is not scalable, that means if it cannot extend as per your business growth, then it may be of no use to you after a certain time limit. Node.js is very efficient and useful when it comes to developing scalable applications. Node.js framework is built into the runtime environment and even offers modules and microservices that ease the development process.
The modules and microservices communicate with lightweight mechanisms and run the processes on their own. Moreover, since Node.js has a multithreading facility available, it is also easy for the apps to scale horizontally or vertically by just using some extra modules.
Python again loses the race when it comes to scalability. Firstly, as Python does not support the multi-thread functionality, so executing the apps is somewhat a tedious task. Second, Python is a dynamically typed programming language. That means, you do not have to specify each variable at the time of compilation, but you may have to search for the bugs that occur due to the interpreter misinterpreting the types of variables.
Such cases happen with Python, and so it is not suitable for building large web applications. As the code in Python increases, it becomes exhaustive to handle all the bugs and codes properly.
4. Learning Curve
However, the entry threshold for Node.js is quite low in the global market. That means you will have to struggle a bit in finding the perfect high-paying job in the market.
As a recruiter too, you will certainly have to compromise in hiring the low-qualified developers, but that problem could be solved if you hire experienced Node.js developers from a trusted software engineering firm like Matellio.
Python here tops the list as it’s code is somewhat cleaner and more compact than Node.js. It can be easily understood by any beginner and even has a lot of scope in the global market. The syntax of Python is very simple and short. Furthermore, while learning the Python programming language, you can also learn to indent your code properly, as Python is whitespace sensitive.
Also, since Python is not a new language, therefore its market value is much more than that of Node.js. According to a recent survey conducted by StackOverflow, many Fullstack Developers prefer using Python for app development.
Hence, we can say that Python has a much leaner learning curve than Node.js, and that’s why people prefer Python over Node.js in developing web and mobile applications.
The syntax of Python is considered the biggest benefit of this robust programming language. Python offers the coders to write very few lines of codes in order to achieve more. Additionally, since Python is free from curly-brackets, many people even with the basic programming language can easily read its codes.
6. Debugging Errors
To handle the bugs and errors in the codes is a vital factor while choosing the best programming language. When it comes to Node.js, it has exceptional error-handling capability. Node.js has a good command in recognizing exceptions that occur at the time of code application.
Python also wins here because of its readable and compact syntax and fewer lines of code. The user can seamlessly detect errors that too at a much lesser time as compared to Node.js. Now that’s amazing!
7. Libraries Offered
The libraries offered by Node.js are well documented and easy-to-understand. The packages and libraries are all managed by NPM (Node Package Manager) which is one of the biggest repositories of the software world.
Python too has easy to learn, fast, and reliable libraries that are managed by Pip. Pip stands for ‘Pip installs Python’ which the developers find very easy and reliable to work with. All in all, once again both Node.js and Python win the race!
8. Best Suitable For
As mentioned earlier, every programming language is suitable for a particular type of development project. Some for chatbots, some for web, some for mobile, while some for IoT software development. Node.js is perfectly suitable for building real-time applications where there is constant communication between the server and client-side of the application.
Apart from that, Node.js is also beneficial in developing applications like:
- Chatbot development
- Messenger Apps
- IoT Applications
- Single-Page Apps
- Live Streaming Platforms
Similar to Node.js and other programming languages, Python too has its own strengths and limitations. Therefore, it is widely used in developing applications for the Data Science industry, like:
- Image Processing Solutions
- Voice-Recognition Apps
- Machine Learning Software Development
- Facial Recognition Solutions
- Neural Network Applications
- Data visualization Platforms
9. Community Support
Even though node.js is a pretty new framework, then also its community support is no less than Python. It is a mature open-source programming language with huge community support. As a marketer, you can seamlessly find Node.js developers for your project. Similarly, if you are a developer, then you can seamlessly find the perfect projects to practice your coding capabilities.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Python is not a new programming language. Hence, its community is also huge and exclusive. Python is also an open-source programming language with supporters having vast experience. So, once again, if you are a business owner or a developer, then you can highly benefit from the reliable community support of Python.
10. Popular Use-Cases
Many leading market brands have utilized the powerful Node.js framework to develop robust and effective applications. Some of the leading brands include, but is not limited to:
Python is also used by many leading brands of the global market because of its user-friendly features and compact coding. To name a few, we have:
Here’s a summary of the above discussion in a tabular form. With that, you will be able to quickly understand the underlying differences between Python and Node.js.
|Scalability||Not easily scalable as lack of multi-threading concept||Easily scalable in Horizontal and Vertical with a few extra modules|
|Speed & Performance||Slower than Node.js||Faster than Python due to V8 engine|
|Learning Curve||Smooth Learning Curve||Not so smooth curve as compared to Python|
|Libraries Offered||Fast, Reliable, and Easy-to-Use Libraries managed by Pip.||Well documented and Easy-to-Learn Libraries managed by NPM|
|Community Support||Large Support||Large Support|
|Appropriate For||Data Science Solutions, Voice-enabled Apps, Image Recognition Software, etc.||Chatbot Development, IoT App Development, Real-time Web Apps, etc.|
|Popular Use Cases||Instagram, Google, Spotify||LinkedIn, PayPal, Uber|
|Error Handling Speed||Faster than the Node.js||Slower than Python|
So, who is the winner?
The final winner is – nobody!
As evident from the table above, both the programming technologies have their merits and demerits. In some cases, Python overcomes node.js while in other node.js beats Python. Actually, the selection of the programming language solely depends on your project needs and customer requirements.
For instance, if you want to build some IoT application that constantly requires real-time data, then Node.js will be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want to develop Blockchain Apps or ML Solutions, then Python would be a perfect choice for you!
To conclude, we can say that, the selection of the right technology greatly affects the scope of your development project, and indirectly the growth of your business. Hence, as a leading name in the software engineering market, we always suggest you consult an expert before initiating any sort of development project.
An expert from a reliable software engineering firm like Matellio will have all the answers and solutions to the problems that might come during the development process. Moreover, an experienced firm will even have the idea of what technology is currently trending in the market, and what could be the perfect choice for your project.
Have more questions? Reach us today, and get answers to all your queries. Plus, get a free expert consultation on your first visit!
Till then, Happy Reading!