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Python vs Java: Which Should I Learn First?

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Python vs Java: Which Should I Learn First?

A new career in programming may be what you need. It can help you stand apart in the business world as someone who understands coding languages. Knowledge of computer languages can count toward preparation for a career in business just like speaking Spanish, French, or Chinese may give you an edge with some employers. With their practical applications, Python or Java may help qualify you to enter the business world or advance to a better position.

Choosing the Best Programming Language to Start With

Choosing the Best Programming Language to Start With

You can choose which programming language you want to study first, but many programmers start with Python because it can offer a better path for beginners than Java. Later, you can add Java to expand your knowledge and skill set. Programming in either language requires you to string together elements according to the rules of coding, so they’re similar in that regard.

Getting Familiar with Programming Terms

Getting Familiar with Programming Terms

Almost every business has a vocabulary that makes it unique, and programming or development has one that requires an understanding as well. It’s important to note this as you consider whether to start with Python or Java. Some vocabulary used for talking about programming languages may include words that you already know. You may just need to learn their meaning within a development or programming context. Here are a few examples and how Python and Java differ in their treatment of each. 

Syntax

You can think of the symbols that you use in programming as the grammar of a language, and Python’s syntax looks a lot like English. Your skill as a programmer in Python or Java lets you tell a computer what to do by using words and symbols that it understands in an order it understands.

Variables

In coding, you use a variable to name and store information in memory. Java makes you define a variable the first time you use it without letting you change it later. Python enables you to change a variable whenever you choose.

Dynamic or Static Typing

Dynamic typing gives you a way to change a variable when you want or need to, and Python lets you do it. Java makes you use static typing that does not allow you to change your variables.

Curly Braces or Indents

Something as simple as a punctuation mark can make a difference in programming. You can find the curly brace key to the right of the “P” on your keyboard, and it has few uses except in Java. As an easy mark to overlook, a missing curly brace creates an error instead of providing an end to a section of code for a program. Python uses an indent to create the same effect as a curly brace which can make coding easier.

Understanding Some Differences Between Python and Java

Understanding Some Differences Between Python and Java

When you start to learn something new, it may seem like a big mystery where everyone knows what is going on except you. Python does not tend to make you feel that way. Python offers a friendly approach to programming with rules that can make it easier to use than Java.

Memory Management

Python lets you concentrate on writing your program instead of worrying about managing the demands on memory, a feature that makes it a high-level language.

Back-End Processing

Python lets you work behind the scenes to send information to a computer’s browser. When you work with back-end processing, you probably don’t worry about how the front-end processing affects the colors and designs that users see. Java can operate in either the front-end or back-end, and that can make it harder to learn because it’s a little more complicated.

Web Programming

With Python, you can interface with the internet to send and receive web requests and interact with databases. Its simplicity may help you start creating programs sooner than you could in Java. As a web programming language, it allows you to write and mark up code for web development. You can also use it to write content and prepare scripts that contribute to network security.

Long or Short Codes

Java requires you to write longer sections of code than Python, and its wordiness can make it more challenging to develop. Python lets you use English words in coding instead of only the symbols that Java requires. After you learn Python, you can use your understanding and skill to expand your knowledge by learning Java. By increasing your ability to program in two languages, you may be able to work in a broader range of environments.

Benefiting from Python’s Simpler Approach

Benefiting from Python’s Simpler Approach

Python was developed as a less complicated way to write code, and its simplicity makes it the choice of many people who want to learn how to program. By making it look more like the written language that you may already know, Python was made easier to learn. And, you can use your Python skills to learn Java or another programming language later.

Indenting in English or Python

The familiar tab key on your keyboard lets you create an indent so quickly that you may not even notice doing it. As one of the essential techniques that make Python easy for beginners, indentation lets you end a block of code with a single keystroke.

With a similar habit of using the tab key to create a list when you write in English, you can use it to put consistent spacing in front of a group of statements. Indentation lets you see all the like items in a set for easy identification. The indents do not affect how the program runs, but they let you view the logical progression of your code. Java does not use indents and cannot give you the visual cues that help keep your coding on track as easily.

Recognizable Words

While Python requires you to stick to the rules most of the time, it may forgive violations when you commit them as well, depending on the circumstances. Where Java strictly enforces its regulations, Python may let some coding inconsistencies get by without notice. Java’s requirement to make you obey the rules may require you to work harder, but it also helps your program run without errors.

One of the ways that Python relaxes requirements to conform to rules lies in its syntax. You get to use words that look like the ones that you use in English, and that helps you learn it more quickly than you can with Java. The time you can save by not looking up the meanings of symbols can help you complete a coding task sooner.

Extensive Libraries

When you write a program for a desktop or web application, you can use Python’s libraries to download existing modules that prevent the need to write new lines of code. They provide an excellent option that you can choose when you need to implement a service on the web or work with an aspect of the internet. Python’s enormous library distinguishes it from other computer languages and makes it a favorite of new programmers.

Joining an Increasing Trend

The popularity of a product can help inform your decision to try it, and Java serves as a favorite of programmers. However, the many advantages and conveniences that Python offers help explain its gains in acceptance as programmers choose it.

Python’s shorter programs likely allows you to create them faster than you can in Java. Developers appreciate the unique indentations and the familiar syntax that help Python overtake Java.

You Can Learn Python at Hackbright Academy

At Hackbright Academy, you can learn how to become a software engineer with Python-centered courses and curriculum. Join other women who are breaking into the world of tech, choosing to study Python as they make their way through a challenging yet rewarding bootcamp experience.

You Can Learn Python at Hackbright Academy
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