Between Java and Python, which one is better to learn first and why?

Between Java and Python, which one is better to learn first and why?



Don’t even think about it to select another language as your first. Why? Well,

  • Python is easy. Trust me on this one. My first major language was C++ and it lead me to contemplating a career change. Here’s a short snipped of C++ code for displaying “Hello world” on the screen -
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main()
    cout << "Hello world!" << endl;
    return 0;

Here’s the same thing in Python

print("Hello world!")
  • Python is dynamically typed. What in the world is that? Okay, so computers are dumb. They aren’t smart enough to know that 1
  • 1 is a number, or specifically, an integer and that “hello” is a word or “string” in computer talk. So because of that some programming languages needed to specify the kind of stuff they were working with. For example if you needed to add two numbers in Java, here’s what you’ll have to do -
class AddNums(){
    public static void main(String args[]){
        int first = 1;
        int second = 2;
        int sum = first + second;

You see that “int” keyword? That stands for “integer” and that basically just tells the computer, “Hey, I need something to store this number but since you’re too stupid to know that it’s a number I’ve specified it and so you should remember that the variable called “first” can only store integer values and I’ve given it the value of 1

1. And so on with “second” and “sum””. That’s what’s up with Java. In Python?

first = 1
second = 2
sum = first + second

Do you see how clean that is? Notice the serene absence of semi colons.

  • Python supports all styles of programming. Okay, this might be a little controversial but it still worth mentioning. Broadly, there are two methods (no pun intended) of programming - object oriented and procedural. I’m not going to get into details but, long story short, they’re both great ways of approaching problems but Object Oriented is better suited for large scale projects and will, if done right (a huge deal in itself), be cleaner. Procedural is better for small projects to get things, just, done. For example -
class Hello{
    public static void main(String args[]){
        System.out.println("Hello world!");


def main():
    print("Hello world!")
  • Now both Python and Java support OOP (object oriented programming) but Java forces it upon you by giving you no other way out. That, for big companies and large scale projects, might be a good thing but for someone who doesn’t even know what a class is can be a big hassle. Python, on the other hand, lets you do your own thing. Again, this might be a bad thing but it’ll all depend on the kind of practices you pick up and follow. Ruby is another language and it is very similar to Python but I don’t like it as much because it’s way more lenient on coders. Python kind of maintains that fine line. But yes, for a beginner, Object Oriented might feel forced if all you need to do is write something to take in two numbers and print their sum but in the long, really long run, it could be a good thing.
  • Python is used almost everywhere. Web development? Check. Penetration testing? Check. Making awesome games? Check. Glue code for projects not native-ly written in Python? Check. Maching Learning? Double check that boy! Scientific research? Check. Academics? Check. Android apps and other scale-able projects…? Java is your thing. Native programming is one place where Python fails.

And I think that’s about it. Both languages are great in their own thing and what they’re used for but Python, hands down, is one of the best things a beginner could start with today.

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