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Java and Python Fundamentals for Engineers 

Python and Java have a wide variety of applications in data analysis, web development, software applications, and much more. This two-part blog covers several topics about these languages, starting with a bit of history, followed by current trends, and the key features of Java and Python. 

The first part of the blog covers these topics and starts talking about some in-depth technical differences between Java and Python. The second part continues this line of discussion, and also explains job opportunities and a couple of case studies. 

Source

Introduction and Origin

Python has been around for three decades now, although its widespread applications are relatively recent. The language was founded in 1991 by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer, who named the language after the comedy troupe he was a fan of, Monty Python. Rossum was active in the development of Python until 2018 when he handed over the operations to a five-member panel. 

Java was invented in 1991 by three colleagues: James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton. They had initially named it "Oak," after an oak tree at the back of their office, and then changed the name to "Green." Finally, just before the formal release in 1995 by Sun Microsystems, they named it Java, after the Java coffee beans from Indonesia. 

Over the last three decades, both languages have undergone continuous improvement and, even today, Python and Java developers across the world keep updating these languages every hour of every day. 

Current Trends 

Despite the similarities in the languages, programmers use Java and Python for different purposes based on the strengths of each language. Python is used mainly in the domain of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. Tech giants like Google and Uber use Python for their automation. 

Java, on the other hand, is used in embedded systems like processors and controllers. Java is more versatile as a cross-platform language, which makes it easy to shift between machines or systems when coding in Java. Another application of Java, particularly among manufacturing sectors, is in enterprise software (or ERP software) to keep track of sales, logs, project details, etc. 

State-of-the-Art Features  

Most skilled programmers would be able to convert a Java code to Python and vice versa. However, there could be factors like personal preference, support system and network, and online help available that make programmers choose one language over the other. 

Both languages differ significantly in their technical features. Here are some highlights from Java and Python.

Java

  • Memory Management: Java uses memory allocation effectively. The language automatically manages memory allocation (for example, whether a new variable should be stored in the stack or heap memory) without human intervention.
  • High-Performance: Speed of execution of code is quite fast
  • Backward-Compatible: Every version of Java developed is compatible with its previous one. So, someone who has written code in version 8, say, can also run their code in a machine that supports version 7, with minimal changes.
  • Cross-Platform Language: A compiled Java program runs across different operating systems, like Windows and Mac OS
  • Top-Notch Security: Java is the first programming language to include security, a fundamental part of its design. Java's security package consists of a wide variety of APIs to keep the content highly secure, which is why most corporations use Java.

Note that Java is also open-source, but the specific frameworks or libraries within the language could have licenses or patents by different corporations and developers. The generic version of Java is free to download and use. 

Python 

  • Constant Upgrades: The most significant advantage of Python is that it is an open-source language, which means that any interested developer can contribute to its improvement and be credited for it. This freedom paves the way for frequent upgrades in the framework
  • Cross-Platform: Python, like Java, is also a cross-platform language. You can also integrate Python with other languages for other purposes like web development and cloud computing.
  • Easy to Learn: Thanks to the simple language framework and the vast developer community, Python is the easiest programming language to learn academically and professionally. It is also free to download and use in Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
  • Multi-Functionality: As mentioned earlier, Python - combined with other languages - finds applications in all domains, from machine learning to automation to visualizations.

More Technical Differences 

Here's a more in-depth look at the technical differences between Java and Python. 

  • Java is a compiled language, whereas Python is an interpreted language. This statement means that there is an intermediate step in Java, where the system compiles the code before running it in the program environment. After compilation, Java programs are converted to Java byte-codes (.java files are converted to .class files), which are interpreted and executed by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Python code is compiled by default and has no specific compiler of its own.
  • Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language, where Python is a scripting language with OOP capabilities. OOP concepts like abstraction, encapsulation, and polymorphism are inherent to Java. These principles can also be implemented in Python, although they are not part of the language framework itself.
  • Java is statically typed, whereas Python is dynamically typed. In Java, when you want to use variations, the first step is to declare the variables along with their data types and only then assign the values. In Python, you can directly assign values to the variables without explicitly stating whether a variable is a string or a floating-point number.

Conclusion

This brief introduction to Java and Python programming highlights the similarities and differences between these widely used languages. Learning multiple languages is a skill worth having, especially in the competitive world we live in, where the best talent is always rewarded. 

To know more about the job opportunities you can get as a proficient Java or Python programmer, continue reading Part 2 of the same blog. 

If you want to upskill yourself in these domains to boost your career prospects in practically any software field, check out the courses offered by Skill-Lync today! 


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