Choosing a language for software development is crucial as you also choose the engine to run your app on. But before that, you receive project specifications, which always precede the choice of programming technology. Precise project planning is the key element of a successful ‘client-service provider’ relationship. Here, the project becomes understandable by giving answers to these simple questions:
- What is the app type you envision?
- What is the industry to contribute to?
- What are the performance specifications?
- What developers’ experience do you need?
When these questions meet their answers, it’s best to select the appropriate stack. Putting it in a nutshell, you should choose the coding technology. Which coding technology will you pick if the choice falls on Node.js vs Python? What makes them comparable so you have to make this choice? Everything’s simple! Node.js and Python are the backend programming technologies offering server-side app solutions. But the level of complexity and functionality of the app is of great importance. Thus, let’s find out when to use Node.js and when it’s time for Python!
Definition & Features
Generally, Node.js bases on the Chrome V8 engine. This is a high-performance engine running on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. In 2009, Ryan Dahl wanted to build dynamic pages outside the browser. Thus, he was the first to embed the Chrome V8 engine into the C++ program. The result of this embedding the programmer called Node.js.
Node.js belongs to the MEAN and MERN JS development stack. There are many frameworks built for Node.js among which you can spot Meteor, Express, Sails, and others. You can always dig deeper and source for modules or Node.js packages via the NPM – it’s a package base offering lots of tools to build apps using MEAN or MERN stacks.
Apps built with Node.js are asynchronous and have a single thread event loop to carry out many actions. Using Node.js developers create Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Such client-apps like a web app (running inside of a web browser), and a mobile app (running on a mobile device) are based on APIs. These apps are what users see and interact with, but the surface needs to have its hidden part, a back office for receiving commands, which is the backend. Hence, Node.js seems like a perfect solution.
Pros & Cons and Use Cases
To find out if Node.js applies to your project it is best to analyze its potential. PayPal has been testing Node.js vs Java in app building and obtained quite shocking results. During the performance, the app:
- became x2 times faster
- took fewer employees to deploy
- code lines decreased by 33%
- files decreased by 40%
- request per second became x2 and 35% faster in response
Thus, it is evident that with Node.js you will receive an easy start, lightning speed, scalability, clean and consistent code, and a large open-source database of libraries.
Like everything in this world, Node.js has its specific area of applicability. For instance, it is a good choice if you are
- deploying a heavy-load app
- searching for content management solutions
- creating a marketplace with several vendors
- trying to set up the best app for e-commerce
- building apps requiring speedy processing and output
Also, Node.js is an easy-to-learn platform that requires the knowledge of JS as the main language. All the code and libraries you can use belong to JS and, this way, make it common in the frontend and backend. This sounds pretty awesome as it promises a shallow learning curve.
Unfortunately, Node.js is not flawless. But, what is? So, there are some cons to consider as well. For instance, Node.js
- blocks many request processes when there is a heavy-load request causing delays
- has immature tools like unstructured NPM registry
- lacks experienced developers
- can’t deploy CPU-intensive apps
Hence, Node.js is a good idea for prototyping, agile development, and microservices, but not the CPU-intensive apps. The latter being manipulation with images, encoding videos, and tons of calculations. These variants fill up CPU and network systems making processing drastically slower.
Node.js is used by IBM, PayPal, Microsoft, Fidelity, Netflix, Uber, LinkedIn, eBay, Mozilla, and other techie giants.
Python is the 4th most popular programming language in the world, having 44.1% of developers code on it in 2020. Python is a multi-purpose high-level programming language. It can boast with its clean syntax. Python is fast-growing in web development, Data Science, and Machine learning solutions. Thus, Python is a perfect coding tool in:
- Visualization and data analysis
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine Learning
It has been present in software development for about 20 years now. If you think it is popular only among software developers – not so fast! It’s also popular among data analysts, mathematicians, scientists, network engineers, and accountants.
Pros & Cons
Like any other coding language Python has its best sides and drawbacks. Starting from the best ones, Python
- solves complex tasks
- has a shorter code vs Node.js
- is a cross-platform language, running on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS
- has plenty of libraries, frameworks, and tools at your service
- has a huge support community all over the world
The drawback of Python lies in a bad performance that concerns heavy memory apps. For example, in 3D graphics. So, it’s better not to use Python in this case! However, which cases require Python usage? Let’s find out further!
Python’s usage is limited to its backend affiliation. While the use of Node.js due to being a part of JS makes it more connected to the frontend. Being on the server-side Python has no industry limits except for those the programming language does not apply to. Thus, Python’s daily goal is to
- automate mundane repetitive tasks (i.e. spreadsheets, pdf documents, CS viewer)
- enhance AI and ML computer performance (i.e. recommendations on YouTube)
- build web applications and websites with Django, Flask, and other web frameworks
Giants as Instagram, Dropbox, Pinterest, YouTube, and Spotify use Python in app development. Thus, Python suits for big data solutions, scientific app building, and government projects.
Python is also a programming language that is easy to learn. Having a huge community of people supporting each other and helping with solutions to specific ideas (like on GitHub), and lots of open-source libraries, Python becomes amiable and understandable within a short period. And this sounds amazing for a beginner!
It’s either Node.js or Python?
Now, as you’ve got acquainted with Python vs Node technologies, it’s time to arrange everything in places! Let’s compare Node.js vs Python.
Practically, Python vs Node.js have a few differences that are crucial for app development. All you have to remember from the table above is that Node.js is a backend platform and a part of JS making JS a full-stack programming language. Here, Python vs Node is a programming language itself, works on the server-side, and is object-oriented. In terms of performance, Node.js is super-fast due to the Chrome V8 engine, while Python gives in a bit, being just fast. Both technologies have a clean and consistent source-code, but Python allows strings to be twice as shorter as Node.js. And this appears to be its advantage! The less you have to write a code the better!
Both Python vs Node technologies are also good at error-handling, have perfect scalability, and a shallow learning curve. Who wouldn’t want to learn Node.js or Python having everything at hand and easy access to numerous communities, libraries, and education sources?
Node.js deploys heavy-load apps, web apps, and websites, but cannot be a part of a CPU-intensive app building. Python, in its turn, is also growing fast in server-side apps (web apps), but also in numerical computations, AI, and ML that are its key environments. Python’s interpreter is Python, and Node.js uses JS, respectively. Therefore, it is best to use Node.js in small projects, while Python can carry out larger ones. Node.js is applicable to real-time apps and Microservice Architecture, while Python automates repetitive tasks, enhances AI and ML computer performance, and builds web applications and websites with Django, Flask, and other web frameworks.
Thus, based on the app you want to create and its features, you can choose one of these technologies that will fulfill your purposes the most! Look through the comparison of Node.js vs Python and choose wisely!
At first, it is hard to figure out what coding technology will suit best to meet your app purposes. But, don’t be scared that easily and dig deeper into both technologies. Here, you will understand that Node.js is meant for deploying heavy-load apps, creating content management solutions, making real-time marketplace apps with several vendors, setting up apps for e-commerce, and building apps with speedy processing and output. Python, in its turn, is used to automate tasks that repeat frequently, enhance AI and ML performance and build web applications and websites with Django, Flask, and others. Hence, having a lot in common these programming technologies have their areas of applicability, which makes it easier for an average person to understand how to use Node.js and were, and how to use Python. Hope this article sheds some light on the pros, cons, and use cases of Node.js and Python.