Java, JavaScript, and Python: Which Should You Learn?

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in software engineering, choosing which programming languages to learn is a crucial decision. Java, JavaScript, and Python are among the most popular languages used to build software. Having the skills to code in these languages is also in high demand by employers. To help you decide which language may be best suited to your interests, let’s take a closer look at these three languages.


Here are the basic descriptions of each of the three languages.

  • Java is a secure, multithreaded programming language known for its fast speed, making it a good fit for enterprise-level applications, big data, and cloud development.
  • JavaScript is an interpreted programming language that runs live in a browser, and every major web browser uses it to fetch new data, check forms for errors, and enable animations, comments, and chatting.
  • Python is both a compiled and interpreted and general-purpose programming language used for a variety of purposes, including backend web development, data science, and machine learning.


Java, JavaScript, and Python are different languages, so it’s not surprising that they have a lot of differences.

Differences between Java and JavaScript include

  • Java is an OOP language; JavaScript is an OOP programming script.
  • Java is a compiled language; JavaScript is an interpreted language.
  • Java is used to make apps on devices or browsers; JavaScript is mostly used on HTML documents and browsers.
  • They use different plug-ins.

Differences between Java and Python include:

  • Java requires longer lines of code and more frameworks.
  • Java’s syntax is more complex; Python’s syntax is easy to remember.
  • Python uses an interpreter; as a result, it runs slower than Java.

Differences between Python and JavaScript include:

  • Python is an OOP programming language; JavaScript is an OOP programming script.
  • Python is used to develop websites and software; JavaScript is mostly used on HTML documents and browsers.
  • Python is mostly run on the server side; JavaScript is primarily run on the client side.


Despite these differences, these three languages share some similarities.

Similarities between Java and JavaScript include:

  • Both are object-oriented languages.
  • Both can run on a browser.
  • They share the same core programming concepts, including programming loops and conditional statements.
  •  They share some syntax concepts, such as code block delimiters.

Java and JavaScript have several similarities with Python:

  • They are high-level languages that can support object-oriented programming.
  • They have familiar procedural programming codes, such as for loop and if else.
  • They have large communities of developers and extensive libraries.

Advantages of Each Language

Java is a platform-independent, OOP language, which means that developers can create modular programs and reusable code. It is also a compiled language, which means that it is directly coded to machine code, enabling the processor to execute more quickly and giving developers greater control over CPU usage and other hardware aspects.

JavaScript’s primary advantage is that it can run in a browser on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles. It can also be used in many non-browser environments, such as Adobe Acrobat and Node.js. JavaScript has a simple syntax, making it very easy to learn and use. It’s also convenient because the code is executed in the client’s browser, and client-side validations save time and bandwidth.

Python is a versatile, open-source language that developers can use to build a wide range of new and different projects without learning another language. Like Java, Python is platform-independent and offers extensive libraries. Because it’s dynamically typed, Python enables fast development, which boosts productivity. It’s also compatible with a variety of programming styles, offering a more flexible approach to developers.

Disadvantages of the Languages

Java consumes a significant amount of memory, requiring more hardware. Java’s GUI builders don’t offer an enhanced native look when a developer is trying to create complex UI on a desktop.

JavaScript can behave differently on different browsers. For example, it may run differently on Chrome’s V8 engine than on Firefox’s SpiderMonkey engine. As a result, a developer may need to create workarounds to ensure consistent behavior on different browsers. JavaScript also runs relatively slowly.

Python is slower to execute than Java because it’s dynamically typed, making it less appropriate for projects that require speed. Like Java, it also uses a large amount of memory, which could cause an issue for projects in which many objects are active in RAM. Python is not mobile native, meaning that it will require more coding work for mobile projects.

Ease of Learning the Language

JavaScript is easier to learn than Java or Python. Most people find Python easier to learn than Java because it’s more concise and uses simple English words. Java has a more complicated syntax and requires more lines of complex code. The Python and Java platforms do offer extensive libraries and helpful communities of developers for beginners to access additional resources or seek help.

Career Outlook

Software developers are almost always in high demand, with employers continually seeking JavaScript, Java, and Python coders. A 2022 report by a developer training platform found that Java, Python, and JavaScript were among the languages that most frequently appeared in developer job ads on career websites.

In this study, Java was the programming language most in demand, with more than 80,000 active ads for Java coders on a single popular jobs website. Python (ranked second) and JavaScript (ranked fourth) had more than 50,000 active ads each. The most in-demand language has switched between Python and Java over the past few years.

The Choice Is Yours

Java, JavaScript, and Python are all popular, well-established programming languages. In deciding which to learn, keep your learning preferences and career interests in mind:

  • Java is the hardest to learn of the three languages, but it’s the leading contender if you’re seeking a career that involves enterprise-level applications, big data, or cloud development.
  • JavaScript is the easiest to learn, perhaps making it a good choice as the first programming language to learn if you’re unsure of your career path. It will enable you to build websites (frontend and backend) and offers a wide range of job opportunities.
  • Python has a simpler syntax than Java, which makes it easier to learn. It’s a great fit if you’re interested in pursuing a career in backend web development, data science, and machine learning.

For additional career guidance, check out our other resources.