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Python vs. Node.js: Choosing The Right Technology for Backend Development 1

Python vs. Node.js: Choosing The Right Technology for Backend Development

Choosing the right programming language when taking up a new project is perhaps one of the toughest decisions for the programmers. The reason is simple. Every project has some unique specifications and problems, and there exists no such software in the programming world that can be used for everything. 

Different programming languages have different strengths and weaknesses, and, therefore, specific use cases. Thus, it becomes imperative to identify the right programming language for any project at the outset to minimise any hiccups in the later stages. In this write-up, we will compare two popular programming languages, Python and Node.js, to identify which works better in what situation.

Understanding Python and Node.js

Python is one of the most popular languages for machine learning. It is a general-purpose programming language that is object-oriented, dynamically typed, and supports multiple programming use cases. You can use Python for developing robust applications for web, mobile, and desktop with seamless options for back-end development that makes it extremely popular with programmers across the world. 

Node.js is also mainly used as a back-end framework. It is a JavaScript runtime environment that has been created on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js can be used for both front-end and back-end development and is useful for building efficient and scalable JavaScript-driven web applications. Node.js is mainly used for web-based applications, but the use cases for Python are much more versatile. 

The convenient nature of Python certainly gives it an edge over Node.js, but picking a clear winner isn’t that simple. Below, we have shared a comparison between Python and Node.js on some pre-defined parameters to help you make the right choice for your next development project.

PythonNode.js
Use casesUsed for developing data science apps, voice and face recognition software and 3D modelling software. Generally, it is one of the best options for developing larger projects.Preferred for asynchronous programming and developing real-time web applications like chatbots and streaming applications. It is preferred for smaller projects with lesser memory.
UniversalityWeb, desktop, mobile back-end and front-end.Web, desktop and mobile back-end only.
SpeedSlow speed due to slower due to its synchronous nature.Much of the Node.js core API is built around an idiomatic asynchronous eventdriven architecture which makes it faster.
SyntaxSimple and compact syntax that lets you achieve more with fewer lines of code.Mostly similar to the browser’s JavaScript syntax. Prior experience with JavaScript will make it easier to work with Node.js.
ScalabilityPython lacks proper scalability support for several reasons. It is a slower programming language that doesn’t support multithreading, which prevents it from running multiple tasks, simultaneously. However, developers often use Python implementations like CPython and load balancing mechanisms to overcome this issue.Node.js is built into the runtime environment and comes with a cluster module to handle multi-tasking. Node.js also allows for both vertical and horizontal scaling of web applications, clearly scoring over Python in this regard.
Extensibility Python is highly extensible through frameworks like Django and Flask for both web-only and full-stack development. There’s also Jython, the implementation of Python in Java, which simplifies scripting and allows rapid application development.Node.js comes with a pool of frameworks like DerbyJS ad Koa.js to extend its features, making it a more versatile framework for development.  
LibrariesPython Packages and libraries are handled by pip, which is the default package installer for Python. Talking about the number of packages, Python offers more than 220 thousand packages across numerous categories like image processing, data science, etc.The packages in Node.js are handled by node.js npm, which is also called the Node Package Manager. In numbers, it contains over 1.3 million packages, beating pip hollow in terms of extensibility with the right package.
CommunityPython is an old and popular language, which also means it has a large and helpful community of users to find support and resources online. Developers are free to contribute to Python and its packages through the communities.The Node.js community is also beaming with talented developers, eager to help and contribute to the development of the Node.js framework. 
Popular Framework Django, Flask, Falcon & BottleExpress.js., Hapi.js, Sail.js & Koa.js

Conclusion

Both Python and Node.js are potent options for programmers to develop web and other applications. However, to choose between the two, you need to consider two factors – the purpose of the project and your skillset as a developer. While both the languages have significant advantages over the other, it is the purpose of the project and your comfort level, as well as that of your team, with either of the technologies, that would direct your choice. 

Overall, both the languages are equally preferred, and software engineers well-versed with Python and Node.js are in high demand across the globe. If you are planning a job change or looking at climbing the next rung in your career, you may sign up on Talent500 to empower your job search for key roles in Fortune500 companies. 

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Kartikey Bhardwaj

Kartikey Bhardwaj

Backend Developer at Talent500. I love fixing daily life problems with web apps and mobile apps. Starting from scratch of how a problem came into existence and where it is now. I design whiteboard prototypes and transform my solution into something people truly value.
I believe in a wise man's saying that unless you yourself use your own solution, it's not worth it. Keeping this in mind, I always move forward with my work.

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