Node.js vs Python: Key differences

We have already entered into the big world of virtuality and the digital dimension. The web and mobile applications have made our life easier and more effortless and through the path of continuous development, more and more things are going to work through a single tap on your smart device. One report from Statista reveals that more than 218 billion mobile applications were downloaded in the year 2020 and the forecast is exponential.

Therefore, it is quite evident that the market is huge and expanding. And if you are planning to develop web or mobile applications for your business or customers, selecting the right programming language is essential. The task of selecting the correct backend technology for your project is difficult. And if you select the wrong one, it may lead to a loss of time, energy, and money. Hence, many developers find it confusing to select between Node.js and Python.

A proper comparative study on all the major parameters can guide you to choose the right tool for you. And here we are making things easier for you.

But before we deep dive into the key differences, let’s walk through the overview of Node.js and Python.

What is Node.js?

An open-source server runtime environment, Node.js specifically works on JavaScript. It was first released more than a decade ago and due to its amazing features, it is still so much popular in the developer’s community. It runs on the V8 Google engine which is famous for its high performance and superb speed. Node.js is not a programming language, rather it works as an interpreter. It has in-built compilers and optimizers that make this a user-friendly framework. It uses one machine code and JavaScript to help the developers in their application development projects.

Along with managing your project with Node.js, you also need web hosting that supports this, especially the JavaScript specialized hosting provider.

What is Python?

On contrary, Python is a top-level programming language. It is older than Node.js and was first launched in the year 1991. It was established by Google, and it works on Google’s app engine. The major benefit of python is that it has a huge in-built library which offers a lot of ease and flexibility to web developers. The wide variety of tools and the array of libraries are a perfect combination of a programming language that makes Python so popular in businesses. You need to find out suitable hosting for your Python framework.

Key differences between Node.js vs Python:

Node.js

A server-side platform that operates on Google chrome JavaScript

Best for website development and web applications

Uses JavaScript interpreter

Best suited for asynchronous programming

Performs well in small projects

Good for memory-intensive work

Python

An object-oriented, high-level programming language that is multipurpose and dynamic in nature

Best for back-end application, numerical and machine learning

Uses CPython Interpreter

It is not a good solution for asynchronous programming

Best for large project development

Not that much recommended for the same

A comparative study: Node.js Vs Python

Both the backend technologies are good to use depending on your requirement. Here you will find the comparison based on some parameters.

Features:

Both Node.js and Python offer a lot of features to their users. But you need to understand which are the best suitable features for your project.

Node.js features:-

A single-threaded event-looping model that allows the server to respond in a non-blocking way.

It runs on a V8 JavaScript engine that makes it the fastest library

No buffering is there in Node.js

Python features:-

Allows low-level modules to include in the interpreter

Provides interface to major commercial database

Offers High-level dynamic data type

Can be integrated with C, C++, Java, COBRA, COM

Performance:

The non-blocking architecture of Node.js is very convenient for the execution process. And this is one of the reasons for the faster response of this simple framework. Even Node.js allows you to implement codes that are outside the web browser which makes any web application suitable to work on the web browser process.

Along with the fast and responsive performance, Node.js permits some key features to be used by the application which are not there in other web browsers. In comparison to Python, Node.js offers caching fetched data that makes it more responsive. The loading time is less and there is always a responsive support team to solve your queries. Due to this reason, there is a great demand to hire node.js developers by the top-notch tech giants.

Due to its inherent architecture, Python restricts multi-threading which, on the other hand, hinders the speed. There is no doubt that Python has an easy learning curve, still, it is not that faster for applications to gather the data from the servers. As it does not allow parallel works, the processing speed is also low as compared to Node.js.

Scalability:

When you are planning to develop any application, the scalability factor is one of the most important parameters to consider. In Node.js, there is more flexibility for the developers, and you can add more modules and microservices. In addition to this, you can scale up the application horizontally and vertically, as per your requirement.

To extend it horizontally, you need to add some extra nodes to the system. And you can vertically scale it up by putting extra resources into the existing nodes. It’s that simple and easy. As this framework uses JavaScript, you can get several other options as well for scaling up your application.

On the other hand, multi-threading is important for the scalability of web applications and unfortunately, Python does not offer multi-threading. In this place, Python has a Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). To perform multiple tasks at one time, this GIL allows a python interpreter to do so. This GIL architecture synchronizes the works and even if the interpreter does multitask, it actually does one thread at a time.

Python’s memory management system compels to compromises with the performance to allow the GLI works perfectly. Another aspect is that it is a dynamically typed system that causes hindrance during the upscaling of the projects. And when you want to grow your project, it is really difficult to handle.

Error Handling:

As a developer, it is really tough to handle all kinds of errors while you are writing codes for your application. In Node.js it is possible to identify errors easily and efficiently.

But Python has a superior error handling capability. The reason behind the time taken by Python to identify the errors and troubleshoot the bugs and errors.

Packages:

All the packages of Node.js are handled by its Node Package Manager (NPM). Node.js is one of the world’s largest repository packages which controls more than 1.3 million packages. And through this number, you can understand how tough it is to manage such a huge package.

In Python, the package system manages is the pip. This is the default package installer. Though the number of packages offered by Python is increasing with a wide range of categories, it needs a massive pace to catch up with Node.js.

When to use:

Node.js – Considering the speed and performance, node.js offers it better than Python. It is best suited if you are developing messaging or chatting applications. Also due to its fast responsive nature, it is vastly used for e-commerce websites and heavy-loaded applications.

Python- This is an easy programming language for beginners and there is a huge introductory resource available due to great community support. It offers consistency, stability, and easy usage. It is preferred for scientific applications, big data management, and large government projects.

Conclusion:

As the future of web and mobile applications is very bright, you have already planned to develop great apps. And if not yet, surely, as a developer, you have a plan in your mind. Through all the detailed comparative study and key differences, you can surely identify which one is better for your project and how you can get the desired results by using the best programming language and framework.

Harikrishna kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, A Mobile App Development Company. His 10+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

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