Why is JavaScript still Dominating Python?

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Python was developed in 1991 and JavaScript in 1995 [1] [2] . Over the years, both programming languages have ruled the programming community, and as of today, JavaScript is ranked #1 on Github, and Python is just behind it [3].

The popularity of the two programming languages is largely attributed to their philosophy [4] [5]. They're portable, easy to learn, fast, and human-friendly.

While Python is older and supports features such as multithreading, concurrency, REPL, etc. (these features are new to JS) JavaScript is still prevalent. In addition, Python has recently been a favorite for the development of Machine Learning and AI [6].

The following are five key reasons why JS managed to rule Python amid the surge in Python use.

1. JavaScript runs natively on the browser

By default, all modern browsers support JavaScript while Python has to be interpreted to JavaScript before it can run in the browser. And with more than 2.65 billion active Internet users as of 2020 [7], JavaScript is everywhere from the browser to WebView apps.

2. Mobile and Cross-Platform Apps

Oh, oops! Python is a no-no when it comes to mobile apps development. Kivy a framework for app development in python performs so poorly compared to JavaScript frameworks like react-native, vue-native, and even the dreaded Ionic. And with native JS apps everywhere Python is losing out!

3. ES6 and above

Until the advent of ES6 [8] , JavaScript does not support class by default (you have to do some workaround). This was a selling point for Python, but it wasn't anymore. Other Python features adapted include trailing comma, modular programming, the abolition of closing semicolons among others.

4. Rise of NodeJS for Backend

Have you ever heard of FullStack JavaScript Developer [9]? A term for a developer who can use JS to build both frontend and backend. Since NodeJS is now popular with backend developers as it is asynchronous, event-driven, fast, and scalable, then why learning multiple languages?

5. Availability of Job and Market

Since a lot of high-level software/website is written in JavaScript, most of the jobs posted on freelance websites involve direct or indirect knowledge of JavaScript. According to figures, if you are a programmer, there is a 90% probability that you will be using JavaScript [10]. In short, JavaScript is running the web!

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The intent of this article is not to criticize any programming language.

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References

  1. geeksforgeeks.org/history-of-python
  2. springboard.com/blog/history-of-javascript
  3. madnight.github.io/githut/#/pull_requests/2..
  4. link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-484..
  5. rbutterworth.nfshost.com/Tutorial/WebLangua..
  6. cuelogic.com/blog/role-of-python-in-artific..
  7. statista.com/statistics/543218/worldwide-in..
  8. github.com/lukehoban/es6features
  9. w3schools.com/whatis/whatis_fullstack_js.asp
  10. medium.com/javascript-scene/how-popular-is-..

Comments (2)

Bello's photo

JavaScript might be dominating Python in web development, but not in other aspects of technology like AI, Machine Learning, Data Science, etc. Python is the most wanted language in building other tech-wise applications. Check out this chart on Google trends.

iamoracle's photo

Yea, it is true but notwithstanding JS is still #1.