Node.js Vs Python: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Marta on March 11, 2022 Viewed 367 times

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Every day new technologies, software, and applications are getting introduced to the world of the internet. We are also embracing many of these technologies and gradually, they have become a part of our daily routine. There is no industry left that has not accepted the benefits of using Information Technology in their business.

Following the pathway of the IT boost, software development is also gaining rapid momentum, especially in the post covid era. According to Statista, in 2020, users downloaded more than 218 billion mobile applications and Statista also  predicts an exponential increase in the usage in the future.

Looking into the huge market potential, relevant software and mobile application development companies are making strategies to grab the future opportunities.

If you are in the process of developing a new application or software for your client or organization, you must consider an appropriate programming language and framework that suits your purpose. It is quite difficult to select the perfect one from the array of options available in the market. And therefore, we are going to discuss in depth about the TWO major backend technologies– Node.js and Python, their basics, key differences, and usage scenarios. 

But before entering into the major differences between Node.js and Python, let us see the basics of these TWO technologies.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an interpreter, not a programming language, and works on JavaScript. Being an open-sourced runtime environment that works on Google’s V8 engine, it offers high performance and amazing speed.

Due to the available in-built compilers and optimizers, Node.js is extremely handy and convenient. Despite being developed back in 2009,  it has attracted the developer community due to its efficient features, user-friendliness, and other advantages. There are THREE types of frameworks that Node.js offers.

  • MVC Frameworks
  • REST API Frameworks
  • Full-Stack Frameworks

What is Python?

On the other hand, Python is a high-level programming language. It is pretty older than Node.js. It was developed by Google in 1991 and the system on which Python works is the Google apps engine. This top-level programming language has a huge in-built library and numerous features that offer great flexibility and ease to the developers.

A comparative study: Node.js Vs Python

Node.js and Python, both the backend technologies are great in their individual aspects. They are user-friendly, can handle complex situations, are responsive and efficient. But a head-to-head comparison can bring deep insight about when you should use Node.js and what is the correct condition to use Python.

Features

Both Node.js and Python offer amazing features. But to select the best one for your project, you should know the key difference in the features.

Node.js features

  • Asynchronous and Event-Driven – The server can respond in a non-blocking way.
  • Fast response- The V8 JavaScript engine gives efficient working capabilities, faster response in code execution.
  • No buffering- There is no requirement for buffering. Node.js simply reflects the output data.
  • Single-threaded and highly scalable- Node.js is based on a single-threaded event-looping model. Due to the event mechanism, the application becomes highly scalable.

Python features

  • Offers high-level dynamic data type
  • Can be combined with other languages like C, C++, Java, COBRA, COM
  • Free and open-sourced- this language is available free from the website and due to its open-source nature, the source code is accessible to the public
  • Offers interface and works efficiently with larger commercial database
  • Easy learning curve- despite being a high-level programming language, Python has a smoother learning curve as compared to others like C, C#, JavaScript, Java, etc.

Performance

The non-blocking design of Node.js is the main reason for the quick response of this framework. This makes the framework convenient, and efficient. Apart from this, Node.js based applications can use some key features offered by this framework. If we compare it with Python, it is more responsive, takes lesser time to load, and has an amazingly quick support team. Due to the collective high performance, most of the tech giants prefer to hire a Node.js developer.

On the other hand, Python has a complicated architecture that restrains multi-threading. And due to this restriction, you can observe comparatively lesser speed. Additionally, the processing speed is also not as quick as Node.js. In spite of its smoother learning curve, applications cannot gather data from the server faster.

Scalability

During any software and application development, the developer always keeps in mind about the future scalability of the product to adopt more features and facilities. And in this fast-changing scenario, this is one of the key parameters of any application. Node.js has a higher side in this context.

It offers more flexibility and gives the opportunity to the developer to add different microservices and modules. In addition to this, you can expand your node.js-based application vertically as well as horizontally in a simple process. If you wish to make a horizontal extension, add some extra nodes to the system, and for vertical extension, incorporate some additional resources to the existing nodes. 

When we talk about Python’s scalability options, it is pretty less than Node.js. Multi-threading is an important factor to scale up your application and unfortunately, Python does not offer it. Therefore, in this context, Python is behind Node.js. But to manage multitasking, Python has its Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) and the python interpreter helps to manage different tasks at a time.

The working process of the Global Interpreter Lock is simple, it synchronizes the works but performs a single thread at a time. And Python needs to compromise with the speed to allow the GIL to work efficiently. Moreover, due to its dynamically typed nature, Python is not that comfortable to upscale your product.

Error Handling

When you are writing codes for your ongoing application development, you must expect that the platform should offer you a strong error handling capability. Node.js is a good choice in this case and it works well.

But when we compare Python with Node.js in this aspect, Python offers better performance. Though Python takes time to identify the errors and rectify the bugs, the efficiency is great.

Packages

The Node Package Manager (NPM) is responsible for managing all the packages of this framework. As of now, having more than 1.3 million packages, Node.js is one of the largest repository packages in the world. 

Whereas the Python package system is handled by pip. But to catch up with the speed and offerings of Node.js, a massive pace is required.

When to use

In the above discussion, it is clear that there are many parameters where Node.js is better than Python. But in some cases, Python is the winner. But the benefit lies in the practical usage.

Node.js- If we compare the speed and performance, Node.js is definitely the winner. Its architecture, low size, and larger library help the developers to craft the product faster. If you are aiming to develop messaging or chatting applications, Node.js can serve the purpose more efficiently. Also where there is a requirement of quick response, like e-commerce spaces, this framework can provide amazing results.

Python- Being a high-level programming language, Python can be used for larger, complex, and sensitive projects. It offers large community support that makes it useful for beginners. Its consistent performance, stability, and ease of use are some of the great points that developers are preferring to create top-notch applications.

Conclusion

The future of web and application development is very impressive and therefore, both Node.js and Python will see massive growth. The changing requirement will ask the developer community to create a variety of applications to mitigate demand. After checking the key differences of these popular backend technologies, you can easily decide which one to select for your upcoming project.

Guess article provided by Harikrishna Kundariya. Harikrishna Kundariya is a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot& Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder,  Director of eSparkBiz Technologies. His 10+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

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