NODE.JS VS PYTHON: The BIG BACKEND DILEMMA

On 15 Jun., 2021

The Node vs. Python dilemma has been around for a while, and since both are still evolving, this question will continue to be relevant. Rest assured that both are excellent choices for their particular use cases. If you need a memory-intensive and data-intensive project that does not require too much code, choose Node. It's designed in such a way that small projects can make up a larger project, and a large program doesn't need to be written - just like Node makes up a tree. Just be sure to choose a team that has experience writing clean code when you hire node.js developers.

NODE.JS VS PYTHON: The BIG BACKEND DILEMMA


The server side of the application, or backend, is the backbone of the project, and the client-side runs on top of it. No matter how nice and fast your front end is, the application will fall if it is not supported by a strong backend. This leads to an inevitable choice that every developer has to make - which language to choose for backend development. Due to its ease of use and versatility, Javascript has no real competitors for front-end development, but for back-end development, it is a different ball game.

 

PHP, Java, C++ - there are a myriad of programming languages available for server-side operations, but most projects involve two - Python and Node.js. Of course, it should be remembered that Node is not a programming language itself, but simply a Javascript workflow, while Python has been a proven programming language with strong features for three decades.

 

But how do you choose a language for your backend?

 

Ease of use? Developer knowledge? Learning curve?

 

You'd better not!

 

Rather, you need to review the nature of the project, specifications, budget, and requirements to choose the backend language you want to use.

 

To help you make this choice, we've put together a comparison of Python and Node.js in terms of the main specifications you'll need to keep in mind when setting up your project - so you'll have a very clear guide when looking for backend development services.

 

| PERFORMANCE AND SPEED

 

Let's start with the basic features you need for web and mobile applications - high performance and high speed.

 

Python:

 

  • A uniform code flow leads to slow application processing.

  • Python can be a big disappointment if you want fast data collection from a server.

 

Node.js:

 

  • Node.js: Much higher performance than Python thanks to the Google-funded V8 engine.

  • You can code outside the web browser using TCP sockets, which makes Node.js more resource-efficient.

  • When developing in Node.js, you can load cached data that is unlikely to change, which contributes to faster speeds than Python web development.

  • It is responsive and has shorter load times.

 

| SCALABILITY

Scalability defines a linear increase in resource requirements with an increase in application functionality. It should not be an afterthought - it should be a factor in backend language selection from the outset.

 

Python:

 

Python's main drawback is the use of the global compiler Lock, which does not support multithreading. While scalability can be increased by using imported libraries, this, unfortunately, cannot counter the inherent scalability of Node.js.

 

Node.js:

 

Node.js development facilitates multi-threaded processing thanks to an asynchronous architecture that leads to easy scalability.

Instead of a Python-like hardcore, Node.js uses a collection of modules for its functions. Thus, scaling an application means just adding a few modules. This is the main reason why it has a large market share when it comes to backend development languages.


 

| UNIVERSALITY

 

Versatility refers to the number of different uses of a programming language. It is quite difficult to judge which one is more "universal" than the other, as both have many uses and can be used on many platforms.

Python:

 

  • Python can be practiced for both front-end and back-end development.

  • This allows it to be used across platforms (i.e. the same application can be used on Mac, Linux, and Windows). However, in this case, you will also need to install the Python interpreter on Windows.

  • Python would be the best choice for IoT and natural language processing (AI and ML), but not so much for mobile app development.

 

Node.js:

 

One of the main reasons why Node.js is popular for backend development is that it is Javascript. This allows you to do both the front end and the back end in the same programming language, so you can hire one team to do both. So it turns out to quite resource-efficient.

  • It has cross-platform functionality, and the same desktop application can be used on Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

  • A wide range of uses - web app, mobile app, and even IoT.

  • Due to its speed and multi-user features, 51% of developers prefer Node.js for web application development

 

| ARCHITECTURE

 

Another important factor you should check before choosing a backend development language. Architecture is generally of two types - synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous programming languages do not accept additional requests until the work in progress is complete. Asynchronous programming languages, on the other hand, can run parallel processes without problems.

 

Python:

 

  • It is synchronous and therefore slow. So if your project is something like a chatbot, you'd better not choose Python. However, you can use Python's Asyncio library to run parallel processes.

  • It is not event-driven. Again, you can make it event-driven by using modules like CPython.

 

Node.js:

 

Both input and output are asynchronous, which requires Node.js for development speed, making it the best choice for chatbots and games. It can handle multiple requests simultaneously and is lightning fast.

 

| SOURCE

 

Extensibility refers to how easy it is to add new features and functionality to the programming language. The more frameworks, data structures, and functions that can be glued to the base language, the greater the functionality.

 

| Python:

 

The great extensibility combined with a wide range of web development frameworks makes Python so popular for backend development.

 

Robot - a framework for host-level testing

Flask - web development

Web2py - an open-source framework for agile development of data-driven web applications.

Django - the framework for backend development


 

Node.js:

 

In the last few years, Javascript and Node have been increasingly gaining ground, and as a result, a new framework or tool based on Node is released every day. Here are the most used ones.

 

Babel - a framework for front-end development

Jasmine - testing

Log.io - a framework for project management

Webpack - used to link modules



 

Libraries are a great help in web development. Most websites have thousands of lines of code, and developers will prefer to choose a language with libraries that can be used to reduce load - as code reuse is key to time-efficient development.

 

Python has been in use for three decades and Node for just over 11 years. So does Python have more libraries and more documentation? Let's see.

 

| PIP.

PIP has extensive documentation and multiple libraries, making it a favorite of developers with clean and compact code. Keep in mind, though, that not all newer frameworks have as much documentation.

 

| NPM

With 350 000 packages, NPM is the largest repository on the web.

Node.js documentation is huge, simply because of its popularity. It is a great help for the developer as it creates a smooth learning experience of the language.

THE POPULARITY OF NPMS MAKES IT EASY TO USE

Robust error handling has two main advantages:

 

- clean code that the team can read and debug

- better user experience for customers

 

What is the status of Python and Node.js in this department?

 

| Python:


 

Robust debugging - Python code is clean and compact, making debugging much easier.

 

| Node.js

 

The multithreading feature contributes to high performance, but because it processes multiple requests simultaneously, exceptions often occur during the run, and errors can be difficult to handle.

An area where both Node.js and Python stand on the same pedestals. Both languages have an enthusiastic following and a large community, so it's never hard to find help!

 

| Python:

 

It is older and therefore has a larger community of dedicated developers.

 

| Node.js

 

Although Node.js is not as old as Python, it has a large community because it is open source. So you can always turn to the community for support.

 

| USE

Python and Node.js have very specific use cases and based on their pros and cons, we've compiled a list of use cases to make this decision easier to make when you go into the project.

 

| Python:

 

Python development has been around for a while, but according to a 2019 StackOverflow survey, it was still the "most loved programming language," which speaks volumes about its precise code and functionalities. It may be slower than Node.js, but its robust debugging, massive documentation, and the large community of developers has made it a favorite among engineering students and science graduates for their projects.

 

  • Big data

  • DevOps and testing automation

  • Science and Engineering

  • Public engineering projects

  • Big names using Python: Reddit, Facebook, Google

 

| Node.js:

 

Node.js development is the right path for you if your project is data-intensive or requires real-time information transfer, as data flow efficiency is much better compared to Python. It can also be used for projects that require heavy client-side functionality and utilization of enterprise resources.

 

  • E-commerce stores

  • Games and 3D graphics

  • Content management systems

  • Chatbots

  • Big names using Node.js: LinkedIn, PayPal, Netflix


 

On the other hand, Python's clean code and syntax will be a lifesaver if you're in search of a larger project with lots of integrations and computations.

 

But you won't be able to leverage either of these languages unless you're seriously looking for a backend development company. It's of utmost importance that you bring in an experienced Python developer or a top-rated Node.js development company to ensure that you've been able to extract as much functionality as possible from these languages. If you are looking to hire a node developer or python developer the are many Java development companies in India that may help you in choosing the right languages for your projects.

 

 

 

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