The face-off between Node.js and Python is a long due battle. However, your choice of backend should entirely be based on your development requirements. This piece delves into specific metrics for judging the viabilities of Node.js and Python as back-end formats.
But how do you pick a backend language?
Ease of use? Proficiency of developer? Learning curve?
Well, you better not!
Rather, go through the nature, specifications, budget, and requirements of the project to pick the backend language you will go with.
To make this choice easier for you, we have come up with a side by side comparison of Python and Node.js regarding the top specifications to look out for when creating a project- so that you’re very clear with instructions when you are looking for backend development services.
1. Performance and Speed
7. Error Handling
PERFORMANCE AND SPEED
Starting with the primary feature asked of web and mobile apps – high performance and high speed.
- Single flow of code leading to slow processing of requests.
- Python can be a major letdown if you want a quick recall of data from the server.
- Much better performance than Python courtesy of the Google-funded V8 engine.
- You can code outside the web browser using TCP sockets which makes Mode.js more resource-efficient.
- Node.js development allows caching of fetched data which is unlikely to change, contributing to a higher speed than Python web development.
- It is responsive and has a lesser loading time.
Scalability defines the linear growth of resources required along with an increase in functionalities of an application. This should not be an afterthought- it should be a factor for choosing your backend language right from the get-go.
- A major drawback of Python is its use of the Global Interpreter Lock which does not support multi-threading. Though scalability can be increased with imported libraries, unfortunately, it cannot combat the innate scalability of Node.js.
- Node.js development facilitates multithreading via its asynchronous architecture, leading to easy scalability.
- Rather than a solid core like Python, Node.js uses a set of modules for its functionalities. Therefore scaling the app would simply mean the addition of a few modules. This is a major reason why it is taking up a chunk of the market share when it comes to backend development languages.
Universality denotes the number of different applications a programming language has. It is quite difficult to judge which is “more universal” than the other as both have a vast number of use cases and can be used across many platforms.
- Python can be used for both front-end and back-end development.
- It allows cross-platform usage (that is, the same application may be used on Mac, Linux, and Windows.) However, in this case, you will need to install a Python interpreter as well on Windows.
- Python would be the top choice for IoT and Natural Language Processing(AI and ML), but not so much for mobile app development.
- It has cross-platform functionality and the same desktop app can be used on Mac. Linux and Windows OS.
- Wide range of use cases- web app, mobile app, and even IoT.
Due to the speed and multi-user proficiency, 51% of developers prefer Node.js for web application development. Click To Tweet
Another critical factor you should check before picking out your backend development language. Architecture is generally of two types- synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous programming languages do not entertain further requests until the job at hand is done. Asynchronous programming languages, on the other hand, can smoothly run parallel processes.
- It is synchronous and hence, slow. So if your project is something like a chatbot, you’d rather not pick Python. However, you can leverage the Python Asyncio library to run parallel processes.
- It is not event-driven. Again, you can make it event-driven using modules like CPython.
- Both input and output are asynchronous, asking Node.js development fast and hence the top pick for chatbots and games. It can process several requests and a time and has a mind-boggling speed.
- It is event-driven.
Extensibility refers to the ease of adding new features and functionalities to a programming language. The more frameworks, data structures, and functions you can tack onto the base language, the more is your functionality.
Great extensibility with many frameworks for web development makes Python such a rage for backend development.
- Robot – Framework for acceptance level testing
- Flask – Web development
- Web2py – Open-source framework for agile development of data-driven web apps
- Django – Framework for backend development
- Babel – Framework for frontend developmentg
- Jasmin – Testing
- Log.io – Framework used for project management
- Webpack – Used for module binding
Libraries are a major help in web development. Most websites have thousands of lines of code and developers would prefer to choose a language that would have libraries that can be used to reduce the burden – as code reusability would be key to time-efficient development.
Python has been around for 3 decades and Node for just over 11 years. So does Python have more libraries and documentation? Let’s have a look.
- Package manager – PIP
- PIP has vast documentation and several libraries and this makes it a favorite for developers, along with clean, compact code. However, you should keep in mind that not all of the newer frameworks have that much documentation.
- Package manager – NPM
- With 350,000 packages, NPM is the biggest repository on the web.
- Documentation on Node.js is huge simply because of its popularity. This majorly helps the developer by creating a smooth learning curve for the language.
Robust error handling has two major benefits :
– clean code for the team to read and debug
– better user experience for customers
So where do Python and Node.js stand in that department?
- Strong troubleshooting – Python code is clean and compact and it makes debugging much easier.
- Multithreading abilities help with high performance but since it processes multiple requests simultaneously, runtime exceptions occur often and errors can be difficult to handle.
The one area where both Node.js and Python stand on equal pedestals. Both the languages have an avid following and a huge community, such that it is never very difficult to find help!
- It is older and hence has a larger community of dedicated developers.
- Though it is not as ancient as Python, Node.js has a large community since it is open-source. Thus, you can always fall back on the community for some support.
Python and Node.js have very specific use cases and going by their pros and cons, we have curated a list of use cases to make this decision seem easier when you go into a project.
Python development has been around for a while and yet according to a 2019 StackOverFlow survey, it was still the “most loved programming language”, which speaks volumes about its concise code and functionalities. It may be slower than Node.js but the robust troubleshooting, massive documentation, and 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
- Government technical projects
Big names using Python: Reddit, Facebook, Google
Node.js development is the route for you if your project is data-intensive or requires transmission of real-time information as the data streaming efficiency is much better compared to Python. It may also be used for projects requiring heavy client-side functionalities and utilization of firm resources.
- E-commerce stores
- Games and 3D Graphics
- Content Management Systems
Big names using Node.js: LinkedIn, PayPal, Netflix
The Node vs Python dilemma has been doing the rounds for a while and since both are still going strong, this issue will persist. Rest assured, both are excellent choices for their particular use cases. If you need a memory intensive, data-intensive project which does not need too much code, go for Node. It is designed in a way that small projects can make up a larger one and no huge program needs to be written – just like nodes make up a tree. Just ensure that you pick an team experienced with writing clean codes while you hire node.js developers.
On the other hand, if you are gunning for a larger project with many integrations and calculations, Python’s clean code and syntax will be a life-saver.
But you will not be able to leverage either of these languages unless you look for a backend development company in earnest. It is of paramount importance that you rope in an experienced Python developer or a top-rated Node.js development company to make sure you have been able to extract as many functionalities as you could from these languages.
With the right team and right backend language, you’re halfway to success already!