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What’s the Difference Between JavaScript and Java?

If you’ve read up on this subject, you may have heard this one before: There’s no car in a carpet. There’s no ham in a hamster. And by the same logic, there is no Java in Javascript. We repeat: there is no Java in JavaScript.

Although named in a way that would lead most reasonable people to assume they somehow work together, they don’t. Java and JavaScript have a long, confusing, history but at the end of the day, they are very different beasts now. Instead of focusing on the past, let’s look at what they can do, where they’re used now, and where they might be headed in the future.

Java and JavaScript Defined

Java programming language logo

Java is a class-based, object-oriented compiled language that runs on many platforms, from your desktop computer to mobile phones.

In Layman’s Terms (kind of): Java is a general-purpose programming language with the aim to “write once, run anywhere”.

 

JavaScript programming language logo

JavaScript (originally named Mocha) is a prototype-based interpreted scripting language that runs primarily in the browser.

In Layman’s Terms (kind of): A language used in the browser that makes HTML pages more dynamic and interactive that can change as developers use it.

If you’re still a little lost, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Usage Breakdown

In the years since their inception (1995 for both), these languages saw a significant increase in usage, but in very different applications.

JavaScript is used on almost all web pages to convert static pages into interactive pages. Recently ranked as the most popular language for developers by StackOverflow, it shows no sign of slowing down. Facebook and Google are also backing JavaScript with their own frameworks and libraries: ReactJS and Angular Frameworks. And these frameworks aren’t exclusive to front-end development. Node.js uses JavaScript for back-end programming as well. All signs point to JavaScript sticking around for quite some time to come.

Node JavaScript logoReactJS logoAngular Framework Logo

 

 

 

Java, on the other hand, is primarily used for Android apps, server-side applications, and popular video games. Java is good at moving large amounts of information, which makes it useful in heavy data applications but not as easy to use for nimble adaptation. The future of Java is heavily debated, but for now, it is still among the most popular languages used today.

 

JavaScript and Java Careers

Employers are searching for people with the skills to manipulate code quickly and flexibly. Proficiency in JavaScript allows developers to do exactly that. With such immense usage, JavaScript skills are needed across industries in development positions. That isn’t to say that Java is obsolete or useless by any means, it is still used in applications well-suited for its capabilities, but it’s not as easy to manipulate and learning the complex language takes time.

Many developers agree that JavaScript is a good beginner language because it is so available, you could start programming in JavaScript right here, right now in your browser.

If you’re looking for advice or more information about taking a step into coding, take some time to talk with our admissions team about the right path for you!

 

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