Node JS Vs Python - Who Wins The Better Backend Technology Battle?
By: Manish Shewaramani

Node JS Vs Python - Who Wins The Better Backend Technology Battle?

We love Node JS.

And if you’ve been following our blogs from last month, then you know that it’s true.

Talking about Node JS Vs Python, selection of the backend technology is one of the main issues that must be resolved before starting any web app development project.

It’s mainly because when building a web app, it’s seldom that you can apply the same solution for different problems.

In simple words, each web app has its own unique requirements, so what works for a specific web app might not work for other web apps.

Moreover, since there are so many technologies and frameworks to choose from these days, we cannot help ourselves but share how to pick the right backend technology between Node JS Vs Python.

That being said, let’s go through the basics first before we get into the detailed comparison.

What is Node JS?

Node JS is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that’s designed to build fast, scalable, and dynamic web applications.

Node JS was first introduced in 2009 by Ryan Dahl and it is highly-efficient to use due to its single-threaded event callback mechanism.

Simply put, It’s a modern backend technology that comes with fewer dependencies and is very simple to learn for beginners.

What is Python?

Python was first introduced in 1991, way before Node JS.

Python is basically a high-level backend programming language that’s popular for building highly portable applications for both web and mobile.

Simply put, It’s a clean, multi-purpose backend programming language that has recently gained huge traction among web developers.

Talking about the difference between Node JS Vs Python, here’s the main clarification you need to know before anything.

Python is a programming language, while Node JS is not.

Node JS uses JavaScript for writing code and the main difference between the two is that when you use Node JS, you can basically use the same programming language (JavaScript) for both backend as well as for frontend development.

Node JS Vs Python – Detailed Comparison

Now that the basics are clarified, it’s time we start the detailed comparison of Node JS Vs Python.

Let’s start with Performance!

1 – Performance

Let’s face it. – Performance is obviously the most important aspect we want from any tool, technology, and framework.

Performance defines the speed of the application, which basically depends on how fast the code is executed by the used technology.

Now, if we compare the performance of Node JS Vs Python, then the performance of Node JS is undoubtedly faster. And this is mainly due to Chrome’s V8 engine upon which Node JS build on.

In fact, it’s for this reason, developers as well as enterprise companies prefer Node JS for developing web applications, especially when real-time functionality is involved.

2 – Learning Curve

As we discussed earlier, Node JS is basically a runtime environment that executes JavaScript code on the server-side.

That means, if you already have a team of JavaScript developers, then developing a web app using Node JS should not be much of a problem.

However, talking about the learning curve, Python is actually easier to learn compared to Node JS.

For starters, Python requires writing fewer lines of code for the same result. And secondly, since Python is around for around 25 years, the technology has accumulated more precise documentation than of Node JS.

3 – Error Handling

Easiness of error handling is definitely one of the main factors we consider when choosing a backend technology for web app development.

Now, in the case of Node JS Vs Python, both backend technologies deal really well when it comes to throwing and catching exceptions.

However, the general opinion is that Python is better at error handling and takes less time to fix bugs compared to Node JS.

4 – Scalability

The last but equally important aspect to consider when selecting a backend technology between Node JS Vs Python is the Scalability.

Scalability basically means the ability of an app to serve the growing userbase with the same level of performance.

This ability is absolutely necessary for apps that serve both desktop and mobile users and apps that are basically content-heavy.

In the case of Node JS Vs Python, the Node JS basically creates a single-threaded asynchronous architecture that executes the I/O operations outside the thread so no I/O operations get blocked.

As a result, Node JS provides smooth scalability for simple web apps. For complex web apps, although, requires careful engineering, in-depth knowledge and research.

Python, on the other hand, does not have asynchronous architecture. But on the bright side, it supports coroutines using which it’s easier to perform asynchronous processing.

So, even if Python does not have a scalable architecture like Node JS, it has tools using which scalability can be easily achieved for both simple as well as complex web apps.

Node JS Vs Python – How to Make The Decision

So, now that we’ve gone through all important aspects, we can easily conclude that you should use Python or Node JS only for certain applications.

For instance, Node JS is the ideal choice for building real-time apps, content management, eCommerce, and heavy-load apps that depend on the speed of processing.

We have also written a blog on Node JS Use Cases and Companies that use Node JS in case you want to know more details about Node JS.

Python, on the other hand, is best when stability, easiness, and consistency are top priorities. The best real-life Python application examples include government projects, scientific solutions, and big data solutions to name a few.

Concluding Thoughts…

We took a different approach with this blog.

Unlike our other comparison blogs such as Node JS Vs Angular, Node JS Vs React, Node JS Vs PHP, and Node JS Vs Java, we decided that we’re not going to prove Node JS is better compared to Python.

Although, Node JS clearly has several advantages, but Python has also earned its top place in the web application development industry.

Therefore, we are leaving the ultimate decision between Node JS Vs Python up to you. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t hire Node JS developer to assess your project requirements. In fact, this is the best approach to figure out the right backend technology if you don’t have any technical background.

General FAQs for Node JS Vs Python:

Which is better Node JS or Python?

It depends on the type of application you’re building. For example, if the performance of the app is the main priority, then Node is better than Python as it is built upon Chrome’s V8 engine. Python, on the other hand, is better if you’re building scientific applications or big data solutions.

Is Node JS faster than Python?

Node JS often runs faster than Python. However, Python allows developers to get the job done with fewer lines of code. So, the ultimate decision relies on the specific requirements of a project.

Is JavaScript better than Python?

While Python is good for building mobile apps since it’s slow in performance compared to JavaScript, but on a broader scale Python is a better-designed programming language than JavaScript, which makes it easier to maintain. Apart from this, Python also provides a huge standard library, while JavaScript has limited standard library.

Which framework is good for Python?

If you decide to use Python for your project, then the following frameworks will be highly useful:

  • Cherrypy
  • Django
  • TurboGears
  • Pylons
  • Flask

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