Python vs. Node.js: Features and Use Cases

Here is your detailed guide to decide which among the Python or Node.js is better suited for your web development project.

Until just a few years ago software developers were generally seen as the proverbial shoemakers with no shoes for themselves. That is, they built the finest of products and services for businesses while they themselves relied primarily on crude tools. That’s no longer the case. In fact, in the last few years, we have seen a consistent shift from generalized to specialized tools. For instance, initially, general-purpose languages like Java were used for the web as well. Then web-specific trends like PHP application took over. And now, we have technologies like NodeJS that used specifically for backend development.

It is for this reason that the debate of Python vs. NodeJS gets even more interesting. It isn’t just about the inherent features of these technologies but also addresses the larger question of whether developers should prefer powerful generalized tools or precise specialized tools for their solutions.

Purpose

Python is one of those old school general purpose programming languages that can be used for creating virtually any kind of application. NodeJS, on the other hand, isn’t even a full-scale language but just a runtime environment that makes use of JavaScript.

This has one major implication. While Python has to be paired with some other front-end development language, the JS in NodeJS delivers a uniform frontend and backend development environment. This considerably brings down the complexity and size of the team- further lowering the costs.

Versatility

Python is an extremely versatile language and that is both an advantage and a flaw. For instance, the fact that it is versatile helps the development team source numerous options and solutions. But on the downside, it may also create confusion. The opinions might vary, thus resulting in a half-baked solution. With NodeJS, this little scope of experimentation- at least not without affecting the application performance. This helps bring uniformity in solutions.

Performance

Since we are here primarily taking about backend development, performance remains the single most important consideration. But the problem is, it’s tough to isolate performance as a benchmark due to the simple reason that it depends on code quality and the quality of code depends on developers. For instance, NodeJS applications can be blazingly fast or painstakingly slow depending on how the code is written.

Still, to give some perspective, both Python and NodeJS perform really well under ideal circumstances. The difference is that it’s much easier to write high-quality code in Python than in NodeJS. So on average Python often outperforms NodeJS except when NodeJS apps are written by highly proficient developers.

Verdict

Though we don’t have a clear winner, our discussion here offers certain use cases for each of them.

You should choose python if:

  • You have a team with low to mid-level expertise
  • You are embarking on a long-term project.

However, NodeJS would make a better choice if:

  • You have expert JS developers on your team
  • Quick deployment is your goal

Also, if you are a business looking for offshore development options, we’d highly suggest hiring NodeJS developers in India for their unmatched ROI.

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