Is Java and JavaScript the same? Understanding the difference

Is Java and Javascript the Same?: Breaking Down the Key Differences

No, java and JavaScript are not the same. Although they are both programming tools employed by developers and programmers, Java and JavaScript are distinct from each other. There are a variety of features you need to weigh to articulately understand the difference between them.

In this blog, we will analyze the important differences between Java and JavaScript and help you make an informed decision as to which is best for you.

 

Key Highlights

At the end of this article, you would conclude that:

  • Java is a multi-platform network-centric programming language, while JavaScript is a user-centric scripting language that allows you to design interactive web pages.
  • Java and JavaScript are two distinct programming languages, with different job opportunities and salaries.
  • Java is mainly used for business, web, mobile, and embedded systems developments while JavaScript is primarily used for client-side web development.
  • Java is a more complex programming language compared to JavaScript.
  • Java is a compiled language, while JavaScript is an all-text/interpreted language.
  • Node.js has made it possible to use JavaScript for server-side web development

 

What is Java and Its Key Features?

Java is an object-oriented programming language that is primarily used for creating a variety of applications, including web, mobile, desktop, and enterprise applications. It is composed of a virtual machine platform that enables you to develop compiled programs that are compatible with various platforms.

Java was first released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) and has since become one of the most popular programming languages in use today.

Here are some of the key features of Java:

Platform Independence – Java has a compiler that converts source code into an intermediate bytecode. The bytecode can operate on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed which makes it platform-independent.

Memory Management – Java has an embedded management system that allows programmers to manage memory with little or no difficulty. The JVM takes care of memory allocation and garbage collection.

Robustness and Security – Java possesses strong built-in security features that make it a reliable programming tool. It comprises automatic memory management, exception handling, and bytecode verification.

In addition, Java effortlessly checks for errors through the Java compiler. The compiler can easily detect errors that remain undetected by other programming languages.

Multithreading – Java supports multithreading, which allows you to execute multiple threads of a program concurrently. It is ideal for developing applications that require high levels of concurrency.

Libraries and Tools – Java provides users with a vast array of libraries and tools that enhance the development of a variety of applications, such as Eclipse, NetBeans, and Apache Maven.

Community Support – Java has a large, functioning, and active community of developers who contribute to the development of Java through open-source projects and forums. This makes it easy to find support and resources when working with Java.

 

What Is JavaScript and Its Key Features?

JavaScript is a high-level scripting language that is primarily used to create interactive and dynamic web pages. It is user-centric, in that it runs on individual web browsers and does not require resources from a web server before operating.

JavaScript was created in 1995 by Brendan Eich at Netscape Communications Corporation. Its design follows the rules of client-side programming and can be used with technologies like Node.js, REST APIs, and XML.

Here are some of the key features of JavaScript:

Client-Side Scripting  - JavaScript is essentially used for client-side scripting, which means it runs on the user’s web browser rather than on the server. Web browsers work based on the validations and functionality of source code transferred from the web server to your device browser.

You can easily distinguish between server vs. client-side scripting knowing that client-side scripting executes commands with web browsers and the other executes commands with web servers.

Dynamic Functionality – JavaScript is commonly used to add dynamic functionality to web pages, such as interactive forms, image sliders, and pop-up windows. Additionally, JavaScript can be used to create and retrieve content for various web pages by accessing the files in web browsers.

Lightweight – Unlike Java, which is a complex programming language, JavaScript is a lightweight programming language that can be incorporated into HTML programs for execution.

Event-Driven Programming – JavaScript is event-driven, which means that it can detect, analyze, and respond to user actions, such as mouse clicks and keyboard input.

Cross-Platform Compatibility – JavaScript has a developed back-end technology that is compatible with all major web browsers. It can run on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linus, and can design programs for various environments.

Frameworks and Libraries – JavaScript has a wide range of frameworks and libraries that make it easier to develop complex web applications, such as React, Angular, Node.js, and Vue.js. JavaScript libraries also host data stores such as NoSQL document stores, SQL databases, queues, and block data cloud stores.

Server-Side Scripting – JavaScript can also be used for server-side scripting using Node.js. They are primarily used to create dynamic pages on server-side applications using JavaScript. In addition, Server-side scripting allows you to access the file system in a web server.

 

Java vs. JavaScript: Syntax Differences

Java and JavaScript have some similarities in syntax because they are both derived from the C programming language. However, there are also some key differences in their syntax:

Data Types

Java has a rich set of data types which includes primitive types (such as int, float, and boolean) and object types such as String and ArrayList. JavaScript, on the other hand, has a simpler set of data types, including numbers, strings, and booleans, which are all primitive data types.

Variable Declarations

The mode of presenting variables is different in Java and JavaScript. In Java, variables are declared with specific data types (e.g. int x = 5;). In JavaScript, variables can be declared without a specific data type using the var keyword (e.g, var x = 5;).

OOP Language

Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language, which means it uses objects to represent data and behavior. JavaScript also uses an OOP language, but with a difference for defining objects. Its syntax is written in the style of C, which allows developers to write JavaScript code for various uses.

Method Declarations

In Java, methods require a specific return type before they can be declared (e.g. public int add(int x, int y) { return x + y; }). In JavaScript, methods have to return type and can be defined using the function keyword (e,g. Function add (x,y) { return x + y; }).

Control Structures

Java and JavaScript have similar control structures, such as if-else statements and loops. However, there exist some syntax differences in structure, such as the use of curly brace and semicolons.

 

Java vs. JavaScript: Differences in Type of Language Use

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is an important concept in both Java and JavaScript; however, the mode of implementation is different in each language. Let’s take a look at how OOP is executed in Java and JavaScript.

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

Java

In Java, OOP is an integral part of the language and is used extensively to model complex systems. Java supports the four pillars of OOP: encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and abstraction.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation in Java is achieved using classes and objects. Classes provide templates for objects in the form of attributes (fields) and methods. The fields represent the data, and the methods represent the behavior of the objects.

The image below represents a simple class in Java:

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

The class represents a person having two fields (name and age) and two methods (getName and getAge). The fields are declared private to ensure encapsulation, and the methods are public to allow access to the fields.

Inheritance

Inheritance is another significant feature of OOP in Java. Inheritance allows a class to inherit the properties and methods of another class. Here is an example:

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

This class extends the person class and inserts a new field (grade) and a new method (getGrade). The super keyword is used to call the constructor of the parent class.

Polymorphism

Polymorphism is the ability of objects of different classes to be treated as if they are the same. In Java, polymorphism is derived using two methods: method overriding and method overloading. Here is an example:

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

The image shows a parent class (Animal) and a child class (Cat) that overrides the makeSound method and overloads it with a new version that takes an integer argument. The Cat class can now be treated as both an Animal and a Cat object.

Abstraction

Abstraction is done by hiding the complexity of a system and exposing only its basic features. In Java, abstraction is achieved through abstract classes and interfaces. Here is an example:

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

The example illustrates an interface (Shape) that defines a single method (draw) and two classes (Circle and Square) that implement the interface. The draw is the essential feature that is exposed, and the complexity of the implementation is hidden.

JavaScript

JavaScript ignores the complexity of Java by operating a loosely-typed language that supports OOP. A major difference between the languages is that JavaScript uses prototypal inheritance instead of classical inheritance.

Prototypal inheritance allows objects to inherit properties and methods directly from other objects, rather than through classes. Here is an example:

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

 

Java vs. JavaScript: Variables and Data Types

Variables and data types are fundamental concepts in programming languages. Although Java and JavaScript share some similarities in the way they handle variables and data types, there are also crucial differences between the two languages. The differences are outlined thus:

Java

Java is a statically-typed language, implying that its variables are declared with a specific data type at the time of their creation. This enables the Java compiler to enforce strict type checking at compile time, ensuring that the program is free of type errors before its execution.

Java supports eight primitive data types, including byte, short, int, long, float, char, boolean, and object reference types.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a dynamically-typed language, implying that its variables don’t need to be declared with a specific data type at the time of their creation. The data type of a variable is determined at runtime, based on the value that is assigned to it.

Dynamic typing allows you to define variables, data structures, and objects at places within your context. With JavaScript data structure embedded in dynamic typing, you can build cities in the sky. JavaScript supports five primitive data types, including string, number, boolean, null, and undefined, as well as reference types.

Final: Is Java and Javascript The Same

Note: In Java, the variables num1 and num2 are declared with the specific data types int and double, respectively, while the variable message is declared with the String data type. In JavaScript, all three variables are declared using the var keyword, and their data types are determined dynamically based on the values assigned to them.

 

Java vs. JavaScript: Differences in Execution

Java and JavaScript are two different programming languages that are executed differently due to their underlying technology and implementation. Emphasis on their execution model is explained below:

Java

Java is compiled into bytecode, which is a platform-independent intermediate language that can be executed on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM is a software implementation of a computer that executes the Java bytecode, providing a layer of abstraction that isolates the Java code from the underlying operating system and hardware.

This allows Java programs to be executed on different platforms without the need for recompilation or modification. Java applications typically run as standalone programs, while JavaScript code is executed within the context of a web page.

JavaScript

JavaScript is an interpreted language that is executed directly by the web browser. When a web page containing JavaScript code is loaded, the browser’s JavaScript engine interprets and executes the code line by line, without the need for compilation. This means that JavaScript code can be executed on platforms that support JavaScript, including desktop and mobile devices.

JavaScript is primarily used to enhance the interactivity and user experience of web pages, allowing developers to create dynamic and responsive web applications.

 

Java vs. JavaScript: Application Difference

Java and JavaScript are two distinct programming languages that have different applications. The differences are highlighted in detail below:

Java

Java is primarily used for developing desktop applications, server-side web applications, mobile applications, and embedded systems. Some specific areas of application for Java include:

Enterprise Applications – Java is widely used for developing large-scale enterprise applications, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, supply chain management systems, and financial applications.

Mobile Applications – Java is used for developing Android mobile applications, which are widely popular.

Desktop Applications – Java is used for developing cross-platform desktop applications that can run on any operating system, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Game Development – Java is also used for developing games where game servers are used for playing online and interactive multimedia applications.

Embedded Systems – Java is used for developing software for embedded systems, such as set-top boxes, routers, and medical devices.

JavaScript

JavaScript, on the other hand, is primarily used for client-side web development. Some specific areas of application for JavaScript include:

Web Development – JavaScript is used extensively for creating dynamic and interactive web applications. It is used for implementing client-side functionality, such as form validation, animations, and even handling.

Mobile Applications – JavaScript is used for developing cross-platform mobile applications using frameworks such as React Native.

Game Development – JavaScript is used for developing simple browser games and game engines.

Server-Side Web Development – With the advent of Node.js, JavaScript can also be used for server-side web development.

 

Java vs. JavaScript Job Opportunities and Salaries

Java and JavaScript are two of the most popular programming languages in the software development industry, with significant differences in job opportunities and salaries.

Java

Job Opportunity

Java has a vast range of applications and is widely used in enterprise, web, mobile, and embedded systems development. Therefore, there is a broad range of job opportunities available for Java developers, including software engineers, application developers, web developers, and enterprise architects.

Some popular job titles for Java developers include Java Developer, Full Stack Java Developer, Java Software Engineer, and Java Web Developer.

Salaries

Java developers are among the highest-paid professionals in the software development industry. According to payscale, the average salary for Java developers in the United States is around $79,000 per year, with experienced Java developers earning up to $125,000 per year.

JavaScript

Job Opportunity

JavaScript developers primarily focus on client-side web development, which includes developing interactive and dynamic user interfaces, front-end web development, and building web applications. Therefore, the job opportunities for JavaScript development are primarily in web development, front-end development, and mobile development.

Salaries

JavaScript developers are also in high demand, and salaries for these professionals have been on the rise in recent years. According to Payscale, the average salary for a JavaScript developer in the United States is around $74,000 per year, with experienced developers earning up to $120,000 per year.

 

Conclusion

Java and JavaScript are both considered programming languages. Aside from this, their usage, function, and requirement in terms of language, variables and data type, application, and mode of execution are far distinct from each other.

It’s essential to remember the type of project hosting, production need, web server or browser, and runtime when deciding what program to use. Invariably, Java is enterprise-centric (compiles code on the server before execution) while JavaScript is user-centric (interprets and executes code directly on the client side).

 

Next Steps: What Now?

 

Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of mobile hybrid applications?

These applications are cross-platform, working on multiple mobile devices without the need for additional compilation.

What are the companies that use Java?

Airbnb, Google, and Tesla are companies that use Java for their backend development.

What is compiled vs. Interpreted?

Java, an interpreted compiled language, scans the code of the entirety of a project during optimization, producing byte code for later utilization by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Can I use Java-compiled code?

Yes, you can use Java-compiled code. Compiled code is a form of machine language that the processor can read and execute directly.

What are the challenges of JavaScript?

Conversely, it encourages a culture of quick fixes, improvisation, ingenuitive coding, and more unorthodox solutions.

Can I use JavaScript for backend?

Yes! You can utilize JavaScript for both front and Backend. However, when used for backend, its language is poor and weakly typed.

What is JavaScript vs. TypeScript?

JavaScript is executed mainly as a client-side technology while TypeScript is used to enhance the function of JavaScript as a server-side technology.

Is JavaScript enough to get a job?

Yes! In the software development industry, JavaScript is essential in developing web browsers and it’s among the top jobs in the US.

Do companies use Java or JavaScript?

Companies and developers primarily use Java for complex and sophisticated programming languages, such as back-end development.

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