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NodeJS Vs Python: Solving The Great Backend Dilemma

Do you also suffer from the backend dilemma between: Node.js vs Python? We compared everything from pros/cons to features to use cases.
NodeJS Vs Python - Solving The Great Backend Dilemma

Do you also suffer from the backend dilemma between Node and Python? If yes, then the simple answer is that it depends on you, the developer, their prior experiences, development and project requirements, and use cases. In this article, we will compare different aspects of the two technologies Node Vs Python so that it becomes clear for you to choose the one which perfectly fits your project requirements.

The backend, as we know, is referred to as server-side, the part of the website that is not visible to users.

The striking visuals created by developers or UX professionals wouldn’t be possible without the back-end. All the data is generated in the back-end and then presented to the client.

The backend of software is created through libraries, languages, and frameworks. These backend technologies play a crucial role in your software development. Since the backend is responsible for organizing data, solving customer queries, and enabling better communication between user and server, a perfect Backend technology must guarantee amazing performance, speed, and scalability.

NodeJS Vs Python – Overview

Overview of Node.js:

Developed in 2009 on Google chrome’s V8 engine by an American software engineer named Ryan Dahl, Node is a technology used for backend development that uses JavaScript as its language. It is quite popular among companies who need to switch constantly between client-side and server. Node.js can serve purposes like:

  • Developing different kinds of applications such as Data-intensive Real-time Applications, Data streaming applications like gaming apps.
  • Single page and I/O bound apps are also built using Node.
  • Node.js is also quite the choice for e-commerce sites.
  • And, of course, it is known for its use in HTTP web servers.

Overview of Python:

Created way before Node, in 1989 by Guida Van Rossum, Python didn’t get quite the attention due to its slow processing. But in recent years with the popularity of ML, it has come under the spotlight. Although the use of Python is not limited to AI/Ml, since its advent it has served various purposes which include web development, big data, DevOps, testing automation, and engineering. In a 2020 survey conducted on the most preferred software development technologies to learn amongst IT professionals in India, Python got 35% of the total votes.

NodeJS Vs Python – Let’s understand the features of each

Features of Node.js:

Features of Node.Js

  • Productivity- As I mentioned earlier, Node uses JavaScript which can be implemented both for the backend and frontend thus increasing productivity to a different level.
  • Asynchronous programming- Another amazing feature of Node is its capability of executing a bunch of stacks in the same thread i.e, asynchronous programming. Its non-block architecture allows you to do other operations also without interrupting the input\output process. It helps with concurrent requests.
  • Speed- Asynchronous programming in Node, and V8 engine together boosts the speed of execution, thus, helping us achieve dynamic and fast applications.
  • Huge Library- NPM (Node package Management) has overtaken other packages since its advent because it has millions of packages free for everyone to use.

Features of Python

Features of Python

  • Simplicity- Python’s simple-to-use and easy syntax is its most well-known feature. It lets you focus on the solution rather than the syntax. Whitespace is used for indentation in python. It is indentation sensitive, it will give you an error if you skip the indentation, which can be a little challenging for a new developer.
  • Embeddable & Extensible- Python supports adding code of other languages into itself to run those functions. It is open-sourced i.e., free for anybody to use. It can also be modified. You can write your code and share it with anybody and it will work the same. Python has excellent extensibility with amazing frameworks like Django, Flask, CherryPy, Raspberry Pi, etc.
  • Interpretation- Python interprets the code line by line which makes the management, memory, and debugging of the code much more simple.
  • Universality- Cross-platform usage in Python requires an interpreter when working on windows while it is pre-installed in Linux. It can be used in both the front-end and backend.
  • Object – Orientation – Python is both procedural and object-oriented language meaning you can model a real-world problem into your code and you even have security for it, such that access to them is restricted which helps you to replicate the real-world scenarios.

NodeJS Vs Python – Let’s understand the pros and cons of both

Pros/ Cons of Node.js:

Pros Cons
Real-time interactions– We can easily build real-time applications that require real-time interaction and processing using Node. Unexpected Exceptions- A lot of people do not know how to handle unexpected exceptions in Node. And, it also takes a lot of time to troubleshoot bugs.
Streaming- Node.js stream makes it suitable to read/write from WebSockets which makes it easy for streaming apps. Vulnerable to malicious users-The open-source feature of Node makes it vulnerable to malicious users and doesn’t come with extensive support.
Transition to Microservices. It is not advisable to use Node.js for CPU-intensive applications– It stinks at CPU-intensive tasks. You may not want to use a node to ever create large-scale files or go through huge files or big data since it will run out of memory.
Massive storage and amazing performance.

Pros/ Cons of Python:

Pros Cons
Dynamically typed – We do not need to specify the type of variable in advance since it is decided at the run-time. Slow in Processing requests- Python is also slow in processing requests. Python does not support asynchronous programming but if paired with modules like Asycnio, can create event-driven apps.
Error handling- Python is much better at handling errors than Node.js. It is quick in debugging making its code even more compact and providing a better user experience. Not the best option for game development and 3-D rendering- This is because 3-D rendering is extremely computationally heavy and Python is a slow language.
Huge library- Has huge library support which provides a rich set of modules and functions so you do not have to write your code for everything. Python is not good with mobile apps- It has a lot of issues regarding updates in apps when it comes to mobile development.
Artificial Intelligence/ ML –Due to a large number of resources and simple syntax, Python makes it easier for beginners to work in ML.

NodeJS Vs Python – Let’s take a look at the popular apps using NodeJS and Python

Popular Apps that use Node –

  • LinkedIn- Node is reliable, scalable, secure, and has amazing performance and speed which makes it a perfect fit for LinkedIn which serves millions of users simultaneously.
  • Amazon- Amazon uses Node due to its event-driven feature and non-blocking architecture.
  • Yahoo- Yahoo relies on the node for its full-stack development.
  • Paypal- By using Node, Paypal was able to respond to their customers better in rush hours.
  • Netflix- Node’s amazing performance has attracted Netflix’s developers.
  • eBay- Node makes it easy for developers at eBay to handle too many real-time requests that they get.

Popular Apps that use Python –

  • Google- Google uses Pythonfor Better search results. Python is also used in several google APIs. Google go by this motto- “Python where we can, C++ where we must”
  • Netflix –Netflix uses AI/ML to cluster users based on their interests in shows and retain them for longer, and Python is easy to work within ML.
  • Reddit– Reddit is written in Python.
  • Dropbox– In Dropbox, both the server and client applications are coded using Python.
  • National Security Agency – NSA uses Python for cybersecurity analysis and encryption and decryption purposes.
  • Nasa- Nasa scientists use python to perform scientific calculations to reduce time and make their work easier.

Comparison Table – NodeJS Vs Python

Let us put the comparison table briefing about the other aspects of both the backend technologies, which would help you in choosing the right tech stack for your project.

Comparison Point Python Node
Syntax One of the features that made Python, one of the most popular languages of 2020 is its syntax which is easy to learn and work with if you are a beginner. Whitespace is used for indentation in python and because Python is also indentation sensitive, it will give you an error if you skip the indentation, which can be a little challenging for a new developer. Node.js uses Java-script whose syntax is a little messier in comparison to python but if you are familiar with Java-script then things will be a lot easier for you.
Performance and Speed Python does not support asynchronous programming but if paired with modules like Asycnio, can create event-driven apps. Since Python uses Global Interpreter Lock (GIL), which doesn’t allow the Python interpreter to do multithreading. Python is also slow in processing requests. Node.js runs on a V8 engine that boosts the speed of execution and thus, helping us achieve dynamic and fast applications.
Another reason why Node.js is faster is its asynchronous programming and single-thread. Its non-block architecture allows you to do other operations also without interrupting the input\output process. Node.js is also known for its massive storage.
Universality Cross-platform usage in Python requires an interpreter when working on windows while it is pre-installed in Linux. It can be used in both the front end and back end. Node.js has inherent cross-platform functionality. Node.js is a full-stack since it uses java-script which is used in the front end.
Extensibility Python has excellently extensible with amazing frameworks like Django, Flask, CherryPy, Raspberry Pi, etc. Node.js is also easily extensible, you can either make use of APIs to extend it or frameworks like Babel, Jasmine, Log.io, etc.
Libraries Python has huge library support which helps in obtaining solutions to problems easier. Python sports a PIP package manager. Node.js sports NPM (Node Package Management) which is responsible for handling millions of packages that it exhibits.
Error-handling Python is much better at handling errors than Node.js. It is quick in debugging making its code even more compact and providing a better user experience. Node.js takes a lot more time in troubleshooting bugs than python. Although, its multithreading abilities make it high performing.
Community support Python was introduced way back in 1989, thus having a bigger community than Node.js which was introduced much later. Node.js is an open-sourced engine and so even after being launched later gives tough competition to Python. But, the open-source feature makes it vulnerable to malicious users and doesn’t come with extensive support.
User-cases Python is highly popular for its usage in big data, DevOps, testing automation, data science, and engineering. Node.js is used in e-commerce, gaming graphics, CMS, and chatbots. It is quite popular among companies who need to switch constantly between client-side and server.

Conclusion:

After comparing the technologies of Node Vs Python from every aspect possible, we realized that each has its advantages and disadvantages.

To conclude, if you want to develop apps that require real-time interactions or fast processing, you should go for Node. Although, it doesn’t come in handy when you want to work with large files.

Python shines when it comes to debugging errors, machine learning, and numerical computations, and of course, its syntax is what made Python one of the most popular languages of 2020.

Although to leverage any of these technologies you need to hire backend developers. Backend developers design scalable and fast back-end services for different organizations, web portals, and applications. They also build APIs and are responsible for server communication and security.

A demand for hiring Node.js development company or web developers also stems from a strong framework that helps in making your website or application appealing to the audience. A budget-friendly option for you will be to hire node developers or hide python developers from a development agency that includes a backend developer. We at SolGuruz have experienced backend developers who can help to evaluate your backend architecture or help you in implementing the backend using Node or Python.

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