JavaScript vs Python : Can Python Overtop JavaScript by 2020?

This is the Clash of the Titans!!

And no…I am not talking about the Hollywood movie (don’t bother watching it…it’s horrible!). I am talking about JavaScript and Python, two of the most popular programming languages in existence today.

JavaScript is currently the most commonly used programming language (and has been for quite some time!) but now Python is dishing out some stiff competition. Python has been steadily increasing in popularity so much so that it is now the fastest-growing programming language. So now the question is…Will Python Replace JavaScript popularity by 2020?



JavaScript-vs-Python

To understand the above question correctly, it is important to know more about JavaScript and Python as well as the reasons for their popularity. So let’s start with JavaScript first!

Why is JavaScript so popular?

JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted programming language that is most popular as a scripting language for Web pages. This means that if a web page is not just sitting there and displaying static information, then JavaScript is probably behind that. And that’s not all, there are even advanced versions of the language such as Node.js which is used for server-side scripting.

JavaScript is an extremely popular language. And if my word doesn’t convince you, here are the facts!!!

According to StackOverflow Developer Survey Results 2019, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, used by 69.7 % of professional developers. And this is a title it has claimed the past seven years in a row.

In addition to that, the most commonly used Web Frameworks are jQuery, Angular.js and React.js (All of which incidentally use JavaScript). Now if that doesn’t demonstrate JavaScript’s popularity, what does?!

Web-Frameworks-Popularity-Stackoverflow

Image Source: Stackoverflow

So now the question arises…Why is JavaScript so popular?

Well, some of the reasons for that are:

  • JavaScript is used both on the client-side and the server-side. This means that it runs practically everywhere from browsers to powerful servers. This gives it an edge over other languages that are not so versatile.
  • JavaScript implements multiple paradigms ranging from OOP to procedural. This allows developers the freedom to experiment as they want.
  • JavaScript has a large community of enthusiasts that actively back the language. Without this, it would have been tough for JavaScript to establish the number one position it has.

Can Python Replace JavaScript in Popularity?

Python is an interpreted, general-purpose programming language that has multiple uses ranging from web applications to data analysis. This means that Python can be seen in complex websites such as YouTube or Instagram, in cloud computing projects such as OpenStack, in Machine Learning, etc. (basically everywhere!)

Python has been steadily increasing in popularity so much so that it is the fastest-growing major programming language today according to StackOverflow Developer Survey Results 2019.


This is further demonstrated by this Google Trends chart showing the growth of Python as compared to JavaScript over the last 5 years:

As shown in the above data, Python recorded increased search interest as compared to JavaScript for the first time around November 2017 and it has maintained its lead ever since. This shows remarkable growth in Python as compared to 5 years ago.

In fact, Stack Overflow created a model to forecast its future traffic based on a model called STL and guess what…the prediction is that Python could potentially stay in the lead against JavaScript till 2020 at the least.

Future-Traffic-on-Major-Programming-Languages-Stackoverflow

Image Source : Stackoverflow

All these trends indicate that Python is extremely popular and getting even more popular with time. Some of the reasons for this incredible performance of Python are given as follows:

  • Python is Easy To Use
    No one likes excessively complicated things and that’s one of the reasons for the growing popularity of Python. It is simple with an easily readable syntax and that makes it well loved by both seasoned developers and experimental students. In addition to this, Python is also supremely efficient. It allows developers to complete more work using fewer lines of code. With all these advantages, what’s not to love?!!

  • Python has a Supportive Community
    Python has been around since 1990 and that is ample time to create a supportive community. Because of this support, Python learners can easily improve their knowledge, which only leads to increasing popularity. And that’s not all! There are many resources available online to promote Python, ranging from official documentation to YouTube tutorials that are a big help for learners.

  • Python has multiple Libraries and Frameworks
    Python is already quite popular and consequently, it has hundreds of different libraries and frameworks that can be used by developers. These libraries and frameworks are really useful in saving time which in turn makes Python even more popular. Some of the popular libraries of Python are NumPy and SciPy for scientific computing, Django for web development, BeautifulSoup for XML and HTML parsing, scikit-learn for machine learning applications, nltk for natural language processing, etc.

So What’s the Conclusion?

While JavaScript is currently the most popular programming language, Python could soon outstrip it of this title based on its incredible growth rate. So it is entirely possible that Python could be the most popular programming language by 2020.

However, this will merely impact the relative popularity of these two languages and not specify which among them is the better language. That choice is entirely subjective and may depend on multiple factors such as project requirements, scalability, ease of learning as well as the future growth prospects.



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