November 12, 2020
If you’re wondering what exactly is JS, what it’s used for, and how to make the most of it in your projects - I’ll explain it all in this article.
There are some other similarities. Both languages have the same roots, meaning fundamental programming languages from a few decades ago, out of which JS and Java evolved.
But that’s pretty much where similarities end. Java is a general-purpose programming language for coding big web applications. Large scale, enterprise-class applications. Apps like these need to meet very demanding criteria, be highly personalized, and require long-term maintenance and sizable development teams. Think of banking applications, or huge projects like Netflix, where a big chunk of it is written in Java.
If we were to compare Java to something, C# (coupled with the .NET platform) would be the closest candidate. They’re both often used to create the core functionalities of applications, like business logic or data management. When it comes to our team, we use Python instead.
In Java, you have to put in a lot of work to write something that works. But once it works, you can be confident that it will keep chugging along. This makes Java a poor choice for startups because building an MVP with this language takes a lot of time.
Java is also a very popular language in mobile applications development because it’s the language in which Android is written. Mobile is a different type of development if you compare it to building desktop apps, and nowadays many developers have been switching to Kotlin for mobile development instead of Java anyway.
- Java is a general-purpose programming language that has become a staple of enterprise-class software development and has a big presence in mobile app development.
It’s the most popular programming language right now. That comes with many perks. There are a lot of skilled JS developers to hire. It has a rich ecosystem with new tools being added all the time.
However, building something that works quickly, smoothly, and without security vulnerabilities is still a big challenge. The trap here is that developers can be lulled into a sense of ease, assume that something will be easy and quick to build, and then get frustrated and extend deadlines when it turns out to be difficult.
This also means security vulnerabilities. You can build a JS backend for exchanging sensitive data - but it’s probably not the best technology choice. Especially considering that there are languages specifically built for secure backend development, like Rust.
Besides, you can use JS to program a lot of other things - including your smart fridge.
It’s funny when you think of it - JS started as a language you’d use to add a snow animation to your website, and now you can use it to build applications in the browser, or even machine learning algorithms and blockchain apps.
But if you want to make a small game that’s only going to work in the browser - like BrowserQuest - JS provides all you need to do that.
Or it can play a supporting role - with main apps built-in native languages (Java for Android and Swift for iOS) and using JS to build new features that work on both platforms.
It’s a future-proof technology with a huge ecosystem, a wide network of developers, and proven usability.
JS is trying to be a general-purpose programming language, and it’s doing amazingly, but still lacking compared to languages that were general-purpose from the start. So for the most complex, vital parts of your business, you’ll still probably want to use server-side languages like Python or Java.