java vs javascript

Java and JavaScript are not the same programming language. Here’s why.

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One of the most common misconceptions that exist amongst beginner developers is that JavaScript is part of the Java platform. In fact, they could not be more different. Java is an OOP programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, while JavaScript is an OOP scripting language developed by Netscape, Inc. A good way of understanding the relationship between Java vs JavaScript is to think of how the word “car” relates to the word, “carpet.” While they may share the same root word, they are completely different concepts. Simple right? Let’s look at some of their key differences.


Java vs JavaScript: What They Can Do

According to Anadea, three of the most common uses for Java are web applications, mobile applications and desktop programs. Contrastingly, JavaScript is used for building websites, web servers and web applications. There are definite similarities in that they are integral to app development, but the biggest differentiating factor is that, “Java creates applications that run in a virtual machine or browser while JavaScript code is run on a browser only.” In other words, Java applets are little internet-based programs that can run in HTML or on any computer.  Unlike Java, JavaScript, being a scripting language cannot create standalone programs. JavaScript programs are supported by other languages like HTML. That’s why you’ll frequently find JavaScript inside HTML documents, boosting the level of interactivity that web pages offer.  Very simply, JavaScript can only run on browsers.

In addition, Java is predominantly a back-end programming language which means that it is used to create the digital infrastructure that enables what you see when you use a website, app, game or software product. Very simply, it is the code that makes things beautiful. In other words, “the backend of an application is responsible for things like calculations, business logic, database interactions, and performance.” On the other hand, JavaScript is mainly used for front-end development. What this means is that it is used for developing what a user sees and experiences when they interact with a website or app. Essentially, the front-end of an application is less about code and more about how a user will interpret the interface into an experience.”


Java vs JavaScript: Compiled vs Interpreted

Java is what is known as a compiled language. What this means, is that Java is compiled into bytecode or binary language that the virtual machine can interpret. As webopedia explains: “Once a Java program has been converted to bytecode, it can be transferred across a network and executed by Java Virtual Machine.” This compiled language creates programs that once compiled are “expressed in the instructions of the target machine.” This machine code is therefore undecipherable by humans. In contrast, JavaScript is written in text and is interpreted by the browser you’re using. In other words, this interpreted language is not directly executed by the target machine but is instead read and executed by an interpreter computer program that is built-in to JavaScript. Basically, devs create code in readable text format and the JavaScript engine uses that code to generate machine-readable instructions. Both compilation and interpretation have advantages and disadvantages.


The Five Top Advantages of Using Java According to Rob Fairbrother


Java is usually one of the first programming languages that aspiring devs are encouraged to learn. And for good reason. Java is user- and design-friendly. Put in the hours and you’ll be rewarded by fascinating outputs.

“Write Once, Run Anywhere”

What has become a programming axiom can definitely be applied to Java. It enjoys platform independence and is agile enough to enable the same program to be run on several different systems.


Java has the sought-after ability to perform early and thorough checks for errors that may arise during the development process. It goes through code like a fine-toothed comb, avoiding the countless problems that may otherwise pop up at execution stage.


Java is a safe option when it comes to programming. Users are protected from hostile problems by an airtight security model that mechanically devoids corruption or infection.

Mobile Development

Rob Fairbrother suggests that Java has been of optimal use in the android development market, due to its flexibility and ability to be used for a range of functions. It’s multifaceted nature means that it’s adaptable enough to survive the constant evolution of the mobile development industry.  



The Five Top Advantages of JavaScript According to freeCodeCamp


When it comes to JavaScript, devs are always raving about its speed. It runs immediately within the client-side browser – hassle free (for the most part). This is largely due to the fact that it is an interpreted language.

Global Usage

JavaScript is used by millions of devs across the world, which makes it easy to access support. There are a myriad of resources available and StackOverflow and GitHub have many projects that are using JavaScript to create great work like mobile apps, smartwatch apps and even robots.


JavaScript, being a scripting language, can be used in conjunction with a range of other languages and can be inserted into a web page regardless of the file extension.

Extended Functionality

Third party add-ons like Greasemonkey allow JavaScript devs to write pieces of code that can execute on different web pages and extend their functionality in terms of how they are displayed and how the user interacts with them.

Regular Updates

JavaScript evolves with the times and has been updated annually by Ecma International since the launch of EcamScript 5 in 2009.


According to a study, conducted by Cloud Foundry Foundation,  Java is used in 58% of the organisations represented by the 601 respondents, and JavaScript is used in 57%. These statistics say it all. Whichever path your career follows as a developer, you will undoubtedly be exposed to the nuances of these two languages and their wide application.

Eager to learn the ropes of Java and JavaScript? Your future as a dev starts here. Check out our bootcamps and get going.