Top 5 Reasons to Choose JavaScript over Java for Web Development


It is critical for developers to select the appropriate programming language for their web apps because web development has become a significant component of enterprises across all industries. The Java vs. JavaScript argument has gained popularity among developers in recent years. The online development industry has long been dominated by Java, but JavaScript has quickly overtaken it as a leading language for many web developers. We’ll look at the top 5 reasons why JavaScript is chosen over Java for web development in this article. Whether you’re an experienced developer or just getting started, being aware of these factors will enable you to choose your next web development project’s language with confidence.

History of JavaScript

JavaScript has a very rich and fascinating history. It was created by Brendan Eich (co-founder of Mozilla) during his time at Netscape Communications in 1995. Originally called Mocha (a name chosen by Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape). It’s inspired by Java. In Sep 1995, JavaScript name was changed to LiveScript. Then in Dec 1995, upon receiving a trademark license from Sun, the name JavaScript was adopted. The general-purpose JavaScript engine had been embedded in web browsers (Netscape, IE, etc..). The ECMA-262 (European Computer Manufacturers  Association) Specification defined a standard version of JavaScript language. There have been multiple editions of JavaScript, details are provided below.

  • ECMAScript Edition 1  is the First standardized version of JavaScript.
  • ECMAScript Edition 2 is the second official standard, in order to make JavaScript implementation more standard by different vendors.
  • ECMAScript 3 (ES3) was released in December 1999. More advanced version of the language, by including regular expressions and exception handling.
  • ECMAScript 4 (ES4) added support for features such as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) & class based object-oriented programming.
  • ECMAScript 5 (ES5) was released in December 2009. It added features for robust programming via a strict mode and better way to handle JSON
  • ECMAScript 6 (ES6) was released in June 2015, and is the latest official version of JavaScript. It has added more backend features that can be used in runtime environment like Node.js
Java Initially

When JavaScript was introduced it was perceived just as an extra option that Netscape added to it’s browser. Many programmers initially dismissed it, but later on they noticed it’s forward thinking features such as lambadas and functions as first class objects until it brought them to mainstream. Now after 20 years, everything has changed. Web applications are the most prevailing medium for people to interact with the computing world. Here JavaScript has emerged as the foundation for modern day web applications. It is currently used by 94.5% of all websites and more server applications are also written using JavaScript.

Let us now see the top 5 reasons why JavaScript is the choice over Java.

Reason 1: One language for frontend and backend programming

As called out in the introductory section, JavaScript was originally introduced as a front-end interpreted language. It’s main goal is to bring interactivity with users by bringing features like event handling, forms, browser handling and document (HTML) handling. This continue to be true with 94.5% of world’s top 10 million websites use JavaScript in the frontend. We can even go ahead and say JavaScript is the only interpreted language that is universally accepted by all web applications and browsers. The most interesting part of JavaScript is, it doesn’t stop here. Creators of JavaScript continued to add more interesting features which has resulted in JavaScript started ruling the backend programming as well.

When it comes to backend there were already many languages existing (PHPJavaRubyPython etc..). So the norm was to learn one programming language for front end and another one for backend. This got changed with the introduction of node.js (which is a JavaScript runtime environment), which has emerged as the #1 framework by developers. JavaScript is also one of the fastest growing OpenSource (ranked 4th) that enables developers to build scalable, lightweight web applications with ease. With these unique advantages, JavaScript scores significantly higher than Java by emerging as the only language that can be used both in frontend and backend programming. This has truly enabled fullstack web development phenomenon!

Reason-2: Develop Faster and Smoother

From writing less number of lines to re-using packages, there are many features that makes JavaScript development a breeze. Let us take a look into them one-by-one:

1. Re-usability: In the server side JavaScript programming, there is a great set of library available in form of Node Package Manager (NPM). It has more than 7 lakh packages or libraries available for re-use, thereby emerging as the biggest repository in the world. Such extensive support is not available for Java, which speed up the development. 

2. Lines of Code: In JavaScript lesser lines of code achieve more functionality, unlike Java. This is mainly due to the interpreted nature of JavaScript, which offers higher level of abstraction. Availability of many rich features and libraries (ex: NPM as called out above) developers can achieve same functionality with lesser number of lines than Java.

3. Scalable: JavaScript is a scalable language. It has an event driven framework which consumers lesser amount of resources than Java. This makes it lightweight and efficient, thereby reducing load on the backend. Combined with non blocking I/O, JavaScript enabled developers to create scalable web applications.

4. Tools: There are various tools available for JavaScript developers. It gives an OpenSource ecosystem support for best-in-class editors/IDE. It also provides some excellent tools with zero cost like Sublime TextGulpNPMWebpackEslint, etc. Such tool ecosystem increased the productivity of developers.

Reason-3: Easy to Learn, faster to master:

Java is an object oriented programming language whereas JavaScript is an object based scripting language. Many of their programming structures are similar. However, JavaScript contains a much smaller and simpler set of programming constructs than Java. Also it can be easily read and understood by developers than many other programming languages. As a developer and individual get started with JavaScript in the front-end and make a transition into fullstack developer as mentioned in the diagram below. It offers many easier aspects in the frontend (ex: weakly typed) that makes JavaScript having one of the smoothest learning curves when it comes to developers.

Reason-4: Most Popular Language

JavaScript has emerged as a flexible and powerful programming language, implemented consistently by various web browsers. By foraying into backend JavaScript has become very popular because it has turned web browsers into application platforms or single page applications. It also continue to expand into innovative technologies like virtual reality, gaming, animation and rendering. More breakthroughs in JavaScript are emerging as it makes into device or embedded systems programming thereby playing a significant role in Internet-Of-Things (IoT), thanks to upcoming JavaScript frameworks like Cylon.js.

In summary it is becoming a swiss army knife of programming languages, where it can be used for many purposes at different context. No wonder it continue to be one of the most popular programming languages (refer – image below).

Reason-5: Great Statistics

Last but not the least – Numbers and Numbers! JavaScript has great statistics here are some of them for your reference.

  • More than 900000 servers deployed Node.js which is the highest growth rate among all
  • Job opportunities for those who have excelled in JavaScript has increased immensely. There have been more than 25000% increase in job opportunities all over the world for JavaScript developers and more companies are finding it difficult to hire JavaScript talent.
  • More than 10000 companies are asking to include Node.js as the key skill to hire people which even includes the top 5 companies. JavaScript is the most trending and popular language among all the FullStack web developers globally among all surveys, thereby demonstrating a great future.

A programming language called JavaScript has arisen that is more adaptable than Java. Many factors contributed to this, including ongoing development, backend utilisation, the expansion of other domains, user-friendliness, effectiveness, and tools. Java, on the other hand, has not progressed to this level despite continuing to be widely used. Given that cross-functional paradigms like IoT are becoming more popular and scalability will be a crucial requirement of contemporary online apps, JavaScript has established itself as the first language every developer should master.

Our FullStack web developer courses have been designed with JavaScript at their core after extensive research into this paradigm. By establishing additional careers, we continue to expand our incursion into this worldwide phenomena.

Are you ready to join us on board?