Node.js vs. Python: Which Backend Technology to Choose in 2021?

Node.js vs. Python? You might have heard these two technologies mentioned in the same sentence before, but you are still not sure what they are or how they differ from each other.

Over the last few years, both Node.js and Python have gained in popularity. Regarding Node.js vs. Python, StackOverflow claims that Python is one of the most popular programming languages, while Node.js is excellent for server development.

To give you an overview of the main differences between Node.js and Python, this article lists their differences and which you should choose in 2021 based on your project’s requirements. Let’s get started!

Node.js vs. Python: Overview

The main difference between Node.js and Python is that the former is a Javascript-based runtime environment. It’s intended for applications that connect with web servers often and is optimized for computing resources.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a runtime environment that is built on the JavaScript programming language. With Node, developers can create both a backend and a frontend with a single stack.

This unique feature allows teams to share the same skill set, onboard new team members rapidly, and prevent rehiring. Node.js is an excellent choice for real-time web apps (chats, trackers, API).

Source

According to Hostingtribunal, Node.js cuts development costs by 58 percent. Microsoft, Netflix, Walmart, PayPal, IBM, LinkedIn, GoDaddy, and other companies use the environment.

What is Python?

Python is a widely-used general-purpose, high-level programming language. It has structures that allow for explicit programming at both small and large scales.

Python is a simple programming language that helps programmers create clean coding sequences for applications. Python programmers can use code modules instead of long, replaceable coding lines. Python also supports several programming languages.

Python is so widespread that, according to Leftronic, 4 out of 5 programmers use it as their primary language. Python is also one of Google’s primary programming languages.

Node.JS vs. Python: Know The Differences

Although Node.js and Python are great platforms for developing web applications, there are some differences between these technologies, including speed of execution, scalability potentials, etc. Let’s look at these tech stacks to figure out what they have in common and where they differ from one another.

#1 Scalability

Node.js

Instead of establishing a sizable monolithic core, Node.js allows you to create several microservices. You can communicate with a lightweight method while also operating its process with these microservices in place.

The development process in Node.js is incredibly flexible as you can add more modules and microservices. Moreover, the Node.js web app is scaled vertically and horizontally.

You must add new nodes to the system to scale horizontally. Vertical scaling, on the other hand, requires the addition of extra resources to your current nodes. If you want to make a scalable application, hire Node.js developers; they will understand your requirements and offer suggestions.

When it comes to typing, Node.js also gives you extra options allowing you to utilize either strongly typed TypeScript or weakly typed JavaScript.

Python

Python does not support multithreading, which is required for the app to scale. Python uses the Global Interpreter Lock, which prevents multithreading (GIL).

Even though Python has multithreading libraries, it is not “true” multithreading. Furthermore, even if you have multiple threads, the GIL only allows Python to operate one thread at a time.

Python is dynamically typed as well. When it comes to massive projects, dynamically typed languages are often not favored. This is because as it grows, it becomes increasingly complex.

#2 Performance and Speed

Node.js

Node.js is a perfect framework for quickly creating fast, scalable network applications based on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime. Node.js is lightweight and efficient as it is event-driven, ideal for data-intensive real-time applications across distributed devices.

Node’s package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in history.

Python

The backend speed comparison of Node.js vs. Python revealed that Python is significantly slower for server-side activities. The language contains numerous abstraction levels that take time to process to make it easier to understand.

Multithreading is not possible with Python due to its fundamental architecture, which is an issue. It slows down processing because processes aren’t running in parallel.

#3 Extensibility

Node.js

Although Node.js and Python share some similarities, one of their most important differences is extensibility — where Node.js wins out. That’s because Node offers a community-driven framework that allows developers to create tools that extend functionality beyond what you see on its surface.

You can extend it and construct DNS and HTTP servers using the built-in APIs. Meteor, Express, Hapi, Koa, Restify, Nest, Fastify, and more frameworks can extend Node.js.

Python

Python was first launched in 1991, and several frameworks and development tools have since been developed. For example, you can use Python to integrate Sublime Text, a popular code editor. This editor also includes syntax extensions and a slew of other editing functionalities.

There’s also the Robot Framework, which is used to automate tests. Additionally, web development frameworks such as CherryPy, Django, Pyramid, Flask, and Web2Py exist. To incorporate these functionalities of Python in your application, hire Python developers.

#4 Libraries

In the last few decades, libraries have provided a new foundation for the entire scenario of app development technologies. There should be no need to replicate something that has previously been produced as a code. Instead, during development, you can easily integrate this code from libraries into your code/program.

Nodejs

Node.js is known for its extensive, well-documented libraries, which the Node Package Manager handles. NPM is known as the world’s largest repository since it has 3,50,000 packages. Isn’t that incredible?

Python

Pip, which stands for ‘Pip Install Packages,’ is the Python library manager. Python libraries are well-documented and straightforward to install. However, as new libraries emerge, they are not as extensively documented as older libraries, making them less reliable.

#5 Architecture

The architecture of computer languages defines the rules for constructing modules and connecting them. You’ll need a good architecture to improve the development process.

Node.js

The development of Node.js is event-driven, allowing for simultaneous input and output. A specific process is launched when a specified event occurs, guaranteeing that no other programs interrupt the thread.

The event-driven nature of Node.js makes it suitable for constructing web-based chat games and apps.

On the server-side, Single Thread Event Loops are utilized in Node.js’ design to manage concurrent user requests. Instead of creating many threads to handle the obstructing requests, only one thread is used.

Python

Python, on the other hand, is not constructed in this way. You can use it to create asynchronous event-driven software with the help of specific tools.

Python modules like asyncio are used to write asynchronous code. However, most Python frameworks do not include this package, so that it will take some additional effort.

Python’s architecture does not include asynchronous programming to give input-output features. You can’t make any more unblocking requests while a blocking request is in progress.

This capability needs the use of custom modules, which aren’t readily available in most Python frameworks.

#7 Community

Both Node.js and Python have robust communities that support them.

Node.js

One of the most active programming communities is Node.js. The community has created a variety of tutorials, videos, and modules for the community’s use.

NPM is home to over a million packages, all of which are maintained by the community. When you’re stuck on a problem, there’s a high chance someone else has already solved it and shared their solution on Stack Overflow.

Python

Python has a large developer community with millions of users. When compared to Node.js, it has a larger community because it is an older language.

Queries should be posted in Python-specific forums, such as those on Stack Overflow. The Python online community includes excellent learning resources and PyCon conferences that take place all over the world.

Another benefit of having such a large community is the ease with which developers may be found. Various Python-using companies use the community for qualified developers.

Node.js vs. Python: Which One to Use?

When choosing which of these tools to use for a new backend project, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your specific needs as an organization or business.

Whether you’re building a full-scale eCommerce platform or a content management system for a corporate website, Node.js and Python each have their place in your stack.

To determine if Node.js or Python is the most excellent fit for your project, you must first choose the technologies your project needs. For this, get in touch with a top app development company in India; they’ll check over your idea and recommend the best tech stack.

Good luck!

Hey, I’m Ajay, a tech blogger working with PixelCrayons who loves to share his extensive tech-related knowledge with like-minded people.