Python and C++ are among the most popular programming languages. But, if you’re new to this world and want to learn a programming language, you’re probably wondering, “Is Python easier than C++?”
We’ll analyze each language separately, discuss the pros and cons, and make a head-to-head comparison to provide the answer.
What Is Python?
Python has become one of the most popular programming languages, especially in the last few years. One of the reasons Python is so popular is its versatility. The program can be used for anything from creating different apps and programs to automating tasks and conducting data analysis.
Python is often used for developing the backend (the part users can’t see) of an app or a website. Its role in this sense is quite versatile. For example, Python is involved in sending data to and from servers, information processing, communicating with databases, and enhancing security.
This programming language is excellent for scripting, i.e., writing code to automate different tasks and processes. For example, Python can help you test for file errors, delete information duplicates, perform simple math, rename numerous files simultaneously, etc.
You don’t have to be a data scientist or programmer to use Python. This programming language is helpful for journalists, social media marketers, business owners, and many other professionals. For example, Python can help you monitor the cryptocurrency or stock market, edit your grocery shopping list, convert files to different formats, assign chores, or set reminders.
Let’s review the advantages and drawbacks of Python.
Here’s why Python is so popular:
- Easy to learn – Python is often called “the beginner’s language” because it’s easy to understand and has a clear syntax.
- Suitable for web development – Python is an excellent choice for web development.
- Improves productivity – Python is a simple language. Instead of trying to understand the complex syntax, you can focus on problem-solving or other tasks.
- Interpreted language – Python belongs to interpreted programming languages, meaning it executes commands line by line. Therefore, if the program identifies an error, it will report it immediately and stop executing commands.
- Excellent for debugging – Python displays one error at a time, even if there are multiple errors in a code. This makes debugging much easier.
- It’s free – Since it comes under the OSI open-source license, Python is free to use and distribute.
- Exceptional library – Python features a vast library, so you don’t have to use external libraries for your tasks.
Programming languages aren’t perfect, and Python is no exception. Here are a few drawbacks:
- Slow – Being an interpreted language, Python comes in handy for debugging. However, this line-by-line execution has one significant flaw: low speed. So if speed is important in your projects, Python may not be the best choice.
- Uses a lot of memory – Python isn’t the most memory-efficient programming language. So if you’re working on memory optimization, Python may not be the right option.
- Database access – Python’s database access layer is outdated and can’t hold a candle to more modern technology like JDBC.
- Runtime errors – Since Python is an interpreted language, it has runtime errors instead of compiler errors. Runtime errors are more challenging to solve.
What Is C++?
C++ is a programming language created in 1979. The language is an extension of the C programming language and has expanded significantly over the years. C++ is a multi-platform language featured in operating systems and high-performance apps, and many agree it’s one of the best languages for creating large-scale apps.
C++ was designed for system programming and larger systems. The main characteristics of this language are flexibility, efficiency, and speed. Most apps and systems nowadays are based on either C or C++ programming language, be it Windows, a computer game, editing software, or a browser.
C++ is used to develop operating systems, and Windows and macOS feature this language. In addition, most Microsoft programs like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer are also written in C++.
The same language is used for games, GUI-based and desktop applications, and web browsers. Moreover, C++ is used for programming telephone switches, routers, and space probes.
C++ comes with a set of advantages and drawbacks. It’s up to the user to decide whether the language is suitable for what they’re working on.
The Pros of C++
These are the most significant advantages of C++:
- Versatile – C++ has a wide range of compilers that work on numerous platforms, making the language highly portable.
- Fast – The language is lightweight and fast since it doesn’t use an interpreter.
- Object-oriented – One of the biggest strengths of C++ that distinguish it from C is that it’s object-oriented. It involves classes, polymorphisms, data abstraction, and other concepts that allow users to reuse their code.
- Efficient memory management – C++ leaves memory management in the hands of the user. The memory isn’t managed by a garbage collector, giving the user total control. This is an advantage and a liability because the user has more responsibility.
- Community support – Since millions worldwide use C++ and plenty of courses on the subject, this programming language has a large user base and excellent support. Therefore, if users ever encounter a problem, they can usually resolve it quickly.
- Scalable – C++ can run on both small- and large-scale data.
- Compatible with C – If you’ve used the C programming language before, you’ll have no trouble switching to C++ since they’re very similar.
The Cons of C++
C++ may be one of the best-known programming languages, but it’s far from perfect. Here are some disadvantages to consider:
- Complex – Writing code in C++ is complicated, especially for beginners, and it has a difficult syntax.
- Manual memory management – As mentioned, C++ doesn’t have garbage collectors that delete unnecessary data automatically. Therefore, having to allocate memory manually can be time-consuming.
- Security – While C++ offers a lot of security, there are still some issues to consider. These issues are usually related to the use of pointers, global variables, and friend functions.
- No built-in code thread support – One significant disadvantage of C++ is the lack of support for built-in code threads. This can make coding much slower.
Python vs. C++
To answer the “Is Python easier than C++?” question, we need to compare the two programming languages and analyze their main features.
Python codes are much simpler than C++ codes. If you’re new to programming, you’ll initially find Python much easier to work with.
Since Python has a simpler syntax than C++, the learning curve is low, even for beginners. The situation is quite the opposite with C++, where there’s a steep learning curve because the program is complex.
Nature of Language
All programs need to be checked for errors, but not all languages do it at the same time. C++ is a statically typed language that reports errors at compile time. On the other hand, Python is a dynamically typed language and reports errors during program runtime. Statically-typed languages tend to have better performance because they check for errors before actually running the program.
Installation difficulty is an important aspect to consider. The two programming languages differ when it comes to installation. C++ is easy to install, while doing so with Python is usually more challenging.
While both Python and C++ are popular programming languages, Python has a more extensive user base. Why? Because it’s much more beginner-friendly than C++. Most novice programmers turn to Python first. Of course, C++ also has a lot of users. However, these users are usually people who have experience in the field.
Since Python is an interpreted language and analyzes data at runtime, it’s definitely not the fastest programming language. On the other hand, C++ doesn’t use an interpreter and is much faster than Python.
Is Python Easier Than C++?
Now that we’ve learned more about Python and C++, we can finally determine which one is easier. Since it has a simpler syntax, shorter codes, and a low learning curve, Python is easier to learn than C++. This especially goes for beginners.
If you want to learn a programming language, ease of use shouldn’t be the only factor to consider. Python may be easier to learn, but it’s not as fast and efficient as C++. Learning C++ may take more time and effort, but it can certainly pay off in the end, especially if you need high performance and speed.
While Python is considered more straightforward, there’s no reason to fear C++. There are numerous classes and courses that can help you master this programming language. Indeed, C++ may not be the most suitable language for novices. But if you already know any programming language, you’ll have no difficulty adapting to C++.
Make the Right Choice
Python and C++ are general-purpose programming languages that will teach you the foundation of computer logic and programming. However, they differ in numerous aspects.
Is Python easier than C++? Yes, in a way. This language allows you to obtain basic programming knowledge without obsessing over complex syntax and details often present in other languages. However, if you already have some experience and want to learn an efficient and high-performing language, choose C++.