Java vs. C#: which is the better programming language

When it comes to choosing between programming languages, you have a lot of options, and often the choice you make depends on the project requirements. The top contenders have always been Java and C# and if asked to choose between the two, it would always be a tough one. 

Even so, let’s go through the two, and see their pros and cons, and what kind of project they would be suitable for. 

Java and C++ 

Java is a powerful and high-level class-based, object oriented programming language that lets you develop desktop and mobile applications, big data processing, embedded systems and so on. Being a computing device, it helps you develop Java applications in a number of platforms like laptops, data centres, game consoles, cell phones and so on.  

Java has a history before it became so popular. Java was known as OAK in a previous life. It was used in set-top boxes and other interactive televisions devices, but as that was not successful, Sun Microsystem’s acquired it and relaunched it as Java in 2005. Later, in 2009, when Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystem’s, it bought Java as well. Over time, Java also evolved it and became one of the most popularly used programming languages in the world.

Features of Java

  1. Java is a simple, but powerful language that can be mastered by any programmer. It is also an easy language to learn.
  2. C++ removes the drawbacks and complexities of C/C++, and is easier to handle. If the programmer is familiar with C++, then he can easily feel his way around Java.
  3. Java is a fully Object Oriented programming language with all the features like abstraction, inheritance, encapsulation, etc. 
  4. Java is Dynamic, with simple syntax.
  5. Supports automatic garbage collection, making Java highly robust.
  6. Has simple memory management and language features 
  7. Super performance as the Java code is compiled into the byte code by the Java compiler, allowing the Java applications to run at top speed. 
  8. Java is secure, integrated with security features built into the language and runtime system; it helps you create applications that cannot be hacked from outside parties
  9. The Java platform is designed with multi-threading capabilities built into language. This lets you build highly interactive and responsive applications, through the concurrent threads of activity. 
  10. Java is platform independent since the code is compiled into intermediate format that can be executed on any system that you have to run the Java program. 


C++, originated from the C programming language, needs no particular introduction as it has been used by generations of programmers and has been the one of the most simplest languages in programming. Unlike C (which is a procedural programming language), C++ is an object oriented programming language and hence the following concepts – class, objects, encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance and abstraction. 

Features of C++

  1. It is a very easy to learn, intermediate level language, follows the bottom up approach
  2. As it allows portability, applications can easily on different platforms
  3. Features like Polymorphism and Inheritance bind function and data together in a single unit.
  4. Is a collection of features pertaining to low-level languages and high-level languages, so programmers can develop applications based on the required level of programming. 
  5. C++ has a rich library of in-built functions so the developer can save a huge amount of time, and increase development speed
  6. Is an object oriented programming language and everything is treated as objects.
  7. Memory allocation is done dynamically, developers can free memory using the free() function anytime
  8. Code reusability allows developers to call any function with any function 
  9. Execution and compilation time of code is much faster than in any programming language

Differences that stand out between the two

Java was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems. The first release was in 1995, stable release of Java SE 14 or JDK 14 was in 2020

C++ was developed as an extension of C by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs. The first release was in 1985, stable release of C++ was in 2017.

Platform Dependency

Java was meant to be platform independent by design. If the machine where it has to be ported contains the JVM or Java Virtual Machine, it can compile Java into the byte code that runs on Java Runtime Environment. Java follows the write once, run anywhere motto 

C++ isn’t portable, hence it is platform dependent. The course code for the plague must be compiled on every platform that it has to run on.  


Java is both Interpreted and Compiled language, C++ is only a Compiled language. 

Runtime differences

Java runs on Java Virtual Machine with help from Java Runtime Environment

C++ supports Common Language Runtime, one of the few languages to do that.

Application areas of both Java and C++

Both the languages have vast areas of application that you must be aware of

C++ programming languages applications:

  • Perfect for developing large applications like passenger reservation system, ticketing system
  • Used in medical equipment devices
  • Ideal for Game development, due to its fast execution feature
  • Adobe Premier, Photoshop and Illustrator are all scripted in C++
  • Chosen for Advance Computations, Graphics, real time physical simulations, high performance image processing 

Java programming languages application areas:

  • Java is perfect for Android and Mobile application development
  • It is a good choice for desktop GUI applications development
  • Java is founded in embedded technologies in SIM cards, television, disk players, etc. 
  • Java Enterprise Edition has the API and runtime environment for large enterprises software
  • Good for Web App development, network applications and Internet connections

Now, for the similarities

In Features

Both C++ and Java have both Object Oriented programming features that they support like Abstraction, Encapsulation, Single Inheritance, Polymorphism, Static Binding and Dynamic Binding.  

Only Java supports Interference and Packages. 

Only C++ supports Pointers, Template Class, Global Variables, Header Files, Operator Overloading and Multiple Inheritance. 

Both allow for ease of use and speedy development 

Both Java and C++ have large varieties of libraries, frameworks, SDKs that speed up the development process considerably. The superior tools provided by the languages helps you build high quality applications too. 


Both C++ and Java are general purpose programming languages, so programmers can build any kind of software application, provided they use the right tools, libraries, IDEs and frameworks. As mentioned earlier, both can be used in wide application areas. 

Java is mainly used for building app servers, mobile applications, web apps, desktop apps, enterprise applications, web APIs, cloud applications and so on.

So which is faster of the two? It is not easy to compare which can be faster, so if you are looking for a fair comparison, that won’t be possible, because it is like apples to orange comparison. C++ may be slightly ahead in the competition as it is possible to write code from scratch. It is a lower-level language so it doesn’t need the same syntactical baggage that comes with high-level language. C++ is compiled, so it doesn’t have to be interpreted right away.  

Java is compiled into language and then interpreted. The compiler will perform automatic garbage collection as well to handle objects. In C++, this has to be done manually. 

C++ can be used for Internet of Things set-top box, automation devices and automotive. It can build operating systems, web browsers, rendering engines of web browsers, applications with heavy graphical processing, embedded systems, mobile applications, databases and so on. 

Interesting Links:

More comparison between Java and C#

Differences you should Know

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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