Java vs JavaScript: Explaining the Key Differences


When it comes to programming, two languages often come up in discussions: Java and JavaScript. While they share similarities in name, they are distinct and serve different purposes. In this guide, we'll explore the differences between Java and JavaScript, along with clear examples, to help you make an informed choice between these two languages.

Java: Overview

Java is a versatile, high-level programming language created by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Known for its 'write once, run anywhere' (WORA) capability, Java can be used to develop various types of applications, including desktop, web, mobile, and enterprise applications. It is an object-oriented, class-based language with strong typing and a large standard library, making it particularly popular for building large, complex software systems.

JavaScript: Overview

JavaScript, on the other hand, was developed in 1995 by Netscape Communications as a scripting language for web browsers. It is primarily used to add interactivity to websites by manipulating the Document Object Model (DOM) and reacting to user events. Over time, JavaScript has extended beyond the browser, with Node.js enabling server-side scripting and frameworks like React Native allowing mobile app development. Despite its name, JavaScript is not related to Java and is a prototype-based, dynamic-typed language.

Difference 1: Object Orientation and Prototypes

Java is an object-oriented language, meaning it uses classes and objects as its fundamental building blocks. Objects are instances of classes, which act as templates for creating objects with specific properties and methods. Inheritance in Java is class-based, allowing subclasses to inherit properties and methods from a parent class.

JavaScript, while also supporting object-oriented programming, is prototype-based. Instead of classes, objects inherit properties and methods from other objects through a process called prototyping. This makes JavaScript more flexible, allowing developers to create and manipulate objects without needing to define a class template.

Difference 2: Syntax

Java and JavaScript have different syntax, as shown in the following examples:


public class HelloWorld {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Hello, World!");


console.log("Hello, World!");

While the code examples are simple, they highlight key differences: Java requires classes, methods, and a main function for execution, whereas JavaScript can execute code directly.

Difference 3: Type Systems

Java uses a strong, static type system, meaning that variables must be explicitly defined with a data type, and type mismatches will prevent the program from compiling. This leads to fewer runtime errors and more predictable code.

JavaScript employs a weak, dynamic type system. Variables do not need to be explicitly typed, and the language will attempt to convert between data types as needed. This can lead to unintended behavior and makes the code less predictable. However, it can also make JavaScript more accessible for beginners.


As we can see, Java and JavaScript are distinct languages, each with unique features and use cases. Whether you decide to learn Java or JavaScript depends on your goals and the types of applications you want to build. But understanding the differences between them will give you a solid foundation to start your programming journey.