The Difference Between Java and JavaScript

Welcome to our Tech 101 collection, through which we reply your most burning questions concerning the tech fundamentals.

Right this moment, we’re speaking JavaScript—particularly, the way it’s totally different from Java. And we’re going to cowl all of it in a 60-second learn. 

The Distinction Between Java and JavaScript 

Whereas their names appear to indicate a connection (“Is JavaScript a script in Java?”), that’s the most important similarity. The 2 languages aren’t associated in any technical or important approach. As one Quora consumer places it:

Javascript and Java “are related just like the phrases ‘automobile’ and ‘carpet’ are related.”

Why are the names so related then?

The overlap (and ensuing confusion) is intentional.

Java, created in 1990 by James A. Gosling, a pc scientist at Solar Microsystems, was already lots standard by the point Netscape named its programming language JavaScript in late 1995.

Piggybacking off Java’s recognition was as good enterprise transfer. As one other Quora consumer theorizes, Netscape needed “to confuse the unwary into considering it had one thing to do with Java, the buzzword of the day—and it succeeded.” 

That rationalization is a bit excessive and never completely correct. The fact is that JavaScript, designed by Brendan Eich of Netscape, was initially known as LiveScript, however a advertising settlement (dare we name it a ploy?) between Netscape and Solar led Netscape to rename it JavaScript for co-branding functions. On the time, Solar had agreed to let Netscape bundle its (then) main browser with Java runtime. The identify change was a part of the deal. 

Since then, Java has arguably light in recognition—however JavaScript has decidedly…not. You could possibly say that JavaScript owes its rise to Java’s identify enchantment. Not everybody would agree, I’m guessing. However the primary takeaway is that this: Past naming conference, the 2 languages have little to nothing in widespread.

Java versus JavaScript: A Fast Comparability

OK, however let’s say you need somewhat extra element on the variations between the 2. Right here’s a fast: 


  • Java is a static “object-oriented” programming language that works on a number of platforms. JavaScript is a dynamic programming language (or scripted language) that’s used to make web sites and functions dynamic. (Learn our JavaScript information right here.) 
  • Java is class-based. JavaScript is dynamic. 
  • Java is a standalone language—it likes its freedom. JavaScript is a bit more emotionally co-dependent (however in a great way?), which means that it really works with HTML and CSS on net pages to create dynamic content material. 
  • In 2019, JavaScript is a must-learn for net builders as a result of it’s used just about any and in every single place, whereas Java is basically thought-about a “earlier technology programming language”, although actually loads of websites nonetheless use it.


Like we mentioned, there aren’t many. However there are a number of very surface-level overlaps: 

  • Each Java and JavaScript are most frequently utilized in client-side functions
  • Each Java and JavaScript use the C syntax
  • JavaScript copies some Java naming conventions. This was finished again to construct that fake camaraderie we talked about earlier

Which Ought to You Be taught? 

Once more, that is like evaluating apples to oranges, but when we had to decide on? JavaScript.

In response to GitHub, as of 2018, there have been “extra repositories created in JavaScript than in some other language.” GitHub additionally reported that JavaScript and Python are additionally rising in recognition 12 months over 12 months, particularly in comparison with different languages like Ruby. 

Don’t get us flawed: Java remains to be broadly used and very fashionable—and there are a great deal of arguments for why it is best to study Java in 2019. However JavaScript is a perfect place to begin for rookies who’re simply getting fascinated with studying to code, particularly those that’d prefer to land a entrance finish net developer job or go full stack. Actually, it’s a talent that’s versatile sufficient to use to a bunch of tech-related roles—one that you just’ll discover helpful no matter what kind of tech place you wish to land. 

In the long run, although, it’s exhausting to choose between two languages that couldn’t be extra totally different. So in the event you’re actually undecided, strive contemplating your finish aim and weighing the professionals and cons of every.