Java vs. C++ – Which Is Better?

There are lots of different programming languages available, and some are used for the front-end and others for the back-end side of the app. There are also object-oriented programming languages that could be potentially easier to understand and better for beginners. In general, each has its strengths and weaknesses and they are often used in conjunction with one another. 

Here we will take a look at two very popular and widely used coding languages, Java and C++. We will go over their features, and what they help us achieve, as well as reasons why they are so popular nowadays. Hopefully, we will get to answer the question of which one of these is actually better. 

Main Differences

One very common mistake or misconception is that coding languages that look or operate on a similar basis, are also similar functionality-wise. These two do have a lot in common when it comes to their syntax, but the way they process and execute commands is very different.

Java is what is called an interpreted type of language, in other words, once you write the code, it is going to be translated into a binary code. As a result, it can run on any operating system. C++ on the other hand is a compiled type of code, which operates differently. It is compiled on a specific operating system and it only runs on that system. Meaning, you will have to write it again if you are creating an app that is intended for Windows, and another one that is for Linux for example. 

Additionally, Java code needs to be interpreted during its run time, which can make the app run slower. Since C++ is compiled it will run almost immediately, and you get a product that loads a lot faster in some cases. 


Another big difference lies in memory management. Java supports automated management, while you will have to manage memory manually if you use C++. However, if you try to assign values outside of Java-specific parameters then you will encounter an error. This is because Java is a memory-safe language, and C++ isn’t. 

C++ is, therefore, more versatile as you have more freedom to assign values that are outside of memory sources, but this also means it’s more likely to be buggy, and that it will require more frequent fixes. Furthermore, C++ gives you the ability to manage values directly in the memory space, whereas for Java you can only pass values by relying on value references.  

Class and Filename 

Java has more strict rules when it comes to the class name and file name, and requires them to be identical in order for your program to compile. In C++ class declarations are managed by the header file, which means your class and file name can have their own distinct names. Basically, C++ is both procedural and OOP language and it doesn’t have a set root hierarchy. Java is OOP only and must follow this strict root hierarchy.

Java is an official language for Android so a lot of the things you can create will have a platform where you can run them and a potentially massive user base. This is important because Java isn’t really compatible with other languages, and many consider it a flaw, but since it’s backed by Google it is certainly viable. C++ is fully compatible with most of the high-level coding languages out there, but it requires a lot more work to optimize it for different operating systems.   


The differences go on and on, but the point is these two languages are fundamentally different. C++ is more demanding and more versatile, but it will take a long time for beginners to start struggling with Java’s limitations.