Java vs. C++: Choosing the Right Language for Your 2024 Project

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Both Java and C++ are equally renowned when it comes to building modern, industry-leading applications and platforms. Both have existed for decades now, share many similarities in syntax, and support object-oriented programming (OOP). In fact, Java was an extension of the C language, intended to serve a broader audience than C++.

What, then, should you choose for your upcoming projects in 2023? The Java vs. C++ debate largely boils down to what each language is better and worse at. If you’re wrestling with the same choice, we are here to help you. Read on to learn which language best supports your upcoming project.

What Is Java?

Java is one of the most widely used general-purpose, object-oriented programming languages in the world. First released in 1995, Java is at the heart of millions of applications and websites running on data centers, laptops, gaming consoles, supercomputers, cell phones, and more.

Designed with the mantra ‘write once, run anywhere’, Java is platform-independent and as an interpreted language, it can be compiled to run on any machine. As an object-oriented language, Java offers these features:

  • Inheritance: Objects in a class inherit all the properties of the parent object.
  • Polymorphism: Functions can be used for more than one purpose.
  • Abstraction: Essential features can be represented without including background details.
  • Encapsulation: Data and functions can be combined into a single entity.

What Is Java Used For?

Java is used to build enterprise applications, mobile applications, embedded applications, websites, games, and much more. Java is useful when creating high-level applications such as:

  • Android apps
  • Internet of Things (IoT) applications
  • Cloud applications
  • Web applications
  • Chatbots
  • Online games
  • Enterprise applications
  • Scientific applications

Who Is Using Java?

Some of the biggest companies using Java include Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, and Airbnb.  These tech giants use Java for its cross-platform compatibility and versatility.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Java?

Like any other language or technology, Java has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss some of the major ones below.


Java’s most desirable features include its small learning curve, high portability, and modularity.

Because of the intuitive nature of Java’s syntax, it is easy to pick up. Developers find that writing and maintaining code in Java is similarly straightforward.
In addition, Java enables developers to write once and run anywhere (WORA). Java can run on any machine irrespective of the underlying operating system.

This independence is one of the big factors driving Java’s universal appeal.

Being an OOP language, Java organizes the software design around objects instead of functions or logic.

Modular organization makes it easier for developers to write and reuse code across the application, increasing efficiency and stability.


Java isn’t free from certain drawbacks that might act as deal-breakers for you depending on your specific project requirements.

Like many high-level languages, Java supports automatic memory management. While this is an advantage, it also requires a lot of memory to function, making Java fairly slow compared to other languages like C++.

In terms of the graphical user interface (GUI), Java is lacking. There are some frameworks like Swing and JavaFX that can improve the GUI but they still can’t create a complex user interface.

Also, Java does not provide any version backups. This makes it difficult for developers to revert to a previous version of a code. For some developers, this can be a serious drawback.

What Is C++?

C++ is an object-oriented programming language that was developed to add classes to C in 1985. It is used to build applications and websites and works best for low-level applications, native programming, and gaming.

C++ gives programmers more control over system resources and memory as its code closely resembles machine language. However, C++ is not platform-independent and needs to be compiled on every platform before being run.

What Is C++ Used For?

From game development to scientific computing, C++ powers millions of common-use devices. Operating systems, game engines, web browsers, databases, flight software, Google’s search engine, and many other applications are built with C++.

Some more applications of C++ include the following:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • Machine learning
  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Financial technology
  • Medical technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Movie production

Who Is Using C++?

Products like Apple’s operating systems, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Photoshop, Amazon, Youtube, and Spotify have been created partly with C++. C++ is especially useful for creating large enterprise systems that manage large amounts of data and also need to be fast and always online.

What Are The Pros and Cons of C++?

It’s important to dissect the pros and cons of C++ as well before making your choice between Java and C++.

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C++ can work natively with machine language,  offering the advantage of speed advantages over Java.

With the help of a Standard Template Library (STL), C++ helps developers write code quickly and efficiently. These templates reduce some of the burden during development as developers don’t need to write code from scratch.

Lastly, C++ has been around since 1985 and thus enjoys a mature and vast community of developers. More experienced developers in the community support new and aspiring developers when they hit roadblocks.


C++ isn’t as rigid as Java and enables developers to assign values outside the allocated memory resources. But this can create serious issues down the line in the form of unexpected bugs and crashes.

Garbage collection is needed for removing redundant data from the system’s memory. A It runs automatically in the background in many high-level languages like Java. But C++ doesn’t provide developers with this ability. It forces them to identify unneeded properties and remove them manually.

C++ isn’t platform-independent like Java and needs to be compiled on every operating system you want it to run on. This affects portability and produces additional work and hassle for the developer.

Java Vs. C++: 7 Major Differences

There are many differences between Java and C++, based on their platform dependency, memory management, and use of classes. Here are seven major differences to keep in mind:

Java vs. C++: Which One Should You Choose?

You can choose either Java or C++ to create a wide variety of applications. But there still exist use cases where one language shines more than the other.

If your software requires hardware-level manipulation, C++ is the better choice as it closely resembles binary language. C++ is also a common choice for developers when creating games and other applications that prioritize speed.

Java is a high-level language, making it better suited for developing Android applications, web and desktop applications, and server applications. Java is also more popular and versatile than C++ so it’s easier to find a Java developer than a C++ developer.

Overall, C++ can be used to build almost any application, but it’s rarely necessary to use it. Java is usually more than sufficient for almost every project unless you specifically require C++.

  1. Memory Management: Like most high-level programming languages, Java ensures garbage collection for automated memory management.Whereas in C++, developers need to manage memory manually with the help of designated operators and pointers.
  2. Speed and Performance: As Java’s code needs to first be interpreted during runtime, it isn’t the fastest when it comes to execution speed. C++ is compiled into binary language or machine language and therefore runs faster than Java.
  3. Class and Filename Relationship: In Java, the strict relationship between the public class name and the file name makes it so that your program won’t compile unless these two are identical. There is no such restriction in C++.
  4. Compatibility With Other Programming Languages: Being a low-level compiled language, C++ is compatible with the majority of other high-level languages. Java, on the other hand, is not compatible with other programming languages.
  5. Documentation: C++ does not support documentation and commenting. But like most high-level languages, Java supports the ability to include comments and documentation.
  6. Object Management: As memory management is manual in C++, the same is true for object management. Developers have to use the ‘new’ and ‘delete’ operators to create and destroy objects respectively. Java, however, relies on automatic garbage collection to handle objects.
  7. Build and Package Management: What Java offers with its build and package management features makes it far more standardized and easy to use than C++. In Java, a tool called Maven simplifies how developers build projects and bring external dependencies into an application. In C++, there is no such standardized package repository. There isn’t even a standardized way to build C++ code into an application; integrate libraries into the build process; or get binary libraries to work,


Both Java and C++ have their strengths and weaknesses when creating modern, enterprise applications or large, consumer-facing apps.

The choice lies in determining the needs of your project. Java, more often than not, will be enough for the majority of projects.

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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