C# vs Java: Assessing Two Popular Programming Languages


September 4, 2023

Category Java, Microsoft

With a plethora of programming languages around us, it becomes challenging to make the right choice for your project. You choose the wrong one and face the consequences. You choose the right one and everything works perfectly well.

Two programming languages that are often a developer’s delight, but a matter of comparison are C# vs Java. Programmers often implement their programs in Java and C# for the creation of desktop apps, backend development, Windows client applications, mobile apps, enterprise apps, games, cloud-driven services, etc. Both enjoy their own fanbase and have been topping the popularity charts around the globe.

Both these languages belong to the ‘C-family’, are general purpose and imperative, but have their own set of similarities and differences. This article emphasizes on the overview of both – Java vs C#, its advantages and disadvantages, and their evaluation based on standard parameters.


What is C#?

C# is an object-oriented, component-oriented programming language. C# provides language constructs to directly support these concepts, making C# a natural language in which to create and use software components.

As a modernized, general-purpose language, C#, also known as C Sharp, was released alongside the .NET framework and Visual Studio. C# programs are executed through .NET CLR and other class libraries. It is a highly popular language that is type-safe and ensures robust version control features with which libraries and programs stay up to date. It is designed around CLI standards and is considered ideal to learn for novices.

As a generic, scoped, and strongly typed language, the implementation of C# supports software fundamentals like garbage collection, array bounds, etc., offering portability and platform independence. It supports many modern features such as internationalization, third-party integration, simplistic coding, and applications for operating systems and embedded systems.

What is Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It has evolved from humble beginnings to power a large share of today’s digital world, by providing the reliable platform upon which many services and applications are built.

As a developer’s delight, Java has been a highly popular language that is general purpose, concurrent, object-oriented, and class-based. Applications created in Java can execute on any Java Virtual Machine (JVM) after getting compiled to bytecode. It goes by the concept of ‘Write once, Run anywhere’. There are multiple websites and applications that may not work well unless Java is installed since it is a computer platform too.

Java, as a software platform, has been leveraged by multiple devices like computers, notebooks, mobile devices, medical devices, game consoles, etc. Being a dependable and secure language, the fundamentals of Java rely on the C and C++ languages. It is more like a merger of software basics and other specifications. Developers have the flexibility to rewrite or reuse a code to create a new code, offering a great experience.

An Interesting Read: Fleet ERP System in Java

C# vs Java: Pros and Cons

Pros of C#

  • Simple and secure extension methods
  • Lambda, LINQ expressions and generics support
  • Powered by Microsoft Corporation
  • Automated garbage collection and memory management
  • Backward compatibility
  • Assembly versioning
  • No need for any explicit coding
  • Inheritance, polymorphism, abstraction, encapsulation
  • Native support for Windows-based and COM-supported apps
  • Properties with getting/set methods
  • Top cross-platform support

Cons of C#

  • Less flexible since it depends on the .NET framework
  • Larger learning curve
  • Not very attractive graphical user interface

Pros of Java

  • Interpreted, threaded, and dynamic
  • Can execute on almost any platform and network
  • Ideal for creation and integration of object-oriented programming models
  • Easy access to detailed documentation and skilled resources
  • Multiple task execution because of a multi-threaded environment
  • A vast variety of third-party libraries, easily navigable
  • Easy and simple to learn syntax
  • Inheritance, abstraction, polymorphism, encapsulation
  • Just-in-time (JIT) compiler for high-performance coding
  • Bytecodes independent of the computer’s architecture
  • Effective memory management by automated garbage collection

Cons of Java:

  • Slower because of the JIT compiler
  • Lack of support for low-level programming constructs such as pointers
  • Needs high memory and processing requisites

Java vs C# – Organizations Using Them

Companies Using Java

Airbnb, LinkedIn, Twitter, CRED, Pinterest, Lyft, Netflix, Accenture, Uber, Instagram, Bitpanda, Spotify, DoorDash, Google, Paytm, Amazon, CashApp, trivago, Hubspot, etc.

Read This: Project and Task Management Software in Java (Web & Mobile App)

Companies Using C#

Intuit, Alibaba, Statista, Delivery Hero, Bank of America, Okta, Banshee, Unacademy, Stack Overflow, FlashDevelop, Cisco, Accenture, Olo, Hepsiburada, Venmo, Runtasitc, etc.

C# vs Java: The Similarities

  • Server-side, backend programming languages
  • Inspired by the C family of languages
  • Object-oriented languages focus on classes and objects
  • High-level languages, easy to write and learn
  • Scalability to handle high volumes of data well
  • Dependency on C and C++
  • Generation of intermediate language code post-compilation
  • Garbage collection
  • Similar syntax
  • Support for multiple-class inheritance
  • Well-documented languages with supportive communities

C# vs Java: Understanding the Differences

Parameters Java C#
Year of Creation 1995 2000
Owner Oracle Microsoft
Overview A class-based, server-side, high-level, general-purpose, backend, object-oriented programming language An object-oriented, server-side, high-level, general-purpose, backend, component-oriented programming language
C# Vs Java Performance Performance and speed are faster as compared to C# Performance and speed are slower as compared to Java
Installation Needs JDK to execute Java programs Has a vast library of codes offered by .NET
Runtime Environment Runs on Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which is a software layer that executes on top of the OS and provides class libraries needed Runs on Common Language Runtime (CLR) that offers services to make the entire development process execute smoothly and effectively
Arrays Java based arrays specialize in Objects. They are a collection of variables referred to by a single variable name and index number. C# based arrays are a specialization in the System. They are structures showing a fixed length collection of values of the same type.
Pointers No support for this feature Support this feature
Programming Idea Object-oriented only Object-oriented, component-oriented, strongly typed, functional
Public Classes Can have a single public class Can have multiple public classes
Operator Overloading No support for this feature Support this feature
Security Highly secure since it is statically typed with code verification Since there are many features, it is more susceptible to attacks
Checked Exceptions Support for checked and unchecked exceptions No support for checked exceptions
Tools/IDE Eclipse, NetBeans, Jenkins, Site24x7, Junit, Intelli J IDEA, EclipseEdit, NetBeansEdit, JCreatorEdit, BlueJEdit, Maven, JBuilderEdit, Mockito Visual Studio, Mono Develop, VS Code, Kite, SlickEdit, Eclipse aCute, NotePad++, Rider, Atom, DevExpress, dotPeek, Telerik Code Converter, Git, Cake Build
Conditional Compilation, Go-to statement, Structure and Union No support for these features Supports these features
Support for Generics Implemented with casts and erasures, added into bytecode with compilation Integrated with CLI and permits type information to be accessible during runtime
Safety Type Type Safety in Java is Safe Type Safety in C# is Unsafe
Inbuilt Datatypes Inbuilt datatypes passed by value are known as simple types Inbuilt datatypes passed by value are known as primitive types
Control for API Controlled by open community approach Controlled by Microsoft
Routing Makes use of akka.routing for routing configuration Makes use of ASP .NET for routing configuration
Possible Job Titles Software Engineer, Business Analyst, Data Analyst, DevOps Engineer Software Engineer, Business Analyst, Data Analyst, DevOps Engineer

C Sharp vs Java: When to Use What?

Use Java when:

  • You need access to a wide codebase and community
  • Portability and interoperability are more important
  • There is a need to create web-based, desktop, mobile, high-precision, IoT, server-based apps or scientific applications

Use C# when:

  • You need programs on the .NET platform or Windows-specific programs
  • There is a need for speed and modern features like garbage collection
  • You are creating mobile apps, web apps, enterprise software, or video games
Till Later

Since both have carved a niche for themselves, comparing C# vs Java infers both have a bright future. Both have invested big time in acquiring the faith of developers and hence will enjoy a bright future. Based on what we discussed in the previous section, you can select the desired language.

There are other parameters that play an important role in selecting the right one, as we compare Java vs C# – cost considerations, skilled resource availability, project deadlines and requirements, etc. The brighter side for both is that access to skilled resources is easy and you can get the required task force in your projects, in the desired time.

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