Python vs C Language : Which Programming Language Is Right For You?

In this post we are going to discuss the two most widely used and sought-after languages of the programming world, Python and C. Both Python and C are great beginner language choices, and both promise great career opportunities.
python vs c language

In this post we are going to discuss the two most widely used and sought-after languages of the programming world, Python and C. Both Python and C are great beginner language choices, and both promise great career opportunities. We are going to cover both programming languages in-depth, as well as point out differences between C and Python, so that you get an overall picture on which one is best for you. For beginners, both C and Python are great alternatives, with C offering promising career prospects. You will also understand C++ vs Python usage and features, as well as differences among the general-purpose programming languages. 


Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented, and high-level general-purpose programming language. Python is a high-level, object-oriented, and interpreted programming language created in 1991 by Guido Van Rossum. Python is a high-level language because translations of Python code occur in machine language, using an interpreter. Python is also an object-oriented language, with features such as dynamic type checking and improved readability.    

 
C Programming is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis M. Ritchie for use in developing the UNIX operating system. Originally, programming in C was limited to the UNIX operating system, but when C started spreading globally, it became commercially viable, with a number of compilers released for multi-platform systems. C is a structured programming language, which is machine-independent and is extensively used for writing a variety of applications, operating systems such as Windows, and a variety of other sophisticated programs such as Oracle databases, Git, Python interpreters, and others. There are a variety of compilers in the market which can be used to run programs written in C. Learn at 3RI Technologies.

In the vast realm of programming, the eternal question lingers for both neophyte coders and seasoned developers: “Which programming language should I choose?” The digital universe teems with an abundance of programming languages, each wielding its unique strengths and applications. However, two languages that have become quite popular in the vast field of programming and are attracting users from all over the world are Python and C.

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Introduction to C

Genesis of C:

C, often affectionately referred to as the “grandfather” of programming languages, traces its origins to Bell Labs, where the legendary Dennis Ritchie crafted it between 1972 and 1973. It boasts the honour of being one of the earliest and most influential general-purpose programming languages. Originally, C was fashioned for building utilities on Unix and for re-implementing the Unix operating system’s kernel. Even in the contemporary digital landscape, C remains a fundamental pillar, finding applications in firmware development and portable systems.

Versatility and Traits of C:

C stands as a unique fusion of features from high-level and low-level languages, earning it the distinguished title of a “middle-level language.” It proudly showcases features such as structured programming, lexical variable scope, recursion, and a static type system.

C’s Key Features:

  • Structured Programming: C ardently adheres to the principles of structured programming, fortifying code clarity and quality. It employs constructs like if-then-else statements and loops to facilitate decision-making and iteration.

  • Efficiency: The essence of C’s speed and efficiency lies in its compilation. C’s code undergoes compilation, a process wherein the source code morphs into machine code, which is executed directly.

  • Portability: A remarkable attribute of C is its portability. Code penned in C can seamlessly run on any compatible machine without necessitating modifications.

  • Rich Library Support: C boasts a rich set of built-in operators and libraries, elevating its adaptability and versatility.

  • Modular Design: C places a premium on modular programming, urging the division of program functionality into autonomous modules, fostering code reusability.

Introduction to Python


Python’s Ascent to Prominence:

Python, in contrast, is a relative newcomer to the programming stage. It took its first steps in 1991 when Guido van Rossum introduced it as a successor to the ABC programming language. Python stands apart through its relentless pursuit of code readability, championing the use of indentation to amplify code clarity. It flaunts support for multiple programming paradigms, encompassing Object-Oriented Programming, Functional Programming, and Structured Programming.

Python’s Versatility and Attributes:

Python is a dynamically-typed and garbage-collected language, revered for its vast scope of applications spanning from software engineering to data science and beyond. Its user-friendly nature has endeared it to developers due to its simplicity and ease of use.

Python’s Key Features:

  • Simplicity and Readability: Python’s hallmark is its simplicity, making it a language that is easy to read, learn, and write. The use of indentation and a straightforward syntax invigorates its readability.
  • Interpreted Language: Python follows an interpreted paradigm, where code is executed line by line. This mode of operation, while slower than compilation, enriches the ease of use.

  • Object-Oriented Programming: Python is an avid proponent of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), endowing developers with the tools to create and manipulate objects.

  • Platform Independence: Python thrives on platform independence, signifying that it can be wielded on diverse systems without the need for modifications.

  • Rich Standard Library: Python takes pride in its extensive standard library, brimming with modules and packages that supply a plethora of functionality, fortified by robust community support.

  • High-Level Language: Python’s high-level nature ensures that it is user-friendly, thanks to a simple syntax, potent libraries, and versatile applicability.

Python vs C language

Python is designed to be slightly more readable by humans than most languages, making Python higher-level than C. What makes Python surprising is the simplicity of the syntax, which is nearly like English, and dynamic typing capabilities. Python allows programmers to accomplish what they need with less lines of code. The core implementations of Python interpreters are written in C. However, Python is an object-oriented rather than a structure-based language.    


Being an interpreted language, Python is a perfect language for scripting and fast app development in most platforms, which is why it is so popular among developers. Python is commonly used as a scripting language, but it is extremely efficient as a stand-alone program. Python is a general-purpose language that can be used to facilitate development, as well as for problems in which reusability of the code is a big advantage. 

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C vs Python for Beginners

For beginners, both C and Python are great alternatives, with C offering promising career prospects. You will also understand C vs Python usage and features, as well as differences among the general-purpose programming languages.


Of course, most developers are not so much interested in the speed of C programming and Python, but rather in what language makes them employable. Since every programmer has his or her own unique requirements, the comparison between C and Python may result in a lot of differing opinions. 


Python puts emphasis on supporting common programming methodologies, such as data structure design and object-oriented programming, and it encourages programmers to write readable code, providing elegant, yet not too arcane, notation. Python supports a programming style using simple functions and variables, without engaging in class definition. Python, in contrast, supports writing far larger programs and better code reuse via a truly object-oriented style of programming, in which classes and inheritance play a major role. Structured languages encourage programs built around blocks and functions, whereas object-oriented languages emphasize classes and objects.


There are definitely valid reasons for learning these static languages, but from a beginner’s perspective, Python allows you to focus on the other skills, not worrying so much about the syntax.

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Python Vs C Which Is Easy

For any student who is interested in career in Computer programming, C Programming is the foundational language. Besides the practical reasons behind learning this language, knowing C helps in understanding how computers really operate, what is going on under the hood, and how programs are actually executed on machines. C is an awesome language that describes the general concepts of programming in a way most people can understand.   


While Python is easier, much of that ease of access comes from the lack of tight controls and simpler syntax, which may cause Python to seem awkward to the seasoned coder. Simplicity is actually something that Python is known for: Python makes good use of abundant whitespace, making it easier to read code, and therefore providing a nice, easy learning experience.


Python is extremely easy to learn and use, and thus, because of its simplicity in writing Python code, Python is being adopted by many developers as the main programming language these days. Python has gained popularity because of the large number of features that Python offers, and is being used across various fields of industry.


Python is an object-oriented programming language, whereas C is a structured, procedural-oriented programming language. Although there is quite a bit of difference between the syntax from the perspective of both languages, the Object-Oriented concepts learned in Python will be just as applicable in C, or in whatever programming language you decide to learn in the future.


Key Differences Between C and Python

To make an informed decision about your coding journey, it’s vital to grasp the fundamental distinctions between C and Python. Here are some pivotal disparities:

1. Compilation vs. Interpretation:

C: C is a language of compilation. It employs compilers to meticulously analyze its code line by line. If an error is detected, compilation comes to a screeching halt.

Python: Python, in stark contrast, is an interpreted language. Python interpreters scrutinize the entire code, meticulously reporting all detected errors at once.

2. Programming Paradigm:

C: C passionately champions a procedural programming model, where the focus lies on functions and procedures.


Python: Python, on the other hand, embraces the Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) paradigm, putting objects at the heart of its methodology.

3. Speed:

C: C emerges as the speedster in this comparison due to its compilation process. This procedure translates code into machine language before execution, contributing to its efficiency and swiftness.

Python: Python, though a versatile language, tends to be slower in execution than C. It’s the nature of interpretation, as Python code is executed line by line.

4. Variable Declaration:

C: C insists on the declaration of variable types during creation, and only values matching the predefined types can be assigned to these variables.

Python: Python employs dynamic typing, liberating variables to hold values of various data types without necessitating type declarations in advance.

5. Memory Management:

C: C places the onus of memory management squarely on the programmer’s shoulders. While it provides control, manual memory management is prone to complexities and errors.

Python: Python streamlines memory management with the assistance of a Garbage Collector, automating this crucial aspect.

6. Pointers:

C: C supports pointers, enabling direct access to and manipulation of memory. This grants unparalleled control but can be error-prone.

Python: Python forgoes the complexities of pointers, simplifying memory management but relinquishing some low-level control.

7. Functional Units:

C: The world of C revolves around functions, as it staunchly adheres to procedural programming.

Python: Python, conversely, champions objects as the primary functional units, embodying the essence of Object-Oriented Programming.

8. Robustness:

C: C, with its manual memory management and fewer built-in error-checking mechanisms, is comparatively less robust.

Python: Python bolsters robustness through stronger memory management and comprehensive error-checking.

9. Built-in Functions:

C: C offers a limited set of built-in functions.

Python: Python boasts an extensive array of built-in functions, enriching productivity and code development.

10. Data Structures:

C: In the realm of C, the onus lies on the programmer to construct data structures like stacks and queues from the ground up.

Python: Python comes equipped with a treasure trove of built-in libraries for diverse data structures, simplifying their utilization.

11. In-Line Assignment:

C: C permits in-line assignment, allowing statements like, for e.g.: int a = 25;.

Python: Python eschews in-line assignment, favoring the simplicity, for e.g.: a = 25;.

12. File Types:

C: C code files support the .c extension.

Python: Python code files support the .py extension.

Now that the fundamental differences between C and Python have been unveiled, let’s dive into the terrains of their respective pros and cons, guiding you in your quest to choose the right language for your coding odyssey.

Pros and Cons of C

Pros of C:

High Compilation Speed: C’s compilation process translates into efficient and swift code execution.

Simplicity: C’s straightforward syntax and structure facilitate easy comprehension.

Rich Library Support: An abundance of built-in libraries enhances C’s versatility.

Structured Programming: C’s support for structured programming, recursion, pointers, and more simplifies problem-solving.

Extensibility: C code can be seamlessly extended, acting as a foundation for languages like C++ and Python.

Cons of C:

Lack of OOP Support: C doesn’t embrace Object-Oriented Programming, constraining code organization and reusability.

No Run-Time Polymorphism: The absence of run-time polymorphism, a pivotal OOP concept, is conspicuous in C.

Manual Memory Management: C necessitates manual memory management, which can be intricate and prone to errors and leaks.

Limited Data Hiding: C’s provisions for data hiding and visibility control are modest, impacting language security.

Limited Error Detection: Errors or bugs in C code often remain undetectable after each line, rendering debugging a formidable task.

Pros and Cons of Python

Pros of Python:

Portability and Interactivity: Python’s portability and interactivity streamline code development and testing.

Ideal for Prototyping: Python’s concise syntax empowers quick prototyping with minimal code lines.

Versatility and Readability: Python’s user-friendly nature, simple syntax, rich libraries, and vibrant community support render it versatile and easily readable.

Extensive Library Support: Python’s standard library, featuring modules like NumPy for numerical calculations and Pandas for data analytics, caters to a myriad of tasks.

Open Source: Python’s open-source nature fosters a collaborative and thriving community.

Cons of Python:

Slower Execution: Python, being an interpreted language, tends to be slower in execution compared to compiled counterparts like C and C++.

Multithreading Challenges: Python’s Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) can impede the performance of multi-threaded CPU-bound programs.

Mobile Computing Limitations: Python is not natively supported on mobile platforms, lacking official backing from Android and iOS.

High Memory Consumption: Python’s memory consumption exceeds that of some other languages.

Database Access Limitations: Python’s database access layer lags behind technologies like JDBC and ODBC.


Python vs C programming

Python is designed to be slightly more readable by humans than most languages, making Python higher-level than C. What makes Python surprising is the simplicity of the syntax, which is nearly like English, and dynamic typing capabilities. Python was created by Guido van Rossum in order to be easier to read than other languages of the day; it allows programmers to accomplish what they need with less lines of code. The core implementations of Python interpreters are written in C. However, Python is an object-oriented rather than a structure-based language.  


Python is a general-purpose language that can be used to facilitate development, as well as for problems in which the reusability of the code is a big advantage.  


Python and C programming, although they share some similarities, are quite different languages used for a broad set of software development tasks. C and Python, two of the most popular and widely used Python programming languages, are not only general-purpose and object-oriented, but both C and Python can be used to build a broad array of various programs and functional code.    

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Python and C Language Difference

The key difference between Python and the C languages is listed below.

Python
Python is a polyglot languageC is a structured programming language
Python is a general-purpose programming languagewhereas C is mostly used for applications related to hardware and lower-level codes
Python is a popular, high-level, object-oriented programming language. C is a general-purpose programming language.
Python is a general-purpose language that is used for Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Web Development, and much more. Python is also a leading language used in Data Science applications, particularly in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. C is used for developing various applications, as well as Microprograms, and for implementing portable systems, etc. 
Python supports several programming models, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming.The C language helps in various features like structured programming, lexical variable scoping, and recursion, has a static type system, and so on.
Python is commonly used as a scripting language, but it is extremely efficient as a stand-alone program. Being an interpreted language, Python is a perfect language for scripting and fast app development in most platforms, which is why it is so popular among developers.C offers high-level language features since it helps us write programs which are independent of specific types of computers, and the low-level languages since it helps us in computing architectures, which are minimal or negligible.

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C Vs Python Which Is Easy To Learn

Python is designed to be slightly more readable by humans than most languages, making Python higher-level than C. What makes Python surprising is the simplicity of the syntax, which is nearly like English, and dynamic typing capabilities. Python allows programmers to accomplish what they need with less lines of code. The core implementations of Python interpreters are written in C. However, Python is an object-oriented rather than a structure-based language.    


Python is extremely easy to use, and thus, because of its simplicity in writing Python code, Python is being adopted by many developers as the main programming language these days. Python has gained popularity because of the large number of features that Python offers, and is being used across various fields of industry.


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Python vs C Speed

If a programming language needs to provide better performance and needs to be used in systems where speed is the most critical, then probably C is the better choice over Python.

A difficult question emerges about when you should use Python versus when you should use C. The languages C and Python are similar, but they do have a number of key differences.


For instance, a Python programmer spends no time declaring type of arguments or variables, while the Python’s powerful polymorphic types list and dictionary, which has rich syntax support built right in Python, have their uses in nearly all Python programs. Python is both a strong-typed language and dynamically typed, meaning the types of variables are important when performing operations on them. A given variable may get stuck with values of different types at different times in program execution. Debugging errors on C is hard because it is a compiler-dependent language. The C language compiles all the source code first, therefore C is able to detect some errors before execution.


Python Vs C Performance

C has faster computing speed compared to Python, but C is also a harder language to learn. C newer version is considered faster to run, mostly because its competitor, Python, is written in C. However, C is generally considered to be the fastest programming language. Python is easier to understand, and Python has a larger collection of supporting libraries than C, but its slower speed can be a limitation.  


Python is generally the language of choice for complex programs that do not need fast performance. Programmers working in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can begin their work using the straightforward syntax of Python, and later migrate their programs into more sophisticated, yet faster, languages.


As an interpreted language, which takes a dynamic approach to data types, it has slower performance compared with compiled languages such as C Another major characteristic of Python is that Python is an interpreted language, meaning Python code is not converted into machine-readable form during execution. Python has a type-hinting syntax, which is mostly used by linters and code-checkers, not the Cython language.    


The Cython language is a superset of Python that compiles to C, giving a performance increase ranging from a few percentage points to a few orders of magnitude, depending on the task at hand. When Cython comes across Python code it cannot fully convert into C, it converts this code to a sequence of C calls into the Python internals. If you decorate your Python program with type annotations using Cythons language-specific syntax, Cython can swap out the faster-than-C equivalents of slower-than-Python objects. This frees the interpreter up to do something else during this time, and allows Cython language code to take advantage of more cores with some extra work.  

python vs c


C vs Python Which Is Better

The question of whether C or Python is superior doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. The choice hinges on the context and the specific application. Here’s a guide to assist you:

C: Choose C when your programming endeavours demand top-notch performance and speed, especially in systems where efficiency is the crux, such as firmware development. C’s compiled nature and low-level control render it ideal for such domains.

Python: Choose Python when you prize ease of development, code reusability, and the availability of standard libraries. Python shines in scenarios necessitating the use of these libraries or where flexibility and diversity in development are paramount.

C is one of the more powerful modern programming languages, as it allows direct memory access and a variety of low-level computing operations.  


Well, C is a nice language to use for everything, but nowadays, when there is so much memory and computing power, most programmers are better served with languages such as Python, which takes care of memory management and other, more high-level constructs. It is mainly used for systems programming applications, as well as many systems to handle AT&Ts phone network operations .In essence, Python is a versatile general-purpose language that flourishes in diverse domains, while C specializes in high-performance tasks and low-level development. Your choice should seamlessly align with your project’s unique requirements and your overarching career objectives.

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If there are any important standard libraries or features that you will have to use over and over, Python may turn out to be a better choice among these two programming languages. Python is extremely easy to use and thus, because of the simplicity in writing Python code, Python is now being adopted by many developers as the main programming language. It is absolutely possible to learn Python without any previous experience, you do not have to know C or any other programming language in order to learn Python. Besides, being an interpreted language, Python is a perfect language for scripting and fast app development in most platforms, which is why it is so popular among developers. Python is commonly used as a scripting language, but it is extremely efficient as a stand-alone program. Python is a general-purpose language that can be used to facilitate development, as well as for problems in which the reusability of the code is a big advantage. 

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Conclusion

In closing, we want to mention that both C language and Python are used extensively by large software companies, so learning either one can prove to be extremely beneficial. While we are not saying either one is the better language, Python is undoubtedly easier to learn.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Why is C faster than Python?

A: C outpaces Python primarily due to its compiled nature. In C, source code is transformed into machine code before execution, resulting in more efficient and faster performance. Python, on the other hand, is an interpreted language, with code executed line by line, incurring a performance overhead.

Q2: Which is more popular, C or Python?

A: Python enjoys a greater share of popularity in the contemporary digital landscape. Python’s readability, versatility, and extensive library offerings have propelled it to the forefront, making it the preferred choice for many developers and organizations.

Q3: Should I learn C or Python first?

A: The choice between C and Python as your first programming language hinges on your specific use case. If your priority is high-speed performance, learning C can be advantageous. However, for most other use cases like Natural Language Processing, Software Engineering, and Machine Learning, Python often emerges as the preferred choice, thanks to its rich libraries and ease of use.

Q4: Can I learn Python without knowing C?

A: Yes, you can start on your journey to learn Python without any pre-existing knowledge of C or any other programming language. Python is meticulously designed to be beginner-friendly, eliminating the need for a background in C.

Q5: Is Python made from C?

A: Indeed, Python has its roots deeply entwined with the C programming language. Python’s implementation is crafted in C, and it interfaces seamlessly with C libraries, cementing C’s status as an essential component of Python’s ecosystem.

In conclusion, both C and Python occupy esteemed positions in the software development realm. While the acquisition of proficiency in both can be advantageous, the selection should be a purposeful one, aligned with your project prerequisites and career aspirations. Python reigns supreme for its versatility and user-friendliness, while C excels in domains were speed and performance reign supreme.

This comprehensive blog empowers you with a profound understanding of the divergence between C and Python, empowering you to chart your coding course with knowledge and confidence. It also takes the initiative to address the common queries that may arise during your coding odyssey.


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