Which Programming Language Is Better: C++ or Java?

When it comes to comparing programming languages, it can be difficult to determine their relative power. Both C++ and Java possess unique strengths and weaknesses. In selecting which language to focus on in the upcoming year of 2022, it is essential to consider the latest trends in the software development industry. While C++ remains a powerful language that is still extensively used in various applications today, Java remains the preferred language for many modern web applications. Ultimately, it is the individual’s prerogative to choose the language that best aligns with their objectives and aspirations.

Selecting the right programming language for a project involves careful consideration of several factors. The type, complexity, scalability, security and time to market (TTM) are just a few that need to be taken into account. While more sophisticated programming languages may result in applications that are more feature-rich, extensible and flexible, they typically require a longer duration for code development. Hence, a thorough analysis of these factors is critical in choosing the most suitable language for a project.

When making decisions about which programming language to use for their projects, software developers can benefit from understanding the technical differences between C++ and Java. It is vital to carefully consider the distinctive advantages of each language and their applicability to various types of software development. C++ is commonly used for performance-critical applications, such as gaming and graphics, due to its speed and efficient memory management capabilities. In contrast, Java is often utilized for enterprise-level applications, such as web-based applications, as it is portable, scalable, and robust. A thorough understanding of the technical dissimilarities between C++ and Java can assist developers in making informed decisions about which language is most suitable for their software development requirements.

What is the Importance of Understanding C++?

Developed in 1985 by Danish computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ is known as “C with Classes.” This programming language has earned worldwide recognition for its power and complexity, and is extensively used to design sophisticated applications, including operating systems and comprehensive software suites.

C++ is a multi-paradigm, object-oriented programming language that offers low-level memory management capabilities. Several large corporations, such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others extensively use it. Due to its power, C++ facilitates the development of efficient, high-performance applications.

Applications developed using C++ are platform-independent and can be deployed across diverse environments.

Java: An Introduction

Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language was developed by Canadian computer scientist James Gosling in 1995. Java is an open-source, high-level language that is versatile, and its design prioritizes minimizing dependencies between the language and its implementation. Its WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) capability allows easy compilation of Java code on almost any system.

Developers find Java an appealing choice due to its affordability, ease of use, security, portability, and reliability. It is commonly used by professionals for software development on a wide range of devices, including game consoles, desktops, servers, cell phones, scientific calculators, supercomputers, and smartwatches. Various prominent companies, including Google, Airbnb, eBay, Spotify, Slack, and Intel, have successfully integrated Java into their online applications.

Key Differences between C++ and Java

C++ and Java share a common syntax root from the C language. Nevertheless, the two languages have distinct ecosystems. C++ code can be readily called from C or C++ libraries, and also from the operating system’s Application Programming Interface (API). However, Java programming is more efficient when used alongside other Java-based programs and libraries.

As a result of its low-level design and lack of automated memory management, C++ is more suitable for hardware interaction than Java.

Outlined below are the precise differences between C++ and Java:

  • Several Shared Characteristics

    Object-Oriented Programming incorporates Multiple Inheritance; this enables a descendant class to inherit properties and methods of more than one parent class. In contrast, Java does not allow Multiple Inheritance, but C++ facilitates a broad range of inheritance patterns. Through the use of multiple inheritance, type-safety measures can be implemented to enhance project safety, as well as allows the generation of a Domain Specific Language (DSL) with complex calculations being feasibly executed during the compilation process.
  • Code Reusability

    Both Java and C++ programming languages offer generic classes, which enable code to be reused for multiple data types. However, C++ templates provide a more powerful and flexible means of tackling intricate programming tasks. With templates, developers can create code that is reusable for varying data types, without the need to redo the code for each new type.

    C++ compilers can produce specialised functions or classes when working with new data types, and support template specialisation: allowing templates to feature user-defined functions. Moreover, certain data types can carry customised code dependent on the high-level function parameters.

    Unlike C++, the Java programming language doesn’t facilitate template specialisations; instead, it utilizes “type erasure”. This involves generating generic objects sans data types: although type arguments are checked during compilation, their behaviour is not.
  • Run-time Analysis

    During run-time, Java code’s structure can be analyzed by developers through “reflection”. This enables programmers to inspect the available elements within a class or class type.

    In contrast, C++ encompasses a runtime type information mechanism (RTTI) instead of true reflection. With RTTI, developers lack the ability to obtain details on an object’s members, though they are able to determine its type.
  • Memory Management Techniques

    There are two primary ways of managing memory effectively: automatic memory management, and manual memory management. For the latter, developers must be aware of all objects, components, and code to manually free up memory that is no longer required.

    Java implements automatic garbage collection, which is a highly efficient method for managing memory allocation and has several security benefits. By releasing memory that is no longer in use automatically, the risk of memory leakage that otherwise poses risks and vulnerabilities is greatly reduced. Furthermore, memory management is simplified, as it eliminates the need for manual memory clearance – which can be susceptible to errors and omissions. Thus, Java improves security by reducing memory release errors and simplifying memory management.

    Conversely, C++ uses reference counting through its “smart pointers” to free up memory allocated for an object during its destruction via its destructor.

    Although the Java programming language allows heap allocation exclusively, C++ has the choice of either heap or stack allocation, and C++’s linear data structures facilitate stack allocation, resulting in faster, more reliable, and simpler memory management using the RAII (Resource Allocation Is Initialization) programming method.
  • Practical Differences

    Compared to Java’s automated garbage collection, C++’s manual memory management generally results in better performance. However, in certain situations, Java may outperform C++ through Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, which enables code to be compiled during runtime.

    C++’s garbage collection outperforms Java, consuming less memory and requiring fewer heap allocations. Nevertheless, Java remains a fast and efficient method of building applications unless low latency is an essential requirement.
  • Build and Package Configuration

    Builders utilize build and package management to assemble their projects, and connect their software with numerous external dependencies.

    Build and package management are critical aspects of software development, that can significantly impact developer productivity, project timelines, update management, and component tracking. Maven is a Java-based tool that facilitates the integration of Java projects with integrated development environments (IDEs) like IntelliJ IDEA.

    The C++ programming community is yet to agree on which repository or tool to utilize for managing builds and packages. This lack of agreement is compounded by certain commercial C++ libraries being only made available in binary form, making it difficult to develop applications using them.


Choosing between C++ and Java programming languages depends on project-specific requirements. Each language has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and hence, there is no universal solution when it comes to making a choice between C++ and Java.

Java is highly recommended for those who are unfamiliar with low-level concepts, as it provides an easy-to-use and user-friendly platform for development. C++ is an excellent selection for those who want to develop video games, operating systems, desktop applications, and embedded systems, due to its advanced functionality and powerful tools.

If you’re a C++ programmer eager to broaden your horizons and benefit from the flourishing Java-focused software development work market, or seeking well-paying, stable jobs that you can do from your home location in the United States, then giving it a try could prove to be advantageous to you!

If you’re a software developer seeking better job security, competitive remuneration, and opportunities to expand your professional horizons, then Works Jobs is worth considering. With over three years of experience in the software development industry, you can explore a range of job opportunities on our Job Openings page. Explore our listings to learn more about the positions, and the qualifications required to be considered for these roles.


  1. Which is superior: C++ or Java?

    Java is highly modular, and efficiently runs on a range of systems, ensuring speedy code execution. However, in terms of long code execution, C++ has a greater advantage over Java.
  2. C++ versus Java: which is more powerful?

    Given C++’s close relationship with hardware, it excels at object management, performance, and speed, making it the preferred choice for building and running large-scale programs over Java.
  3. In 2022, should I focus on learning Java or C++?

    If you’re a beginner programmer, it’s highly recommended to start with Java, as it is more user-friendly and easier to understand when compared to C++.

    According to predictions, by 2022, the demand for remote engineers with proficiency in C++ will significantly increase, causing it to become the fourth most popular programming language. This surge is primarily due to the continued expansion of Big Data, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and related fields that necessitate significant Java programming skills. Thus, major companies are actively seeking qualified Java programmers to fill their needs.

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