Scala vs. Java for Backend Development: Which One Is the Best?

Scala is a general-purpose programming language designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way. It smoothly integrates features of object-oriented and functional languages, enabling Java and other programmers to be more productive.

Scala source code is compiled to Java bytecode, so you can use Scala instead of Java for some projects without introducing additional dependencies (Scala compiles to JVM bytecode, which runs on top of the standard class library). It’s what a Scala web development company is normally using.

Before we get started, let me make one thing clear: I like Java. It’s a great language and ecosystem to work in and has helped countless people launch their careers as software engineers. More recently, though, the web development community has been abuzz with praise for another JVM-hosted language: Scala.

Scala vs. Java: Why Should You Learn Scala?

A central question for any Scala Developer who is interested in the JVM is why to learn Scala. This article discusses the differences between these two programming languages and why learning Scala might be a good idea if you are working with Java or other JVM-based technologies.

If your computer science education stopped after college, then this article will help you decide if learning Scala is worth your while. For experienced developers, this article will bring back some memories and let you see recent innovations of the JVM and how they compare to what was around when many developers started their careers.

Finally, it makes sense to mention that if you are looking for resources to learn more about Scala (e.g., where to start and where to go from there) then check out Scala for the Impatient. If you like it, then buy a copy – we appreciate your support.

What is Scala?

Scala is an acronym that stands for “scalable language.” The language was designed as a tool to address large-scale projects such as Google’s massive crawling systems. To accomplish this, Martin Odersky designed Scala with several key features:

  • Functional programming idioms to allow parallelization of calculations
  • Improved type system to reduce runtime errors
  • Class-based object-orientation with a focus on concise syntax and clean semantics
  • Concise syntax and clean semantics via self-similarity (more later)
  • Integration with Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to take advantage of existing open-source libraries

So what can you do with Scala?

Scala works well for large-scale projects that require robust and fault-tolerant systems. It is a general-purpose language (like Java, C++, etc.) which means it can be used to build anything from a mobile app to a web application to a library. In other words, the sky’s the limit.

The following are some examples of companies using Scala: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Yammer, eBay, Foursquare. On the JVM side, Scala works best with Spring and Play. For data analysis, Spark is an excellent option as well.

What makes Scala unique? Why not just use Java?

The following list of features sets Scala apart from Java and other more traditional languages:

Scala is a functional programming language

It offers a more concise syntax which reduces the number of keystrokes necessary to complete a task. Object-oriented code can be written in both class-based and object-based styles, giving developers the freedom to choose between these two paradigms.

The power of closures brings many benefits to both functional and object-oriented styles of development including currying, pattern matching, partial function application, lazy evaluation, etc.

Map-reduce frameworks such as Spark get a boost from higher-level functional abstractions like monads and functors. For data analysis on the JVM side, nothing beats Scala + Spark for speed and ease. Overall integration with the JVM is excellent.

Scala runs on JVM

Scala runs on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and ships with all the necessary tools to interoperate with Java. This means that any open-source library written in Java can be used from Scala without needing to re-implement anything.

Also, there is no need for a separate compilation step by a different compiler since code written in both languages can be combined seamlessly at runtime. Finally, Scala’s tight coupling to the JVM also implies good integration with Maven/Ant/Gradle builds systems which are traditionally used alongside Java projects.

In addition, Scala offers advanced static typing features such as polymorphic methods and generics that give developers more rigorous code analysis tools available from within their IDE. For example, IntelliJ IDEA has a slick one-click method override feature which would be difficult to achieve in Java.

Scala is a concise language

This means fewer lines of code compared to other languages although it still looks like Java. Although conciseness is a choice the Scala Developer makes, it’s important not to confuse this with brevity which can lead to ambiguity and hard-to-read code.

Scala strikes a balance that allows succinctness without sacrificing readability or hiding key information from the developer.

What about productivity?

Scala runs on the JVM so you’re able to use all existing open-source libraries. The JVM also provides excellent profiling tools via visual and the operating system will tell you how much memory your application is using.

On the IDE side, IntelliJ IDEA provides great support for Scala via its powerful Scala plugin. It even offers to fix up your code sometimes!

If you are an existing Java developer, there is no need to learn a new language since both languages can be used together in the same project. With that said, it’s easy to get excited about learning something new especially if it looks like your current favorite language (e.g., Ruby).

To start with programming in Scala, try reading through this tutorial to build a simple web app. If you are searching for the right Java Development Company, you can contact the best experts.

Scala is very easy to get into

It’s been called “Python done right,” thanks to its concise syntax that makes it easier to read and write code in Scala than in pretty much any other language out there today.

And while Scala can be complex sometimes, this complexity doesn’t come up until you need it, so learning all about monads, functors, and monoids isn’t necessary until you encounter a problem where they might be useful.

The last thing I want to mention here is how great Scala’s interoperability with Java is. As we established before, being able to run your Scala code along with any existing Java libraries or tools is a huge benefit of using Scala.

But it doesn’t stop there: You can call Java code from within Scala and vice versa, meaning you can take advantage of the best of both worlds even when writing your applications!

All in all, I would say Scala is great for any Scala Developer who likes to explore new technologies and challenges. Whether you’re just getting started with software development or have been coding for years on end, Scala will give you something fun and interesting to learn that isn’t quite like working with any other language out there today — which is what learning programming languages should be about, anyway!

What is Scala?

Scala stands for Extensible Language. It is a multi-paradigm programming language. The Scala language includes functional programming and object-oriented programming functions. It is a statically typed language. The source code is compiled in bytecode and executed by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Object-Oriented Scala

Scala is an object-oriented language. In Scala all values ​​are objects. Scala uses the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to execute the bytecode. This code is executed by the Java virtual machine compiled in bytecode. So all you need to start developing is a JVM. Scala allows you to create custom classes that any Java class can use.

Why Use Scala?

From writing small scripts to building large computing systems, we strive to evolve to meet the needs of our users. Scala is used for computing, distributed computing, and web development. It supports the data engineering infrastructure of many companies.

Who Uses Scala?

The Scala language is mainly used by software engineers and data engineers. Some data scientists use it in ApacheSpark to process large amounts of data.

How is Scala Different from Java?

  • Nested functions – functions can be defined in other functions.
  • Closure function – A function whose return value depends on a variable declared outside the function.
  • Every value is an object.
  • Every action is a method call.

Scala Setup

Let’s see how we can set up a Scala development environment. As you know, Scala uses JVM. Hence, you need to install Java on your system to run Scala programs.

Step 1 – Install Java

sudo apt-get update

Enter here: sudoapt-get install openjdk-8-jdk

The above two commands install open-JDK on your Ubuntu machine. Use the following method to verify the installation.

Step 2 – Install Scala

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install scala

The above two commands will install Scala on your Ubuntu computer. Confirm the installation by typing scala in the terminal.

The above picture shows that Scala has been installed successfully and is working properly. Throughout the tutorial, we have used IntelliJ instead of Terminal to run Scala code.

Scala Basic

Scala is very similar to the Java language in that it uses the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run code. So if you understand the Java language well, learning Scala is very easy. But you don’t need to know Java before learning the Scala language.

Scope of Variable

Rods in Scala can be divided into three types:

  • Fields – This variable can be accessed by any method on the object. Access change variables are not private outside of objects either. Access modifiers are discussed in detail below. Depending on the keywords var and Val, the variable may or may not change.
  • Method parameters – each time the method is called, you can pass any value as a parameter. If you have a reference to an object from outside the method, this variable can be accessed both inside and outside the method. These variables are constantly changing.
  • Local Variables – Variables of this type are declared using methods. It is also only accessible through one method. They are changeable and immutable.

Why Choose Java for Backend Development?

According to the TIOBE 2019 index, Java is ranked number one among the best programming languages ​​in the world. He has held positions in the Java development industry for over 20 years.

During this long journey, language has passed through many stages and has become an important factor in the success of applications and software. The latest popularity index for programming languages ​​hailed Java as “the king of programming languages.”

Let’s see why Java backend development is the best solution.

Enterprise Programming Language

Initially, it was a panacea in the development world, but programmers thought it was interchangeable. But the perfect non-fortune of language is permanent.

If you are a developer yourself, you should understand the possibilities of Java. Some languages ​​are lighter and easier than Java, but so far Java has been a solution for various business applications.

Unstoppable Growth

It might be amazing, but Java has been around for 24 years. The language has been adapted from A to Z to follow the latest market trends which have been continuously developed.

It has also increased the demand from foreign developers in India. Quite simply because the trend of overseas software development is taking hold of the software industry today.

Additionally, with each release adding more features, companies are increasingly interested in using Java for back-end development and enterprise applications.

Exceptional Performance

The Java compiler is designed to improve performance. The code is compiled into bytecode, which is then compiled by the Java compiler. Before being converted to system-level code, the code runs in the Java Virtual Machine.

Mobile Apps Still Have Java

Java-based apps are everywhere, whether on Windows, Android, or iOS, even on smartphones. Although they’ve moved on to Swift for iOS and Kotlin backends for Android apps, professional developers with a solid Java background can quickly master the language.

These programming languages ​​are improved versions of Java, and there are many similarities in their kernel. Java is the key to success if you want to enter the Android application industry.

Security

Security features are built into Java and the runtime system. Runtime checking and static type are checked at compile time. This feature makes it difficult to access Java applications from the outside.

We all know the importance of data security. Therefore, to create secure and robust mobile applications, companies prefer to hire Android application developers with practical expertise in Java.

Simple Coding

Ease of coding defines the simplicity of programming languages. This also applies to Java. This is because the grammatical terms have less ambiguity. Anyone can get started with Java using the basics of programming.

Object-Oriented Programming Languages

It is an object-oriented programming language with various related concepts. Java has become a more accessible language with flexibility, system modularity, and extensibility.

Platform Independence

When I read these words, a tremor immediately comes to my head. Because it is a cross-platform framework for mobile apps, it can compete fiercely with native apps. So it’s easy to see why the company is actively recruiting Flutter developers.

However, when it comes to building scalable web applications with cross-platform capabilities, Java plays a leading role. Thinking back to the “Birth of Java” in the 90s, what Flutter does today is when Java started with the first release.

The slogan “Use once, run anywhere” started to gain attention. And this feature still appeals to businesses on a tight budget. Indeed, most Java applications run on UNIX platforms developed in a Wind environment.


As an old language, Java is still popular among developers. The language can be used for the development of web and mobile applications of any size, as well as for the development of enterprise-class applications and the use of big data.

Image by: Ilya Pavlov

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