C++ vs. Java

C++ and Java are popular programming languages used by developers and programmers. Each of these languages has its own advantages and disadvantages but before we begin to investigate the crucial differences between the aforementioned programming languages let’s first establish our basic understanding regarding the two.

What is C++?

C++ is an intermediate-level programming language that includes almost all features of the C language. It was initially developed by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension of C. The latest version of C++ was released in 2020. It is regarded as a partial object-oriented language because it combines the features of C and Simula67 which was the first object-oriented programming language.

What is Java?

Java is a programming language that takes inspiration from C and C++. It was originated in 1995 by Green Team working at Sun Microsystems. It was originally called ‘Oak’ but was later changed to Java. It is a pure object-oriented programming language that allows platform independence and provides an integrated development environment (IDE).

Key Differences between C++ and Java

Below we have provided a table that compares C++ an Java on the basis of certain criteria.

Sr. No Criteria C++ Java
1. Founded by Bjarne Stroustrup at AT & T Bell laboratories in 1985. James Gosling at Sun Microsystems in 1995.
2. Object-oriented programming  C++ introduced the concept of classes and objects however most of its programs can be written without OOP techniques. So it cannot be regarded as pure objected-oriented language. Java is regarded as a pure object-oriented language.
3. Platform independence  C++ is a platform-dependent language that needs to be compiled separately for every platform. Java is a complete platform-independent language. Code written in java is flexible and can be transferred from a device to another.
4. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) C++ does not support IDE. Java supports IDE. It provides famous platforms like Eclipse, NetBeans IDE.
5. Usage C++ is used to develop system programs. Java is used to build android apps, web apps, and scientific apps.
6. Compiler and Interpreter C++ is only a compiled language. Java is a compile as well as integrated language.
7. Memory Management Memory management in C++ is manual and in the hands of the programmer. Memory management of Java is system-controlled.
8. Supported Features C++ supports features such as goto statements, operator overloading, pointers, structures, unions, and so on. Java does not support features such as goto statements, operator, overloading, pointers, structures, unions, and so on.
9. Libraries C++ has a very finite number of libraries. Java has a wide range of libraries.
10. Documentation comment C++ does not support documentation comment. Java has support for documentation comments.
11. Cross-language compatibility Since C++ was an extension of C, therefore, it is compatible with C and most other languages. Java is not compatible with any other language.
12. Error Detection In C++, runtime error detection is carried out manually. In Java, runtime error detection is performed by the system automatically.
13. Data and Functions C++ has a global scope which means data and functions can be placed outside the class. Java does not have global scope, therefore, data and functions should exist in the class.
14. Hardware closeness C++ is pretty close to the hardware. This is the reason it is used mostly for system programming or developing game applications and compilers. Since Java is for the development of software applications, therefore it is not close to the hardware.
15. Parameter passing C++ supports parameter passing by value and reference. Java also provides support for parameter passing by value and reference.


C++ and Java are two programming languages that have their own pros and cons. While C++ is best suited for system programming and developing games and compilers, Java is perfect for android applications and web applications. Declaring one better in comparison to another would be unjustifiable. It is totally up to the needs of the software you are building. The language that perfectly fits your requirements is the best for you!

About the author

Naima Aftab

I am a software engineering professional with a profound interest in writing. I am pursuing technical writing as my full-time career and sharing my knowledge through my words.