Scala vs. Java Compared

Scala and Java are both very popular high-level languages used in the modern world of programming. However, Scala was specially designed to cater to the shortcomings of Java. In particular, it is designed to be compact and concise so that the programmer needs to write a minimal amount of code. Both these languages have their own areas of expertise and use-cases. Therefore, it will be really nice to draw a thorough comparison between them. In this guide, we will compare Scala and Java with each other by talking about their main features, highlighting the key differences between the two programming languages, followed by the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Main Features of Scala:

Following are the main attributes of Scala:

  • It is a statically typed programming language.
  • It has the capability to run on Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
  • It supports OOP and functional programming.
  • It is an extremely concise language that is also very scalable.

Main Features of Java:

Following are the main features of Java:

  • It is a high-level OOP language.
  • Just like Scala, Java is also a statically typed general-purpose language.
  • It also supports distributed computing because it is a network-centric language.
  • The best thing about Java is that the code can be run on multiple platforms once written in this programming language.

Comparison between Scala and Java:

Let’s talk in terms of popularity, then obviously, for the time being. Java is more popular than Scala since the former one is a relatively mature programming language, whereas the latter one is comparatively newer. Based upon the capabilities of both the languages, we will be discussing their differences with respect to certain features, which are as follows:

Readability of the Code:

Talking about the code readability of both languages, since Scala allows the nested coding practice, its code is less readable, whereas the code of Java is more readable.

Conversion from Source Code to Byte Code:

Scala and Java both convert the source code into byte code before it can be executed; however, this conversion is relatively slower in Scala and faster in Java.

Operator Overloading:

Operator overloading is supported by Scala but not by Java. It means that while working with Scala, you can conveniently make the operators of your choice function just the way you like.


If we talk about the backward compatibility of both languages, then Scala is not a backward-compatible language, but Java is. It means that if you have the latest version of Java installed on your laptop and you write a piece of code in it. Later, you might want to run the same code on a PC with an older version of Java installed on it; even then, your code will run perfectly well.


In terms of conciseness, the code written in Scala is more compact, whereas the code written in Java is relatively lengthy. There are different methods with which you can shorten the code written in Java as well; however, these methods do not comply with the standard coding practices of this language.

Nature of Variables:

The Scala variables are immutable by default, i.e., their values once assigned cannot be changed, whereas the Java variables are mutable by default which means that the values once assigned to them can easily be changed as needed.

Presence of the Static Keyword:

The Static keyword is not present in the Scala programming language, whereas Java contains the Static keyword.


It is relatively difficult to learn Scala than Java since, in the former case, the learning curve is slightly higher.

Syntactically, Scala is relatively difficult since it has a very unique sort of syntax that is quite different from the rest of the programming languages available out there in the market. On the other hand, the syntax of Java is relatively simpler, which makes it easier to remember and recall.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Scala:

The main advantages of the Scala programming language are given below:

  • Its code is quite compact, which is why once you master programming in this language, you can quickly write codes even with complex functionalities.
  • Because of its ability to run on JVM, it is highly interoperable with other programming languages.
  • It is a highly scalable programming language that is also why it is known as Scala (scalable language).

The main disadvantages of the Scala programming language are as follows:

  • It is not backward compatible.
  • It is slightly difficult to learn.
  • The community support for this language is very little.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Java:

The main benefits of Java are given below:

  • The community support for this language is readily available. Moreover, its documentation is also very extensive and helpful.
  • It allows you to write reusable code.
  • It is backward compatible.
  • Its performance is enhanced as compared with Scala.

The main disadvantages of the Java programming language are as follows:

  • Java code is relatively lengthy and complex.
  • Java does not support the operator overloading functionality.
  • Java requires high memory and processing power to operate, which gives rise to hardware-related costs.


This guide was designed to educate you about the two most famous high-level programming languages, i.e., Scala and Java. We aimed to do that by drawing a comparison between the capabilities of both these languages. We first talked about the most important features of Scala and Java, followed by those capabilities in particular in which both of these languages differ from each other. Finally, we shared with you some of the most prominent advantages and disadvantages of Scala and Java. After going through this extensive guide, it will become extremely easier for you to differentiate between these two languages. Hence, when it comes to writing codes, it will be a piece of cake for you to choose the most appropriate programming language depending upon your exact requirements.

About the author

Saeed Raza

Hello geeks! I am here to guide you about your tech-related issues. My expertise revolves around Linux, Databases & Programming. Additionally, I am practicing law in Pakistan. Cheers to all of you.