Java vs Scala: What is the Difference?

What is Java?

Java is a multi-platform, object-oriented, network-centric, programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java is a programming language and a computing platform for application development. It was first released by Sun Microsystem in 1995 and later acquired by Oracle Corporation

In this tutorial, you will learn:

What is Scala?

Scala is a statically typed programming language which incorporates functional and object-oriented programming. It primarily targets the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) platform but can also be used to write software for multiple platforms. It includes native platforms using Scala-Native and JavaScript runtimes through Scala.


  • Scala is a statically typed programming language whereas Java is a multi-platform, network-centric, programming language.
  • Scala uses an actor model for supporting modern concurrency whereas Java uses the conventional thread-based model for concurrency.
  • Scala variables are by default immutable type while Java variables are by default mutable type.
  • Scala supports lazy evaluation while Java doesn’t support lazy evaluation.
  • Scala doesn’t contain static members whereas Java contains static members.
  • Scala supports operator overloading whereas Java doesn’t support operator overloading.
  • Scala doesn’t offer backward compatibility whereas Java offers backward compatibility.
  • Scala is less readable because of nested code whereas Java is more readable.
  • Scala frameworks are Play, Lift whereas Java frameworks are Spring, Grails, and many more.

Features of Java

Here are the important features of Java.

  • Write code once and run it on almost any computer platform
  • It is designed for building object-oriented applications.
  • Very Robust and Highly Secure
  • It is a multithreaded language with automatic memory management
  • Facilitates distributed computing as its network centric

Features of Scala

Here are important features of scala:

  • Object-oriented but Scala is also a functional language.
  • It is concise, powerful language and can quickly grow according to the demand of its users.
  • Allows you to execute Java code
  • Scala is statically typed

Java vs. Scala

Here are the main difference between Java and Scala.

Parameter Scala Java
Compactness More compact and concise Comparatively larger chunks of code
Designed for It is designed and developed to be both object and functional oriented language.
It supports a wide variety of functional programming features such as concurrency and Immutability.
Originally developed as an object-oriented language and started supporting functional programming features in recent days. It is not as strong as a functional programming language.
Concurrency model Uses actor model for supporting modern concurrency It uses the conventional thread-based model for concurrency.
Supported frameworks Supports frameworks – Play, Lift Supports Spring, Grails, much more
Lazy evaluation support Supports lazy evaluation Does not support lazy evaluation
Static members No static members Contains static members
Operator overloading Supports operator overloading Does not support operator overloading
Compilation process Compilation of source code is comparatively slow Compilation of source code is faster than Scala
Interfaces Traits – act like Java 8 interfaces Java 8 interfaces try to bridge the gap between classes and interfaces
URL rewriting Rewriting is needed Rewriting is not required
Bug-free codes No assurance about the bug-free codes Complete assurance of lesser defects
Support for backward compatibility Scala does not support backward compatibility Java supports backward compatibility
Support for Multiple inheritances Supports multiple inheritances using classes but not by abstract classes Does not support multiple inheritances using classes, but by interfaces
Code style Code is written in a compact form. Code is written in long-form.
Static keyword Scala does not contain the static keyword. Java contains the static keyword.
Treats Any method or function present in Scala is
they are treated like they are variable.
Java treats functions as an object.

Type of variables Scala variables are by default immutable type. Java variables are by default mutable type.
Object orientation Scala treats everything as an instance of the class and it is more object-oriented language as compare to Java. Java does not support operator overloading.

Calling method In Scala, all the operations on entities performed using method calls. Operators are treated differently and is
not done using the call method.
Readability Scala is less readable because of its nested code. Java is more readable.
Compiling process Compiling the process of source code into byte code is very slow. Compiling the process of source code into byte code is fast.

Advantages of Java

Here, are pros/benefits of using Java-

  • Detailed documentation is available.
  • A large pool of skilled developers available
  • Allows you to form standard programs and reusable code.
  • It is a multi-threaded environment which allows you to perform many tasks at the same time in a program.
  • Excellent performance
  • Huge array of 3rd party libraries
  • Easy to navigate libraries

Advantage of using Scala

Here are pros/benefits of learning Scala:

  • Scala is easy to learn for object-oriented programmers, (Java developers). It is becoming one of the popular languages in recent years.
  • Scala offers first-class functions for users
  • Scala can be executed on JVM, thus paving the way for the interoperability with other languages.
  • It is designed for applications that are concurrent, distributed, resilient, and message driven. It is one of the most demanding languages of this decade.
  • It is concise, powerful language and can quickly grow according to the demand of its users.
  • It is object-oriented and has a lot of functional programming features providing a lot of flexibility to the developers to code in a way they want.
  • Scala offers many Duck Types
  • It has less boilerplate if you are coming from Java
  • The frameworks Lift and Play written in Scala are in the growth curve.

Disadvantages of Java

Here, are cons/drawback of using Java-

  • JIT compiler makes the program comparatively slow.
  • Java has high memory and processing requirements. Therefore, hardware cost increases.
  • No support for low-level programming constructs like pointers.
  • You don’t have any control over garbage collection as Java does not provide functions like delete(), free().

Disadvantages of Scala

Here, are few cons/disadvantages of scala:

  • Scala offers very limited community presence.
  • It is not the easily adaptable language.
  • Offers very limited backward compatibility