Scala uses the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) during runtime, which gives it some speed over Python in most cases. Python is dynamically typed and this reduces speed. Choosing a programming language for Apache Spark is a subjective matter, as the reasons why a particular data scientist or data analyst prefers Python or Scala for Apache Spark may not always apply to others. Let's explore some important factors to consider before deciding on Scala vs Python as the primary programming language for Apache Spark.
Both Python and Scala are excellent tools that can meet a variety of programming and Data Science needs. Using Scala for Spark provides access to the latest features of the Spark framework, as they are first available in Scala and then ported to Python. You can use basic Scala programming features with the IntelliJ IDE and get useful features like type hints and compile-time checks for free. Scala is also great for low-level Spark programming and for easy navigation directly to the underlying source code.
I'm working on a project called bebe that I hope will provide the community with a secure, high-performance Scala programming interface. Before choosing a language to program with Apache Spark it is necessary for developers to learn Scala and Python to become familiar with their features. Performance is mediocre when using Python programming code to make calls to Spark libraries, but if there is a lot of processing involved, Python code becomes much slower than the equivalent Scala code. If you have enough experience with any statically typed programming language such as Java, you can stop worrying about not using Scala at all.
Refactoring code from a statically typed language like Scala is much easier and hassle-free than refactoring code from a dynamic language like Python. Scala is definitely the better choice for the Spark Streaming feature because Python Spark support is not advanced and mature like Scala. A quick look at the salaries offered by Python and Scala skills shows that Scala as a skill offers more salary in the job market than Python. Learning Scala enriches a programmer's knowledge of several novel abstractions in the type system, novel functional programming features and immutable data.
Although both programming languages are excellent for developing innovative projects in new-age technologies, there are significant differences between Python and Scala. Scala is a powerful programming language that offers easy-to-develop features that are not available in Python.