Akhil Bhadwal | 10 Aug, 2023

C# vs. Java: Which Language is Better to Learn?

Maybe you’re just getting started with software development and learning to code (and wondering which programming language to begin with), or weighing two languages against each other to further your career. Somewhere down the line, you might wonder which you should study: C# or Java. Wherever you are in your programming journey, we’ll help you see the differences between C# vs. Java with this guide.

C# and Java are both general-purpose, imperative languages (a programming paradigm that uses a statement that changes a program’s state). Let’s study the two languages and weigh the C# and Java differences.

At a high level, what is the difference between Java and C sharp?

  • Java is class-based and object-oriented whereas C# is object-oriented and component-oriented.
  • Java doesn’t support features like operator overloading and pointers, whereas C# does.
  • Both C# and Java are high-level, general-purpose, object-oriented languages with strong communities.

Let’s dive into a deeper comparison. First thing’s first:

What is C#?

C# is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language developed in 2000 by Microsoft as part of its .NET initiative. Features include being strongly typed, generic, object-oriented, and component-oriented. C# is designed around CLI standards (Common Language Infrastructure). It’s a popular programming language to learn for beginners.

C# had the following design goals:

  • The language is intended to be a modern, simple, object-oriented programming language.
  • C# implementations support software engineering principles such as array bounds checking, garbage collection, and more.
  • The language offers portability and thus can be executed on different platforms.
  • C# provides support for internationalization.
  • Applications for both embedded systems and OS are supported by C#.

But is C# similar to Java? Let’s touch upon a few more features before we compare the two.

History of C#

  • Andres Hejlsberg designed C# in 1999.
  • The language was originally named “Cool,” which stood for C-like object-oriented language.
  • The name C# was inspired by musical notation, and was also used by Microsoft in 1988 for an uncompleted project.
  • In Nov 2005, C# 2.0 was released with the addition of generics.

Features of C#

  • Derived from C++ and Java.
  • Part of Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Simple
  • No pointers.
  • No operators like “::” or “->”
  • Varying ranges of primitive types
  • Memory management and garbage collection are automatic and do not need explicit code.
  • Modern
  • Built according to the current trend
  • Powerful, scalable, robust
  • Any component can be turned into a web service with built-in support
  • Object-oriented
  • Supports OOP concepts like inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, interfaces, etc
  • Introduces structures enabling primitive types to become objects
  • Type-safe
  • Does not allow us unsafe casts
  • Reference types are initialized to null; value types are initialized to zero by the compiler automatically.
  • Arrays are bound checked and zero-based indexed.
  • Interoperability
  • Includes native support for the COM and windows based applications
  • Components from VB NET can directly be used in C#

What is Java?

Java is a class-based, object-oriented multi-paradigm language developed by Sun Microsystems and designed by James Gosling in 1995.

It was designed with the WORA concept (Write Once Run Anywhere) and thus is a platform-independent language. Java applications are compiled to bytecode that can run on any JVM regardless of its underlying OS and architecture. Applications can be released for web development, Android-based software, and other devices.

High-level Java applications include embedded systems, desktop applications, and server applications. Devices such as smartphones, ATMs, home security systems, and more are all supported by Java. It remains one of the most popular languages to learn for developers, with many Java courses available online.

Primary goals of Java:

  • Simple and object-oriented
  • Robust and secure
  • High performance
  • Interpreted, threaded, and dynamic

History of Java

  • Initiated in June 1991
  • Initially designed for interactive televisions
  • Originally named “Oak,” after an oak tree outside Gosling’s office.
  • Was later named “Green” before being finally named Java, inspired by a coffee in Indonesia.
  • In 1996, Sun Microsystems released Java 1.0 (the first-ever version).
  • In 1998, version 2 of Java was released with multiple configurations.
  • In 2006, Sun renamed the J2 versions Java EE, Java ME, and Java SE.
  • In Nov 2006, Sun released JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Features of Java

  • Simple: It’s easy to learn and has a simple syntax.
  • Object-Oriented: It follows OOPs concepts such as inheritance, abstraction, polymorphism, and encapsulation.
  • Robust: Java offers Memory Management and mishandled Exceptions by automatic Garbage Collector and Exception Handling.
  • Platform Independent: It follows its WORA functionality by running its applications on any platform with JRE's help (Java Runtime Environment).
  • SecureJava's stable features help us develop a virus-free, tamper-free system.
  • Multithreading: Java multithreading designs a program to do several tasks simultaneously. Thus, it utilizes the same memory and other resources to execute multiple threads simultaneously.
  • Architectural Neutral: The compiler generates bytecodes, which are independent of computer architecture.
  • High Performance: When it comes to C# vs. Java performance, Java succeeds. It enables high performance using a just-in-time compiler.
  • Distributed: Programs can be designed to run on computer networks.

 C# vs. Java: Similarities Between C # and Java

  • Object-Oriented: Both languages are object-oriented and hence support concepts like encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance, and more.
  • Dependence from C and C++: C and C++ are a superset to both Java and C#.
  • Intermediate Language Code Generation: Java compiler and C# compilers generate an intermediate language code after compilation. C# compiler generates Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), whereas Java compiler generates Java bytecode.
  • Advance Features: Both languages include advanced features like garbage collection.
  • Syntax: Both languages are syntactically similar.
  • Multiple Inheritance: Both languages support multiple class inheritance.

Most Used Languages in 2022 (Popularity) - Statista

Key Differences Between C# and Java

  • Runtime Environment: Java runs on JRE (Java Runtime Environment), whereas C# runs on CLR (Common Language Runtime).
  • Programming Paradigm: Java is a strictly object-oriented language, whereas C# is object-oriented, functional, strongly typed, and component-oriented.
  • Operator Overloading: Java doesn't support operator overloading, whereas C# supports operator overloading for multiple operators.
  • Pointers: Java does not support pointers, whereas C# supports pointers only in unsafe mode.
  • Arrays: Java arrays are a specialization of Object, while C# arrays are a specialization of System.

Suggested Course

C# Basics for Beginners: Learn C# Fundamentals by Coding

Head to Head Comparison between Java vs. C#

The chart below compares the two languages on a high-level to help you understand the main difference between C# and Java.





Programming Paradigm

Object-oriented, component-oriented, strong typing, functional



.NET provides a huge library of codes used by C#.

Requires JDK to run Java


Web and game development

Complex web-based applications


Server-side language with a good programming foundation

Server-side interaction


Visual Studio, Mono Develop

Eclipse, NetBeans, Intelli J IDEA.

Public Classes

Supports multiple public classes in source code

Java source code can have only one public class.

Checked Exceptions

Does not support checked exceptions

Supports checked and unchecked exceptions

Platform Dependency

Cross-platform and supports both Windows and Unix-based systems

Platform-independent but needs JVM for its execution.

Conditional Compilation

Supports conditional compilation

Does not support conditional compilation

Go-to statement

Supports go-to statement

Does not support go-to statement

Structure and Union

Supports structures and unions.

Does not support structures and unions

Floating Point

The result of floating-point numbers may not be guaranteed the same across all platforms as C# does not support the strictfp keyword.

Java supports the strictfp keyword; hence, the result is the same across all platforms.


27.86% of developers can program in C#.

35.35% of developers can program in Java.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Java vs. C#

Advantages of C#

  • C# provides lambda and generics support.
  • Language-Integrated Query (LINQ)
  • Secure extension methods
  • Properties with getting/set methods
  • Memory management
  • Best in class cross-platform support
  • Backward compatibility

Disadvantages of C#

  • Poor GUI
  • Must be windows based (C# is an internal part of the .NET framework)
  • Software is proprietary; requires an upfront purchase.
  • Mostly depends on the .Net framework; less flexible.
  • Executes slowly, and the program needs to be compiled every time changes are made.

Advantages of Java

  • Provides detailed documentation
  • Offers a large pool of skilled developers
  • Allows the development of standard programs and reusable code
  • Offers a multi-threaded environment
  • Excellent and high performance
  • Huge array of 3rd party libraries
  • Easy to navigate libraries

Disadvantages of Java

  • The JIT compiler makes the program slow.
  • Java demands high memory and processing requirements.
  • The language does not provide any support for low-level programming constructs like pointers.
  • The user has no control over garbage collection as Java does not provide functions like delete(), or free().

The C# vs. Java Cheatsheet

Most of Java and C#’s operations are identical. However, there are a few differences in syntax we will outline below.





Member Access



Type Verification








&, |, ^

Signed Left-Shift, Right-Shift


<<. >>



That wraps up C# vs. Java, including an overview of the languages, their history as programming languages, and their similarities and differences.

We’ll leave you with a quick recap for C$ vs. Java:

Choose C# when:

  • You want to develop programs on the .NET platform.
  • You’re interested in modern quality-of-life features like garbage collection.
  • You need your software to run fast and efficiently.
  • You’re building mobile apps or games.

Choose Java when:

  • You want to take advantage of the vibrant and extensive codebase and community.
  • You need portability and interoperability more than you need speed or efficiency.
  • You need to build web-based, concurrent applications or desktop or server-based applications.

Which language do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!


Is C# Better Than Java?

The debate between C# and Java is long-standing one, with no clear winner. Both languages have pros and cons, and the suitable choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. For mobile app development and games, C# is generally preferred.

Is C# Very Similar to Java?

Yes, C# is very similar to Java. Both languages are object-oriented, statically typed, and have a similar syntax. However, there are some important differences between the two languages. C# is a Microsoft language, while Java is owned by Oracle. This significant C# and Java difference  causes variations in platform support and tooling.

Why is C# Faster than Java?

C# is generally considered faster than Java, although the difference is insignificant. Both languages are compiled, but C# uses a just-in-time compiler while Java uses an ahead-of-time compiler. This means that C# code is typically executed more quickly.

Is C# Copied from Java?

C# is not copied from Java, but it was highly influenced by C++, which was influenced by C and Java. The two languages are similar, but they have different origins and applications, despite both being general-purpose object-oriented languages.

Is C# Closer to C or Java?

C# is closer to C than it is to Java. This is because C++ (influenced by both C and Java) is the language C# was originally based on. However, C# has since diverged from C++ and is now more similar to Java than C.

What Does C# Have that Java Doesn’t?

C# has several features that Java does not have, including operator overloading, type inference, and nullable types. C# also has LINQ (Language Integrated Query), which is a powerful tool for manipulating data.

Is it Easy to Switch from C# to Java?

The two languages are similar. If you know one, you can learn easily. That said, there are some important differences between the two languages that you should be aware of before making the switch. A cheat sheet can help!


By Akhil Bhadwal

A Computer Science graduate interested in mixing up imagination and knowledge into enticing words. Been in the big bad world of content writing since 2014. In his free time, Akhil likes to play cards, do guitar jam, and write weird fiction.

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