What's the difference between Java and JavaScript?

There's a famous saying on the internet that "Java is to JavaScript like car is to carpet." Despite the similar names, Java and JavaScript are two completely different languages! Read the brief history and purpose behind both languages below.


Developed in 1991, Java is a programming language primarily for building desktop and server applications. Java must be compiled or translated by another program to work on different machines. More than 30 years later, Java is still a popular programming language for software developers!


JavaScript was developed in 1995 to add interactivity to the Netscape Navigator browser. Originally called "LiveScript," the word "Java" replaced the word "Live." Why? To help advertise it! Java was a popular language in the 90s, so calling it "JavaScript" helped the language gain popularity even though it's not affiliated with Java.

JavaScript can now work on all modern browsers and doesn't require a compiler to work on different machines, unlike Java. Instead, it uses scripts to run using a web page's HTML automatically. JavaScript has its own specification called ECMAScript that's unrelated to its namesake Java.

At Skillcrush, you can learn to code with JavaScript in two classes: JavaScript Fundamentals and Introduction to JavaScript React.

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