1. Home
  2. Company
  3. Blog
  4. Static vs Dynamic Typing:...

Static vs Dynamic Typing: A Detailed Comparison

static and dynamic languages

The first and foremost choice that programmers face is the choice of programming language, and hence, nuances linked to typing. In line with strings, boolean and integers, variables and data are categorised, thereby encompassing typing. Static vs dynamic typing is the question of the goal you want to obtain within your project. However, in this post, we give you a basis for decision-making: significant characteristics, primary advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of typing. We will also review corresponding programming languages to help you see the bigger picture.

Thus, let us start with the general definition of typing and the specifics of different kinds of typing.

What is typing? Static and dynamic languages

static and dynamic languages

Typing implies either defining the data type of a concrete variable or enabling the programming language to deduce this information automatically. The operations are essential for code to be reliable and consistent. What is a statically typed language?

When you deal with static programming languages, type-checking happens right at compile time. The system converts source code to the machine-readable format: even before the code is compiled, the system needs to know the types linked to correspondent variables. Some examples of static programming languages are Java, C, C++, Kotlin, Haskell, Fortran. Pascal and Swift. 

Mostly, while working with static languages, software engineers have to state the kind of data for each variable. Some static languages, however, do implement type inference. Within type inference, the language system defines the particular data connected with the specific variable. Another peculiar feature of static languages is related to error detection: it halts the compilation until all the mistakes have been corrected. 

Since errors are detected and solved during compilation, it leads to significant time savings. Programs based on static languages usually perform better at execution time. 

Dynamically typed languages presuppose, conversely, type checking at execution time or runtime. Only at the time of execution did the system check the variables against types. Among dynamic programming languages most popular are JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Lisp, and Lua. 

There is no need to state the type of data while declaring variables when working with this group of languages. Dynamic languages imply automation detection of the type of variables during the runtime. Also, you may alter the data type if variables were declared previously. That is an example of static and dynamic difference in terms of interaction with data. Even though dynamic typing allows for more flexible writing of programs, the approach results in slower execution time because of retrieving every variable at runtime. 

Static typing and dynamic typing: highlights to compare

The compiler in static languages detects type-related errors before your program runs, which increases code reliability. Dynamic languages, as mentioned, catch problems at runtime, so unexpected disruptions may occur during execution. 

Since static languages contain a compiler that optimises the performance, they do surpass dynamic language in this regard. Dynamic typing, as was pointed out, tends to have slower execution. At the same time, if you do not have information on data type in advance, the flexibility of the latter option will be very useful for your project. 

Dynamic typing is easier for developers to use, and they can write concise code lines with no need for declaring data types. Static typing is characterised by verbose code, as extra annotations might be needed. 

Static language possesses a more robust level of safety, while dynamic typing, to an extent, sacrifices safety by prioritising ease of use and flexibility. 

Dynamic vs static languages: How do you find a perfect fit for your project?

programming languages

Generally, the choice of programming language includes these aspects to consider:

Additional parameters to evaluate when it comes to choosing static or dynamic languages:

  1. Growth tendencies. Some static typing languages, namely TypeScript and Python, have undergone a quantum leap in terms of adoption, particularly for machine learning and data science. Meanwhile, dynamic languages (JavaScript) remain the most common choice for front-end development. Newcomers like Kotlin and Dart keep up with the rapidly evolving and strengthening of their robust typing components.
  2. Technological landscape. Serverless features and cloud computing require, foremost, flexibility, which is the main strength of dynamic languages. Yet, static languages have been optimised fruitfully for new and new environments. 

If you prioritise clear detection of errors for stringent projects, think of applying statically typed languages. Static languages are frequently utilised for safety systems or medical and healthcare applications to decrease the risk of errors. Thus, the choice will benefit your project with a rock-solid foundation. 

If your project goal is more closely tight with fast decision-making and increased flexibility, opt for dynamic typing. This group of languages is especially beneficial for prompt iteration during prototyping. Similarly, dynamic typing is suitable for projects that require frequent changes in data types. Some languages also encompass the features of these two options: for instance, Python. An alternative way would be to delve deeper, analyse the primary pros and cons of mixed languages with which you are familiar, and make informed decisions according to your qualifications and preferences. 

We hope that the post helped to shed some light on the what is static typing” question and gave you more understanding of dynamically typed languages. 

If you are searching for experienced programmers who are skilled in working with both static and dynamic languages, feel free to contact the PNN Soft team.