Python has been around since 1991, and is a high-level programming language. It emphasizes code readability with its use of whitespace and identation, and due to its constructs and object-oriented approach, it lets programmers write clear, logical code regardless of project scale. Over the years, Python has been steadily gaining popularity, and today we’ll take a look at the top 10 things you need to know about Python development.
1. Data Science
This is a big one! There are several reasons why Python rapidly became one of the preferred languages for Data Science, and why it’s widely being used as the introductory language for programming courses.
One is the libraries. Python has great libraries and frameworks, such as TensorFlow, NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and more. Another is that Python is very versatile and lets you do a lot, from automation, to web development, to scientific applications.
2. Machine Learning
We’ve talked about AI and Machine Learning here on the blog before, specifically, AI on the Microsoft Flow platform. Needless to say, machine learning is highly useful, and more and more companies are using it to automate tasks. Google uses it in its search algorithms, Uber uses it to calculate routes and assigned drivers, your e-mail inbox uses it to filter messages—the uses are many, and widely spread.
Python makes machine learning surprisingly easy, and is the only programming language out there to do so. While Java does have machine learning libraries, Python has more content, as well as the support of the developer community, for which Python is the current language of choice.
Below is a tutorial on how you can learn how to get started with the Azure Machine Learning SDK in Python:
You can also take a look at this free course about Machine Learning libraries on Udemy.
3. Web Development
Another reason to use Python is web development, since it offers many great libraries and frameworks that make it much easier. Django, which is completely free and open source, is one such example. Another is Flask.
Either way, tasks that you’d normally use PHP for run much faster in Python. To have an idea of the scope that can be achieved in web development using Python, you can look to Reddit, Instagram, Google, Dropbox, etc—they all use it!
Want to learn more about web development in Python? Udemy has some free courses, including this one on Django!
4. The Community
Many things die at the hands of whether they’re supported by a community, and tech is no exception. And when you’re coding, you’re bound to run into problems—and Python’s big community is bound to have you covered when they inevitably arise.
There are many Python communities out there that can help you out in times of need. StackOverflow is a popular one (and not just for Python!) but whenever you have an issue, just hit up Google and you’re likely to find a solution.
5. It’s Simple
Remember above, where we said Python is being widely used as an introductory language to programming? One of those reasons is its simplicity. It’s incredibly easy to learn Python when compared to other programming languages.
Because of how Python uses indentation and white space, it’s very easy to read. It’s also very easy to setup, as you just install it, and it’s done, including the PATH addition (which, believe it or not, can be a nightmare). You won’t need to deal with classpath problems that arise in Java, or the dreadful compiler issues of C++. This alone will save you a lot of headaches.
Imagine you find yourself repeating one menial task over and over. For instance, you need to test an app for bugs, and that involves a lot of doing the same actions to see if you trigger wrong behavior.
Once you’re familiar with Python, creating scripts that automate mundane tasks is a breeze. If you want to get started on it, the ebook of Al Sweigart’s Automate The Boring Stuff With Python is great and free to read!
7. Libraries and Frameworks
We’ve mentioned Python has great libraries and frameworks available, and how they make development easy. The fact that a lot of them are open source and free is another huge bonus.
Django and Flask are amazing for web development. TensorFlow, Pandas, Scikit-Learn, NumPi, SciPi, and more, are great for machine learning and data science.
8. It’s Good for Several Purposes
Odds are, you’ve heard about how certain languages are better for certain purposes. With Python, the great thing is that it’s good for a lot of purposes without compromising the depth of what it can do. Once you learn the syntax, it’s more about learning the frameworks and libraries you need for specific purposes, and you’ll never have to look at another language’s syntax and rules again.
9. It’s Growing Fast
Some ten years ago, you didn’t hear about Python as much as you do now. That’s because it’s been growing extremely fast, and if you’re just starting out, it makes a lot of sense to focus on it. Not only will this give you better job offers, it will make you a versatile developer.
10. It’s Well Paid
It’s no secret that Python developers are some of the best paid. And since fields of high pay include data science, machine learning, and web development, mastering Python should be a no-brainer.
CodeBurst.io has a great analysis of the best programming languages for business, and it cites the average Python dev salary as being $117,505 per year!
It does, in fact, come from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, since Guido van Rossum, Python’s creator, was a fan. He would also use Flying Circus jokes in his Python tutorials!