Python is arguably the programming language nowadays, and in this article we'll explore why that might be the case, what the current trends within the Python community are, and what packages and tools you might want to get acquainted with if you don't want to be left behind.
If you were pondering what programming language you should be investing time and effort in, you can stop searching now. It’s Python.
Alright, that was an oversimplification. Admittedly, you aren't going to jump into a Java project that's been in development for years just to port all that code into Python just because it's “hot”. Programming languages are a means to an end, and you have to carefully consider the cost/benefit of adopting a given technology.
That said, when things are massively moving in a certain direction, that has to mean something. And for some time already, things have been moving towards Python.
Hail the King
Practically every undergraduate IT class today is taught with Python — and not just computer science introduction courses offered by companies or by unversities, but even highly specialized careers on data science, AI, or quantitative finance — that not long ago would have used languages such as R, MATLAB, or C++ — are now also more often than not entirely taught in Python.
Check out the trends as of 2019 for the past five years comparing Python, Java, C++ and PHP:
Quite eloquent, isn't it?
What about a more comprehensive list of languages over a larger span of time? Sure:
How Did that Happen?
- Easy to learn. Unlike C++ or Java, Python is comparatively easier to approach, even for total noobs — which is among the reasons to why it's the language of choice for introductory to programming courses.
- General purpose. Unlike PHP (which is intended for web programming) or R (which is intended for statistical analysis), Python is suitable for a number of tasks.
- Old and new. Unlike Visual Basic (which didn't seem to stand the test of time) or Go (which is a fairly new, Nov 2009), Python is a relatively old language (1990), in active development, that has proved to be aging very well.
- Batteries included. Unlike all of the languages mentioned, Python has a huge so-called Standard Library that covers all sorts of tasks, from specific fields to general tasks.
What's more — and yes, this is very biased, but … — Python is fun!
But enough praising; let's dig in a bit. I'll highlight just a handful of tools that demonstrate the power of Python. There are, of course, many more to discover.
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