Originally published in June 2019, last updated in January 2021

Everyone is talking about Python, and for good reason. With an exponentially growing community around data science, machine learning, AI, web dev and more, Python is a language that opens programming access to the world.

In the realm of server side software languages, Python is considered easy to read, write and learn. Plus, it’s extremely scalable. The world’s largest companies run on it, and it’s also great for quick and simple prototypes.

The list goes on for why we think it’s a good idea to learn Python programming, whether you’re new to coding or an experienced dev. Here are 6 major reasons why.

First, what is Python programming?

Python is a high-level programming language used for general-purpose software engineering. It’s a server side language – which means it runs on the server, and is responsible for processing the logic behind user inputs, interacting with databases and other servers, etc.

Initially developed in the late 1980’s by Guido Van Rossum, Python has been around for decades alongside other server side languages like Java and C. Van Rossum modeled Python after the English language, eliminating unnecessary syntax to make it easier to read and write than other programming languages.

Python is an open-sourced language, and in recent years has increased in popularity due to its use in data science. Python also has a strong community around machine learning, data modeling, data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI), with extensive resources and libraries built for these purposes.

And yes, the rumors are true. Python is named after the British comedy group Monty Python. Which in our opinion makes it all the more awesome.

Indeed if you decide to learn Python, you shall code with the strength of many men, Sir Knight.

Monty Python Film GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So why learn Python?

1. Python is extremely versatile, with multiple uses

Just to name a few of its most common uses, Python is used in Data Mining, Data Science, AI, Machine Learning, Web Development, Web Frameworks, Embedded Systems, Graphic Design applications, Gaming, Network development, Product development, Rapid Application Development, Testing, Automation Scripting, the list goes on.

Python is used as an easier and more efficiently-written alternative to languages that perform similar functionalities like C, R, and Java. Therefore Python is growing in popularity as the primary language for many applications.

RELATED: Top Python Uses

Python uses in Data Science and Machine Learning

Historically, the R programming language is most commonly used for data science. As Python code is considered easier to maintain and more scalable than R, Python has increased in popularity for data science – especially among professionals without advanced education in statistics or mathematical fields.

In the past few years, many packages have been developed for data analysis and machine learning using Python. This includes numpy and pandas, which allow users to understand and transform data; tensorflow, which is used to code machine learning algorithms; and pyspark, an API for working with Spark – a framework for easily working with large data sets.

These libraries enable your every day web developer to analyze large data trends, without having to learn the ins and outs of the more complex R.

Growing Interest in Python Machine Learning Technologies

Image source: Stack Overflow Trends

Python uses in other industries

Python – and programming in general – is in such high demand because it is useful in just about every industry. Python is used by companies in recruiting, healthcare, financial services, marketing, education and many more.

For example, ‘Growth Marketers’ are now basing their marketing decisions on the analysis done in Python. Businesses are turning away from Excel spreadsheets and towards Python-driven analysis.

Python.org lists various success stories from different industries and applications that use Python. The length of this list alone shows you how versatile Python uses are. One interesting story is of BATS, which aims to provide access to maps for the visually impaired. Another story is a workflow automation system for NASA which was written in Python by one person in less than a year.

Python Stack Overflow Queries by Industry

learn Python, python programming, python bootcamp, what is Python used for

Image source: Stack Overflow

What types of companies use Python?

Python is great for quick prototyping, hence is used extensively by startups to build their first minimum viable product (MVP). As a highly scalable language, Python is also used in the world’s largest and most sophisticated companies. Netflix discussed its uses of Python in everything from their Content Delivery Network (CDN)  to their monitoring systems.

Google also loves Python programming for its solutions. Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, said that,

“Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we’re looking for more people with skills in this language.”

According to iDataLabs 67% of the companies that use Python are small (<$50M in revenue), 9% are medium-sized ($50M – $1000M in revenue) and 17% are large (>$1000M in revenue).

So how can you maximize the number of companies that would be open to hiring you? Choose a language that is used across the board. Whether you want to work for Google building their next worldwide application, or for the next start-up unicorn, Python opens the doors to companies of all shapes and sizes.

learn Python, python programming, python bootcamp, what is Python used for

Image source: CodingNomads

2. Python is the fastest growing programming language

Given Python’s uses across many industries and applications – and its recent explosive use in data science, machine learning and AI, Python is on a major growth trajectory.

Stackoverflow.com shows Python as the fastest growing major programming language by a long-shot, by analyzing the number of visitors vs. questions about a certain topic.

Growth of Python Queries in Stack Overflow

Why-learn-Python-Queries-in-Stack-Overflow-2021

Image source: Stack Overflow

The TIOBE Index is an indicator of a programming language’s popularity based on the quantity of search queries across 25 search engines, as well as the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses, and third party vendors. Currently, Python is #3 in the TIOBE Index, preceded only by C and Java.

TIOBE named Python the 2020 programming language of the year for gaining the most popularity of any language in 2020. Notably, this is the fourth time Python earned this distinction, which is a record for TIOBE. Python made a positive jump of 2.01% in 2020 (source: TIOBE). 

TIOBE Most Popular Programming Languages by Search Queries

Image source: TIOBE

3. Python is in high demand for jobs

Going hand-in-hand with lightning speed growth, Python programming is in high demand for jobs. Based on the number of job postings on one of the largest job search platforms, LinkedIn.com, Python ranks #2 in the most in-demand programming languages of 2020.

While these statistics only reflect US Markets, Python is in demand worldwide. However, only 11% of coding bootcamps teach Python. We are proud to be one of the fearless few that teaches this badass programming language!

It’s also worth noting that this graph does not include SQL, since it is a database query language and not a programming language. SQL boasts more than  60,000 job listings on Indeed.com, showing that it is one of the most useful skills for a software developer to have. With our curriculum teaching both Python and SQL, our goal is to ensure you have the skills required to succeed in today’s demanding job market.

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4. Python is easy to read, write, and learn

Python was built with the goal of getting rid of the complex and keeping only the necessary. Because of this, Python is easier to read, write, and learn than most other major programming languages.

WP Engine surveyed 909 developers across the US on which programming language is the easiest to learn. Python came in second place after HTML, which some developers will argue is more of a scripting language than an actual programming language anyway 😉. Python was noted for its “high readability and simple syntax that is easy to learn.” The article also states that, “for new coders especially, the consistency and simplicity of Python both contribute to its ease of use and approachability.”

It can be discouraging for new programmers to sift through all the necessary syntax of other languages before they can perform their first simple task. With Python, your first “Hello World!” application is only a line away, unlike the 4 or 5 lines needed for other programming languages. Python’s efficient syntax allows programmers to get up and running fast, and pack logic into compact scripts.

Python is also an interpreted programming language. This means that unlike compiled languages like C++ or Java, you can run each line of code as soon as you finish writing it and see the results immediately. This is especially great for new programmers because you can get instantaneous feedback instead of waiting for the whole program to compile and run before you figure out that you forgot one character somewhere!

So it’s no wonder that Python is the most wanted programming language

Given Python’s ease of reading and writing, it was named Stack Overflow’s most wanted programming language for 2020. This metric measures the percentage of non-Python developers who want to learn Python. Python also ranked #3 in Stack Overflow’s most loved programming language by developers in 2020, after Rust and TypeScript.

Nowadays, professional software engineers make up only a fraction of the total population of coders. People of all ages and careers are showing interest in programming because of its usefulness across many industries and professions, combined with the accessibility of learning tools. Especially for hobby coders, or professionals who simply need an easier way to automate tasks or analyze data, Python is a beloved choice.

Programming Languages that Developers Want to Learn Most

Image source: Stack Overflow

5. Python developers make great money

Python developers are some of the highest paid developers in the market, particularly in data science, machine learning and web development.

On average, a Python developer earns $119,082 per year in the US. Additionally, the average salaries from 2017 to 2020 show that Python ranks consistently within the top 3 highest paying languages.

Average Software Developer Salaries in the US

Python vs. Java developer salaries in the US

Image source: Daxx.com

PayScale.com’s statistics on Python show us why Python developers are so highly paid. A programmer with Python skills could work in many different areas – from a software developer to a data scientist, all of which are paid extremely well.

learn Python, python programming, python bootcamp, what is Python used for

Image source: Payscale.com

6. Python has an incredibly supportive community

While programming is often misinterpreted as a solo-sport, one of the greatest tools a programmer will ever have is the support of their community. Thanks to online forums, local meet-ups, and the open source community, programmers continue to learn from and build on the success of their predecessors.

Stack Overflow is a programming question and answer platform critical for all developers when they are stuck, or wanting to share wisdom with the community. On Stack Overflow, Python is tagged in more than one million questions, demonstrating incredibly robust and active community for current and aspiring Python developers.

GitHub is where developers store project code and collaborate with other developers. With over 1.5M repositories on GitHub and over 90,000 users committing or creating issues in these repositories, Python has the second largest GitHub community.

In addition to online communities, Python User Groups are places where developers can meet others working with Python to share resources and solutions and cheesy Python jokes.

Most popular programming languages on GitHub

Image source: GitHub

Open source packages

Python offers a rich ecosystem of packages held within The Python Package Index (PyPI). With Python, users can build modules for the ever-growing PyPi library.  Users of this giant third party package library can find tools to help them with projects ranging from AI to web development and more.

The creator of Python, Mr. Van Rossum says that, “Python has become the language of choice for AI researchers, who have produced numerous packages for it.” Popular Python packages include astrophy, numpy, pandas, scipy, statsmodels, django and more.

Reusing, recycling and improving other programmers’ code is fundamental to being a successful programmer, which is why Python’s robust programming communities help make it a solid programming language to learn.

Interested to learn Python?

CodingNomads teaches Python courses that start from the beginning, and go all the way to professional.  We’re proud to be one of the most affordable and high quality Python courses available, earning a top 10 spot in SwitchUp’s 2021 Best Coding Bootcamps. Click below to start learning Python for free on our learning platform.

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Article written by Kim Desmond and Caden MacKenzie, CodingNomads

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