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The Rising Popularity of Python

Python is one of the most widely-used programming languages in fields like web application development, data analysis, machine learning (ML), DevOps, and many more. Pythons’ popularity is increasing every day because it is relatively easy to learn, efficient, and can build multi-platform applications. 


Pythons’ popularity in 2022 among other top programming languages

Almost all the surveys related to programming languages reveal that Python is among the top primary programming languages used worldwide by developers. Let’s take statistics from popular surveys in software development and see where Python stands with other major programming languages. 


Stackoverflow Developer Survey 2022

The StackOverflow developer survey is among the top developer surveys conducted annually to reveal interesting developer insights, including the most popular technologies. According to the 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python is the third most popular language among professionals and people learning to code which amounted to almost 48.07% of the total respondents. Also, if you look at the most wanted and dreaded technologies, Python was the second-most loved programming language which is almost similar in the percentage to the top-most loved technology. 


Interestingly in the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python also became the third-most-popular language and the most wanted language after JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and SQL among all the respondents. In addition, if you look at the popular web frameworks and technologies, Python Django came 9th place in 2022 and 10th place in the 2020 survey. Almost 53.1% of respondents said it is one of the most-loved frameworks in 2022.


Therefore, according to the survey results, Python has been able to secure the top places in popular and most wanted programming languages among people who aren’t developing with them but want to learn it. 


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TIOBE Index for August 2022


Next, lets’ take the TIOBE Programming Community index to see where Python stands in 2022. TIOBE Programming Community index that updates once a month indicates the popularity of programming languages. It is a good indicator for people to decide what programming languages they need to adopt. This index considers the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses, and third-party vendors to take the ratings and uses Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu search engines for rating calculation.


According to the TIOBE index in August 2022, Python ranked first among other languages like Java, C, C++, and C#. The TIOBE index states that  “Python seems to be unstoppable. The scripting language gained another 2% this month. It is now at an all-time high of 15.42% market share. It is hard to find a field of programming in which Python is not used extensively nowadays. The only exception is (safety-critical) embedded systems because Python is dynamically typed and too slow.” 


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The following graph shows the TIOBE community index for Python from 2002 to 2022. As you can see, the index has been increasing since 2002, and from 2018 to 2022, the popularity of Python is rising more than the previous years.


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What are the reasons behind Pythons’ popularity? 

Python is still the primary language of many companies and individuals and continues to be the same because it has different characteristics that help it stand out from other programming languages. For example:  


    • Simple and Easy-to-learn

If a language has a complex syntax, it is time-consuming to learn it. The creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, purpose was to create a general-purpose language. Thus, Python has simple and English-like syntax that makes it easy to read and understand a Python program. Therefore, beginners or amateur developers find learning easy, and most developers use Python as their first programming language. 


    • Pythons have a large standard library and many other frameworks and libraries.

Pythons’ large standard library contains many reusable codes for almost any job. Therefore, you do not have to write everything from scratch but re-use the existing libraries. Also, Python has many useful frameworks and libraries like Matplotlib, NumPy, SciPy, BeautifulSoup, and many more.


    • Enables faster development

Compared with other programming languages, you can write Python code using fewer lines, enabling developers to develop applications faster. This is also a reality because of its simple syntax and the larger number of frameworks and libraries available.


    • Python has a larger community.

It is backed by the Python community, which has millions of supportive developers around the globe. Thus, it is easier to get support if you face any unexpected issues and contribute to the community by sharing your development experiences with others.


    • Plenty of resources on the internet

There are plenty of helpful resources like videos, tutorials, documentation, and developer guides available on the internet to learn Python. 

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    • Cross-platform support

Python applications work on multiple platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix.


    • Support for other languages

Developers can easily use Python with other popular programming languages like Java, C, and C++.

    • Python is a versatile and flexible language.

You can use Python for various applications like software development, web development, data science, machine learning, game development, and many more.


How do worldwide Developers use Python?


Data analysis and machine learning

Python programming supports many data science tasks, such as data analysis, visualization, scientific computing, and machine learning. There are a lot of Python libraries available for data science. For example, data analysts widely use Pandas and NumPy to easily create and manipulate data sets and analyze data with statistical calculations.


Data Visualization

Python provides great support for data visualization, which is an essential task for data science. Python visualization libraries include different visualization charts, including histograms, pie charts, line charts, and bar graphs. In addition, Python is ideal for building machine learning and deep learning applications. Machine Learning Libraries like TensorFlow, Keras, Pytorch, and Scikit-learn are very popular among developers.   


Web application Development

Another popular use of python is developing the backend of complex web applications. Python is used for API development, backend data processing, application security handling, data mapping, and many more backend tasks.  A wide range of Python web development frameworks facilitates the development of fully-fledged web applications. Django, Pyramid, and Flask are the most widely-used web frameworks. The backend and Python are used for client-side development in ajax-based web applications.


Desktop Development

Apart from complete web application development, Python is a support language for developing software like Continuous integration tools, Project management applications, build control applications, and Issue tracking applications. Its inherent qualities like language simplicity and built-in data structures enable rapid application development. 

In addition, Python allows developing the development of desktop GUIs. Its binary distributions contain several GUI libraries and cross-platform and platform-specific toolkits. 


Software Testing

Python is heavily used to write automated tests for software testing. You can integrate a wide range of test automation frameworks with build tools like Jenkins such as PyTest, unittest, Robot, etc. 


Game development 

Python supports the rapid development of game prototypes. However, it is not a popular use of Python because it is not used for game development like C++. Python offers several libraries and modules to develop simple text-based games into fully-featured games faster and easier. For example, Pygame is the most used game library, consisting of several open-source game projects. Other libraries for game development are Pyglet, PyOpenGL, and Pykyra.


Automation or scripting

One major use of Python is DevOps or writing scripts to automate repeated tasks. Developers use it to automate everyday tasks such as File type conversions, duplicate removal, Simple mathematics,  log analysis, file renaming, and Finding errors in multiple files.


Python Use Case Statistics in Python Developer Survey 2021

Python Developers Survey conducted annually by Python Software Foundation, and JetBrains shows the current state of the language and the ecosystem around it. There are useful statistics such as Python usage with other languages, purposes of using Python, usage of Python versions, and where Python frameworks stand with other popular frameworks. The fall 2021 survey included more than 23,000 Python developers and enthusiasts from almost 200 countries/regions.


Python use cases

According to this survey, the usage of Python as the main language among developers was around 84%, and it has maintained that position for the last few years. Also, if we look at the following distribution of Python use cases over the year, developers mostly use it for data analysis. Also, developers are using Python for web development after data analysis. Other top use cases of Python include DevOps, machine learning, and programming of web parsers. Compared with data analysis and web development, python is less likely to be used for mobile and multimedia application development. 


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Furthermore, web development is the primary activity of developers who use Python as their main language. Still, for developers who use it as their second language, the share of web development was only 12%. 


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Python versions

According to the survey, by 2021, 95% of the respondents adopted Python 3 versions, and only 5% of the developers were using version 2. Also, the main use case of Python 3 is data analysis, while Python is used most often for computer graphics, games, and mobile development.


Frameworks and Libraries

The top 3 Python web frameworks include Flask, Django, and FastAPI. The FastAPI was the fastest growing Python web framework with a growth of nine percentage points compared to 2020. Among the unit testing frameworks and libraries, pytest was the topmost widely-used one.


Python Usage in Different Industries

Python is used in various industries worldwide, including IT, educational, government, and financial institutions. 


Particularly, it is an indispensable technology in modern tech stacks of companies that provide innovative web development services to clients. For example, Webisoft uses Pythons’ Django framework for more complex web development projects and SaaS-based applications while using other technologies like Java and Ruby on Rails.


Python has wide usage in academic research, especially in computer vision, bioinformatics, and other machine learning research, as a standard programming language. Also, it is the standard programming language of computer science courses in many universities and schools worldwide. 


Python has also become the top programming language in the fintech industry, especially in online banking applications and payment systems. For example, JPMorgan’s' Athena program and Bank of Americas' Quartz program use it as their core language.


Top Tech Companies that use Python

Top tech companies like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, BitTorrent, Intel, and IBM, use Python for their top-notch applications. Let’s see how top tech companies use Python and why they prefer Python over other languages.


Google

Google has been using Python from the very beginning of its release. Especially python is used in scripting work at Google. Due to Python’s efficiency and simplicity, its first web-crawling spider, initially written in Java, was replaced with Python. Apart from C++, Java, and Go, it is one of the most-used servers-side languages in Google. 


Facebook

Facebooks currently have a large user base span across the whole world. To provide a great user experience for expanding the user base, Facebook uses Python as one of its main programming languages after C++ and Python. Facebook engineers love Python because it allows faster development and introduces features more frequently to the application. Facebook has used Python for its multiple services in infrastructure management. Python has also been used in Facebook Ads API and a Python Async IRCbot framework


Netflix

Netflix mostly uses Python for server-side data analysis. The things that Netflix developers love about Python include its active development community, the availability of a larger number of third-party libraries to do any job, and its ease of development. Not only data analysis but also Netflix has used Python in many other places. For example, they use Python in its Central Alert Gateway, which sends alerts to the users and monkey apps for tracking security changes. 


Spotify

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming applications, which largely uses Python for data analysis and other back-end functionalities. The company uses  ZeroMQ, an open-source networking library and framework are written in C++ and Python, for its backend services, and they also have  Django apps. Spotify has ported the GraphWalker runner to Python so that they can simplify the integration with our Python services. Also, they use Python for prototyping services, quick scripts, and building processes. 


Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest image-sharing applications using Python to scale its service infrastructure. Instagram upgraded its Python version from 2.7 to 3 in 2017. Instagram users love python because of its simplicity and practicality, which is the major philosophy Instagram is based on. With Python, the app has been able to scale successfully well for its growing user base without affecting the user experience. 


Conclusion

Python is a simple programming language that is easy to learn but has various uses. According to top surveys on programming language usage, Python is still a top language used by developers and people who learn to code. Data analysis is where Python is most used for. Also, Python is used heavily for web development and DevOps. Top tech companies like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Netflix are today yielding the benefits of leveraging Python as one of their official languages.


This guest post was submitted by William R Marchand from https://webisoft.com.

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