Some programming languages are more popular, others not so much. According to Stack Overflow, Python, which has already achieved substantial popularity, is also the fastest-growing programming language. What does this mean?
Ok, let’s lay some groundwork first before we proceed for further discussion: how can we define the popularity of a programming language? And moreover, how can we define its popularity in a given area? Stack Overflow can provide a reasonable indicator of trends in programming languages, because the site attracts about 40 million visitors a month, of which an estimated 16.8 million visitors are professional developers and university-level students.
Ok, now one could think Python is for web development only. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Full Stack Python, Python remains a stable programming language with a growing ecosystem used not only by developers. Python is considered great for deployment automation and web development, but many non-developers are first introduced to the Python language and its ecosystem when doing data work.
Being able to reduce the time spent on your task from 3 hours to 30 minutes seems impossible? Not anymore, just switch to Python. The best thing about Python is that it may cut the developlment time in comparison to, for example, JAVA. This is what they call the power of Python. This weird comfort of converting ideas into code and then working applications accounts for the popularity of this programing language.
What factors have driven and will drive Python’s growth?
There is a sudden rise of Python usage in app development, and that’s a fact. The app development market just got “pythonized”. But why is Python constantly increasing in popularity and adoption? Here come some answers.
First of all, money talks. Python is the first-choice language of a vast majority of students and skilled programmers. The huge group of both future and present programmers want to know what to learn to get actual jobs. For most people, it makes very little sense to enter a field with knowledge about something that's not in demand. And Python is definitely in demand nowadays.Since the number of data science students and programmers is rising, together with a rising number of Python recommendations for use, the number of Python enthusiasts will not be descending.
Secondly, Python’s seriously versatile. Python is a multipurpose language used for various tasks, such as web development and data science. How could we explain Python’s current growth across these fields? We could examine the growth in traffic from the most popular Python packages.The collection and code stack of various open-source repositories is developed by people (still in process) to continuously improve upon the existing methods.
Stack Overflow clearly indicates that pandas is by far the fastest growing Python package. It was introduced only in 2011, but it is responsible for 1% of Stack Overflow question views. Therefore it seems clear that the rise of data science is a major driver in the growth of Python as a programming language.
Finally, Machine Learning. There is no special programming language dedicated to Machine Learning, but looking at the characteristics of each language that can do ML, one can choose the best that will fulfil their needs. According to IBM, Python is one of the most popular and the best languages for Machine Learning.
Machine learning, briefly speaking, is using data to teach a machine how to make an accurate decision. Essentially, machine learning boils down to recognising patterns in your data. An important task of a machine learning engineer in their work life is to extract, process, define, clear, arrange, and then understand data to develop intelligent algorithms. Data is key and the understanding of data is crucial. Why then everybody highly recommends Python? Because Python is easy to understand. Imagine everything that exists around you is data. And it’s raw, unstructured, incomplete, vast. Python is able to deal with all of those issues.
Python serves us a huge, battle-tested and ready-to-use, which can do all the heavy lifting for us: you have different packages for loading and playing around with data, visualizing the data, transforming inputs into a numerical matrix, or actual machine learning and assessment. All you need to do is write the code that would glue everything together. As simple as that.
So is Python the language for now and forever?
The app development market is greedy but flexible. Trends define the need, and needs define actual trends. Python is now a trend, no doubt about it. Since it’s so easy to learn, you can start your programming journey with Python. Python is also really friendly, thanks to its popularity and the helpful community.
Why is one language more popular than another? This question is not so easy to answer as you might think. The key to understanding the status quo is to determine what makes things popular in computer science (and programming) and why. This post shows that the number of Python’s users is rising, hence the language is becoming more and more popular, but the reasons for the language’s popularity lay in its appropriation for particular development purposes. The thing that makes a programming language good the way it lets developers express their thoughts in a simpler way. Python ‘produces’ fewer lines of code than many other languages, but is still readable and modifiable.
We are not looking for a war between computer programming languages, or trying to enforce the belief that Python’s the king. We rather believe it’s crucial to understand that trends might be changing, and there’s a room for discussion left for everyone.