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Python / Software Development

Why Is Python so Popular? GitHub Knows What’s up

Python is strongly suited for data heavy operations, it's straightforward to learn, and, best of all, it works well with data.
Mar 9th, 2023 3:00am by
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The Python programming language is over 30 years old and still experiencing a 22% growth in popularity year over year, according to GitHub’s annual “Octoverse” top programming languages survey. So why is that?

Github recently published a blog post that explores Python’s enduring popularity, written by GitHub Developer and Open Source Advocate Rizel Scarlett. The post draws on insights from GitHub’s own users.

In short, Python is strongly suited for data heavy operations and it’s straightforward to learn.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript are the gateway coding languages for the frontend web. You could consider Python the JavaScript of the backend. It’s multipurpose and straightforward to learn and that makes for a popular entryway for newer developers. Or a good sidestep for those who do front end-programming.

The second part of why Python is on the rise is because data is on the rise and Python is great with data.

Getting Started with Python

Similar to JavaScript, Python is a high-level interpreted language and beginner friendly largely in part because of its simple syntax. It uses keywords rather than punctuation and line breaks to define code blocks.

These syntax design choices help even readers unfamiliar with code writing to more easily identify what the code is doing simply by looking at it, Scarlett writes.

Python Heavy Careers

Think Python and data. So that could be data analytics, financial data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence. Python works well with data because it excels in automating manual, repetitive tasks. Python has automated built-in modules available for commonly used automation.

Here are a few possible career choices, according to GitHub:

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Speaking of data-intensive… large-scale ML models can take up to billions of parameters of training data and they don’t look to be shrinking. Because of the high amounts of data, automatic scripting and algorithms are important. Python’s data visualization capabilities convert large datasets for AI or ML into comprehensible graphs. OpenAI uses the Python framework Pytorch as its standard framework for deep learning and as a result, ChatGPT is written in Python.

Data Science

Scarlett asserted that “Python is the top preferred language for data science and research.” This is partly because it’s understandable by people who don’t have a developer background and also because it’s great with large datasets. Collecting and parsing data are time consuming tasks making the use of machine learning fairly common in data science.

Python libraries such as NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib are used to automate functions like cleaning, data transformation, and visualization.

python.org has 50 jobs listed which also provides a better understanding of what a career with Python will look like.

Some Links

Scarlett also offered a bevy of links to GitHub resources:

Here are some Non-GitHub Python Resources:

  • Amazon Web Services’ Deep Racer tool is more suited for learning how to train machine learning models but is also a good tool for building on or strengthening a Python foundation.
  • Udemy offers a course on getting started with Python for someone looking to just get started.
  • Career Foundry lists some boot camps that specifically teach Python for anyone looking for a specialized learning environment.
  • And of course…. YouTube!
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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma, Udemy.
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