Why is Python Popular?


Manage episode 284991442 series 27319
By Allen Underwood, Michael Outlaw, and Joseph Zack. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We dig into all things Python, which Allen thinks is pretty good, and it’s rise in popularity, while Michael and Joe go toe-to-toe over a gripe, ahem, feature.

We realize that you _can_ use your podcast player to read these notes, but if you didn’t know, this episode’s show notes can be found at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode152. Check it out and join the conversation.

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Take the survey at: https://www.codingblocks.net/episode152.

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Why Python? A Brief History of Python. Very Brief.
  • Python is a general-purpose high-level programming language, which can be used to develop desktop GUI applications, websites, and apps that run on sophisticated algorithms.
  • Python was created in 1991, before JavaScript or Java, but didn’t make major leaps in popularity until 1998 – 2003, according to the Tiobe index.
    • Coincidentally, this lines up with the early days of Google, where they had a motto of “Python where we can, C++ where we must”.
  • In 2009, MIT switched from Scheme to Python, and others in academia followed.
Some Python Benefits, But Only Some
  • It’s an easy language for new developers as well as those who don’t consider themselves developers, such as data scientists or hobbyists, but have a need write some code.
  • Python has a great standard library when compared to languages like JavaScript that largely rely on third party libraries to provide depth in functionality.
  • It’s cross platform. As long as we’re talking OS.
    • Mobile? Not really, as that space is consumed with Swift, Java, and Objective-C. But with things like Pythonista, you can write and execute Python on mobile.
    • Web? No, at least not on the client side. That space is dominated by JavaScript. But with frameworks like Django and Flask, you can use Python on the server side.
  • In addition to the standard library, there are also many great/popular third party libraries, like NumPy, that are available on PyPi.
The Downsides to Python
  • Performance when compared to a natively compiled application because it’s a dynamic, interpreted language.
    • Which brings up the late binding type system.
  • The lack of mobile and web presence as previously mentioned.
  • Legacy issues when dealing with v2, which is still in use.
  • Language features that haven’t aged well, such as PEP-8.
  • Quirks like self, or __init__, private functionality, and immutability.
Resources We Like
  • The Python Programming Language (Tiobe)
  • Heavy usage of Python at Google (Stack Overflow)
  • The Incredible Growth of Python (Stack Overflow)
  • 2020 Developer Survey, Top Paying Technologies (Stack Overflow)
  • What makes Python more popular than Ruby? (Reddit)
  • 2020 Developer Survey, Most Loved, Dreaded, and Wanted (Stack Overflow)
  • Top 10 Python Packages For Machine Learning (ActiveState.com)
  • 56 Groundbreaking Python Open-source Projects – Get Started with Python (data-flair.training)
  • Top 10 Python Packages Every Developer Should Learn (ActiveState.com)
  • Choosing the right estimator aka the scikit-learn algorithm cheat-sheet (scikit-learn.org)
    • Previously discussed as a Tip of the Week during episode 92, Azure Functions and CosmosDB from MS Ignite (/episode92)
  • Introduction to Celery (docs.celeryproject.org)
  • Is it possible to compile a program written in Python? (Stack Overflow)
  • Pythonista 3 – A Full Python IDE for iOS (omz-software.com)
    • Previously discussed as a Tip of the Week during episode 88, What is Algorithmic Complexity? (/episode88)
  • Flask – Web development, one drop at a time (flask.palletsprojects.com)
  • Django – A high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. (DjangoProject.com)
  • PyPi – The Python Package Index (PyPI) is a repository of software for the Python programming language. (pypi.org)
  • Ten Reasons To Use Python (cuelogic.com)
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Python is So Popular With Developers in 2021 (upgrad.com)
  • Python – 12. Virtual Environments and Packages (docs.python.org)
    • Python’s virtual environments have been mentioned as a Tip of the Week twice: first during episode 102, Why Date-ing is Hard and again during episode 140, The DevOps Handbook – Enabling Safe Deployments. (/episode102, /episode140)
  • PEP 8 — Style Guide for Python Code (python.org)
  • The Gary Gnu Intro With Knock Knock – The Great Space Coaster (YouTube)
  • Datadog has a blog article for everything:
    • Tracing asynchronous Python code with Datadog APM (Datadog)
    • How to collect, customize, and centralize Python logs (Datadog)
Tip of the Week
  • It’s easy to get the last character of a string in Python: last_char = sample_str[-1]
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