Why Choose Python Over Other Languages?

In the true spirit of peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, this blog post will highlight the advantages of Python. It is very much from the point of view of a marketing manager, while the next one is more from a programmer’s perspective.

We have aimed for this post to be informative, practical and digestible, so much so that even your friends and family members could learn something! Rest assured, you won’t find any professional or technical software jargon here.

Python Codeclub, a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing community Python hackers

In May 2017 I joined Thorgate, a fast growing digital product studio with offices in London, Oslo and Tallinn. At the time, I hadn’t even heard about Python as a programming language. As a marketing and growth hacker, I was only familiar with PHP and Java C+. I thought this was enough; wouldn’t you?

However, during the early days of my new position, I took the opportunity to learn more about Python and its framework, Django. What I discovered was mind-blowing; a whole new world instantly unfolded before my eyes.

Modern Roots of Python

Before we delve into my great discoveries and enthusiasm for Python, you should know that it is thanks to Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer and former Google employee (currently working for Dropbox), that Python was first created and released in 1991.

Source

Van Rossum curated a philosophy that emphasizes code readability, allowing programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code, generally making Python a more simplistic language than others. With this in mind, we can now explore the true advantages of choosing to use Python.

1) Less Code, Less Time, Less Money

As Python typically involves less code, it also takes less time to complete a job. Thankfully for the client, this also means less money. Many programmers discuss the pros and cons of Python at Quora, where it’s pointed out that the main benefit of writing in Python is the little effort which is required compared to other languages, such as C++ or Java. Since Python does not require a lot of written code, it allows developers to work quickly; even a small team can handle Python effectively.

For example, something as simple as printing “Hello, World!” in C++ is:
#include <iostream>
int main() { std::cout << “Hello, world! “; return 0; }

Whilst in Python, it’s simply written as:
print(“Hello, world!”)

2) Utilized by World Leaders

World leading companies are increasingly choosing Python as their preferential language. Of course, the vast majority of IT giants, including Google, Dropbox, Spotify and Instagram are using it. However, the trend has spread far and wide into industries such as science, gaming and graphics, meaning companies such as NASA, Electronic Arts and Disney have made it a central part of their systems, which has to tell you something!

3) It’s a Rising Star, Watch Out Java!

According to the PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index, the most popular language is still Java, but as you can see below, Python is creeping up very closely behind it as a rising star. The PYPL index is a leading indicator; it’s created using raw data from Google Trends, which analyses how often language tutorials are searched for on Google. The more a language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be.

Thorgate’s partner and a digital products company, Divio, supports Python as a rising star. The company focuses on Python and Django development with offices in Zurich, New York, Cardiff and Kiev, and states “Python is on the rise.”

Source

4) Legitimized and Approved by Data Scientists

If Python is legitimized by data scientists, it’s going to become part of the much bigger data movement, now dubbed by reporters as the new ‘black gold’. Wired explains how “the current data bonanza harkens back to the early days of the oil boom… [it’s] become a vast, largely untapped resource capable of powering progress, and it requires a certain expertise to extract and refine to maximize its utility.”

Fabian Pedregosa, researcher from the Inria Saclay Île-de-France, claims that Python is establishing itself as one of the most popular languages for scientific computing; it is an appealing choice for algorithmic development and exploratory data analysis. Furthermore, Cai, Langtangen and Moe from the University of Olso have stated that Python is now emerging as a potentially competitive alternative to Matlab, Octave and other similar environments.

As a general-purpose language, Python is increasingly used in both industry and academic settings. For example, free software machine, Scikit-learn, relies on the scientific Python ecosystem. It is easily used as building blocks for specific cases, such as medical imaging. Future work includes online learning, to scale and to large data sets.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are 4 strong advantages to using Python: it involves less code, less time and less money, it’s utilized by world leaders, it’s legitimized and approved by data scientists and it’s creeping up behind Java as the number 1 rising star. We’ve acknowledged that it might be slow in performance compared to other languages, according to professionals discussing the topic in Quora. This could mean it’s not a very good language for mobile development.

However, if this is the case, why is it still so popular? Firstly, speed isn’t always the number 1 priority when considering other important elements of programming, such as productivity. Secondly, software performance is overrated; programmer performance tends to be more important nowadays. If you look at the most popular Python projects, you will notice the vast majority are not performance-critical and, even if they are, there’s a possibility to write the critical parts in C/C++ and the rest in Python.

In conclusion, it’s fair to say Python is one hell of a powerfully simplistic and productive tool for programmers and data scientists alike, whilst simultaneously being a cost-efficient tool for clients. We encourage you to use it, and if you have any more questions, reach out to us at Thorgate!