Why Is Python So Popular?

  • 12 mins read

Why Is Python So Popular?

More than 4 million GitHub developers are using Python for their projects, making it the second-most used programming language on the massive platform. So why is Python so popular?

Python still provides numerous benefits despite being established way back in the 1980s.

This simple, readable language captivates developers all over the world and has done so for decades.

It’s taught extensively via online boot camps and even at accredited colleges and Universities.

Simply put, Python is going to be very popular for a very long time.

We can only assume that Python will continue to grow in popularity over time, despite its already-long shelf-life of over 40 years.

Python’s History

Created in the Netherlands by Guido van Rossum, Python was ultimately conceived to be a successor to the ABC Programming Language.

It was a labor of love, with van Rossum essentially marrying himself to the project. He was dubbed the “benevolent dictator for life” due to his complete devotion to Python’s success.

The founder was responsible for overseeing Python’s development until he retired on July 12, 2018. 

The first major update to Python was in 2008, with the conception of Python 2.0. This update was generally well-received. Then, the intermediate update, Python 2.7, was set to have an early end-of-life date in 2018 but continued until 2020 when Python 3 was released.

Thankfully, van Rossum’s lifetime of commitment to Python was not for nothing, as the programming language remains incredibly popular today. Currently, web developers and programmers use version 3.11 of the language.

Top Reasons People Love Python

Let’s look at the top reasons developers and students cite for loving Python.

Accessibility

Python’s nature allows it to be one of the most accessible coding languages in the entire world.

Even people with little to no exposure to coding languages may have at least heard of Python.

Easy to Learn

Part of van Rossum’s original vision was to create a coding language that was accessible, and part of a coding language’s accessibility is its difficulty level for newcomers.

The document The Zen of Python includes phrases like “simple is better than complex,” and “readability counts” in its core philosophy section.

Python’s English keywords are much easier to decipher than more abstract formats found within other languages. Line breaks also break up the text, eliminating the headache of trying to translate massive chunks of code.

You can identify a majority of code in Python simply by reading it like you would any other text.

Community-Driven

Coding is better with friends.

Seriously, it’s difficult to learn any coding language by yourself, even and especially as a self-taught coder.

Languages that have strong community bases are often seen as easier to learn. You can meet like-minded people from all over the world who have crucial tips and tricks for your development while you learn the language.

Plus, since Python has been around for so long, it’s easy to find resources left for you by other coders. These days, it only takes a few minutes to search for tutorials and help forums for troubleshooting issues or even just chatting.

It’s Academic

Python is often hailed as the academic coding language. 

If you pursue a degree in computer science, you will likely have the opportunity to learn Python under the guidance of an experienced, certified instructor.

Some kids even learn Python in elementary school computer classes.

We have come a long way from elementary computer classes simply sending kids to CoolMathGames.com for an hour.

This is also one of the most versatile coding languages out there. Python is used for solving differentiating equations. 

It’s so prominent in academic settings that there is an entire series of children’s books dedicated to Python. The same website also features books made for adults. It would be a fun experiment to learn Python alongside your child!

Custom Automation

One of the most enticing features of Python is its ability to automate.

Python welcomes a number of libraries and plugins that make coding with the language much simpler. Remember, one of the key features that make Python what it is today is its simplicity.

Plugins, libraries, and other pre-written code can easily be found online.

However, it’s nearly just as easy to hand-write code on your own. Sure, it will take a bit more time, but there is little room for error with Python’s syntax and readability.

For example, you can simply automate emails with one module, and copy files with another.

These key features make Python stand out among its competitors.

Corporate Demand

If you take the time to master a coding language, you want to make sure that the coding language offers some level of corporate demand.

Thankfully, Python is heavily sought out by big-name companies for their projects.

This is largely due to the length at which the language is taught, but also because of the other factors we have gone over. Plus, Python is wonderful for cross-browser compatibility, which gives corporations a competitive edge.

Python is so useful for corporations that it was the third most demanded language by recruiters in 2022.

Open-Source

Open-source programming languages tend to be more popular because they are not confined to any one owner.

This gives coders freedom with creativity, expression, and expansion.

“Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another’s code; too little and expressiveness is endangered.”

Guido van Rossum

As the programming language develops, updates can be freely distributed across the internet with little to no hassle.

For Python, being open-sourced allows hundreds of frameworks and libraries to be compatible with the language. 

Most importantly, though, being open-sourced majorly cuts down costs for developers. Downloading Python is completely free, and there are no licensing fees associated with using it to create your websites.

Why Is Python So Popular? Everyone Uses It!

Well does everyone use it because it’s popular, or is it popular because everyone uses it? I tried to get to the bottom of this, and it generally comes down to a few factors.

Python is used by a number of big-name brands to this very day, even though it was conceptualized so long ago.

For example, Intel, Netflix, and even NASA all use Python.

Google

Google has notoriously used Python for many years.

They use a few server-side languages, including Python, C++, Java, and Go.

Google is such a massive company that it is difficult for them to commit to one single programming language for all their projects. Still, Python is their preferred language of choice.

If they had to choose between Python and any other language, they’d pick Python in a heartbeat.

They were even said to be one of the language’s first fervent supporters. Google developers would only use C++ when they couldn’t use Python.

They love the language for the same reasons the rest of us do.

It’s readable, flexible, and low maintenance.

“Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we’re looking for more people with skills in this language.”

Peter Norvig

Having their undying support in a single coding language is a massive feat. So many Google products that you use daily could have been created by a developer or programmer using Python.

Developers And Data Scientists

These professionals need languages that can accommodate massive amounts of data. Thankfully, Python is compatible with so many libraries and frameworks that it can handle the amount of data that they need.

Now that AI is increasing in popularity, this is exceptionally important.

The development of AI is moving at an unprecedented pace. Only a language that is this flexible and data-driven can support the growth of AI technology.

Python can quickly prototype productively because it cuts a notable amount of time in coding.

Plus, Python is the language that is taught in data analysis classes at a university level. We have described it as “an academic language.”

Therefore, most data scientists already have plenty of exposure to Python just from learning it in school. The predisposed comfortability makes it an easy choice.

Front-End, Back-End, And Full-Stack Developers

Python can be used at every stage of web development for a number of reasons. 

Since it is optimized for automation, Python is a great option for increasing productivity at all stages of your project.

It’s flexible as it is fast to use, but it doesn’t just cut corners and hope something sticks. Instead, it is equally powerful, ensuring that you don’t have to go back and re-do line after line of code because you made one simple mistake.

Computer Programmers and Web Developers both use Python.

It’s a great versatile language.

Learning Python is almost like knowing how to speak Spanish in Southern California. You’re so close to the border that Spanish becomes just as important in your everyday life as English.

Knowing how to speak Spanish working somewhere like San Diego would open lots of doors for you. People would feel comfortable and confident in your skills as an employee because there’s a sense of common ground. You would bridge any communication gaps.

Other Jobs That Use Python

Thankfully, the modern job market has made Python an extremely valuable skill.

There are thousands of jobs available across the country that require a proficient knowledge of Python. Traditional higher education, like a college degree in Computer Science, is always a bonus, but it isn’t necessary for most entry-level positions.

Updating your resume when you complete courses related to learning Python, and any various updates are recommended. Potential employers like seeing your commitment to your craft. Any relevant portfolio updates are also a plus.

A few other jobs that require Python as a skill include:

  • Data Engineer
  • Data journalist
  • Software Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Systems Engineer

Why Is Python So Popular? FAQ Section

Now that you know why Python is so popular, let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions.

Why did Python suddenly become popular?

It didn’t. Python’s rise in popularity began upon its conception. Sure, there were a few flaws in the earliest stages of the language, but Guido van Rossum’s initial vision for it shined through even then. He wanted to create a language that was readable, flexible, and powerful–and he did just that! Its philosophy has only grown stronger since its initial launch in the 1980s. With several updates since then, one should only assume Python grows in popularity over time.

What are the 2 major reasons why Python is one of the most popular languages for doing financial analysis?

Python’s simplicity and flexibility are the two major reasons why it is one of the most popular languages for doing financial analysis. People who work in this field need their workflow to be as productive as possible. Though simple, Python doesn’t cut corners. Instead, it achieves optimal results so you don’t need to go back and correct your work over and over. It’s a great language for creating formulas and algorithms.

What are the drawbacks of Python?

We’ve mused about how great the coding language is, but Python is very heavy on memory usage. This is, in theory, a good thing; it, unlike other coding languages, can host tons of important data in one spot. Unfortunately, this can overwhelm your computer’s inner workings, ultimately causing it to slow down quite a bit. If you’re working in a fast-paced environment, the slowness of Python can be a serious issue.

If Python is so amazing, why not use it for everything?

That is true–Python is amazing! Even Google would love to use Python for all of its products, but it simply cannot do so, and opt for C++ when they need to switch. A Python script compiles once you execute it, leading to coding errors manifesting at runtime. This can lead to a lot of time consumption on behalf of the company, and they simply do not have that while they are running their business.

What is the easiest job to get if you know how to use Python?

With any coding language, entry-level development jobs will likely be your foot in the door. Whether you do front-end, back-end, or full-stack is up to you. Most people build up their Python portfolio by taking on freelance clients for about a year before seeking out full-time employment contracts. 

How much money do you make if you know Python?

Your annual salary will vary based on the career path you choose after learning Python. This number will fluctuate more for freelance work. A freelance Python developer can make anywhere from $25,000-$179,000. The amount you make annually will increase as you gain experience and expertise in your chosen field.

Final Thoughts: Why Is Python So Popular?

There you have it. It all comes down to being a simple yet powerful language. Everyone from big companies, to schools, to self-learners loves Python thanks to how much you can do with it, without needing to type as much code or remember complicated syntax.