Learn more about Python and 10 things that make it great.

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I was exposed to the power and potential of Python in the UK through the late '90s and early 2000s. When I returned to Perth in 2008, and started The Cut in 2009, a number of factors aligned to guide our specialisation in Python. Since then, the language has proven itself again and again, for our clients and our team.

— Scott Sanders, Director, The Cut

Some Python background

In this article, we give an overview of what makes the Python programming language so powerful because if you work in the realm of custom science, big data, technology, or big operations-based businesses, Python has become a must.

Python has been popular for years, and at The Cut, we chose it as our core language when we launched way back in 2009. Since then, the language has gone from strength to, well, world domination really. And more recently, some big changes have turbo-charged Python's growth. In 2016, Python replaced Java as the most popular language in colleges and universities. Understandably, that represented a big milestone and being used in places of tertiary education goes a long way to securing the future relevancy of Python.

Have we mentioned that Python is growing? For those people who are active in software and programming communities, Python's popularity recently has been characterised by the open acknowledgement of Python as a major programming language in many popular developer communities, including StackOverflow and CodeAcademy.

So, why should programmers learn Python, and why should technology and innovation managers be aware of its capabilities?

Good question. Now, let's see how many answers we can find for you.

Simplicity plus power

No technology and development agency will ever depend solely on a single language or platform, it's neither possible nor preferable, and that is certainly true at The Cut. As well as being committed to Python, and the Django framework, our team are always learning new tools and programming languages to make us better at what we do.

For developers who are looking to learn new languages of high value, Python is a perfect choice.

For students and novices, Python is simple. It's a great language to start with because it is easy to learn, but crucially, it is also powerful enough to build just about any web application that can be dreamed up, and is awesome for automating basic tasks.

So, what about the experts out there? For experienced programmers and professionals already familiar with Ruby, Java, JavaScript etc. learning Python means adding a powerful new tool to the kit. Python gives developers the ability to automate the smaller items and focus on developing more exciting and useful tools.

Python offers wide reach in APIs, libraries, frameworks, and domains like data science, machine learning, and web development.

Now, lets look at 10 things that make Python great for programmers in 2019.

1 Data science

This just might be the biggest reason why programmers are learning Python in 2019. There is a distinct trend in the programming sector that sees people learning Python on Udemy to enable them to shift from big corporate positions, to build careers in data science that offer more stimulating projects, and often better salaries.

One of the most significant reasons for the popularity of Python in the data science and machine learning fields, is the libraries and frameworks offered in Python. For example, PyBrain, NumPy and PyMySQL, and then there's the diversity on offer. A programmer with solid Python experience is able to do more. Some of those 'more' things might include creating scripts for automations, web development skills and many others.

2 Machine learning

You don't have to be technical to be familiar with terms like 'machine learning' and 'AI'. They are everywhere, and have entered the mainstream in the past 24 months particularly. Growth around artificial intelligence and machine learning is another reason why programmers are motivated to learn Python in 2019.

Algorithms are becoming more sophisticated every day, and examples that we are all familiar with include the Google search algorithms, which are becoming more sophisticated and predictive to improve the quality of the results delivered. And every second website has a chatbot ready to help and answer your questions.

For machine learning, Python is the only major programming languages that keeps it simple and makes it somewhat 'easy'. Python offers more machine learning libraries and there is more learning content around Python because developers in data science and machine learning tend to prefer Python.

3 Web development

Custom website and software development is one of the main reasons we chose Python at The Cut. It offers so many good libraries and frameworks like Django and Flask, and these go a long way to making the web development process simpler and more streamlined, while maintaining quality and the ability to develop complex solutions.

A task that might takes hours in PHP can be done in minutes with Python, and that offers any developer, and business, great advantages. Python is also often used for web scraping with popular content-dependent websites such as Reddit having been built using Python.

4 Simplicity

For beginners, simplicity is the single best reason to learn Python. Anyone who is starting out with programming and learning code should avoid languages that use challenging syntax and strange rules.

Python is simple, and also very readable, which makes it open, accessible and faster to learn. It's also easier to setup than many other languages because it doesn't involve class path problems like Java or compiler issues like C++.

All you need to do is install Python and you are ready to go. During the process of installing Python, you'll be asked to add Python to the PATH, and that lets you run Python from anywhere on your machine.

5 Community

Anything good or popular on the internet often develops a strong and helpful community around it. At The Cut, we definitely find this to be true with ecommerce and the Shopify community. And we can say the same for Python. A community can help you learn new technologies faster, and gives you a source of help and guidance that is always there and ready to answer your questions.

Use Google and you should be able to find the answers to your Python challenges quickly and in communities like StackOverflow you'll find Python experts who are happy to help newcomers.

6 Libraries & frameworks

Application development is made easier with Python because of the number of open source libraries, frameworks, and modules available. Often students and developers can find the assets they need to build their solutions.

Think about how much harder it would be to create a web application without Spring in Java or Django and Flask in Python. These factors make the job easier and let programmers focus on problem solving and applying business logic.

Python offers many libraries for different needs with Django and Flask two of the most popular for web development and NumPy and SciPy being popular for data science projects.

One of the best collections of machine learning and data science libraries belongs to Python, including TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn, Keras, Pandas and more.

7 Automation

Python makes the development of small tools to meet those niggly challenges fast and easy. When you have a problem and need to write script to achieve a basic automation, Python is hard to beat.

The power Python offer programmers when it comes to writing scripts, tools, and automating stuff is impressive and just so useful during the development process. If you want to leanr more on this, try the book 'Automate Boring Stuff With Python'.

8 Multipurpose

People compare Python to a multi-tool, or the legendary Swiss Army knife. It is a language that can be put to powerful use across many areas - it is not tied to any single discipline.

Web applications can be built using Django and Flask and data analysis can be tackled with NumPy, SciPy, Scikit-Learn, and NLTK.

Plus. even at the most basic level, you can use Python to write scripts that can automate day to day tasks.

9 Growth & opportunity

Python is growing really fast and it makes a lot of sense to learn a growing programming language if you are just starting your programming career.

It not only helps you to get a job more quickly it will also get any career kick-started. At The Cut, we're always meeting, and sometimes employing, young developers, and most of those people have proved their value quickly. In this area, natural problem solving skills, and a solid understanding of complex data scenarios can be combined with Python knowledge to make super high value developers, regardless of age.

10 Earning potential

A career with a specialisation in Python development can create an interesting, challenging and well paid career. Positions in organisations with a focus on data science, machine learning and web development can be some of the best paid programming roles in the industry.

If you're interested in an internship, or a career in Python-based development, give us a call. We're always happy to chat, and meet emerging talent.

And if you have business challenges that can be solved by Python-based technology, we'd love to hear from you. Our technology team is here and ready to help you business evolve.