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Top 5 Reasons Why Python Is So Popular

Top 5 Reasons Why Python Is So Popular

Python was named 2017’s IEEE Spectrum number one programming language. Yes, it was a close call with C, Java, and C++ right on its heels, but still, Python nabbed the number one spot.

Stack Overflow data from 2011 to 2017 demonstrates a steady upward trajectory in question views for Python, and their forecasted growth also puts Python out above other programming languages. Meanwhile, the Tiobe index, a monthly which computes a popularity ranking using popular search engines, similarly bumped Python up one notch to number four in April 2018.

So yeah, it looks like Python is enjoying some time in the limelight.

There are many reasons for this, but here are the top 5:

#1 Python is efficient

 You can accomplish a lot with Python, sometimes in only a few lines of code. Its critics may consider Python’s execution speed problematic, but the benefits outweigh any performance concerns. Several modules, packages, and libraries exist to make our lives easier. Instead of writing lengthy, complex loops to parse and find patterns in text, you can import the regular expressions module to get the job done using very little code. Another example is Beautiful Soup, a library that many use for web scraping to extract data from HTML and XML files or webpages.

Skillsoft offers books and courses that quickly get beginners ready to automate tasks like handling PDFs and excel spreadsheets, working with files or sending emails. If they choose, they can then dive into data visualization, data analysis, Django, machine learning and much more.

I recommend beginning with these courses Python: The Basics, Python: Classes and Modules, Python: Iteration and Exceptions, Python: Web Application Development, and then moving to Python: web2py and Test-driven Development and Python: Data Science Fundamentals courses.

To supplement your knowledge, we also have a long list of books that are popular with our Skillsoft Books subscribers:

  • Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Third Edition
  • Learn to Program with Python
  • Python Crash Course: A Hands-on, Project-Based Introduction to Programming
  • Python: An Introduction to Programming
  • Beginning Programming with Python for Dummies, 2nd Edition
  • Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners
  • Mastering Machine Learning with Python in Six Steps: A Practical Implementation Guide to Predictive Data Analytics Using Python
  • Python Data Analytics: Data Analysis and Science Using Pandas, Matplotlib, and the Python Programming Language

#2 Python has an active community

Python has a growing fan base that keeps it alive and thriving. Thanks to the large community of Python programmers, over 134,740 projects in the Python Package Index (PyPI) exist to serve all kinds of needs. The PyPI repository is like your hardware store, a place to go for the tools needed to implement and finish a project. I was surprised to find even a distribution to process MARC records. Unless you are a librarian, the chances are slim you have ever heard of a MARC record, which is a Machine-Readable Cataloging record used by most libraries.

#3 Python is simple

 With a shorter learning curve than other languages, say Java or C++, and understandable and readable syntax, you don’t need to be a programmer to start applying Python to everyday tasks. Python automatically takes care of things like garbage collection and even closes files, opened via the ‘with’ statement, for you. People starting out may also find the use of indentation to signify the start and end of loops, functions, classes and code blocks easier than tracking down the traditional opening and closing curly braces.

#4 Python is in academia

Academia is fueling the adoption of Python. Computer science curriculums now include Python as a core language requirement — unlike in the past where the focus was on applying Java, C, and C++ to formal coursework. Granted, programmers still need knowledge of these languages, but the rising demand for data science, machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence specialists is making Python the go-to tool.

#5 Python is on trend

Skills in data science and artificial intelligence are in high demand. Glassdoor ranks Data Scientist as the #1 best job in America for 2018, while artificial intelligence is touted as the future of technology. Python is fast becoming the preferred choice for data scientists and machine learning professionals. It carries a rich and robust set of libraries, such as numpy for machine learning, pandas for data wrangling and analysis, scikit-learn for data science and machine learning, tensorflow for machine learning, keras for deep learning and many others.

To stay on trend and keep your skills sharp, Skillsoft’s Python for Data Science can get you started.

I also recommend the following good reads:

  • Practical Machine Learning with Python: A Problem-Solver’s Guide to Building Real-World Intelligent Systems
  • Reinforcement Learning: With Open AI, TensorFlow and Keras Using Python
  • Deep Learning with Python: A Hands-on Introduction
  • Mastering Machine Learning with Python in Six Steps: A Practical Implementation Guide to Predictive Data Analytics Using Python
  • Pro Deep Learning with TensorFlow: A Mathematical Approach to Advanced Artificial Intelligence in Python
  • Python Machine Learning Case Studies: Five Case Studies for the Data Scientist

Want to get started and not sure how or where?

First, check out Skillsoft’s Python training solution. I also suggest signing up for a free trial of Percipio, our award-winning intelligent learning platform. You can use all of our Python eLearning content for 14-days. Further, if you want to enhance your Python coding skills, also check out CodeX, Skillsoft’s virtual coding practice lab. What better way to grow your Python prowess.


Kimberly Lin is an IT Product Manager at Skillsoft.

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