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DevOps // Programming Languages
12:06 PM

10 Reasons To Snuggle Up To Python

Python is one of the most popular languages in education and commercial programming. Here are 10 reasons it should be the next language in your programming repertoire. For IT leaders, choosing Python as a core development language means you should easily be able to find talent that can wrap around any problem your project presents.
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(Image: Pixel-mixer via Pixabay)

(Image: Pixel-mixer via Pixabay)

In November I wrote an article on scripting languages. I didn't include Python in that roundup because I don't really think of Python as a scripting language. While I readily admit it started out as a scripting language, it's become so much more than that over time.

Scripting languages do what they do by manipulating other software and systems. In my view, Python has moved beyond that to become a language allowing people to write code that does stuff "on its own." You, the loyal readers, disagreed with me on my Python take. A lively discussion ensued.

So I decided that I should take a closer look at Python. It is, after all, the most popular language used to teach programming at universities, and one of the most popular programming languages used in business projects. If it's that popular, it obviously has a number of things going for it.

We'll talk about why you should consider snuggling up to your very own Python, if you haven't done so already. There actually are a number of solid reasons why Python should be in your programming toolkit, and they're not all about the numbers.

[Just getting started? Read 10 Top Programming Languages For Learning To Code.]

Having said that, one of the things I know about programming languages is that the choice of a language is often about far more than simple technical concerns. You can easily get a discussion going on the elegance of code, the readability, the initial learning curve, and even the beauty of the code that you can write -- all legitimate issues that are very subjective.

So, my question to you is this: Do you code in Python? If you do, what made you pick it up the first time? If you don't, why have you resisted for so long? I'd love to know in either case.

Once you've reviewed my 10 reasons to build on Python, I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section below.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/7/2016 | 1:12:15 PM
Re: Just 1 Reason not to...
Hi Mark.  Thanks for your comment to this post.  Could you recommend some compiled languages that you use for web development?  
User Rank: Strategist
1/4/2016 | 4:13:43 PM
Just 1 Reason not to...
I'm in the security business, so my comment is, naturally, coloured by this.

I would strongly urge anyone thinking of writing serious appications - especially web-facing applications - not to even consider Python, or any other interpreted language. The news is littered weekly, with the corpses of companies whose data breach was the result of an exploit, such as SQL injection, Cross-site scripting, cross-protocol hacks and the like, based on the fundamental flaws in an interpreted language

Always use compiled code, which doesn't execute in an interpreter, but is good honest machine code, executing on the CPU. If a hacker tries to inject SQL commands, stray single quotes or escaped hexadecimal instructions into a machine code executable, the thing will dump core and exit. An interpreted language will, well... interpret it - leading to your machine being compromised, your database stolen, or your web site being defaced.

And don't even mention PHP...
User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2016 | 3:59:53 PM
Python versus JavaScript
Great article. Thank you for writing it. I agree with all your points.
Some people will probably make the argument that JavaScript is more of
and up-and-coming language than Python.

JavaScript is popular because it has the best support for exciting
front-end UX widgets. It's also easier to distribute JavaScript web-based

Python may ultimately beat JavaScript in a decade because of it's ease of
learning and structure. The structure should eventually result in higher
productivity in larger projects.

Python's problem with UX widgets will get solved. Kivy is already pretty
nice. The secondary problem with how to distribute Python apps as web apps
still remains. PyJS doesn't seem to be solving these problems right now, but
something like that could emerge in the future.

User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2016 | 10:32:26 AM
Python is great but . . .
Python is wonderful, mature, easy-to-learn, and has a wonderful group of developers.  Nevertheless, our focus is Javascript/Node because the core code can be used to develop a web app, an executable on the desktop, or a smart phone app on Android and iPhone with little replicated effort.  

At the moment the Javascript community is the most dynamic and innovative.  React-native has been a game changer for us.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2016 | 9:22:32 AM
Python due Linux and OpenStack
I'm a sysadmin working mostly with Linux. My favorite distributions are RedHat and CentOS.

Many things in these distributions are made with Python, including the installer (Anaconda).

When I started to learn about OpenStack, I noted the great work of Python. Then, I decided to learn Python due its integration with the important computing tools as Linux and OpenStack.

I believe that Python is a great thing to learn, not only for developers, but for all IT professionals.
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