Day 9 – The PYTHON Debate – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21

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One of the key programming skills that are required for all AI/ML and Data Science enthusiasts is Python. While in general, its the full-stack combination of statistical skills, data ‘cleaning’ skills, and then python programming. However, for many of the youngsters and experienced alike whom I come across, AI/ML in Python.

These are some of the things that I hear –

  1. Python is the game-changer for AI/ML. I always thought its a high availability of data after years of digitization (as a result of massive computerization courtesy Microsoft and likes) and a tremendous reduction in computational costs given the advent of cloud computing etc.
  2. Python is being learned by bankers too. Its a must to thrive in banking.
  3. Python will replace all MS excel kind of tools as there is no better tool than Python for data analysis and visualization.
  4. All enterprise applications would move to Python as it is more robust than other languages.
  5. Myths like ‘You can learn Python in 24 hrs, it’s so easy.’ Even a 5 year old can learn it.
  6. Java, C, C++ are legacy and Python is future etc…
  7. You will be out of job in 5 years if you dont know Python and AI/ML.
  8. Python is most searched programming language skill by recruiters in job sites.
  9. Python jobs are highest paying jobs in Tech.
  10. Some have gone to the extent that in some parts of the world, arranged marriages will have proficiency requirement in Python.

Some of these claims are invalid but a recent study by Stackoverflow.com found that Python has pipped Java in overall ranking of most commonly used programming language based on their methodology. This is what they say –

“For the seventh year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, but Python has risen in the ranks again. This year, Python just edged out Java in overall ranking, much like it surpassed C# last year and PHP the year before. Python is the fastest-growing major programming language today.”

Diagram of popularity of Python, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, and R, from 2009 to 2020. Python is highest from 2018 onwards.

I came across an interesting post that countered this view that Python is the thing of the future with the title of the blog literally saying-

‘Why Python is not the programming language of the future?’

The author here in this blog speaks about slowness in python, white spaces, scope, mobile adaptability etc as key reasons why it is not a long lasting language. In the author’s opinion, languages like Rust, Go or Julia should replace Python.

Now this is a highly debatable subject as I see many of the young engineers latching on to Python as their preferred choice. This made me thinking about the following –

  • Whether Python is preferred language by many young engineers as it is easy to learn and use?
  • Is it because of the growing demand (and at times over the board marketing) of AI/ML and Data Science opportunities that Python is so popular?
  • Is Python capable of running enterprise scale solutions?
  • Most importantly, with the number of python training courses available and mad rush to become python coders, do we have enough problems in the world to solve with python?
  • In conjunction to above, are we heading towards a situation where we would have a glut of python coders in the world with fewer problems that Python can solve?

I reached out to some of my young colleagues who are still interning or are less than 3 years experienced but I do see them to have two things in common –

  1. Their resumes say that they are interested in AI/ML and Data Science and so Python.
  2. Irrespective of their project’s tech stack, they do have some basic Python skills.

The debate started slow but soon I realised that I may have knocked down a beehive. My contrarian view was pummeled, dismissed and completely badgered by my young colleagues. I did a give a good fight but towards the end reached a common ground that said… only time will tell.

But one thing became clear to me in this discussion that there is definitely abundance of passionate Python lovers in the world.

Who imagined that the word that represents one of the most feared and detested creature in the real world has so many admirers and followers in the virtual world, in form of a programming language?

What are your views?

 

1 thought on “Day 9 – The PYTHON Debate – #IndiaFightsCorona #Lockdown21”

  1. As a developer, I am language agnostic. I would code in any language. Well, there will be a learning curve twhile starting with new languages, but which developers codes without stackoverflow anyway? 😀

    Like

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