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Skills Survey: Python Now No. 1 Dev Tool

Last year we reported that Python made a strong showing in the Skill Up survey conducted by Packt Publishing Ltd., coming in as the No. 2 programming language among surveyed developers, just behind JavaScript. This, year, it's the most popular dev tool of any kind.

"Python is now the No. 1 tool being used by developers and tech pros, followed by Git and Visual Studio," said a spokesperson for Packt about this year's Skill Up survey.

The company conducts the survey to provide "a snapshot of the modern tech community, to discover the tools and techniques developers are using to succeed." While the complete Skill Up 2017 survey won't be available for another few weeks, Packt shared the Python results early with ADTMag.

"Python has clearly gained huge mainstream uptake in recent years for its accessibility, fully featured standard library, rich ecosystem of libraries and frameworks, and highly engaged community," Packt said of the programming language that's developed under an OSI-approved open source license.

The No. 1 Tool
[Click on image for larger view.] The No. 1 Tool (source: Packt Publishing)

That uptake is reflected by the top five user groups who use Python as indicated by new survey results:

  1. Data scientists/analysts
  2. Security engineers
  3. Cloud engineers
  4. Big Data engineers
  5. Academics/researchers

Furthermore, the easy-to-use programming language -- often featured in introductory development courses -- is typically used as part of a broader toolset of languages and applications. The top five such complementary tools (excluding other languages and IDEs) are:

  1. Django
  2. MySQL
  3. Excel
  4. Ansible
  5. Pandas

Also, the spokesperson said, "Python usage is set to grow, coming in at second place as the tool devs will be learning next year, just beaten to the top position by Docker. BI devs, data scientists/analysts, and security engineers in particular are looking to learn Python in the next 12 months."

That finding mirrored the results of Stack Overflow's huge annual developer survey, which this year reported that Python topped the "most wanted" list for coders who are not developing with a language or technology but have expressed interest in doing so. Following Python on that list were JavaScript and Go.

In the latest RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, which we covered here earlier this month, Python was No. 3, behind JavaScript and Java.

Earlier this year, ThoughtWorks announced Python had emerged as a major trend in that company's Technology Radar, an assessment of emerging trends shaping software development and business strategy.

"Historically, enterprise adoption of Python as a first-class language in production has been rare," ThoughtWorks said. "However, the recent industry trends around AI commoditization and applications, the maturity of Python 3, and architectural approaches such as microservices and containers, have boosted Python in the programming ecosystem.

"We see Python bridging and unifying the divided world of (data) scientists and engineers in organizations, used as the common language for both modeling and research as well as for final production deployment."

Stay tuned for coverage of the final Skill Up 2017 report.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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