Python is the Cool Kid
This seems to be a hot question on the Internet these days – Should I learn Python? Anyone that knows me should know already that I love Python (am I Python expert? Not even close – this will make for a great topic to talk about on another day, though). Python is super versatile and it’s not really a hard language to learn. It’s one of the hottest languages right now actually. A quick google search will bring up the ‘top languages of the year’ and Python is on all of them.
That being said, why is it hot? is it because it’s an older language that’s got tons of support and it’s mature or is it hot for another reason?
Let’s start with the first half of that question. Python has been around since the early 1990s, although it never really was cool until a few years ago. I learned a lot about Python around 2000-2004; Something about it got my attention and just compelled me to learn it. I wasn’t the best at it (I was in high school and just then learning how to program – I wasn’t very good, really.) Anyway, that’s a topic for another day again.
Python, because it’s been around so long, has quite a bit of support. Tons of books and blog posts and articles and forum posts and experts are all just a few clicks away. The language has roughly 30 years behind it by the time of this writing, so quite obviously it will have some support and maturity.
But, can I get a job with it?
Now then, a few more Google searches and job posting site searches (monster and indeed and the like,) I can’t find THAT many hits for Python. It seems like its popularity is coming from other developers who just love the language. That’s fine and all but here’s the thing. A lot of folks are searching “Should I learn Python?” because they want to know if they can land a sweet programmer job with it. If no-one is looking for Python programmers then is it REALLY that good? Should you still learn it?
If too many people are digging into Python because it’s just the cool thing to do, and not enough companies are hiring for that particular skill are we creating a problem? Are we flooding the market with tons of Python developers that are now no longer marketable because everyone and his or her little brother are Python gurus now and we’re a dime-a-dozen?
That is the question of the hour, I think.
Give it to me straight, should I learn Python?
Yes, I think you should still learn Python. Here’s why I think that: It’s not a hard language to learn so it’s a bit of an easy way into the programming world. By learning Python, you are also learning a language that will teach you how to think like a developer. (For the record, I think learning nearly ANY programming language will do this for you – unless it’s absolutely ancient, then just pick a language and learn it. You’ll thank me later.) Finally, the language is very versatile and will open doors in various fields like data science and machine learning and web development.
The language, being so versatile, you would think there would be more job postings for Python, but that’s a question we’ll dig into later on.
So – the answer to this question, again is – yes. Learn Python.
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