As far as programming languages are concerned, Python belongs to all-time favorites. Many software developers are aware of Python advantages and don’t need any kind of encouragement to use it in daily tasks.
As Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020 indicates, Python has been dubbed the most „wanted” programming language by them, with as many as 30% of programmers who don’t use it, yet, expressing interest in developing with it in the future. Moreover, two-thirds (66.7%) of those who already develop with it, want to continue doing so – which is the third-best result among all languages or technologies ranked within this survey. And all these with Python not being a top paying programming language but offering earning a decent income, still.
Python’s use cases are impressively versatile. They include data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), web scraping, task automation, scientific and numeric computing, as well as websites, e-commerce systems, and other business applications.
Among many obvious benefits and advantages the Python programming language offers, we may of course find a fly in the ointment. Surely, those who have worked with it for years can easily spot some scratches on its close-to-perfect image. Just like any other solution, Python comes with its limitations and can’t be used on all occasions. It all depends on the project, and knowing all Python advantages and disadvantages is crucial to decide if it's suitable in your particular case. So, let's go through Python's pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
Table of contents:
1. Python pros and cons in a nutshell
2. Advantages of Python you simply must know
3. Disadvantages of Python you should be aware of
4. Working on a new project? Use Python!
Python pros and cons in a nutshell
Python’s immense success and impressive popularity simply make this programming language worth knowing. But is it also worth implementing and developing with it? Well, firstly we should be well aware of all pros and cons of Python, and know what it actually is. And it is an open-source programming language that can be described with such attributes as general-purpose, dynamically-typed, and object-oriented.
What’s important, it’s proper for both small and large projects, and – despite being 30 years old – it’s perfect for many present-day applications, including ultra-modern ones. There are some important constraints, though. Anyway, those new to programming may easily get attracted to Python. And what's important, they can count on the support of a vast and active community of fellow developers willing to give them a helping hand in polishing their coding skills and solving Python problems.
Read more: Python Basics: Generator Expressions & Comprehensions
Advantages of Python you simply must know
Python’s versatility is one thing, but this programming language has much more to offer.
First and foremost, Python is exceptionally easy to read but also to learn, and then produce logical, clear code. It enables even business users to utilize it to a basic extent. And this is one of the reasons why it is so immensely popular among applications used in companies. Users with only basic knowledge of this language can write – on their own – a script that will automate their day-to-day tasks.
The language itself, or its syntax, is similar to English. Code can be written fast and efficiently. On the one hand, using Python decreases the production cost (due to quickness of writing and low barriers for entry), but on the other – in the case of advanced calculations – it can be left far behind other languages. Python is a scripting language which makes it slow, and Java or C++ perform the majority of operations way faster.
However, taking into account that contemporary computers have high computing power, one doesn’t need to keep an eye on performance that much, and more and more often attention is paid to the high speed of writing programs, and not to performance. The latter, however, is not that bad in the case of Python.
Moreover, analytics and data scientists simply like this language – it’s proper for writing code or performing data analysis fast. As for this area, environments such as Jupyter are popular – with convenient code editors that enable code execution in parts, viewing the script results on the fly, or drawing charts.
To sum up, the pros of Python are:
- Easy syntax (similar to English)
- Quick coding
- Fast data analysis
- Great community support
- Various types of code editors
Read more: How to Be a Good Python Developer?
Disadvantages of Python you should be aware of
And now comes the second part of the enumeration of the advantages and disadvantages of Python.
Some of the most-known downsides to Python include insufficient speed and runtime errors. Also, it’s not considered as perfect for mobile development or game development. But what do developers often complain about, in detail?
Python is a dynamically-typed language, which means that one doesn’t have to declare variables nor their type. It’s very convenient because it requires less effort from a software developer who has a bit less code to write. However, there are some risks involved, and some programmers may get lost easily in their variables. Moreover, a simple spelling mistake can make a program work the way it shouldn’t. It’s enough if we write new_varable instead of new_variable – something that it’s difficult to trace. In most cases, though, such errors won’t cause the program’s stopping.
And because Python is a scripting language, it enables quick modifications. Due to that, we may occasionally experience some problems with end-users. In general, the code of scripts or programs is open so the user can make changes easily. They may accidentally add a letter, a comma, a period, or any other character, and this can disable using a particular tool. Of course, an executable file for the user can be prepared but it’s usually not very practical.
To cut the long story short, some basic Python cons are:
- Relatively slow performance
- Unsuitable for mobile & games development
- Highly error-sensitive (mind the typos!)
- End-users may easily modify (and break) the code
Working on a new project? Use Python!
There are certainly many reasons why you should at least consider using the Python programming language. But if you still aren’t an avid Python supporter, the numerous benefits of learning Python described above may surely convince you to start using this programming language.
Developers with a good command of Python are in high demand these days, and there are many directions where this programming language may take us. Apart from web or software development, they include areas such as data science, ML and IA, task automation, the Internet of Things, and more.
Read more: Modules in Python You Should Know
Some of the industries Python is utilized in include finance, insurance, retail banking, healthcare, and aviation, to name but a few. Python is also proper for educational purposes, namely being regarded as a „superb language for teaching programming”. And among successful companies that decided to implement Python, we may find high-profile brands such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Netflix, Reddit, Uber, and Dropbox.
And you, what other Python advantages and disadvantages can you spot? Do the benefits of using Python outweigh its downsides, to you? How do you utilize Python in your daily duties?