Mr Popularity

David Robinson has done some good analysis on searches on Stack Overflow on the popularity of languages. This shows that Python is on track to be the most searched for programming language. He followed this up with further analysis to show the increase appears to be coming from data science and machine learning. This follows on from IEEE Spectrum putting Python as the most popular programming language for 2017 among developers.

Apart from giving me an excuse to put lots of links in the first paragraph what does this show. Probably little more than Python is flexible which we knew already (it’s why we’ve been using it). You can learn to program with it, produce a web service with it, do data analysis with it as well as all of automate your system administration jobs (which this blog mostly deals with).

Rather than starting a flame war over which language is the most popular or useful, a more useful takeaway from this is Python really is a first class language. It is not just an alternative to PERL, you can use it as your go-to language for everything and only change if a reason to do so appears.