The 2018 Python Developers Survey shows that Python use is increasing with the main use being for data analysis. Other strong areas include testing, automation and web development.

Around 84% of respondents in the study said that Python was the language they used most in development, with JavaScript being the second choice of 50% of these. In third place at 47% sits HTML/CSS. The figures indicate that Python now has a huge role in building web applications.
Another key areas the survey addressed was the adoption of Python 2 vs. Python 3: 84% of the respondents use Python 3 with only 16% sticking with Python 2. Among those users who have adopted Python 3 the majority are using Python 3.6 and Python 3.7: 54% and 30% respectively. The remainder are split across the other Python versions.

Since 2013 the use of Python 3 has been growing steadily and the survey would seem to indicate that many users will stick with it until the end of its life in 2020. There was no indication as to why some users remain with Python 2 so there is no way of assessing if this is due to the coding, organizational needs or just a personal preference.

Of all respondents 52% said that the main task they used Python for was web development; 27% of these identified web development when pushed for a single use case. The most commonly used Python frameworks were Flask and Django coming it at 47% and 45% respectively.

One of the key tasks that Python is associated with is data analysis and in the survey this was identified by 58% of the respondents. The main packages used are NumPty (62%), Pandas (51%), Matplotlib (46%) and SciPy (38%). Machine learning featured for 38% of Python users with 25% of users choosing TensorFlow as the framework. Apache Spark came in the clear winner for big data tools.

Other key figures were presented highlighting the continued utilization of Python for the key tasks it was designed for:

  • System automation: 43%
  • Web scraping: 37%
  • Software testing: 32%

Key tools used for these areas included:

  • Jenkins/Hudson: 35%
  • Ansible: 20%
  • Requests: 53%
  • Pytest: 46%

Python developers who took part in the survey mostly work on Linux (67%) but there was a good proportion of Windows developers too coming in at around 47%. However, the survey did not ask if the Windows users were using Python natively or if they were utilizing a Linux subsystem. However, it does indicate that using Python on Windows has become easier after the last releases, partly assisted by IDE-integration tools like Pycharm and Microscoft Visual Studio and Visual Code Studio.

Since JetBrains sponsored the survey it is obvious that PyCharm and PyCharm Community Edition came in at top choice at 20% and 15%, however Visual Code Studio managed second place with a respectable 15%, giving a good indication of its success with developers and the level of support available.

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