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Why Use Python? Which Organizations Around the World Are Using it to Code?

Many organizations around the world have selected Python from over 700 programming languages available. They use the world’s favorite language to solve their most important programming and data science problems. The popularity aside, what technical aspects have influenced these organizations to select Python?

What Is Python?

What is Python, and why use it? You can read an executive summary of Python on the official Python website, written by its creators:

Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together.

As you can see, Python is dynamic, and you can use it for many things: development, data science, even serving as a glue!

Python is simple and easy to learn, and this can reduce the time and the cost of a project. Even the most senior programmers don’t know all programming languages in depth, so developers have to learn a new language from time to time. Python makes this process much faster, especially with LearnPython.com courses at their disposal.

Program maintenance with Python is fairly easy, too. There is no compilation step, and the edit-test-debug cycle can be so fast as if its life depends on it. Also, a bug or a bad input never causes an error in Python; instead, it raises an exception.

Another obvious advantage of Python is its cost: “The Python interpreter and the extensive standard library are available in source or binary form without charge for all major platforms and can be freely distributed.”

So, who uses Python and for what?

Which Organizations Are Using Python?

AstraZeneca

Astrazeneca

AstraZeneca is a pharmaceutical giant. Together with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, it is probably one of the most important companies of 2021. It not only produces COVID-19 vaccines but also develops innovative drugs to fight cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Scientists at AstraZeneca have run computer predictions for years. Each prediction technique requires separate programs – some commercial, others developed in-house. Each program has its own set of inputs, options, configurations, and failure behaviors.

In 2000, AstraZeneca set out to improve the prediction process so that research could progress more quickly and invited Andrew Dalke, a well-known advocate for Python in computational chemistry and biology, as a consultant in 2001. Dalke convinced his new colleagues that Python was the right language for AstraZeneca’s next-generation backend code. They named it PyDrone.

AstraZeneca decided to go with Python, because it was one of the best languages available for people without a background in computer science. Moreover, Python is one of the few languages built on research about usability and factors that make a programming language easy to learn. Python is also designed to solve real-world problems that any given expert programmer could face.

Netflix

Netflix

Netflix is an American video-content platform and production company with worldwide market reach. At the very beginning of an article published on Netflix’s official blog, we read: “We’ve blogged a lot about how we use Java here at Netflix, but Python’s footprint in our environment continues to increase.”

Netflix teams have turned more and more to Python for its rich standard and third-party libraries – there are over 145,000 custom-built software packages in an online repository – as well as for its clean but very expressive syntax. Another advantage is that the Python community (known as Pythonistas) is large and helpful, so there’s always someone to help you with your problem. But there’s one more thing about which Netflix tips the hat to Python – the dynamic underpinnings that enable developers to quickly iterate and innovate. These two tremendously important qualities have enabled Python to proliferate at Netflix and to be used for pretty much everything, including:

  • Building small tools using bots to talk to AWS.
  • Storing information.
  • Managing processes.
  • Polling restful APIs to large applications with requests.
  • Providing web interfaces.
  • Crunching data.

Uber

Uber

Uber is a technology company that coordinates services such as car rides, food delivery, package delivery, and more. At the lower backend levels, its engineers write primarily in Python, Node.js, Go, and Java.

Uber started out with two programming languages: Node.js for the Marketplace team, and Python for everyone else. Both languages are still powering most of the services running at Uber today. There’s a series of articles that go a little deeper into what Python is used for at Uber, starting with this one.

Revolut

Revolut

Travelers may be familiar with Revolut. It is a UK-based fintech company that offers money transfer and exchange that is claimed to be free globally. With Revolut, customers can exchange 25 currencies in an app, make domestic and international money transfers, and spend money abroad without worrying about fees.

I couldn’t find any official announcements on big Python projects at Revolut, but I did find that they are currently looking for Python specialists in data science and engineering. With its revolutionary approach, such projects are certain to come to light sooner or later.

CIA

CIA

According to what has been posted in the Vault 7 leaks from Wikileaks, it looks like the Central Intelligence Agency uses a lot of state-sponsored hacking tools written in Python. No files from those projects were released, but if you look at the dump, there are plenty of files in .py or PIL formats.

NASA

NASA

NASA stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. As an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, it is responsible for the civilian space program, aeronautics, and space research.

There are no official papers reporting on what programming languages NASA uses, for what purpose, or to what extent. However, like every research and development organization, it’s obvious it had to introduce a diverse set of programming languages for its projects.

United Space Alliance (USA), NASA's main shuttle support contractor, was introduced to software that is “fast, cheap, and right” – Python. Its experience with Python was better than they expected. In a year, USA was nearing the deployment of a workflow automation system (WAS) that exceeded all of NASA's specifications. You can read more about it on Python Success Stories.

What Is Your Next Step?

Do you want to learn Python? If you’re still reading, you’re obviously interested in Python. And guess what? You’ve come to the right place.

If you want to learn Python to land a Revolut job or just to challenge yourself, you can develop your Python skills with our online courses:

These courses include lots of hands-on exercises, so you can start writing Python code from scratch without any additional software or tutorials very quickly!

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