What is Python Used For?
Written by Janet Swift   
Thursday, 25 February 2021

JetBrains and the Python Software Foundation have released the results of its latest survey to reveal the current state of the language, the ecosystem around it, including insights into who uses Python and for what purposes. 

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The Python Developers Survey, conducted jointly by the Python Software Foundation and JetBrains, was inaugurated in 2017 so now we have the results of its fourth iteration. The number of respondents has increased year on year and over 28,000 Python developers and enthusiasts from almost 200 countries/regions took part in the latest, conducted in October 2020.

Back in 2017 the proportion of respondents for whom Python was the main language was 79%, by 2018 it had risen to 84%, see Survey Results From More Python Developers, where it remained in 2019, see Python Developer Survey and in 2020 it had edged up to 85%.

With regard to the other languages used with Python there are few changes from last year. JavaScript, which has been in the lead in every survey, starting with 50%, is still top, but has again shortened its lead:

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Obviously the percentages here far exceed one hundred - this is because respondents could choose as many as applied. However, the number that said that they only use Python had increased since the previous surveys - 15% this year compared to 12% last year and 6% before that.

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In response to the question about whether Python was being used for work or other reasons there was an increase, from 21% to 26% in the option "For personal, educational or side projects" reduction in the other two - down 4% for "Both work and personal" and 2% "For work" which fell to less than 1 in 5. This is largely explained by the fact that the proportion of students included in the survey rose from 10% to 13% and a further 7% choosing "Work student" for Employment status. The sizable proportion of students influenced the age distribution of respondents  which peaked with 40% in the 21-29 age band and a total of 50% under 30 years, and their experience. Over a third, 34%, claimed less than 1 year of coding experience and 68% fell into the up to and including 5 years of coding experience. Conversely in terms of Python experience, the most popular response was 3-5 years (28%) even though 74% were in the up to and including 5 years of coding experience. 

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When respondents were asked "What do you use Python for" and allowed to nominate multiple purposes, the mean number of choices was 3.9% and Data analysis topped the chart with 54% of respondents including this use. Web development camme next, 48% with DevOps and Machine learning tying for 3rd place with 38%.

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However, when asked "What do you use Python for most?", Web development came top with 25% and Data Analysis, still in second place, was well behind in terms of its share at 17%. Machine learning was still in third place at 13% leaving Dev Ops with 10% in fourth place.

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More Information

Python Developers Survey 2020 Results

Related Articles

What Makes Python Great & Greater

Python Developer Survey (2019)

Survey Results From More Python Developers

Calling All Pythonistas

Python Development Trends

What Makes Python Special?

Python Set To Be Top Language 

Python Language Of The Year 

Python The Future Of Programming? 

Python Popular With Hackers 

Python's Unstoppable Rise  

Python for Enthusiasts (Programmer's Bookshelf of recommended books)

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 March 2021 )