To say that Python is a popular programming language is a bit of an understatement, like saying that the sun is kind of hot. It’s a ubiquitous language, utilized in everything from the Web and mobile to embedded systems. And despite that massive footprint, it’s still showing some growth, rising into third place (up from fifth place a year ago) on the latest TIOBE ranking of the world’s most popular programming languages.
TIOBE’s explanation for the continuing rise is simple. “[Python] is already the first choice at universities (for all kinds of subjects for which programming is demanded) and is now also conquering the industrial world,” the organization wrote in a note accompanying the rankings. “Python’s selling points are easy to learn, easy to install and easy to deploy.”
Anyone who’s dabbled with Python knows it’s designed to be easily readable, which increases its traction within university classrooms. In recent years, it has also become a favorite of researchers and analysts, who increasingly use it in place of R for data analytics. Python comes with a huge standard library and a number of popular development environments, making it a favorite of programming experts and novices alike.
In order to create its rankings, TIOBE leverages data from a number of sources, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. Earlier this year, a change to Google’s search algorithms “tweaked” the Index a bit, producing some odd changes in the rankings, but the organization compensated for those spikes with what it calls a “smoothing function.”
If you’re interested in Python, there’s no better time to explore the language: the latest major release, 3.7.0, features a number of interesting upgrades, including new time functions, development runtime mode, and the ability to generate boilerplate code for data classes. Python’s reach will only fuel its evolution in the years ahead. Right now it sits in third place on TIOBE’s list; can it eventually reach the top spot?