Perhaps it was only a matter of time before Python managed to swallow the world of programming. Long an ultra-popular generalist language, Python has made substantial inroads over the past few years into a number of specialized industries, including machine learning and data science.
Python is finally in position to take the top spot on the TIOBE Index, which publishes a monthly list of programming languages with the most “buzz” behind them. “[Python] only needs to bridge 0.16 percent to surpass C,” read the note accompanying the updated rankings. “This might happen any time now. If Python becomes number 1, a new milestone has been reached in the TIOBE index. Only 2 other languages have ever been leading the pack so far, i.e., C and Java.”
To create its monthly rankings, TIOBE leverages data from a variety of aggregators and search engines, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. Languages that rank must be Turing complete, have their own Wikipedia entry, and earn more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” on Google. In other words, it’s a good measure of a particular language’s popularity or “buzz,” but doesn’t really gauge usage in the same way as, say, Stack Overflow.
If you’re curious about learning Python, start by visiting Python.org, which offers a handy beginner’s guide to programming and Python. You might also consider Microsoft’s video series, “Python for Beginners,” with dozens of lessons (most under five minutes in length; none longer than 13 minutes).
And just in case you were worried, Python doesn’t seem slated to fade anytime soon. Back in April, SlashData’s State of the Developer Nation suggested that Python had the world’s second-largest programming-language community, at 10.1 million people. It also remains one of the most-used languages, according to a recent analysis by Stack Overflow. If you’re interested in data science, A.I., and/or machine learning, it’s increasingly clear that learning the language is a must. How long until it takes the top spot on the TIOBE Index?