BrainStation’s Python Developer career guide can help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in web development and data science. The guide provides an overview of the skills you should learn, the best training options, how to become a Python Developer, and more.
What Is a Python Developer?
A Python Developer uses the Python programming language to code, design, and debug web applications, products, and projects. Knowledge of Python is a prerequisite to a number of jobs in tech – including Software Engineer, Web Developer, Data Scientist, and Business Analyst – but a dedicated Python Developer will be expected to understand the language at a higher level and be capable of using Python to accomplish any number of tasks, including but not limited to data collection and analytics, database creation, web development, and design, scripting, and automation.
What Does a Python Developer Do?
Among other responsibilities, a Python Developer codes, designs, debugs, and deploys development projects. That said, the role of a Python Developer is typically pretty broad.
That’s because the potential applications of Python are broad, too. Python is a fast-growing programming language, and is already a mainstay in data science, scientific computing, academic research, machine learning, AI, and, of course, development. Python has become ubiquitous in industries as diverse as healthcare, education, and finance, and a number of major tech companies are known to use Python, including YouTube, Facebook, and Google.
As a result, the role of a Python Developer can encompass a wide array of responsibilities, including:
- Design and create effective websites and applications
- Write reusable, testable, and efficient code
- Integrate data storage solutions
- Create integrative systems
- Integrate user-facing elements and understand end-user requirements
Types of Python Applications
Python has become widely used across an extremely varied number of industries and companies (even in organizations that do not currently have a Python Developer on staff). These are the main types of applications for Python:
Web development: Python is a powerful tool for Web Developers, thanks to its huge index of libraries and the fact that it offers useful frameworks (including Django and Pyramid), micro-frameworks like Flask and Bottle, and advanced content management systems.
Scientific computing: Python can also meet data and scientific computing needs. SciPy is a collection of packages for mathematics, science, and engineering, while Pandas is a big data analysis and modeling library.
Software development: A Web Developer working on build control and management or testing will often turn to Python as a support language. Check out SCons for build control or Roundup or Trac for bug tracking.
Business: Python again is a mainstay when it comes to building eCommerce systems. Odoo is a suite of open source business apps that cover company needs including CRM, eCommerce, accounting, inventory, and point of sale.
Benefits of Python Development
It’s easy to see why Python has achieved ubiquity for so many different companies and professionals trying to achieve such a diverse array of tasks. The benefits of Python development include the fact that it is:
The English-like syntax of Python makes it easy to read and understand, and its accessibility for newcomers is a major reason it’s so often recommended.
2. Boosts productivity
Because Python is simple, developers can focus their energy on problem-solving. Compared to languages like C++ or Java, Python requires fewer lines of code, which amounts to time saved.
3. Debugging is a breeze
An interpreted language, Python executes code line by line and stops reporting any errors. With only one error showing at a time, debugging is simplified.
4. Free and Open-Source
Free to use and distribute, Python’s source code can be downloaded, changed, and even redistributed, giving organizations control over the specific version they need.
5. Massive libraries
Python’s extensive standard library will meet the needs of most people, but if you go beyond its external libraries, the Python package manager (pip) makes it a cinch to import great packages from the Python package index (PyPi), which includes hundreds of thousands of packages.
Unlike languages like C/C++ where code needs to be altered for different platforms, Python only needs to be written once.
What Is the Salary of a Python Developer?
On average, the national salary for a Python Developer is just over $75,000 in the U.S., but salaries can range anywhere from $58,000 to $107,000.
Demand for Python Developers
According to StackOverflow’s Developer Survey by StackOverflow, Python has ranked as one of the most in-demand technologies for each of the last four years. As of 2021, Python ranked the second-most popular programming language in the world among professional Software Developers as well as the first most wanted programming language.
BrainStation’s 2020 Digital Skills Survey found that only around 25 percent of Developers are familiar with Python, so a Python Developer can definitely lay claim to a specialized and in-demand skill set.
Though there’s no exact number of Python Developers globally, the TIOBE Index found that in January 2021, Python Developers accounted for 11.7 percent of global developers, having grown from just over 8 percent two years prior.
What Tools Do Python Developers Use?
Since Python is so versatile and has so many applications, the best tools for Python Developers to use can be divided into several categories:
Data Science tools. Scikit-Learn is an open-source tool that Python Developers, Machine Learning Engineers, and Data Scientists all swear by for data mining and data analysis. Written in Python, Keras is a high-level neural network library that is easy to use and well-suited to machine learning and deep learning. Theano is a Python library useful for evaluating math computations that integrate tightly with NumPy. And SciPy is used for technical and scientific computing.
Automation Testing Python tools. Selenium is beloved for good reason, as it allows a Python Developer to write scripts in many other languages, including C#, PHP, Perl, Ruby, and Java. Selenium also allows you to perform tests from any browser in all three major operating systems. Robot Framework is also open-source, a generic test automation framework designed for acceptance testing that works not just for web apps, but also iOS and Android test automation. Like Robot Framework, TestComplete is an automation testing software, but it requires a commercial license.
Web Scraping Python tools. LXML is a feature-rich, Python-based tool for C libraries. Beautiful Soup is a time-saving Python library that is used for projects like screen-scraping. And Scrapy is an open-source framework written in Python that crawls web pages and extracts data from them.
What Skills Does a Python Developer Need?
Though the specific responsibilities will vary, these are some of the basic skills any will need to become a Python Developer:
Python. A Python Developer needs to have a mastery of Python that extends beyond other colleagues in data science, web development, or other fields who might also be expected to have some familiarity with it. A Python Developer must learn object-oriented programming, basic Python syntax, semantics, primitive data types, and arithmetic operators.
Python libraries. One of the major selling points of Python is the massive range of libraries available. A Python Developer should be well-versed in what’s out there and use available libraries to their fullest advantage. Begin by exploring the Python Package Index (PyPi) and becoming familiar with common libraries like Pandas and NumPy.
Python frameworks. A Python Developer needs to be knowledgeable about the available frameworks that can be massively helpful depending on the task, including Django, Flask, CherryPy, web2py, TurboGears, and Grok.
ORM libraries. Object Relational Mapper (ORM) libraries – examples include SQLAlchemy or Django ORM – help a Python Developer write Python code instead of SQL to create and alter data and schemas in their database.
Python Developer Career paths
Python Developer career paths tend to be as varied as the applications of Python itself. Because Python can be used to accomplish so many different tasks by so many different companies, a Python Developer would have no shortage of choice in trying to select a career path.
Some of those Python Developer career paths include:
Data science: Python is by far the most popular programming language with respect to building data science and machine learning models, so a background in Python programming will go a long way in jobs like Data Scientist or Machine Learning Engineer.
Web and software development: A Python Developer can further apply their Python programming skills to delivering and deploying a software project. Python is also helpful for building the back end of web apps, using frameworks like Flask and Django. Web Developers and Software Engineers covet Python skills for those reasons.
Scientific computation: Python is the programming language of choice for Scientists and Mathematicians around the world to process complex calculations and large amounts of data.
Jobs For Python Users
While there are a wide range of jobs and roles that use Python on a regular basis, there are some roles that benefit from having a good working knowledge of the programming langauge. Apart from the obvious "Python Developer," these may also include:
- Web Developer
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
- Data Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Machine Learning Engineer
Kick-Start Your Python Developer Career
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