how to become a Python developer (2022 Guide)

What Does a Python Developer Do?

BrainStation’s Python Developer career guide can help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in web development and data science. Read on for an overview of what a Python Developer does, as well as the different jobs that use Python programming skills.

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A Python Developer is responsible for coding, designing, deploying, and debugging development projects, typically on the server-side (or back-end). They may, however, also help organizations with their technological framework.

In a given day, a Python Developer might be asked to create an application for your employer, design the framework for your code, build tools as necessary to get the job done, create websites and integrable systems, or publish new services.

Some Python Developers work as independent contractors, while others are exclusive to one company. Like most programming positions, the specifics of this job vary based on the needs of your employer.

What is a Python Developer?

Though there are many jobs in tech that use Python extensively — including Software Engineer, Web Developer, Data Scientist, and Business Analyst — 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.

A Python Developer often works in close collaboration with data collection and analytics to create useful answers to questions and provide valuable insight.

Python is being used in web development, machine learning, AI, scientific computing, and academic research. Its popularity can be credited with the growing data science community embracing artificial intelligence and machine learning. Industries like education, healthcare, and finance are using machine-learning applications to innovate their organizations.

Python is also widely used by companies including Netflix, Google, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, and more. Specifically, Spotify uses Python within its back-end services, capturing user data to provide accurate recommendations and playlists. Dropbox, meanwhile, uses Python scripts to create its native applications on each platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.)

Python Developer Job Description

A Python Developer’s role can span a wide variety of duties. Because the potential applications of Python are broad, a Python Developer’s job role and responsibilities tend to be similarly broad.

As a result, a typical Python Developer job description could encompass responsibilities including:

  • Design and create effective websites and applications
  • Write reusable, testable, and efficient Python code
  • Integrate data storage solutions
  • Create integrative systems
  • Integrate user-facing elements and understand end-user requirements

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 Python 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 skills

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.

What Jobs Can You Get With Python?

A professional who specializes in Python can hold a number of job titles, including Python Developer, Data Scientist, and Machine Learning Engineer. The exact work you’ll be doing will depend on the industry, company, and scope of the role, but essentially you will be using code to create sites and applications, or work with data and AI.

Python is most commonly used in big data centers, as well as a “binder” language between other languages. Google, NASA, Industrial Light & Magic and id Software all use Python because of its capabilities and expandability. Python is frequently used by Game Developers as the glue between C/C++ modules, or you can use it with PyGame to make a full-blown game. It’s also popular among Scientists and Statisticians with SciPy and Pandas.

Although there are many different jobs that require Python programming skills, they have one thing in common: they tend to pay very well. That’s probably because employers are having a hard time finding Python talent across a number of industries.

According to the Developer Survey by StackOverflow, Python was one of the most in-demand technologies of 2018, 2019, and 2020. As of 2020, it is ranked as the world’s fourth most popular programming language among professional Software Developers, as well as the first most-wanted programming language.

Web Developer

Web Developers typically specialize in either “front-end” (“client-side”) development or “back-end” (“server-side”) development, with the most sought-after development professionals, called “Full-Stack Developers,” working in both.

In addition to layout and server-side responsibilities, Web Developers keep sites current with fresh updates and new content. Web Developers typically work in a collaborative role, communicating with management and other programmers to ensure their website looks and functions as intended.

Python Developer

Python Developers often work server side, either writing logic or developing the platform. Typically, they are responsible for deploying applications and working with development and design teams to build websites or applications that suit the user’s needs.

Python Developers also support Front-End Developers by integrating their work with the Python application.

Software Engineer

Software Engineers, like Developers, are responsible for writing, testing, and deploying code. As a Software Engineer, you’ll need to integrate applications, debug programs, and overall improve and maintain software.

Software Engineers’ day-to-day routines usually involve ensuring active programs run smoothly, updating programs, fixing bugs, and creating new programs. Software Engineers write for a wide variety of technologies and platforms, from smart home devices to virtual assistants.

Data Analyst

Data analysts collect, organize, and interpret data to create actionable insights. To accomplish this, Data Analysts must collect large amounts of data, sift through it, and assemble key sets of data based on the organization’s desired metrics or goals.

A Data Analyst uses Python libraries to carry out data analysis, parse data, analyze datasets, and create visualizations to communicate findings in a way that’s helpful to the organization.

Data Scientist

Data Scientists have a more complex skill set than Data Analysts, combining computer science, mathematics, statistics, and modeling with a strong understanding of their business and industry to unlock new opportunities and strategies.

Data Scientists are not only responsible for analyzing data but often also using machine learning, developing statistical models, and designing data structures for an organization.

Machine Learning Engineer

If you’re looking to go beyond data analysis, you can pursue machine learning, a subset of data science and artificial intelligence. Machine Learning Engineers perform statistical analysis and implement machine learning algorithms that can be used in AI.

Machine Learning Engineers are also responsible for taking theoretical data science models and helping scale them to production-level models capable of handling terabytes of real-time data.