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The Python Software Foundation and JetBrains conducted a Python® developer survey at the end of 2017 to find out the latest trends and get an insight into the Python development world of today. 

9,500 Python developers from across the world took part in the survey and here is what they found: 

Python usage 

79% of those surveyed use Python as their main language with half of those also using JavaScript. 

Types of Python development 

Python is mainly used for web development and/or data analysis. 

The survey found that the developers’ roles combine different areas. Data analysis and machine learning, and also data analysis and web development were the two role combinations.  

Most of the developers who participated in the survey underestimated the total number of developers involved in data science. Though web development was the main application of Python a few years ago, the use of Python for data science is on the rise.  

Python 3 vs Python 2 

75% of those surveyed use Python 3 the most. The use of Python 2 is decreasing due to legacy features and little to no updates, plus its maintenance is going to be stopped in 2020.  

Interestingly, slightly more data scientists (80%) use Python 3 in comparison to web developers (70%). This is likely due to some web developers having legacy code to maintain whilst they’re transitioning to Python 3. 

Many data scientists and machine learning specialists have only just started using Python, so have therefore started on the latest version. 

Editors and IDEs 

The developers were asked what editors/IDEs they have considered to use for their Python development, and what is the main editor that they use for their current Python development. The results found that PyCharm, with its two editions (Professional and Community), is the most popular tool, followed by Sublime, Vim, IDLE, Atom, and VS Code. Furthermore, 77% said that they use their editor daily. 

Python developer profile 

Half of the developers are employed full-time, just over a quarter are students, and 13% are free-lancers or self-employed. Three quarters of the respondents identified themselves as developers and 1 in 5 also identify themselves as data analysts, architects or team leads.  

Thanks to the diverse results it is unclear on the most popular level experience, as there were just as many new developers as there were developers with over 11 years of experience.  

56% of the developers said they work on independent projects, with 40% working as part of a team and 4% as an external consultant/trainer. 

43% of the participants work on one main project as well as several side projects, in comparison to the 35% that work on several products, and the 22% that just focus work on a singular project. 

Read the full report and other statistics here! 

We’d love to hear what you think of this report, how you use Python, and if you have any Python tips you’d like to share with the Code Matters community, please email information@greymatter.com. 

We’re proud to be a JetBrains Platinum Partner; we’ve been selling JetBrains for years and have a great knowledge of how their products are licensed. If you have any queries or would like to purchase any JetBrains products or other tools for Python developers, please contact us on +44 (0) 1364 654100 or email information@greymatter.com  

We are hosting a webinar on 30 April about how you can use parallelism and profiling to improve the performance of Python code. Find out more here.

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