Why the Fan Base of Python and JavaScript Continues to Grow?

The TIOBE Programming Community index indicates the popularity of programming languages. Updated monthly, it is based on various factors, such as the number of skilled programmers, search engine results, etc.

As of April 2020, Python is ranked #3 in the index. In 2006 it was ranked #27. Similarly, in 1996, JavaScript was ranked a lowly #33, but since 2001, it has consistently made it to the Top 10. Currently, JavaScript is ranked #7.
Why the Fan Base of Python and JavaScript Continues to Grow
Why are these languages so popular? Or rather, why do they continue to be so popular despite periodic assaults on their value proposition and pronouncements of their demise?

According to TIOBE CEO Paul Jansen, “we need something simple that can be handled by non-software engineers, something easy to learn with fast edit cycles and smooth deployment. Python meets all these needs.” And everyone who loves dynamic website pages is a fan of JavaScript – even if they don’t realize it!

Python and JavaScript: A Lookback

Python.org describes Python as “an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics.” Some of the world’s most popular websites are based on Python: Reddit, Spotify, Netflix, Instagram, and…. Google!

As a general-purpose coding language, Python can be used for more than web, web app, or web API development – unlike HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Therefore, it is also used for:

  • Scientific research and computing.
  • Systems automation.
  • Data Science.
  • Machine Learning.

Python allows disparate code to interoperate, giving rise to the semi-affectionate term, “glue language”. Python is regularly revised with new features to satisfy the evolving requirements of development teams.

What’s cool about the JavaScript story?

W3Schools calls JavaScript the “Programming Language for the Web.” This lightweight interpreted scripting language allows programmers to implement complex features on web pages, such as dynamically updated content, multimedia, animated images, etc. It can update both HTML and CSS and helps to extend the functionality of websites using third-party scripts.
Unlike Python, which is used to develop the back ends of web applications, JavaScript can be used for both the back and front ends of web and mobile applications. Do, no cool pop-culture references, but a cool language for sure.

Why does the World swear by Python?

  • Code Reuse:
  • Python supports modules and packages, making code reuse possible, which shortens development cycles. Programmers don’t have to start from scratch if the reused code will perform the same (or similar) function in the new application. They can, instead, write code to create unique, value-adding functionalities for the final product. Thus, code reusability helps to create better software, faster.

  • Built-in Functionalities:
  • Python’s built-in data structures, pre-built libraries and frameworks, and features like dynamic typing and dynamic binding also make it a very attractive proposition for rapid application development. Python is most commonly used for scripting and automation. However, it can also be used to build high-quality software, whether the requirement is for standalone applications or web services. Python also provides all the functionalities required to create REST APIs, comprehensive, data-driven sites, and more.

  • Versatile applicability:
  • Although Python is not the “fastest” language, it is still extremely versatile in terms of supported use cases. For instance, it is the preferred language for building Machine Learning applications related to speech recognition, financial services, or streaming entertainment services (think Netflix). Python also offers several built-in libraries for scientific computing and data science, for use cases related to astronomy, bioinformatics, statistical analyses, and even psychology.

  • Easy to use, adopt and update:
  • Python has a highly readable and straightforward syntax. It also follows indentation rules and doesn’t use enclosing braces. Being a dynamically typed language, developers don’t have to determine variable types. The interpreter will infer these types, and all checks will be made at runtime. Since programmers don’t have to worry about complexities, they can learn it easily, and start writing programs quickly.

Why the World Swears by JavaScript

  • Great for client-side scripting and fast results:
  • The core client-side JavaScript language offers a very useful functionality that is massively popular in the world of web development today: the ability to build Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs make it easy to interconnect programs that would otherwise be difficult to do. Since the code is executed on the user’s processor instead of the webserver, it saves bandwidth and reduces the load on the latter. Moreover, fast processing ensures that results are available almost instantly, so pages load faster for the user.

    JavaScript is also useful for writing server-side code – using platforms like Node.js – to provide and store resources needed by the client, and to respond to client requests (via HTTP) to deliver dynamic content to the user. In that sense, it keeps company with other programming languages like PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, Perl, and ASP.NET.

  • Easy to learn and implement:
  • Like Python, JavaScript is also an easy language to learn. Its syntax is close to English, and it uses an HTML DOM model that allows the language to quickly access, change, or react to all the elements of an HTML document. It can also change all the CSS styles on the page. This makes it a powerful language for creating dynamic HTML.

  • Requires no compilation, is browser- and device-agnostic:
  • Since JavaScript is an interpreted language, not a compiled language; it does not require a compiler. The user’s browser reads the code, interprets it as HTML tags, and then runs it. JavaScript runs on many browsers out-of-the-box. It also runs on every device, unlike desktop or mobile applications that run only on specific devices or operating systems. This advantage makes it easy to write cross-platform apps.

  • Easy to debug and test:
  • For such a powerful language, JavaScript is surprisingly easy to debug and test. All modern browsers come with a built-in JavaScript debugger that can be turned on or off as required. Many open-source, user-friendly testing tools are also available, including Cypress.io, Chrome DevTools, and Mocha.

Conclusion

Software is everywhere – websites, mobile apps, devices, machines, vehicles, factories, and everything in between. Today’s developers and programmers are spoiled for choice when it comes to learning and implementing programming languages. And given the many benefits, it’s not surprising that the legions of Python and JavaScript fans keep on growing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories