What is Python Used for in Business Today?

Kelly Schwarze

Senior Technical Content Marketing Manager, Udemy for Business

July 16, 2019

In recent years, Python has become the language of choice for data science and artificial intelligence—two technology trends essential for global businesses to stay competitive today. In fact, Python is the fastest-growing programming language today according to Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey. It’s used across a wide variety of applications from web development to task automation to data analysis. 

Known for its readability and versatility, Python is used by businesses of all sizes. Startups may optimize a small engineering team’s workflow by utilizing Python’s efficient syntax and leveraging its many package libraries. Large enterprises may turn to Python to process giant datasets using machine learning algorithms. 

While Python is the current language of choice for many data scientists, web developers, and machine learning experts, is it the right language for you and your team to use? Here, we look at the characteristics of Python that make it so popular, the libraries that expand Python’s functionality, and some of the most common use cases of Python in business today.

Why is Python so popular?

As an object-oriented language, Python can run on most operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s also a developer favorite, with Python crowned the number two most popular language in Stack Overflow’s 2019 developer survey. What’s the secret behind its popularity? Here’s what Udemy instructor, Jose Portilla, has to say about Python via his Complete Python Bootcamp course.

  • Beginner-friendly: Python uses considerably less code than other languages while producing similar outcomes. According to Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Engineering at Tufts University, Python “reads like English, which makes it more conducive for a broad level of user audiences to learn. Many of the ‘nerdy’ low-level details we used to worry about in other languages, such as declaring types of variables or arguments, are handled by Python, so it makes programming very flexible and easier to use than other languages.”
  • Simplicity: Rather than using curly brackets, like ({ and }), Python uses whitespace to denote blocks of code. This simple and easy-to-follow syntax provides a straightforward learning experience for beginners and helps more experienced developers focus their time on solving more complex actions like AI algorithms rather than code debugging. 
  • Libraries: There’s a wealth of open source libraries built on Python. Libraries are collections of packages and modules that can be reused throughout the development cycle, allowing developers to work more efficiently and avoid writing and rewriting common commands. If you are developing for specific actions such as webscraping, for instance, there’s likely already a related Python library that can perform those actions without you having to write new code.  
  • Batteries are included: Python’s source distribution has a philosophy of “batteries included” meaning there are already many standard libraries included in Python. For instance, a math library built into Python provides access to mathematical functions without requiring developers to build each function.
  • Crucial for data science and AI professions: Python has become the go-to language for uses in both artificial intelligence and data analysis. For AI tasks, machine learning libraries make it easier for companies to deploy AI functionalities in business. For data analysis tasks, a Python script can automate many repetitive tasks related to the gathering of data.

8 uses of Python in business

Python’s popularity is driven by a wide range of companies using it across their products. Developer jobs requiring Python skills have continued to grow over the last several years, according to data from Dice, a tech recruiting firm. In fact, Glassdoor named Data Scientist the best job in America for 2019, a role where Python knowledge is now ubiquitous. Python isn’t just beloved by one type of product or industry. Its flexibility and simplicity have inspired use cases across many common services including:

  • Python for web development: Instagram has one billion users around the globe and uses Python to efficiently scale its infrastructure across such a large user base. 
  • Python for machine learning: To power rides across the world, Uber’s various engineering teams use Python as a primary language and also leverage Python-based machine learning and data science frameworks to build algorithms that better connect drivers to passengers. 
  • Python for data science: Spotify has redefined music streaming with its Discover playlists and smart Radio channels thanks to data insights built on Python
  • Python for game development: Video games like The Sims 4 use Python to allow players to create in-game modifications such as changes to the background or helping your characters find true happiness.
  • Python for entertainment: Industrial Light and Magic, the movie special effects studio founded by George Lucas, uses Python in its proprietary lighting software.  
  • Python for natural language processing: Google Home assistant actions like “OK Google, turn the lights on” are powered through natural language processing technology running on Python. 
  • Python for blockchain: Thanks to libraries like Pyethereum, Python can be used to build blockchain-based secure, smart contracts on Ethereum
  • Python for finance: Investment banks like Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase train analysts in Python for use in risk assessments and algorithmic trading models.

With Python’s continued dominance across business functions like data science and artificial intelligence, it’s not surprising nearly 9 million students are learning Python on Udemy. Some student favorite courses include: 

Want to upskill your entire team or organization on Python? Request a Udemy for Business demo and see how we can meet your team’s data science and machine learning goals with Python courses.

About Udemy for Business:

Udemy for Business is a learning platform that helps companies stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing workplace by offering fresh, relevant on-demand learning content, curated from the Udemy marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next—whether that’s the next project to do, skill to learn, or role to master. We’d love to partner with you on your employee development needs. Get in touch with us at business@udemy.com

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