Python Authors: Matt Davis, AppDynamics Blog, Pat Romanski, Donald Meyer, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, Python, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Python: Beyond Just Web Apps | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

Python is one of the most successful computer languages of all time

Python: Beyond Just Web Apps
By Omed Habib

Python has long been a go-to language for developers creating cutting-edge web applications. However, Python’s advantages of power, versatility, flexibility and ease of programming have made it a favorite language in a multitude of applications, industries, and niches.

Examples of Python being used outside the world of Web apps include:

  • The development of an ERP/CRM named ERP5, developed by Nexedi for use in government agencies, the apparel industry, and other warehouse-based businesses.

  • A self-contained marine navigation light from Carmanah Technologies. This is a good example of how Python is helping to power the move away from dedicated computers to the new era of the Internet of Things.

  • Substantial portions of the semiconductor facility at the Phillips manufacturing plant in Fishkill, New York are run on Python.

  • Python is an integral part of the IT Services Department at the well-regarded University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Python powers a significant portion of the software systems used throughout the university.

  • ForecastWatch.com rates the accuracy of weather reports from a variety of services such as The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. Python is used in 100 percent of the service’s components, from the front-end to the back-end.

  • AstraZeneca, one of the biggest pharmaceutical firms in the world, develops medicines to control pain, fight disease, and battle cancer. To develop a new drug can cost upwards of $800 million. Python helps disparate research groups around the world collaborate on drug identification and computer predictions.

What makes Python so versatile?
Python is one of the most successful computer languages of all time. It has survived and thrived over many years due to several factors: clear syntax, the immediate feedback of a scripting language, widespread use worldwide, excellent documentation and a vast and supportive community.

  • One of Python’s strongest features is that it is based on pragmatism. It is less concerned with adhering to a language standard than it is with providing programmers the tools to get things done quickly and efficiently. To do that, it relies on a clear, simple syntax.

  • The Python syntax is designed for easy readability. The similarity between Python and simple English, and unique traits like the absence of parentheses, make it easy to get started and program in Python. Both those learning to code for the first time and experienced developers alike appreciate this natural approach. By accommodating both camps with a high degree of functionality and flexibility, Python has grown rapidly over the years and has surpassed several popular languages in the process.

  • Python can also bind natively to C. By providing native binding to C and C-compatible languages, programmers could port their code to Python relatively fast and easily. This brought many new converts to the language early on, with a concomitant growth in user base and libraries over the years.

  • There are tens of thousands of users all over the globe. You can get help from a number of IRC channels, mailing lists, special interest groups, conferences and wikis hosting Python’s extensive user base. The original Python conference is called PyCon, first formed in 2003. The conference gives you a chance to review a number of panels and presentations and participate in impromptu conversations inside and outside the sessions. You can meet programmers from different countries, experience tutorials from various experts and get involved in development sprints.

Python vs. Other Languages
One of Python’s advantages over other languages is that it is purposefully built to be a general-purpose language, and it is adaptable to many different uses. Since it is easy to read and learn and is very flexible, it can be ramped up quickly and produce workable projects rapidly.

Great frameworks like flask and Django make it easy to program in Python. Projects like web2py even include everything you need to create web applications:

  • Built-in editor

  • Rocket web server

  • SQLite database

  • Python interpreter

  • Google App Engine deployment tool

Java is also a general-purpose language. Its performance is faster than Python, but it takes much more code to achieve similar ends. Java is harder to learn but is very powerful for creating programs that run on multiple platforms.

A significant difference between Java and Python is that Java prefers that you define a variable’s type when first declared. After that, it will not let you change it — this is called static typing. On the other hand, Python takes an approach called dynamic typing. You can change a variable’s type, for example from string to integer or vice versa.

Another difference is that Java programs are platform independent — any mobile unit or standard computer that can run a Java Virtual Machine can launch a Java app. In contrast, Python programs must be compiled to convert your code into code that different operating systems can comprehend.

Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails handles background tasks seamlessly, is useful for
building quick web app prototypes, has a good community and is relatively easy to use at first, but it can get overly complicated as a project expands. Ruby was designed initially to make developing programs fun. This philosophy is the reason there are several ways to complete a task. In comparison, Python believes in a similar philosophy of adhering to a single method to achieve a goal.

JavaScript, which has no connection to Java, is currently one of the
most popular scripting languages. It typically runs in applications in the browser to build content such as real-time clocks and message pop-ups. Due to the enormous amount of different browsers in use around the world, JavaScript is one of the most deployed languages.

However, it has grown beyond this initial application and is now very popular in both desktop apps and server-side applications. Node.js is a fast-growing implementation of JavaScript in these environments. Python is object-oriented and has close compatibility with the C and C++ languages that it descended from.

JavaScript features only one numeric type, a double-precision 64-bit IEEE floating-point number. Python offers a number of numeric types. It also provides a fixed point Decimal type, useful for numbers featuring decibel points without the hazards of floating points. Some programmers believe that JavaScript is an excellent approach when scripts are small, but begins to take on inordinate complexity when projects grow much larger.

Python Competitive Threats
New computer languages seem to emerge and grow faster than rabbits in the springtime. Just in the last few years, languages like Node.js have soared because they address many of the evolving challenges of modern computing like the unprecedented rise of mobile usage.

However, will new languages or old standbys make inroads into Python’s core competencies? It seems unlikely. In fact, many universities and high schools are teaching Python as a first language. From June 2015 to June 2016, Python rose two places to become the fourth most popular computer language as reported by the Tiobe Programming Community Index, a monthly survey of computer language popularity.

The director of the Tiobe index told Infoworld that languages such as PHP and JavaScript are primarily used for Web scripting, while Python can fill a wide variety of general scripting applications. Also, languages like Objective-C have dropped precipitously. After Apple had announced that Swift was going to replace Objective-C, the interest in that language was decimated.

No matter the rise and fall of major computing languages, it’s likely programmers will continue to utilize specific languages for specific tasks depending on their project goal. For example:

  • Go. This statically typed language from Google is similar to C but has the ease-of-use that you get with a dynamic scripting language.

  • CoffeeScript. Allows developers to write simpler code than traditional JavaScript, which is then converted to the JavaScript language preferred by Web browsers.

  • Dart. Another new language developed by Google, it is an attempt to keep the power of JavaScript while making it easier to use and simpler to operate.

  • Julia. Python has enjoyed great success in the world of scientific programming. One of its drawbacks is that it can be slow, a problem when you are processing massive data sets. Julia lets developers retain the clean syntax of Python while allowing it to be compiled in the background.

Poised for the Future
In short, Python has played a major role in the development of web applications since the proliferation of the Internet in the mid-1990s. Because of its ease-of-use, user-friendliness and simplicity, it has grown to become one of the most popular computer languages.

Moreover, it continues to grow in popularity to this day. In the last year alone, it has moved up two spots in the Tiobe Index. Looking further down the road, the prognosis for the continued growth of Python is good. As we move from traditional desktop computing into a mobile world where computers permeate every part of our existence, from our clothing to our automobiles, furniture, and appliances, Python is leagues ahead. It is already being utilized in a wide variety of industry verticals including aviation, business information, energy efficiency, financial services, human resources, pharmaceuticals, quality control, risk management and post-secondary education.

Also, because Python is being taught as a primary language at many high schools and colleges, you can expect to see Python maintain its position among the world’s great languages. It’s adaptability and versatility will allow it to change and grow to meet any computing challenge in the decades ahead.

The post Python: Beyond Just Web Apps appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...