Python developers want static typing

Python developers want static typing

Most-wanted features by Python developers are static typing and strict type hinting, closely followed by performance improvements

Credit: Dreamstime

Python developers cite simplicity and ease of use as principal reasons for using the language, but they still want capabilities such as static typing and performance improvements, based on new survey results.

Python’s simple syntax, syntactic sugar, and ease of learning were the most-favoured features, capturing 37 per cent of respondents, who were asked which three features they liked the most. Developers were polled in October 2020 as part of the annual Python Developers Survey.

Being a high-level language with code that is easy to write and easy to read came second, with 30 per cent of respondents citing these as their favourite three features.

Which three features would Python developers most like to see added to the language? Static typing and strict type hinting proved to be the most-desired features, with 21 per cent of respondents, closely followed by performance improvements, with 20 per cent. Better concurrency and parallelism came in third, with 15 per cent saying they were their most-desired capabilities.

Published February 23, the survey conducted by the Python Software Foundation and JetBrains tallied more than 28,000 responses from Python developers and enthusiasts from nearly 200 countries and regions. The 2020 survey marked the fourth year of the annual survey.

Other findings of the Python Developers Survey 2020 include 85 per cent of respondents using Python as their main programming language with popular uses including data analysis, web development, and machine learning.

JavaScript was the most popular language used in conjunction with Python, with about 42 per cent of respondents using both together - 75 per cent of web developers said they were using both Python and JavaScript.

Just eight per cent of Python developers performing data-related tasks do not use any additional languages while only three per cent of web developers use only Python. Only 32 per cent of Python developers involved in data analysis and machine learning consider themselves to be data scientists.

Delving deeper, use of Python 3 has grown from 75 per cent in 2017 to 94 per cent in 2020 with favoured web frameworks including Flask, Django, and FastAPI.

The top data science frameworks and libraries used by respondents were NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib. In addition, the top operating systems used were Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

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