State of Demand for Python Developers in 2020

Currently in the programming world, Python is one of the languages with a high rising demand profile. And this article will explain why that isn’t slowing down in the foreseeable future.

Python is a dynamic, high-level, general-purpose programming language that is useful for developing desktop, web and mobile applications that can also be used for complex scientific and numeric applications, data science and AI, etc. Python focuses a lot on code readability.

Here are some quick facts

  • Python rose to surpass PHP in 2017, C# in 2018 and some believe that it has done the same to Java in 2019, according to the Stack Overflow Developer survey of the last three years.
  • The TIOBE index specializes in calculating ratings for languages based on the number of search engine hits. Their latest report indicates that Python has risen in the ranks since August 2018 and surpassed C++.
  • Python is the most sought for programming language, via tutorials search on Google. The rise of Python adoption around the world has been well documented by several well-known programming-language indexes.
  • The annual income of a Python developer averages $80k and $123k, per year in the United States depending by state. Silicon valley, New york city, Seattle, and Boston will be toward the higher range but these areas also have considerably higher costs of living.
  • Depending on the level of proficiency and state, a freelance python developer can averagely earn $29- $60 per hour. Being that you can freelance from areas with low cost of living you can have a great quality of life at the lower end of this range so long as you build up a good set of clients and feedback.
  • At the time of writing there are 74,073 Python jobs listed on and 95,837 Jobs on compared to 48,917 jobs for c++

Even though the precise number of developers around the world is not known, several firms have done a good job trying to estimate the numbers, and some very trusted interesting statistics have been thrown up. Evans Data Corporation states from extensive research that there are 23 million software developers around the world in 2018 and the number is expected to go above 26 million by the ending of 2019, quite an astronomical growth in one year.

UK developer-focused analyst, SlashData, puts the number of developers who code using python at 8.2 million, now beyond java at 7.6 million, (bad news for Oracle, which paid $7.4bn for Sun Microsystems in 2009 and cited Java as the “most important software Oracle has ever acquired”). The adoption of python has been so rapid as it’s estimated that it gained more than 2 million developers in the year 2018 alone!

Many of these figures come from surveys carried out on over 20,000 developers in about 150 countries all over the world. Putting it crudely as someone mentioned, “Python is eating up the whole world”

It is envisaged that the demand for python developers will rise even higher in the coming years. Evidently, while Java, C#, and C++ are growing slower than the developer population, Python keeps on breaking boundaries. A lot of advantageous factors and reasons come together to be responsible for this, and here are some of them;

Python’s usefulness

 From web and game development to machine learning, from AI down to scientific computing and academic research, Data science and analysis, python is regarded as the real deal. Python is useful in all career areas of life finance, social media, to biotech, or what have you, Python carries the day. Developing large software applications in Python is also simpler with his large amount of available of libraries that can be reused.

An annual Developers survey by the Python Software Foundation, in connection with Jetbrains in 2018 reveals that 84% of python developers use python as their main programming language, while a messy 16% use it as their secondary language, a clear show of python’s important usefulness.

Syntax Simplicity

The syntax of a programming language refers to the actual letters that make up the code for a language. Python’s syntax is a very powerful one since it closely resembles common English for declaring loops, methods, if, then statements, and variable assignments. With fewer lines of code, python lets the developer build more functions and get advanced work done without dealing with lower level functions such as memory assignment and management, pointer casting, and header management. This makes Python coding syntax very easy to get along with. To be factual, one of the greatest admirable characteristics of the python programming language that makes it a top choice is its syntax simplicity.

Ease of learning

Over 80% of developers will mention python if asked about the easiest but greatly effective programming language that can be learnt. A newbie in programming can easily be taught and made to understand the basic concepts of python in not too long a time. The python syntax is full of simple common expressions. Python is best for beginners, No need of dealing with syntax complexities in python unlike Java and C++. Over a million people around the world say they will like to learn python for their next coding project. Now we are seeing where the astronomical growth has been coming from!

Another advantage of learning python is the fact that it eases the learning of other programming languages like JavaScript, Ruby, C# and, Perl.

Rise of Machine learning

This is another important clear factor in Python’s popularity growth. Report shows that a whopping 69 percent of machine-learning developers and data scientists now use Python, compared with 24 percent of them using R, this is particularly do to powerful community libraries such as Numpy, Pandas, Scikit, Pandas, and Matplotlib to simplify things that used to be specialized by R.

Favorite of companies

All over the world, Python is highly preferred by companies in different fields. This may come as a shock but FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and, Google) all make use of python programming language wherever they can. Most software development companies, especially FAANG, are adopting more python developers because of advantages including:

  • Its productivity and speed for development

Python is the most suitable programming language for the building of complex multi-protocol network applications. It has support libraries, enhanced process control capabilities, supports object-oriented design, and also possesses strong integration along with text processing capabilities and its own unit testing framework. All these factors contribute to it’s effective speed and productivity. It’s also great for automation.

  • Large standard libraries

The python library is a broad and large one which provides a rich set of module and functions for rapid application development. The libraries are in areas like string operations, internet, Web Service Tools, operating system interface and protocols. This makes the programmer’s job easy while developing an application. It also helps give maximum customer satisfaction.

  • Integration features

Another reason why Python is preferred is its good integration features. Python can easily be integrated with languages like C, C++, JAVA etc. the integration of enterprise applications can be easily done when coding in Python. Also, web service can be developed by invoking COM or CONRA components.

  • Open-source

Being ‘open-source’ is another reason for Python’s preference. It is freely usable and distributable. Open-source technologies are rapidly taking over the traditional, closed-source commercial technologies recently. Research shows that 98% of developers use open source tools at work. Open source gives good leverage in the areas of support, cost, and quality. It is cost-effective, with good quality and low risk. 78% of companies around the world prefer open-source tools.

  • Easy database access

Python use enables easy access of the database. Interfaces of different databases like MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc can be customized using Python. Python has an object database like Durus and ZODB which is used for standard database API.

  • Simplicity to maintain

Because python is used more often for low to medium demand web applications, simple automation applications, and data analysis scripts compared to huge archaic code bases this makes it easier on a developer to maintain. You can bet if you are a developer joining a team who’s codebase is primarily python there will be less stress to manage from late night pages when a C++ backed web service with millions of users and lots of middle-ware is behaving badly. However, the former type of job tends to also have a higher salary so that may determine what kind of work life balance you would like to strive for.

Python is always in high demand by companies due to its being extensible, object-oriented, free, readable, embeddable and portable.

Great choice for freelancing

Freelancing refers to jobs where someone works for themselves rather than for a company. Though freelancers take on contract for organizations, companies, they are self-employed.

Freelancing programmers would prefer Python as the selected programming language option. This is due to the cleanliness of the code and its simplicity and ease of understanding. This will help avoid wasting time trying to figure out what the previous developer was thinking or doing when they wrote a particular class or function. A high percentage of freelancing clients will also choose python above other programming languages. Also, the rising demand for Python developers has resulted in good pay rises. A freelancing Python developer gets paid more than those working in-house, as the freelancer has no access to other benefits that companies offer the in-house worker. A Python freelancer may charge $60/hour. This can however may go higher depending on project size, complexity, length, scale of the solution, and difficulty.

Python’s advantage when compared with other programming languages

Python is often compared to other programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Perl, Tcl, and sometimes C++. However, there are some features that make the usage of Python preferred to others.

As before explained, Python’s uniqueness is born out of its isolation in its simplicity of syntax. As a result of this, Python codes take lesser times to develop, when compared with programming languages like Java and C++. Python code is also generally 4 times shorter than equivalent Java code. This difference might have been influenced by Python’s built-in high-level data types and its dynamic typing. Also, what a C++ programmer cannot complete in a year can be finished by a python programmer in 6 months. However the completed C++ application will run faster with better latency in functions. 

When compared to other programming languages like C++, PHP or Java, python is the developer’s favorite, due to its, emphasis on readability. Even without detailed comments, the python code is easily human readable. It doesn’t require much racking of the brain to figure out control logic with less lines of code and clean syntax. Statistics from different sources show clearly that Python is the fastest growing programming language around the world.

Python’s developers are seeing a trend of higher salaries

A 2015 study by Computer Science Zone using data from WANTED Analytics shows that, after taking vacancies and projections into consideration, the most popular and highest paying languages are SQL, Java, JavaScript, C#, and Python. Then, python is on number five of the programming language earning rankings table, and the average annual earning of the python developer is between $80,000 to $122,000, globally. Now, in the United States, study shows the average salary of the python developer to be at $123,656


With all the above pluses, its smart for one to join the Python train. The demand is sure to continue its jaw-dropping growth, and the rising profile of Python all around the world shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Overtaking Java and C# in just a year is an indication of what is coming. Many are already predicting Python becoming the most popular programming language in no distance years, displacing JavaScript and SQL. Now is a good time to board the right ship. What are you waiting for? Get on it!

Edited by: Stefan Bradstreet

About Stefan Bradstreet

Stefan is a Senior Software Developer at Amazon with 8+ years of experience in tech. He is passionate about helping people become better coders and climbing the ranks in their careers, as well as his own, through continued learning of leadership techniques and software best practices.

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