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O'Reilly Data Reveals Python's Dominance Among Software Developers, Data Scientists, and AI Engineers

February 18, 2020

Usage analysis of the company’s online learning platform identifies important technology trends and shifts in infrastructure, AI/ML, cloud, and security

BOSTON—February 18, 2020O’Reilly, the premier source for insight-driven learning on technology and business, today revealed the findings of its annual usage analysis, which examines the most used topics and the top search terms of the company’s online learning platform. The usage and search data contain information on the tools, techniques, and technologies that members are actively using, which provides technology leaders with a contextual view of the trends, topics, and issues that should be watched and explored.

The study found that Python is the single most popular programming language, accounting for 10% of all of O’Reilly’s online learning platform usage. While Python-related interactions have increased over the last several years, this year’s growth in Python usage was buoyed by its increasing popularity among data scientists and machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) engineers. While usage specific to Python as a programming language grew by just 4% in 2019, by contrast, usage that had to do with Python and ML grew by 9%.

Additional findings from the analysis include:

  • While interest in Python is trending up, interest in other languages are trending down. Java-related usage dropped by 13% between 2018 and 2019. JavaScript-related usage also declined, dropping by 7% between 2018 and 2019. Microservices architecture might be hastening the move to other languages (such as Go, Rust, and Python) for web properties.
  • In terms of usage growth, ML (43%) and AI (48%) placed in the top 10 of all topics. While Python’s usefulness for and applicability to ML played some hand in usage uptick, AI/ML-related topics such as natural language processing (22%) and neural networks (17%) also recorded strong growth in usage.
  • Interest in cloud-related concepts and terms continues to grow, with cloud-related usage increasing by 17% between 2018 and 2019. Strong usage in cloud platforms (up 16%) accounted for most cloud-specific growth. Cloud-specific interest in microservices and Kubernetes also grew significantly, growing by 22% year-over-year and 38% year-over-year, respectively. These trends indicate that microservices has emerged as an important component of cloud native design and development.
  • Security topics experienced a significant 26% growth in year-over-year usage. Some of this growth was driven by usage in two security certifications, CompTIA Security+ (50%) and CompTIA CySA+ (59%). Since Security+ is an entry-level security certification, its growth could be attributed to increased usage by sysadmins, DBAs, software developers, and other non-specialists.

“Keeping up with technology trends requires effort and attention but can create both professional and business value,” said Roger Magoulas, Vice President of O’Reilly Radar. “Identifying shifts in technology usage—and responding appropriately to what’s gaining traction—helps developers and tech leaders assess what tools and techniques they should invest in to keep their companies competitive and help further their own careers. The shifts we note in programming languages, software infrastructure, and architecture provide guidance on the value of exploring tools and training related to Python, AI/ML and the cloud.”

For the full platform analysis and data, please visit: https://www.oreilly.com/radar/oreilly-2020-platform-analysis.

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