Python is eating the world: How one developer’s side project became the hottest programming language on the planet
Python is eating the world: How one developer’s side project became the hottest programming language on the planet

Frustrated by programming language shortcomings, Guido van Rossum created Python. With the language now used by millions, Nick Heath talks to van Rossum about Python’s past and explores what’s next.

In late 1994, a select group of programmers from across the US met to discuss their new secret weapon.

Barry Warsaw was one of the 20 or so developers present at that first-ever workshop for the newly-created Python programming language and recalls the palpable excitement among those early users.

“I can remember one person in particular who said, ‘You cannot tell anybody that I’m here because our use of Python is a competitive advantage.’ It was their secret weapon, right?”

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Even at that early meeting, at the then US National Standards Bureau in Maryland, Warsaw says it was evident that Python offered something new in how easy it was to write code and simply get things done.

“When I first was introduced to Python, I knew there was something special. It was some combination of readability, and there was a joy to writing Python code,” he remembers. 

Today enthusiasm for Python has spread far beyond that initial circle of developers, and some are predicting it will soon become the most popular programming language in the world, as it continues to add new users faster than any other language. Millions of people use Python each day, with the exponential growth in users showing little sign of tailing off.   

The rest of this exclusive TechRepublic feature is currently only available to TechRepublic and ZDNet members. To keep reading, download the entire story as a free ebook (registration required).

(Photo credit for hero image: Dan Stroud under the Creative Commons licence)

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