Python for Startup Company: is Python the Best Programming Language?

Marcin Małaszuk
27 February 2020 · 6 min read

The biggest difference between startups and traditional businesses is growth. Startups are ravenous for exponential growth. Especially software development companies. To understand how daunting this level of growth can be, consider that Paul Graham, an investor at Y Combinator, hopes to see 5-7% growth per week from startups in his incubator. Startup founders and investors know how important time and money are for the success and growth of a young company.

One of the most important decisions to make for a startup is which programming language to use. It is not an easy decision to make. There are a plethora of options to choose from each with its drawbacks and advantages. Using the right programming language can help you avoid problems with scaling your development team and the implementation of new features. One of the best and most popular programming languages you can choose is Python. Python language is an interpreted, high-level, and general-purpose programming language. Now let’s take a look at what makes the Python so great.

Advantages to Python

Quick and easy to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Choosing the right programming language for a minimum viable product (MVP) is crucial. Generally, the codebase of the MVP will serve as the foundation for full-featured application. Switching your programming language down the line comes with added expenses and will likely delay your milestones and deadlines. You want to get it right the first time. Speed is also a factor when producing an MVP. Startups want to beat their competitors to market, get feedback on their product and unlock more funding as soon as possible. Luckily Python provides rapid application development among its many features.

At a startup, in particular a software development company, you’ll want to get your MVP out fast. Once your MVP has been released you can get feedback and try to receive funding for further development. Python is one of the best programming languages to get your MVP off the ground. It drives powerful and fast development by allowing developers to create quick iterations after receiving feedback.

Python has pre-built modules, packages and third-party libraries that speed up development. For example, it would take months to create an MVP in Java but only mere weeks using Python. Python is extremely efficient on time because it is built on the principle of rapid development. The same set of functionalities can be achieved with Python using less effort and fewer lines of code.

Developers love Python

Python is slowly taking over. In Stack Overflow’s 2019 survey of developers, Python was ranked the second most “loved” programming language overall. It is the fastest-growing major programming language and every year it edges up the rankings. Python was also the second most used programming language in the survey of almost 90,000 respondents. The survey also revealed that for the third year in a row, Python is the most “wanted” language; this means that developers who do not use it yet indicate that they want to learn it.

Developers find that Python is reliable, efficient and quicker than other programming languages. It is also versatile and can be used for desktop applications, mobile applications, hardware programming, and web development.

Strong scaling capability

Scaling can be an unpredictable process. Sometimes seemingly out of nowhere user numbers surge and scalability will suddenly jump to the top of your list of priorities. Although Python does have some performance limitations that keep it from earning first place in that regard, many world-class examples show there are no limits for Python when it comes to horizontal scalability. Companies like YouTube, Google, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and many others that use Python in their software are the best proof for it. With Python, you can add major features and functionalities as the traffic to your site grows.

Instagram, a product with over a billion users, uses Python, several million lines of it. Development moves fast with hundreds of commits happening every day with deployments to production every few minutes. Min Ni, a software engineer at Instagram, said that “we are confident that we will keep scaling our service infrastructure using Python.” As Instagram thunders on to 2 billion users they will continue to scale using Python.

P eter Norvig at Google said that “Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we’re looking for more people with skills in this language.” A company that reaches the size of Google knows just how important scalability is and they trust Python.

Companies like YouTube, Google, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and other large software development companies use Python and scaled their applications as they grew to prominent sizes they have today. With Python, you can add major features and functionalities as traffic to your site grows.

Top-ranking security

Security is a top priority for any startup. Choosing a secure programming language makes your company less vulnerable to attacks. WhiteSource, an open-source security and license compliance management platform, compiled information from databases it has access to (such as the National Vulnerability Database, security advisories, GitHub issue trackers, and popular open-source project issue trackers) in order to understand which programming languages were most secure.

Python scored well in their test. On average Python had the lowest amount of high-security vulnerabilities over the past five years at 18%. Security vulnerabilities in the language have been a consistently small percentage, with some occurring in 2017.

Phenomenal support

It is inevitable that when doing hard things you run into tough problems. It’s no different for developers. Sometimes when coding you just get stuck and need help. Hopefully, for you, Python is the programming language your developers are using. This is because Python features excellent support. The developer community is incredibly active which means that developers working in Python can often get answers in a timely fashion. Every minute is critical at a startup and being able to solve coding issues quickly stops you from getting bogged down.

Python was first released over two decades ago in 1991. In the time since then, a community of dedicated Python software enthusiasts has developed. It is easier now than it has ever been to learn this language. There is a deluge of material available from documentation to guides and video tutorials for Python. Developers of all skill levels can access support to further their knowledge of the language and solve practical problems. The Python developer community is astonishingly active and this is one of the programming language’s biggest benefits. Developers are often able to receive feedback from the community on issues or questions related to Python in a timely fashion which helps keep projects moving along.

Support for Python even happens offline. All around the world users of this programming language meet periodically in “Python User Groups” to learn about and share information on developing with Python. 860,333 members make up Python User Groups. There are 1,637 Python user groups around the globe in 191 cities and 37 countries. In addition to peer support, there is a great deal of documentation and information on using Python online due to its long history.

Third-party modules

The Python Package Index (PyPI) gives you access to a vast repository of third-party modules that make it possible to prototype your applications quickly. If you need a feature, there’s a large chance it has been already made by somebody else and you can plug it into your software as a library. Also, there are many connectors and API clients available to get Python to interact with most other programming languages and platforms.

Conclusion

When your business is growing quickly you need to make sure it is being built on solid ground. For a sturdy and steadfast foundation choose Python. It is the best way to get your MVP out quickly. It is a programming language loved by developers who use it and desired by those who do not (yet). Python is trusted by some of the world’s largest and most successful brands. Yet anyone can boost their skillset and learn more about Python at free and open Python User Groups and conferences held around the world. It is the programming language with the least number of high-security vulnerabilities. Finally, the vast third-party module repository is a large benefit to all who choose it as their main programming language.

Still wondering if you can save time and money by choosing Python? We'd be happy to help you!

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POC, Prototype and MVP - What Is Best For Your Company?

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