What are the biggest trends in Python you have seen over the past year?
Last year was full of news about major security breaches. A couple of them where related to open-source packages. There is a hot debate happening around sustainability of the open-source software in general. I think that might wake many companies to realise that using open-source packages might not be a ‘free lunch’, but a very tricky business.
Considering all of that, I am glad that Python is supported by many big companies that are heavily invested in its development. One noticeable example I could name is Microsoft. They hired a couple of core Python developers and created a separate team to work on the language itself.
What should Python developers do to stay ahead of customer expectations?
More customers come to us with expectations that Python engineers can take on a broader role in the software delivery. For example, helping with the frontend or CI/CD or DevOps tasks. Deep knowledge is usually not required but helps a lot by moving development further. In our Python skill matrix, we pay specific attention to those adjacent areas. It also helps the engineers, because by being involved in such activities it gives them a bigger picture of the whole product.
What are your predictions for where Python is heading in 2022?
I think, in the wake of the last news the big focus will be on the overall sustainability of the Python ecosystem, especially with the director of the Python Software Foundation leaving and the board still looking for a replacement. Also, the team at Microsoft outlined that increased performance will be one of the major goals for Python moving forward. I am excited to see where the development of Python language will go.
There has been a couple of very interesting proposals about performance, especially from Sam Gross and his Python fork with GIL removed. It is yet to be seen if anything will be merged, but maybe his proposal could serve as PoC of future migration. Considering that performance was always a weak spot for Python, which even forced some companies to rewrite parts of their solution in other languages, I hope that in the future this will allow us to implement even more performance “hungry” services in Python.