Being a Python Developer: What They Can Do, Earn, and More

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

As a Python developer, you can do everything from web or game development to quantitative analysis, to creating new programming languages.

[Featured image] A Python developer in a maroon shirt stands in front of computer servers and smiles at the camera.

Python is a programming language used for a variety of programming tasks, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics, data visualization, and more. The increasing complexity of web applications and websites and the growing reliance on machine learning and AI contribute to the steady demand for Python developers. 

Read on to learn what a Python developer does, the pros and cons of the programming language, and whether this career path is for you. 

What is a Python developer? 

Python developers design, code, and deploy development projects in the Python language. They also work on debugging those same projects to ensure they function as intended.

As a Python developer, you'll work closely with other teams, including data collection and analytics, to help answer questions and provide insight. Some of the projects you could work on span everything from application development to machine learning and AI.

Becoming proficient in Python and its uses opens the door to job possibilities in various industries. Ultimately, your role and responsibilities will likely vary depending on the industry and organization you work within.

Advantages of Python 

Python is the most versatile language for coding and the second-best programming language for everything, according to Computer Weekly [1]. As a Python developer, you can use your skills to tackle multiple challenges. Additional advantages of Python include the following: 


1. Python is one of the easiest languages to learn.

Python is among the easiest programming languages to learn because it prioritizes readability and relies on a syntax similar to English language commands. You also need fewer lines of code to perform tasks than other languages like Java and C or C++.

Python is very popular

As of February 2024, the PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language Index) shows that Python is the most-searched programming language among people searching for tutorials on Google [2]. 

Additionally, Stack Overflow's 2023 Developer Survey revealed that Python is the third most popular programming language, with respondents saying that they use Python 49.28 per cent of the time in their development work [3]. Survey results also showed that Python is the second most-wanted programming language, with 39.84 per cent of developers saying they desire to use Python as a language [3].


2. It's an open-source language.

Python is a free open-source programming language that allows you to make changes and distribute your version.

This is helpful if you need to modify a specific portion of the language and use it for development. Additionally, the Python development community is very supportive, with many developers, scientists, and designers connecting and assisting when needed.

3. Python has extensive support libraries.

The Standard Library offers solutions to many of the challenges you may face as a Python developer.

For example, if you need to perform numerical calculations, you can use NumPy—a collection of resources. Or, if you’re working on data analytics, there’s the Pandas library. However, if you can't find what you need there, extensive other Python libraries can help you. 

4. Python is portable and interactive.

Some programming languages, such as C and C++, require you to change your code if you’re running it on a different platform, but this isn’t the case with Python.

You don't have to change anything about your code to run this interactive language on multiple systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Being interactive is particularly helpful when debugging, as you can see line-by-line results and quickly pinpoint errors. 

5. Python can boost your productivity.

Python is an object-oriented programming language. This feature has made it a favourite among many users because it allows them to create applications using pre-existing objects, allowing for improved productivity and faster prototyping.

Python's design gives you improved process control, stellar integration capabilities, and a unit-testing framework that makes it a highly efficient language. 

Disadvantages of Python

There are many benefits to using Python, but even the most in-demand programming language can have its drawbacks.

Despite its high efficiency, for example, one of Python's biggest disadvantages is that it can have considerably slower runtimes than compiled programming languages like C and C++, which can become an issue for a large project with many lines of code. 

Python is an interpreted programming language that is dynamically typed, meaning it is checked during execution. The interpreter slows things down a bit as it executes the code being written line-by-line. However, many coders find that the speed at which they can write code balances out the slowdown during execution.

Three additional disadvantages include the following:

  • High memory use: Python uses a lot of memory because of the flexibility of the data types and automatic garbage collection that occurs when objects go out of scope. 

  • Unorthodox choice for developing mobile apps: Because of memory inefficiency and slower processing power, Python is rarely the first choice language for mobile computing and mobile app development. You can still do it, but you’ll have an easier time using a framework like Kivy.

  • Database limitations: While demand for Python is high for large-scale web development, it is less popular in enterprise development because database access is limited and underdeveloped compared to other technologies like ODBC. 

Python use cases

Python's versatility, ease of use, and availability make it an attractive programming language for today's most-used programs across the internet. Here are some examples of Python being used. 


Developers use Python for everything from system building to system administration, and Google has always considered it among its most vital languages. Python's creator, Guido Van Rossum, joined the Google team in 2005 and worked there until 2012. The company's adage, "Python where we can, C++ where we must," describes just how much it relies on this versatile programming language. Core search algorithms, APIs, and Google App Engine are just a few ways Google uses Python. 


There are more than 2.5 billion active YouTube users every month. Users watch 1 billion hours of video daily, on average, and the platform generated more than $7.96 billion in revenue in 2022, according to OmniCore [4]. Coders and developers use Python for various reasons, including video viewing, controlling website templates, accessing canonical data, and more. Python's speed enables developers to create features quickly. Every time you watch a video on YouTube, you’re witnessing Python code in action.


According to the Lead, while Python isn’t Facebook’s primary language, it makes up approximately 21 per cent of the infrastructure’s codebase of its platform [5]. Given the size and scope of Facebook, that translates to thousands of libraries and millions of lines of code. Python handles the lifecycle of Facebook's hardware, including everything from scheduling and automating maintenance to server imaging and network switch setup.


Although Netflix lets its developers pick the languages they code in, many engineers use Python to code and handle important applications. Python's clean, simple syntax and large developer community enable Netflix developers to innovate quickly. They've used Python for most projects, including Chronos, Chaos Gorilla, and its Regional failover system, which decreases outage response time from 45 minutes to seven minutes without increasing cost.

Python developer salary

According to, the national average for Python developers working in Canada is $147,500 annually or $75.64 per hour [6]. Where you live and who you work for impact how much you can expect to earn. Here is a breakdown of annual salaries depending on location for Python developers [6]: 

  • Ontario: $149,984  

  • British Columbia: $120,000

  • Quebec: $149,864

Start learning Python

If you're new to Python, you might consider building a foundation with Python for Everybody from the University of Michigan. Interested in a career working with Python? Build job-ready skills and earn a credential for your resume with the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate

Article sources

1 “Python @ 30: Praising the Versatility of Python," Accessed April 25, 2024.

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