The Python developers clinging to Python 2

The Python developers clinging to Python 2

Python Software Foundation survey finds that a significant number of Python developers are still using Python 2 for data analysis, computer graphics, and devops.

Credit: Mark Gillow

Python 3 was by far the choice over Python 2 in a late-2022 survey of more than 23,000 Python developers, but the percentage of respondents using Python 2 actually ticked up compared to the previous year.

Results of the sixth annual Python Developers Survey, conducted by the Python Software Foundation and software tools maker JetBrains, were released September 27. The Python Developers Survey 2022 report indicates that 93% of respondents had adopted Python 3, while only 7% were still using Python 2.

In the 2021 survey, though, 95% used Python 3 while 5% used Python 2. In 2020, Python 3 held a 94% to 6% edge. Dating back to 2017, 75% used Python 3 and 25% used Python 2.

Python 3 debuted in December 2008, and the latest update, Python 3.12, arrived this week. The 2022 report said 29% of respondents still use Python 2 for data analysis, 24% use Python 2 for computer graphics, and 23% used Python 2 for devops. The survey also found that 45% of respondents are still using Python 3.10, which arrived two years ago, while just 2% still use Python 3.5 or lower. (Python 3.11 was released October 24, 2022, right when the survey was being conducted.)

Python developers from more than 200 countries and regions participated in the survey, which was conducted from October 14 to November 14, 2022. Other results from the survey:

  • Python was cited as the main language by 85% of respondents.
  • Web development, data analysis, and machine learning were key uses of the language.
  • Python web framework usage is a three-horse race between Flask, Django, and FastAPI.
  • 66% of Python developers use cloud platforms, up from 61% the previous year. Amazon Web Services was the leading cloud platform for Python developers.
  • Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code and JetBrains’ PyCharm were the most popular editors.
  • 34% of respondents to the survey have developed and packaged Python libraries.

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