Should we teach Python at universities?

  • Dmitry A. Pavlov Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University, 5, building 3, st. Professora Popova, 197022, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Abstract

Various measures of popularity of programming languages in different scopes are discussed in the paper, with Python being the main point of interest. Well-known drawbacks of Python as a language and as an ecosystem (not inherent to other popular languages) are listed. The usefullness of Python in carreer is considered overrated, while in education Python often does more harm than good.

Author Biography

Dmitry A. Pavlov, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University, 5, building 3, st. Professora Popova, 197022, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Candidate of Sciences (Phys.-Math.), Associate Professor of the Algorithmic
Mathematics Department, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University,  dapavlov@etu.ru

References

TIOBE Software BV, “TIOBE Index for January 2024,” 2024. [Online]. Available: https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index

Stack Exchange Inc., “2023 Developer Survey,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://survey.stackoverflow.co/2023/#most-popular-technologies-language

The Debsources developers, “Statistics: bookworm,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://sources.debian.org/stats/bookworm/

“Why am I not getting better performance with numpy.searchsorted over bisect.bisect_left on a list of datetime?,” 2019. [Forum]. Available: https://stackoverflow.com/q/54465277

“Find nearest value in numpy array,” 2022. [Forum]. Available: https://stackoverflow.com/a/41856629

PyTorch Foundation, “Packing app with Pyinstaller rises OSError: TorchScript requires source access in order to carry out compilation, make sure original .py files are available,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/pytorch/pytorch/issues/54828

L. Radke, “Numba jit and Scipy,” 2020. [Forum]. Available: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/63236229/numba-jit-and-scipy

Max Belanger and Damien DeVille, “How we rolled out one of the largest Python 3 migrations ever,” in https://dropbox.tech, 2018. [Online]. Available: urlhttps://dropbox.tech/application/how-we-rolled-outone-of-the-largest-python-3-migrations-ever

SQLite Consortium “How SQLite Is Tested,” 2024. [Online]. Available: https://www.sqlite.org/testing.html

Python Software Foundation, “What’s New In Python 3.12,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://https://docs.python.org/3/whatsnew/3.12.html

Oracle Corp., “Oracle JDK Migration Guide. 4 Removed APIs,” 2024. [Online]. Available: https://docs.oracle.com/en/java/javase/21/migrate/removed-apis.html

G. Quenot, “Sedtris,” 2023. [Online]. Available: ˊ https://github.com/sputnick-dev/sedtris

M. Kalske, “Posh3d_cube_ball,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/mi4c/Posh3d_cube_ball

Digital Bazaar Inc., “Forge,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/digitalbazaar/forge

Chochain, “TensorForth - lives in GPU, does linear algebra and machine learning,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/chochain/tensorForth

Q-Success, “Usage statistics of server-side programming languages for websites,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/programming_language

Q-Success, “Usage statistics of PHP Version 8 for websites,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/pl-php/8

A. Karpathy, “ScriptBots,” 2012. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/karpathy/scriptsbots

A. Karpathy, “llama2.c,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/karpathy/llama2.c/

G. Brockman, “My path to OpenAI,” 2016. [Online]. Available: https://blog.gregbrockman.com/my-path-to-openai

A. Krizhevsky, I. Sutskever, and G. E. Hinton, “ImageNet classification with deep convolutional neural networks,” Communications of the ACM, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 84–90, 2017, doi: 10.1145/3065386

R. Van Noorden and J. M. Perkel, “AI and science: what 1,600 researchers think,” Nature, vol. 621, no. 7980, pp. 672–675, 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-02980-0

C. Gorgulla et al., “An open-source drug discovery platform enables ultra-large virtual screens,” Nature, vol. 580, no. 7805, pp. 663–668, 2020; doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2117-z

E. Broder, “The End of an Era. The last lecture of 6.001,” 2008. [Online]. Available: https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/the_end_of_an_era_1/

J. A. Ortega, comment, “Sussmaniana,” 2009. [Online]. Available: https://jaortega.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/sussmaniana/

I. Asimov, “Profession” in Nine tomorrows, New York City, NY: Doubleday, 1959, pp. 11–68.

Habr career, “Salary forks in spring 2023: programming languages and frameworks,” 2023 (in Russian). [Online]. Available: https://habr.com/ru/companies/habr_career/articles/746038/

Logan dev, “Top 8 Most Demanded Programming Languages in 2023,” 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.devjobsscanner.com/blog/top-8-most-demanded-programming-languages/

E. Bumiller, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint,” New York Times, Section A, p. 1, 27 Apr. 2010. Available: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html

Published
2024-04-15
How to Cite
Pavlov, D. A. (2024). Should we teach Python at universities?. Computer Tools in Education, (1), 70-80. https://doi.org/10.32603/2071-2340-2024-1-85-95
Section
Programming practice