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Python Uses for Web Development

Python is the most widely used computer programming language in the world today – and with good reason. It is easy to learn, use, and, thanks to its vast array of built-in libraries, can be used for just about every application imaginable. Today we are going to look at one area in particular that Python excels in: web development.

Python Web Development Benefits: Prototyping

Python, as a whole, is a wonderful technology for prototyping, but when it comes to Web Development, there may not be a better solution for a quick and dirty proof of concept. When ideas are flying inside of a product development meeting, or even amongst a group of students or individuals, Python offers a quicker solution to get to functional capacity than development solutions like Java and Spring or possibly even JavaScript and Node. It also provides a plentiful palette of optional libraries to tap into for get programs up and running quickly.

If that wasn’t enough, Python not only shows it’s worth in the Research and Development stages of a new product – or a newly redeveloped project – but also in evaluating engineers during hiring processes. With the highly readable syntax of Python, whiteboard becomes as easily evaluated as Pseudo code in comparison to programming languages like C++, Java or even C.

Python Web Dev Benefits: Microservices

Microservices offer a smaller set of application functions and externally reachable routes to an overarching app when compared to the development of monolithic applications, which can contain all code in one source location. Although Python is not the only language to make good use of microservices, Python certainly benefits greatly from such an architecture. Some of the benefits of microservices in Python Include smaller chunks of code to develop and learn, easier troubleshooting upon breaks, errors, and unexpected behavior, and greater overall execution.

But what makes Python particularly unique with regards to microservices is the idea of code optimization. Within larger software projects there is a fairly constant need to review and optimize code for the sake of space, error elimination, and execution time (Big O, for you CS purists) and Python has not always been the friendliest purveyor of that. However, with microservices, the need for such optimization is potentially levied a bit more, as the uses of other tools like message queues and data streams pairs well with micro applications. This, makes the execution of functions and corresponding services negligible in comparison to other, similarly developed services in other programming languages and web development frameworks.

Microservices in Python are not limited in the use of popular frameworks for web development. Flask, Django, CherryPy, FastAPI and others can all be used to develop microservices. Commonly these services will also be developed and deployed to clouds like AWS, Azure, or GCP, but they can also be deployed to internal infrastructures and utilized quite similarly with the correct infrastructure in place. With the major clouds, however, there are also ways to deploy microservices to “serverless” compute resources which save the developers time (and money, potentially) in provisioning and configuring resources to host their applications on.

Benefits of Python Web Dev: Monolith Applications

On the opposite side of microservices, there is also room to develop monolithic applications using Python code. In recent years, monoliths have received the brute of criticism from professional tech bloggers and critics, but monoliths are not, yet, part of the technological world’s bygone era. Monoliths are a reputable architecture pattern, even today, and especially with Python. Although microservices allow development teams to hide some issues in development experience and competence between the services, monoliths require more expertise and more so with Python. Code will need to be optimized and integrations will need to be highly optimized to accommodate the increased overhead that a monolith can add with more source for compute resources to manage at one time.

Benefits of Web Development in Python: Testing

When it comes to web development and Python, one of the more common use cases is testing. Smoke testing, UI testing, integration testing, you name it: Python will make it happen for your application. Of course, you will tend to write certain tests – namely unit and cross-service integration tests – with the language of the application, but for scores of other testing methods, Python can be implemented alongside other programming languages for more thorough coverage and tracking down of errors.

Of course, for applications already utilizing Python, packages like unittest and pytest are wonderful options that will make a developer’s life much easier. When testing across the UI and functional smoke tests, tools like selenium are widely used. Something you will find iterated again in this ongoing blog series is the use case of Python in testing across a system that has been abstracted to use Python exclusively for the purpose of testing. In web based systems that may be composed of several languages and frameworks (across teams), an entire QA team could conceivably be using Python to test the system within specifications of coverage, per service.

Here are some other industries where Python developers can excel.

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