Choosing the right programming language for your startup is not an easy decision, considering the huge variety of available options. And it's not enough to choose the one just because the language is more popular, or recommended by developers, or is considered the best by your mate. The choice of a programming language, especially for a startup, should be wise, reason-based and ruled by the business goals your product aims to achieve.
But why is it so critical?
If chosen properly, a programming language will help you and your startup:
- save time and money for the implementation of your ideas,
- scale the development team if necessary,
- scale the product, and easily implement new features,
- easily and effectively support the product after its release.
If not selected wisely, a startup may suffer tech-related problems from the very beginning such as over budgeting, overestimation, and a lack of flexibility to follow the demands of the market. All of these are crucial capstones that may drown the whole startup under bad circumstances.
Here comes another important question that we should answer before speaking about the best programming language for a startup.
Why do they need a specific approach to development? There's quite a lot of information over the web that elaborates on this topic (we strongly recommend getting familiar with the Lean Startup, but here is the essence:
- Most startups have a limited budget. One of the most significant risks is a lack of financing in the middle of the process.
- Time is important and is also connected with money. A startup needs to find partners and investors quickly and choose the best way to grow.
- Last but not least, startups act in the environment of total uncertainty and that's why flexibility matters. While testing ideas, a company needs to be ready to implement any changes as dictated by the market.
A startup is a highly vulnerable type of a company which doesn't have much confidence practically in any field. You don't know whether the audience will appreciate your product. You don't know whether they are going to pay. You don't even know if your developers' team will get their job done on time.
In these circumstances, choosing the right programming language becomes even more important, as it helps you to partly mitigate some of risks and to spend less money on the creation process.
Consequently, from what was said above, a startup-friendly programming language needs to help the company:
- build MVP as quickly as possible to attract investments and test the hypotheses,
- easily implement new features,
- create fast iterations in the development process,
- scale the business,
- scale the development team working on the project,
- most likely, integrate with other software related to the product,
- easily and effectively support the product after its release.
Python is often considered one of the best choices for startups in line with all of these requirements.
Certainly, the choice of language depends on the type of the product and business goals of its owners. This means that, despite Python’s versatility, in some cases another language will be more effective. It’s not about Python being unsuitable for some kinds of products. It’s just that sometimes you can do the same things that you can do with Python more efficiently with another language (e.g. if you need a streaming service). But, in 90% of cases, Python remains the most legitimate programming language for new companies and our rich experience in developing products proves this statement.
Being used for more than 30 years, Python is obtaining more and more admirers in developer communities all over the world. Forecasts say it's on track to have an incredible amount of traffic by 2020.
And here's why so many people consider Python the best programming language for business.
One of the main things what Python is appreciated for is that it's intuitive and quite easy to learn, compared to other programming languages. According to the Lifehacker's poll, it's the #1 Most Popular Programming Language for First-Time Learners.
Rapid development is one of the basic principles officially followed by Python. And yes, it is really considered one of the most productive languages largely thanks to code-efficiency and the possibility for code reuse. Since it is easy and time-effective, Python is a good choice for building quick yet functional prototypes to attract investors or test ideas among the product's audience. This is one of the main advantages when it comes to startups.
The history of Python started in the 1980’s. This means it's time-tested but not yet outdated. On the contrary, Python is well known as one of the most innovative and versatile programming languages used to implement cutting-edge ideas, because it is open-sourced and, thus, is constantly replenished with new libraries and solutions.
One of the direct consequences of high popularity is that Python has a huge number of admirers in every country in the world. In turn, this means that it's quite easy to find developers for a project and replace them if necessary.
Another advantage of Python often passing by the attention of business owners is that it has one of the best stacks of technical documentation ever, as well as having a huge and highly supportive community. This means that, whatever task you give to your developers, they will not get stuck for a long time looking for a proper decision but will be able to find one quite quickly. And again, time is money.
Is your project consigned to deal with large loads of data? These are highly popular nowadays. Another piece of good news is that Python is the perfect choice for all types of development which are concerned with big data, machine learning and/or artificial intelligence. This is because it has powerful packages intended for these types of tasks (like Panda and NumPy), and also wide possibilities for data visualization through APIs.
Research says it's one of the best uses for Python.
Literally, this means that thousands of the best minds around the world are constantly building the platform. On the other hand, it also means that, as an open-source product, Python can be implemented anywhere you please, as well as modified for the needs of a specific project. Another thing that adds flexibility is the incredible amount of libraries (packages) which can be used by developers as pieces of turnkey solutions.
As mentioned earlier, it's crucial for a startup to be ready for any kind of changes, as well as for quick growth. Python is the best programming language for scalability. It all comes from simplicity: developers are able to easily overcome any obstacles and scale the project up or down without time-consuming processes.
Python is not bound up with a large amount of written code, which is why it allows developers to work faster and, what is even more important, to keep a smaller development team than many other programming languages. That's really good news for a startup, because "fewer people" means "fewer expenses".
Choosing the right programming language for a startup is just the first step. What you need to do next is to consider the framework, which is an environment full of ready tools, blanks, and modules which helps developers do their work in less time and with less effort. And yes, there are also a number of options, with the most popular and, at the same time, the most reasonable choice, being Django.
There’s an idea that "the ability to use Django is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of learning Python" and our practical experience totally confirms this statement.
In addition to all the Python advantages for development, Django has the following features:
The framework is designed to simplify the developers' work and to minimize the time required for the development process. For that, Django pursues the following principles:
Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) which means reusing the existing code instead of writing it from scratch;
Rapid Development which allows the maintenance of more than one iteration at a time.
Security is also a matter of high priority. Django has one of the best out-of-the-box security systems.
It has truly proficient technical documentation, better than any other open-source framework, and also a hugely supportive community.
First of all, many well-known projects and companies as Google, Instagram, Spotify, Dropbox, The Washington Post, Mozilla, NASA, and many others rely on code written in Python using the Django framework.
Except for the giants, other successful companies have chosen Python/Django. Here are some of them:
- PADI Travel, the world's biggest web resource for divers, a booking platform, a travel guide, and a social network.
- Festicket, a website to search for music festival tickets, and also one of the world's largest music communities.
- Password Boss, a digital wallet and a password management system.
- Hudson, the global recruitment company, which has chosen Django to create its own CRM system.
- Prezi, an online drag-and-drop tool for creating presentations.
- MoneyPark, the first independent provider of personalized financial advice on mortgage and insurance products in Switzerland.
There are many programming languages out there. And, of course, each of them has its own advantages. It would be quite unfair to say that only one specific language is worth attention as, otherwise, the others just wouldn't exist.
When we say that Python is the best programming language for a web startup, we mean it will give you:
- the possibility to quickly develop MVP,
- easiness in product support,
- scalability and flexibility,
- high level of security,
- and efficiency in terms of time and money.
Python together with Django is a combination being tested by our team far and wide for many years. And with each next project successfully completed using Python, we clearly see it was the best choice a technical partner to help our client launch their startup.
This article about the advantages of Python is written by Gleb Pushkov - Senior Software Engineer at Django Stars. Originally posted on Django Stars blog.