According to Indeed, the average annual salary of a Python Developer sans benefits in 2023 is $112,488. An entry-level developer goes home with just a little less at $96,000, also sans benefits. These figures are mind-blowing and reflect the market demand for python developers.
If you’re wondering who python developers are and why they are getting paid so much, this article is for you. At the end of this article, you’ll know who a python developer is, why they are worth so much and how you can be one.
Who is A Python Developer?
A python developer is someone who designs, codes, and deploys programmes and applications from the back end using the Python programming language. Python developers also work on fine-tuning codes through debugging and analysing data, among other things.
Are Python Developers In Demand?
As of March 2023, python ranked first in the TIOBE Programming Community index, which publishes the world’s most popular programming languages.
Python is a great beginner-friendly programming language that is used for a wide range of projects. Despite being less complex than other programming languages, python is still very much used by many companies, including top tech companies like Spotify and Google. Aside from this, python is one of the best programming languages used in cloud computing and machine learning.
The unique characteristics of python that make it universally preferred are the reason why python developers are in very high demand. Every organisation needs a Python developer to handle its back-end and front-end operations.
What Exactly Does A Python Developer Do?
A little bit of everything. The possible job descriptions and specialised career paths for python developers are as broad as the use cases for the programming language, python. What a python developer does really depends on what the company wants them to do. Regardless, there’s a long list of things they can do, such as:
- Data Analysis;
- Web Development;
- Automation Deployment;
- Design Web frameworks for fresh codes;
- Script Design;
- Web Scraping.
The list is truly endless. In one role, a python developer might be tasked with creating websites, while another’s job description will be analysing data.
Although python developers can do it all, most prefer to specialise and follow a career path. The great thing about beginning as a python developer is that you earn well while also having the option to specialise in a wide range of fields.
For example, some of the possible career paths for python developers include the following:
- Back-end web development;
- Data Science;
- Data Analysis;
- Software Engineering;
- Research Analysis;
- Software Development;
- Product Management;
- Machine Learning Engineering, etc.
As long as it requires python, then you can build a career out of it.
Python developers work with many integrated development environments (IDEs), tools, and libraries. Some of the top tools used by python developers include the following:
- Jupyter Notebook;
- PyCharm IDE;
- Keras, etc.
Now that you know who a Python developer is, what are the skills to become one, and how do you go about being one?
Skills Required To Become A Python Developer
Being a python developer goes far beyond knowing how to write code in python. The entire skill set combines technical, logical and people skills. Here is a quick rundown of some of the skills python developers need:
- Expertise in Core Python Programming language;
- Object Relational Mappers;
- Data Science Skills;
- Expertise in Web Frameworks;
- Analytical Skills;
- Database Integration Skills;
- Good Understanding of Multi-Process Architecture;
- Design Skills;
- Communication Skills.
How To Be A Python Developer
Learning python takes approximately two to six months, depending on how fast you are. It could also take longer if you’re learning in bits or transitioning from a 9 to 5.
Choose A Career Path
The first thing to do once you’ve made up your mind to be a python developer is to choose a career path. Do you want to work with data? Look towards Data Science and Data Analysis. If you would like to build web applications, then go for Web Development.
Choosing a career path before you start learning helps to streamline your learning process and prevent you from getting off track. If you’re interested in more than one track, you can curate and learn a combination of skills to qualify you for the career paths you’re interested in.
Learn Core Python
The next step is to learn the basics of the python programming language. Regardless of the path you’d like to specialise in, there are core python fundamental concepts that you should know. These fundamentals teach you the core basics of python coding and how to use it in problem-solving.
The core python fundamentals are:
- Variables and Data Types;
- Data Structure and Algorithms;
- Loops, Conditionals, and Control Statements;
- I/O Operations and Exception Handling;
- Modules and File Handling;
- Database Knowledge;
- Object-oriented Programming;
- Python Syntax.
After learning the basics, you can also go one step further to learn supporting python frameworks. As a newbie, there are so many resources to learn from. There are books, boot camps, and free and paid courses. While books are great, courses offer certificates at the end, which look good on your resume and social pages. You can find courses on Coursera, Datacamp, etc.
Understand Python Libraries
At this stage, you likely know how to write readable code in python, and chances are you’ve written quite a few codes. But one thing you may be missing is efficiency, and this is why you need to learn how to use python Libraries.
Python Libraries simplify codes and improve efficiency. There are libraries and frameworks for different projects and roles. Familiarise yourself with the libraries and frameworks that apply to you.
Start Building Projects
Now that you’ve learned the basics of python programming and how to be efficient, it’s time to start working on projects. Consistent practice makes a difference. Pick projects that have been built before and recreate them using tutorials until you can start envisioning and building your projects.
When choosing projects, be strategic because these projects will be a part of your portfolio. So, look for projects that are complex and highlight your technical skills.
Create a Portfolio of Your Work
Next is to create a Portfolio of all the projects you’ve built. Be creative with your portfolio so you can impress recruiters. Choose five to ten of your best projects, making sure to update the list regularly as you build more.
In addition to showing your projects, you must include three other things.
- An explanation of what your project is about;
- Highlight your logical and technical approach to working on the project;
- Include any new information you learned from working on each project.
Build A GitHub Repository
GitHub is a repository where you can upload and share your project code. It’s always good to keep your code public so other programmers can learn from it.
After designing a portfolio, open a GitHub account and share your code. As a plus, recruiters also look at your code on GitHub.
Read Other Programmers’ Codes
It’s always a good idea to learn from others, and one way you can do that is to read other programmers’ codes. Not only will it help you to know your level of expertise, but you can always learn from their work.
Practice Every Day
After learning the fundamentals of python, being a python developer then depends on how much you’re willing to practice every day. Keep writing code and improving every day.
Get Some Work Experience
Work experience is super important for two reasons. One, it looks good on your resume and introduces you to actual work projects that boost your portfolio. You can get experience via internships and freelancing.
Build A Resume and Apply For Roles
Now you’re ready to look for a job. But first, build a resume. Each new milestone you hit in your journey should be added to your resume. Highlight what you’ve worked on, the skills required, and the impact of your participation. Remember to use action words when describing your roles.
How Long Until I Get My First Job?
There’s no accurate timeline for how long it takes to land a python developer job after ticking all the boxes above. Some people get a job as soon as they start searching, while others take months to get an offer. Certain factors can, however, influence the timeline for you.
Your Resume, Portfolio, and Interview
This triumvirate significantly impacts how long it takes you to get a job. Your resume must be good enough to pass the first check, and your portfolio should have projects highlighting your strengths. Lastly, prospective python developers have to pass through technical interviews, and your performance on these interviews determines how fast you’ll get a job.
The Current Market Demand
The tech market is currently in a recession, which means that more companies are laying off workers and instituting hiring freezes than there are hiring. The market is currently competitive, and demand is low even for a high-demand role like the python developer. Current market demand could also make it difficult for beginners with limited experience to get job offers.
Companies hiring a python developer want to see what you’ve done before outside personal projects. This is why freelancing as a beginner is an excellent idea. It gives you the experience you need while also improving your learning journey. When freelancing, look for roles that show your strengths.
Other factors also affect the job offer timeline, but you can ideally control these three.
Python developers are skilled python programmers who are in high demand in the tech industry. You can be one of them by following the steps above.