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Google App Engine Spurs Python Growth

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An Evans Data Corp survey shows a 45% increase in the usage of Python since Spring of 2008 - the same time Google's App Engine was announced.  The results were part of the North American Development Survey, which was conducted in October 2009.  Janel Garvin, Founder and Senior Analyst at Evans Data Corp, answered DZone's questions about the survey.

Garvin explained that the North American Development Survey is an online survey of developers selected from a panel of over 75,000 worldwide.  From these 75,000, the survey polled a random sample of more than 500 North American developers in October 2009.  The number of respondents in the Spring 2009 survey was just over 400. 

Only 13% of the developers surveyed used Python before Spring 2008.  The most recent survey now shows that 20.3% of respondents use Python.  DZone asked Garvin why Python usage incresed so suddenly.  Garvin said, "Python was an old language that very few people used and usage was flat - until Google introduced App Engine, which only supported Python.  At that point Python usage began to climb.  There was no other event that was relevant to Python that occurred at that time."

However, Python's growth has leveled off this year Garvin says.  "Most scripting languages have shown gradual increase over the last few years, but only this one  [Python] showed an abrupt climb and then leveling off," said Garvin.  The "leveling off" may be a result of Google App Engine's support for the Java runtime, which was announced early this year.  DZone asked if any other languages have seen significant changes in usage.  Garvin said, "Actionscript continues to increase, which is interesting because of its tie to Flash."

Garvin believes the significance of cloud development platforms like the Google's App Engine is apparent in this study.  "As the computing landscape evolves with the Cloud, so will the adoption of surrounding technologies, as we see here [with Python],” said Garvin.  A new Cloud survey is coming soon from Evans Data Garvin says.  The North American Development Survey also included a cloud section that showed only 8.7% of North American developers are currently using a cloud service as a development environment, but another 18% plan to use the cloud within the coming year.

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