the best estimate anyone can seem to make of the size of the Python user base is that there are roughly 1 million Python users around the world today (plus or minus a few). This estimate is based on various statistics, like download rates and developer surveys.

Because Python is open source, a more exact count is difficult there are no license registrations to tally. Moreover, Python is automatically included with Linux distributions, Macintosh computers, and some products and hardware, further clouding the user-base picture.

In general, though, Python enjoys a large user base and a very active developer community.

Because Python has been around for some 19 years and has been widely used, it is also very stable and robust.

revenue-generating products by real companies.

  • Google makes extensive use of Python in its web search systems, and employs Python’s creator.
  • The YouTube video sharing service is largely written in Python.
  • The popular BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing system is a Python program.
  • Google’s popular App Engine web development framework uses Python as its application language.
  • EVE Online, a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), makes extensive use of Python.
  • Maya, a powerful integrated 3D modeling and animation system, provides a Python scripting API.
  • Intel, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Qualcomm, and IBM use Python for hardware testing.
  • Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, and others use Python in the production of animated movies.
  • JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Getco, and Citadel apply Python for financial market forecasting.
  • NASA, Los Alamos, Fermilab, JPL, and others use Python for scientific programming tasks.
  • iRobot uses Python to develop commercial robotic devices.
  • ESRI uses Python as an end-user customization tool for its popular GIS mapping products.
  • The NSA uses Python for cryptography and intelligence analysis.
  • The IronPort email server product uses more than 1 million lines of Python code to do its job.
  • The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project builds its user interface and activity model in Python.

Probably the only common thread amongst the companies using Python today is that Python is used all over the map, in terms of application domains.

Its general-purpose nature makes it applicable to almost all fields, not just one. In fact, it’s
safe to say that virtually every substantial organization writing software is using Python,
whether for short-term tactical tasks, such as testing and administration, or for long term strategic product development.

Python has proven to work well in both modes.

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