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Python Developer Career Guide

Do you enjoy bringing it all together? Do you have a good grasp on the big picture, and enjoy connecting everything to make it all work? What about working with one of the fastest-growing and dynamic programming languages? If any of these sound interesting to you, you might love being a Python developer!

Python developers use their expertise in the programming language, Python, to do all sorts of things. You can get into machine learning, data analytics and visualization, producing applications, web, game, and language development, finance, design, and more! Python is future-proof and in-demand, and as far as programming languages go, it’s easy to pick up.

Generally, Python developers are those that work on the backend, or server-side, to make changes to systems and make all the things that we see in our games, streaming apps, websites, and tech work right. Although unseen, these systems are vital to keeping our digital world online and communicating.

Python developers create the logic and framework necessary to keep the platform running, and work closely with web developers, software engineers, and clients to produce engaging, functional software.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] has been providing cloud commerce solutions and empowering businesses to reach their full potential. Right now, we’re searching for a Python developer to join our high-impact team to create the next generation of eCommerce. What we’re looking for is a developer who solves problems with end-to-end solutions in a very fast-paced, agile environment. Our Python resource will be able to provide scalable, personalized service to our clients with clean, functional code. If you’re an excellent self-starter who’s also great at working in a team environment, and you think you’ve got the coding skills we’re searching for, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Write high-quality code
  • Regularly ship code to a production environment
  • Work within the Agile software methodology including scrums, sprint reviews, and demos
  • Regularly and extensively collaborate with other developers, engineering teams, project management, and clients
  • Break down objectives into tasks and strategies
  • Participate in reviews
  • Maintain and upgrade automated validation tests
  • Regularly validate code and models

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field
  • Working experience with Python
  • 1 year experience in a developer role

Required skills and qualifications

  • Fluent in Python programming language
  • Working experience with Django and DRF
  • Knowledge of Restful web services
  • Working knowledge of relational databases and high-scale solutions
  • A passion for writing effective tests
  • An inquisitive mind that’s engaged and looking to improve every project

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years experience in a developer role
  • Fluent in multiple programming languages
  • Front end or full stack experience
  • Project management experience
  • Working experience with AWS, UNIX, Ansible, and Jenkins

Typical work environment

Python developers work in an office as part of a team. They’ll often consult with engineers and other developers, management, clients, and others to check status, provide updates, and make changes on projects as necessary. Constant communication with all parties involved in a project will maintain the integrity of the overall project and prevent unnecessary rework and any unwanted implementations can be avoided. 

While many Python developers are full-time staff at a company, many others are self-employed, freelance, or work as consultants. This and other factors may provide a remote work environment. With any programming job, you can expect to be seated at a computer for long periods of time, regardless of the environment.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a Python developer in an office setting are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Freelance, self-employed, and consultation-based Python developers are often able to set their own hours and work remotely.

Available certifications

As Python developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • PCEP. The PCEP certification aims to gauge a candidate’s ability to accomplish basic coding tasks within Python. After obtaining this certification, you demonstrate you have ample knowledge of fundamental concepts, a good understanding of syntax and semantics, and standard problem resolution skills with implementation. This entry-level course will certify that you understand the fundamentals of the programming language and graduate you to an intermediate level. This is a great first step if you’re looking to learn the language in a more formal way, and sets you apart from others as a serious developer looking to make Python part of your career.
  • PCAP. The “Certified Associate in Python Programming” certification instills further confidence in your ability to grasp the language. Specifically, a PCAP certified individual can understand the fundamental notions and techniques of object-oriented programming and is capable of accomplishing stand-alone coding tasks. By being familiar with the general coding techniques, programming concepts, (specifically object-oriented programming), the runtime environment, and the underlying syntax and semantics, you’ve distinguished yourself further from the pack.
  • PCPP. The Certified Professional in Python Programming is the highest certification currently offered by the Python Institute. This certification is split into two components and gauges a candidate’s ability to accomplish advanced coding taste, apply OOP techniques, create complete systems and frameworks, work with GUI and network programming, and libraries and modules. You’ll be certified as highly competent in the PEP conventions, GUI programming, program environment communication, advanced OOP, text file processing, and more. This certification proves that you’re as serious a contender as they come and are recognized globally as a highly knowledgeable Python resource.

Career path

The journey to becoming a Python developer begins in much the same way any IT position starts, with a bachelor’s degree in an IT field. Computer science, software engineering, or any number of related fields is a great first step in moving towards your developer career. While not strictly necessary, it sets you up for a competitive advantage for both obtaining and promoting in the workplace.

Learning the language itself is the single most important factor that will determine your coding career. Speaking the language is the entire job, after all. You should familiarize yourself with Python, and any other programming languages you can, along with the accompanying frameworks, and have at least a general understanding of networking, cloud-based systems, and full stack development.

Becoming certified in Python further proves your grasp of the language, and the more advanced certifications you obtain, the better you’ll look to potential employers. Obtaining secondary and tertiary degrees for project management and scrum certifications are definitely a plus, as many companies are seeking to find employees that operate within Agile methodologies. 

After you’ve learned the language, getting a junior position as a developer, preferably in Python, is an excellent way to get hands-on experience and learn the practical strengths and limitations of the language.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20301,888,553
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

The world becomes more digital every day, and because of that, we’ll continue to need people working behind the scenes to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. Python is an incredibly powerful, dynamic, and future-proof language that won’t see an end any time in the foreseeable future. 

With that said, the position itself will continue to explode in demand as more businesses transition online, and we become more connected with the phones in our pockets, our smart devices, PCs, gaming consoles, and more.