The greatest services in the world run on Python

Most of our projects are written in Python. We were wondering what kind of famous online solutions are coded using this powerful language and found a quite interesting list of well known platforms.

Just to give you a flavour of Python usage, in 2011 at eBay/PayPal there were under 25 engineers coding in this language while three years later the number grew to 260 developers.

Enjoy going through the list!

DropBox

There is an interesting story behind this most popular cloud software. Back in 2006 when Drew Houston was pitching investors to receive funding for his start-up there were dozens of different cloud storage solutions on the market. How did Drew replied to this objection when a Venture Capital team asked for it?

Drew & VCs - Dropbox

You know how it ended up…

Drew announced on the Dropbox Blog in 2012 that they hired Gudio van Rossum, the creator of Python programming language (smart move!) and he shared what is his favourite programming language:

“Dropbox is thrilled to welcome Guido, the creator of the Python programming language and a long-time friend of ours.”

“Several years earlier, Python became my favorite programming language because it had a balance of simplicity, flexibility, and elegance. These qualities of Python, and the community’s work to support every major platform, let us write the code just once before running it everywhere. They have also influenced our greater design philosophy at Dropbox as we set out to build a simple product that brings your life together.”

At TEONITE we use CoffeeScript as in many areas it has a similar language syntax to Python and it is quicker than JavaScript. Dropbox has a similar approach: Dropbox dives into CoffeeScript

“Our point is to forget CoffeeScript’s influences for a minute, because it fixes so many of these syntactic problems and at least partially breaks free of JavaScript’s slow evolution; even if you don’t care for significant whitespace, we recommend CoffeeScript for so many other reasons. Disclaimer: we love Python, and it’s Dropbox’s primary language, so we’re probably biased.”

Google

Python is one of the 3 "official languages" at Google, alongside with Java and C++. Google uses Python for its mainframe foundation, as well as in addition to various apps that it runs in conjunction with the main site.

Google search

Peter Norvig, Research Director at Google said:

"Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we're looking for more people with skills in this language."

Quora

In 2009 two former Facebook employees Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever, founded Quora - a place where answers to all kind of questions can be found. They picked Python as their main programming language. What was their motivation behind this choice? Not surprisingly, they answered this question on Quora:

Answer on Quora

Spotify

In every tech company I know there is always somebody with Spotify opened on one of their screens to keep them going while they code, design, analyse or take care of social media marketing. Once you start using it, it is hard to imagine life without this online boombox. And by the way, they run on Python.

Spotify screenshot

Spotify shares reasons behind using Python on their dev blog: How we use Python at Spotify

“At Spotify the main two places we use Python are backend services and data analysis. Python has a habit of turning up in other random places, as most of our developers are happy programming in it.”

“Speed is a big focus for Spotify. Python fits well into this mindset, as it gets us big wins in speed of development.”

Instagram

If you like watching your friends uploading #foodporn to Facebook then you definitely need to sign up for Instragram. This photo-sharing & video-sharing social platform is built on Python mainly for its speed and flexiblity.

Picture from Instragram

In What Powers Instagram: Hundreds of Instances, Dozens of Technologies Instagram engineers describe a few examples of Python usage including Task Queue & Push Notifications and Monitoring. They host Django framework on AWS.

“For Python error reporting, we use Sentry, an awesome open-source Django app written by the folks at Disqus. At any given time, we can sign-on and see what errors are happening across our system, in real time.”

YouTube

We watch video clips on YouTube on a daily basis but most of us don’t know it runs on Python. The foundation behind this language helped in integrating streaming video as well as "like" and "embedding" mechanisms.

Screenshot from YouTube

Want to learn more about Python? Read 10 Myths of Enterprise Python on PayPal Engineering

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