[CentralOH] Why Python?

Brian Costlow brian.costlow at gmail.com
Mon Oct 13 17:10:46 CEST 2014

Remember though, that because Cucumber  and related libraries are used for
ATDD, they get used on a lot of projects where the core language for the
project is not Ruby.

I was at a QA group meeting last year, and there were more people using
Java and .Net projects using Cucumber than Ruby.

Also, unless you need to develop extensions, you don't write your tests in
Ruby, but a "business language" DSL that is implemented in Ruby.

All of which is to say, this particular use case is no reason to favor Ruby
over Python (or Ruby over anything else, frankly) as either a useful
language for learning, or one for the core language for a particular

On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM, Peter Carswell <pcarswell.1 at gmail.com>

> One of the reasons we are investigating Ruby is its affiliation with
> Cucumber and ATDD, Automated Testing. My initial investigation shows
> Cucumber also ports Python. I have to investigate more on this. I do know
> that many of the major local companies support Ruby/Cucumber and companies,
> Manifest Solutions in particular, are training companies to use
> Ruby/Cucumber. So, the discussion continues.
> pete
> On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM, <davelist at mac.com> wrote:
>> On Oct 11, 2014, at 10:05 AM, Eric Floehr <eric at intellovations.com>
>> wrote:
>> > At the last meeting Pete Carswell asked me for help in supporting his
>> goal of wanting Python as the introductory language taught at CSCC, and
>> specifically to contrast it against Ruby, which is being pushed there. I
>> thought that I would share my response with everyone.
>> >
>> > This is not meant as a negative for any other language (like Ruby, or
>> even Perl). Every person has their own reasons for selecting a particular
>> technology and I applaud that. I've written programs for money in Perl,
>> Ruby, PHP, Microsoft C++, etc. These are simply data points to support why
>> Python is a good choice for an introductory programming course.
>> >
>> >
>> > ACM: Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at
>> top U.S. universities
>> >
>> http://cacm.acm.org/blogs/blog-cacm/176450-python-is-now-the-most-popular-introductory-teaching-language-at-top-us-universities/fulltext
>> >
>> > Why I push for Python
>> > http://lorenabarba.com/blog/why-i-push-for-python/
>> >
>> > Python is asked for by more employers
>> > http://www.indeed.com/jobanalytics/jobtrends?q=python%2Cruby&l=
>> >
>> > Python is asked for by more startups
>> > (today: 1854 jobs ask for Python, 915 Ruby, 1232 javascript, 2002 java)
>> > http://www.startuphire.com/
>> >
>> > TIOBE Index
>> > http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/cont
>> > ent/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
>> >
>> > Five programming languages marked for death (dice.com)
>> >
>> http://news.dice.com/2014/10/09/5-programming-languages-marked-for-death
>> > (definitely just one man's opinion, but those language are Perl, Ruby,
>> VisualBasic.NET, Adobe Flash and Air, Delphi's Object Pascal)
>> From a pedagogical standpoint, I like the fact that Python’s syntax is
>> simpler/cleaner than Ruby's (disclaimer: I’m not very fluent in Ruby, but
>> it appears to me Ruby is both more terse and uses more special symbols
>> making it a little more challenging for beginners). Python allows us to
>> spend more time on problem solving and less time on syntax issues.
>> John Zelle’s site has some more links (although less current as he
>> started using Python over a decade ago). Disclaimer I use John’s book in my
>> CS1 course at Capital University and co-authored a Python/C++ book with
>> John that we use in our CS2 course.
>> http://mcsp.wartburg.edu/zelle/python/
>> Dave Reed
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