Python Productivity Gain?

Corey Coughlin corey.coughlin at
Wed Feb 18 20:48:33 CET 2004

It is a difficult problem, but I don't think it's completely
insurmountable.  Take some programmers right out of school, or just a
general population of people, give them training in language X for a
fixed period of time, set them up to perform some task, and see how
long it takes them.  Sure, some of them will be better programmers
than others, but with a large enough sample population you should be
able to draw some conclusions on the average, if there is an effect to
be measured.  And yes, the bigger the population, the better the
results, so it would be fairly expensive to conduct, but still, you
could draw conclusions.  Getting funding would be tricky, though,
that's a given.

Paul Prescod <paul at> wrote in message news:<mailman.86.1077050210.31398.python-list at>...
> kbass wrote:
> > In different articles that I have read, persons have constantly eluded to
> > the productivity gains of Python. One person stated that Python's
> > productivity gain was 5 to 10 times over Java in some in some cases. The
> > strange thing that I have noticed is that there were no examples of this
> > productivity gain (i.e., projects, programs, etc.,...).  Can someone give me
> > some real life examples of productivity gains using Python as opposed other
> > programming languages.
> The problem is always: how do you measure/judge this?
> Are you going to get the SAME PROGRAMMERS to solve the same problem 
> twice? If so, the second language will have a big advantage. Are you 
> going to get different programmers? How do you know they are the same skill?
> Also: productivity for what? If your Java code is a little bit of glue 
> around some pre-existing EJBs then it may have an advantage. If you are 
> using Python and Pyrex to wrap C code, then Python will certainly have 
> an advantage.
> Most Python programmers are speaking about their personal productivity 
> gain measured based on "feel". It is possible to do a more formal study 
> (dozens of programmers given a variety of tasks) but it would be quite 
> expensive. What unbiased source is going to pay for it.
>   Paul Prescod

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