10 Ways to Make a Living with Python by John Paul Mueller

Python excels at certain kinds of tasks, which means that it also lends itself to certain types of programming. The kind of programming you can perform determines the job you get and the way in which you make your living. Here are some occupations that use Python regularly.

Work in QA

A lot of organizations have separate Quality Assurance (QA) departments that check applications to ensure that they work as advertised. Many different test script languages are on the market, but Python makes an excellent language in this regard because it's so incredibly flexible.

The broad reach of Python means that you can learn a single language and use it for testing anywhere you need to test something, and in any environment.

REMEMBER: In this scenario, the developer usually knows another language, such as C++, and uses Python to test the applications written in C++. However, the QA person doesn't need to know another language in all cases.

Become the IT staff for a smaller organization

A smaller organization may have only one or two IT staff, which means that you have to perform a broad range of tasks quickly and efficiently. With Python, you can write utilities and in-house applications quite swiftly. Using Python in a smaller organization makes sense because you have greater access control and need to make changes fast.

In addition, the ability to use Python in a significant number of environments reduces the need to use anything but Python to meet your needs.

Perform specialty scripting for applications

A number of products can use Python for scripting purposes. By knowing which high-end products support Python, you can find a job working with that application in any business that uses it. Here are some examples of products that rely on Python for scripting needs:

3ds Max
Cinema 4D
Google App Engine
Paint Shop Pro

You could build a career around creating application scripts using Python as the programming language.

Administer a network

More than a few administrators use Python to perform tasks such as monitoring network health or creating utilities that automate tasks. Automating tasks is a plus. Some network management software, such as Trigger, is actually written in Python. A lot of these tools are open source and free to download, so you can try them on your network.

Also, some interesting articles discuss using Python for network administration, such as "Intro to Python & Automation for Network Engineers." The point is that knowing how to use Python on your network can ultimately decrease your workload and help you perform your tasks more easily.

Teach programming skills

Teachers are looking for a faster, more consistent method of teaching computer technology. Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer that makes obtaining the required equipment a lot less expensive for schools. The smallish device plugs into a television or computer monitor to provide full computing capabilities with an incredibly simple setup. Interestingly enough, Python plays a big role into making the Raspberry Pi into a teaching platform for programming skills.

Help people decide on location

A Geographic Information System (GIS) provides a means of viewing geographic information with business needs in mind. Many GIS products use Python as their language of choice. In fact, a wealth of Python-specific information related to GIS is currently available, such as

The GIS and Python Software Laboratory
Python and GIS Resources
GIS Programming and Automation

Many GIS-specific products, such as ArcGIS, rely on Python to automate tasks. Entire communities develop around these software offerings, such as Python for ArcGIS. The point is that you can use your new programming skills in areas other than computing to earn an income.

Perform data mining

The purpose of data mining is to recognize trends. The use of artificial intelligence with Python makes such pattern recognition possible. A paper on the topic, "Data Mining: Discovering and Visualizing Patterns with Python," helps you understand how such analysis is possible. You can use Python to create just the right tool to locate a pattern that could net sales missed by your competitor.

Interact with embedded systems

An embedded system exists for nearly every purpose on the planet. Many embedded systems rely on Python as their programming language. In fact, a special form of Python, Embedded Python, is sometimes used for these devices. You can even find a YouTube presentation on using Python to build an embedded system.

TIP: Interestingly enough, you might already be interacting with a Python-driven embedded system. For example, Python is the language of choice for many car security systems. The remote start feature that you might have relies on Python to get the job done. Your home automation and security system might also rely on Python.

Carry out scientific tasks

Python seems to devote more time to scientific and numerical processing tasks than many of the computer languages out there. The number of Python's scientific and numeric processing modules is staggering. Scientists love Python because it's small, easy to learn, and yet quite precise in its treatment of data. It's possible to produce results using just a few lines code.

Perform real-time analysis of data

Making decisions requires timely, reliable, and accurate data. A number of the people who report using Python do so in a management capacity. They use Python to probe those disparate sources of information, perform the required analysis, and then present the big picture to the manager who has asked for the information. Python also makes it possible to perform tasks quickly enough for a decision to have maximum impact.

Changes are easy to make in Python, and the manager doesn't need to worry about learning programming skills such as compiling the application. A few changes to a line of code in an interpreted module usually serve to complete the task.

About the Book Author

John Paul Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor with more than 107 books and 600 articles to his credit. His subjects range from networking and artificial intelligence to database management and heads-down programming. He also consults and writes certification exams. Visit his website at John Mueller Books.

The easy way to learn programming fundamentals with Python

Python is a remarkably powerful and dynamic programming language that's used in a wide variety of application domains. Some of its key distinguishing features include a very clear, readable syntax, strong introspection capabilities, intuitive object orientation, and natural expression of procedural code. Plus, Python features full modularity, supporting hierarchical packages, exception-based error handling, and modules easily written in C, C++, Java, R, or .NET languages, such as C#. In addition, Python supports a number of coding styles that include: functional, imperative, object-oriented, and procedural.

Due to its ease of use and flexibility, Python is constantly growing in popularity-and now you can wear your programming hat with pride and join the ranks of the pros with the help of this guide. Inside, expert author John Paul Mueller gives a complete step-by-step overview of all there is to know about Python. From performing common and advanced tasks, to collecting data, to interacting with package-this book covers it all!

Use Python to create and run your first application
Find out how to troubleshoot and fix errors
Learn to work with Anaconda and use Magic Functions
Benefit from completely updated and revised information since the last edition

If you've never used Python or are new to programming in general, Beginning Programming with Python For Dummies is a helpful resource that will set you up for success.