Before you commit to the career path of a Python Developer, you should understand that not all Python development roles carry that title. Some organizations call their development pros Full Stack Python Developers, while others use titles like Application Developer, Back End Developer, or Web Software Developer.
The day-to-day tasks and workflow of Python Developers can vary from sector to sector and company to company. Many Python development pros need to master multiple languages besides Python, plus tools like Agile, Git, or cloud-based services like AWS or Azure.
The typical day in the life of a Python Developer can include steps in designing, coding, and launching projects. Working with code, however, may be only part of the day. Interacting with clients, troubleshooting, and debugging code can all be part of the picture. Whatever Python development position you choose, it’s not likely to ever provide a dull moment.
What is a Python Developer?
Python Developers are tech professionals who can work on websites, software, games, or digital applications. Unlike some career tracks, those who fit the requirements of Python Developer often hold alternate titles; these can include Web Developer, Back End Developer, and Database Engineer, to name a few. Therefore, while most of these tech pros know tools like Django, SQL, and Git, not all Python development positions require the same skill set.
Responsibilities for Python Developers vary by industry as well as position. Some have to implement and maintain cybersecurity or integrate data storage solutions, while others mainly design and integrate front end elements with back end applications. Additional responsibilities can include web scraping, automation testing, and data visualization. Check online job postings for detailed lists of industry-specific Python development skills and responsibilities.
Read more about what a Python Developer does.
Python Developer Specializations
Areas of specialization for a Python Developer vary by industry, region, and individual organization. Far from narrowing the options, training for a Python development role can lead to a position like Web Developer, Back End Developer, or Software Developer. Depending on the company, a Python Developer's title may be Software Engineer—though most Python Developers work with web-based technology rather than hardware or operating systems.
Python Developers’ responsibilities will typically be related to back end web development, although some organizations seek Full Stack Developers with Python expertise. Product development is an area of specialization for other Python Developers. Most tech pros who train in Python development will master frameworks like Django and MongoDB and libraries like Pandas and NumPy.
A day in the life of a Python Developer can include anything from building applications to debugging code. Many organizations have Developers cross-check each other’s code, and a Senior Python Developer may spend considerable time instructing Junior Developers.
Read more about other job titles related to Python Developer.
Starting Your Day
Python Developers typically work either as part of a team or as a freelancer, and some do both. While their workstation may look different, the goal is always the same: create, manage, and maintain code on projects, usually in conjunction with a designer or design team, or, for freelancers, before a handoff to a client’s designers.
Because they may build the server side of websites or work on applications, Python Developers spend at least as much time in front of a computer as they interact with others. However, at least some of that work may be part of a duo, a practice called pair programming that gives companies the ability to have an extra set of eyes on development projects.
Whereas freelance Python Developers can set up their workstations any way they choose, those who work in a team environment may be in an open work area or a cubicle. And while freelancers choose their task scheduling based on individual preferences, most companies with development teams have straightforward policies, procedures, and expectations.
At the start of the day, a development professional’s tasks will vary, depending on the industry. Many will read and answer messages on a messaging tool like Discord, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. It’s not unusual for the first hour of a day to include informal one-on-one meetings. Most likely, a Python Developer will need an effective way to “clear the decks,” especially if they have a daily staff meeting.
Python Developers often attend daily team meetings to discuss goal progress. Prioritizing tasks is crucial, and many development pros use a project management tool like Asana or Jira. If the company holds daily team meetings, items on the priority list may shift to the top.
Python Developers also work on many types of projects, from large to small. While a comprehensive list is beyond the scope of this article, examples of Python projects can include:
- URL shortener
- Content aggregator
- File manager
- Quiz application
- Password generator
Pair programming can also be an essential part of a development pro’s morning, especially if the organization regularly has Developers review each other’s work together. And if you’re a Senior Developer, you might need to spend time training or observing Junior Developers.
Freelancers may have different methods of interacting with clients, typically based on the client’s needs and preferences. By contrast, most companies have policies for communication among development or design teams and with clients of every type.
After lunch, which typically falls into an hour-long slot between 11 AM and 1 PM, the Python Developer’s afternoon can vary even more than the morning. When a project reaches the completion stage for a design team, they may meet with the company’s web development team to hand it off. For a freelancer, such meetings may be structured and timed differently. Thanks to remote work and tools like Zoom and Slack, the need for in-person meetings, phone calls, or even email may be minimal.
Managing projects themselves also varies, especially between freelancers as opposed to employees. Whereas many freelance development pros use a time-tracking tool like TopTracker or Freshbooks, a Developer on a team may have to use one within the company’s preferred project management tool. Some of the most common management tools for development pros include:
Python Developers working as part of a team typically receive regular feedback, including performance reviews. Thanks to the pair programming concept, most of these skilled professionals can help each other learn on the job, and many get frequent assistance from Senior Developers.
Besides project management tools, Python Developers have to use numerous tools, some of which will be requirements for that particular company. Again, these can vary, but some of the most common include:
Most professionals on a development team spend time reviewing the coding for that day whenever possible. Some companies’ schedules allow development pros time to watch video tutorials, answer emails and voicemails, or cross-train with other departments. However, the end of a day in the life of a Python Developer truly varies by industry and company.
If time permits, many development professionals set up tasks for the following day or work on something outside their primary functions. Examples of additional non-Python training might include:
- Website architecture
- Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation
- Data visualization (Tableau, Power BI)
You might wonder why this list includes so many front end development skills. Keep in mind that only some Python Developers work strictly on the back end, whereas others are Full Stack Developers or Software Engineers. And even in cases where a position only requires back end expertise, you’ll still have to work with Front End Developers and UX/UI Designers. If you work as a freelance Python Developer, you will have significant contact with clients who may focus more on the user side than the server side.
Time outside the office varies for Python Developers as much as other aspects of the job. While a freelance development professional may focus on networking and marketing, a direct employee might spend more time with family and other obligations. However, certain circumstances might lead employees to work overtime, such as when a project or team is behind schedule or another team member’s error requires a coding review or overhaul.
Some of the best outside activities for Python Developers are nonetheless work-related. The following examples include some of the most common.
- Professional development - Professional development for Python pros can vary by industry or sector, like other aspects of their day-to-day activities. A Python Developer working for a biomedical company will have different goals than someone in finance. Professional development might mean training for a Full Stack Developer position or a specific certificate.
- Training for certification - Many professionals in Python-centered roles gain additional training through certification programs. These vary by industry as well. Some examples of popular certifications include:
- Certified Associate in Testing with Python (PCAT)
- Certified Entry Level Python Programmer (PCEP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
For more information on Python certifications, check the website for the Python Institute.
- Freelancing - Gig work is a full-time business for some tech pros, but others with full-time positions as Python Developers maintain a freelance business on the side. This type of work is attractive for those who start as freelancers, then gain permanent employment while keeping a few clients.
- Networking - Whereas some full-time employees wouldn’t want their employers to spot them at a networking meeting, others work for companies where professional development includes networking. Freelancers can typically benefit from networking, especially in cases where their local community has a high demand for their services.
Career development for Python pros can also come through groups like Business Networking International (BNI), chamber of commerce groups, and other professional associations.
Learn the Skills to Become a Python Developer at Noble Desktop
To become a Python Developer, everyone needs a range of skills and knowledge. Most people start with basics, like functions, variables, and the principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Progressing to a development role also can include additional server-side languages like React (JSX), machine learning algorithms, and object-relational mapping (ORM).
Noble Desktop offers a range of online and in-person Python classes and bootcamps for development, data science and analytics, FinTech, and cybersecurity. Instructors with practical expertise teach these programs, which feature small class sizes to ensure individual attention. Each graduate receives a certificate of completion and can even retake the course for up to one year at no additional charge.
Many Python novices review some free online resources to prepare for one of these courses. Noble Desktop’s Learn Hub includes a comprehensive guide to learning Python for development or data-centered roles. Here you can check out free on-demand courses and tutorials on topics like exchanging Excel for Python and making a Twitter bot with Python.
If you’re new to Python training, you might want to start with an immersive course like Noble’s Python Programming Bootcamp. However, you can also save by taking this bootcamp as part of their immersive Python Developer Certificate. This program provides Python fundamentals before taking participants through in-demand tools like Django REST, Git, and SQL. Check course listings for more details, including prerequisite information.