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How Third-Party Packages Can Help You

00:00 Let’s talk about how third-party packages can help you become a more productive and more effective Python coder. What I absolutely love about Python is the fact that it has a super rich third-party package ecosystem.

00:14 When I checked PyPI, close to 100,000 packages were just freely available for anyone to install through pip. And all of these modules and libraries combined cover a wide range of topics and scenarios.

00:30 Because of this rich third-party library ecosystem it’s fairly likely that whatever scenario you encounter, there might just be a free Python library that you could use that will make your job so much easier.

00:46 Imagine you’re working on a Python project, and now the need arises to download files over HTTP or to talk to some kind of web service in your application.

00:57 Now of course you could go in and write this functionality from scratch, but maybe just maybe, there is a third-party package that could help you with this.

01:06 And if you found the perfect third-party package, you could save a lot of time, you wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel, and write this stuff from scratch, and you could deliver the whole project so much faster.

01:18 Where do you find those great Python packages? And this is a very common question, and the common challenge for every Python developer, leaving the safe haven of the Python standard library.

01:30 So given a problem that you want to solve in your program, how can you identify and where can you find a package that could help you with that? Then of course the next question is what actually makes a quality Python package, how can you tell if you have multiple options available, which one is better, which one is going to have less of a maintenance burden and which one is the safer choice in the long run?

01:54 Unfortunately, I’ll have to share some bad news with you first. There isn’t really a shortcut to finding the perfect Python package, because there is so many packages you can choose from, it will always take some research and some elbow grease to find the perfect package or the perfect library given the situation that you are in.

02:14 However, this is totally worth it, this is a perfect way for you to really scale your productivity and take it to the next level. If you can develop the skills to find and identify quality third-party packages, and you can start leveraging those in your own programs, your productivity will shoot through the roof.

02:32 Because you will be able to avoid having to reinvent the wheel all the time, and you will be able to build your applications using these freely available building blocks and that will make you much faster, much more effective and much more productive as a Python developer.

antchal on Feb. 26, 2021

On PyPI it says “293,900 projects”, so are these different from “packages” which you mentioned to be 100k or is it just the case that they have tripled from the timestamp of this video?

Geir Arne Hjelle RP Team on Feb. 26, 2021

The growth in packages on PyPI is quite ridiculous 😂 Not that many years ago, I held an intro to Python course where we marvelled at there being 30 000 available packages/projects on PyPI.

The PyPI projects and packages in the video refer to the same thing.

antchal on Feb. 26, 2021

Thanks for the quick response. I feel priviledged to hear from you. BTW do you think that Python can surpass JS in terms of number of packages, in say, next 5-10 years? What about after the advent of Quantum Computing, since, like ML, Python seems to be the language of (at least today’s) QC as well?

Geir Arne Hjelle RP Team on Feb. 26, 2021

I don’t have much insight into the JS ecosystem, so I can’t really compare. I’m not so sure the number of packages necessarily is a sign of quality though. Of the close to 300 000 packages available on PyPI now, there are probably just a few thousand that are really useful and well maintained.

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