The support of Python 2 has come to an end in January 2020, and except a few final fixes coming up in April, it will no longer be updated and maintained. This means “no new bug reports, fixes, or changes will be made to Python 2, and it is no longer supported”, as stated by the core development community of the language.
Even though Python 3 has been the dominant version for the past few years, a whole range of companies hasn’t made the transition yet and are still using version 2. Migrating to Python 3 is not an easy task, especially for large organizations with huge codebase, complicated logic and heavy decision process but after the official End of Life of Python 2, the migration becomes inevitable sooner or later. So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that would make you turn your eyes to Python 3.
Losing Security Updates
One of the major risks of not migrating to Python 3 is security. With the official End of Life (EoL) of version 2, no security updates will be made. This eventually would lead to security vulnerabilities that nobody will be fixing, and would expose any system that runs on Python 2 at a serious risk.
Don’t panic, it won’t necessarily happen immediately. But if you haven’t considered updating to Python 3 yet, probably it is time to start thinking in that direction.
Missing out new features
Python 3 brings significant improvements to the language and platform. Worth mentioning here are the support of Unicode, simpler and easy to read syntax with a better expression of common idioms and patterns. Python 3 also brings improvements in concurrency, fault handling, testing and debugging which allow the development of stronger and more secure applications. Moreover, computing speed has been dramatically improved along with a number of other speed gains and optimizations.
Failing to attract new and experienced talent
Python is gaining more popularity among developers. It is the fastest-growing and the most wanted language to learn for the 3rd year in a row according to Stackoverflow Developer Survey 2019. But with the official retirement of Python 2, there probably won’t be many developers who would prefer learning an old and unsupported version instead of the new upgraded version of the language.
Moreover, according to a survey by opensource.com in 2018, Python 3 is used by 75% of Python developers in comparison to only 25% who are using 2. It is more likely that the majority of developers would prefer to migrate from version 2 to 3 than vice versa.
These trends would limit the talent pool of professionals who code on Python 2 and would make finding and retaining experienced people who would like to develop and maintain systems with it, a very difficult process.
The EoL of Python 2 puts an end of a whole chapter of the language’s history. The transition to version 3 may be a difficult process for a lot of companies, but it brings new opportunities to improve legacy systems and achieve better data security.
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