Python is a general service
programming language developed by software engineers
that has solid programming libraries for math, statistics and machine learning. Python has best-in-class tools for pure machine learning and deep learning
, but lacks much of the infrastructure for subjects like econometrics and communication tools such as reporting
. Because of this, Python is well-suited for computer scientists and software engineers.
R is a statistical
programming language developed by scientists
that has open source libraries for statistics, machine learning, and data science. R lends itself well to business because of its depth of topic-specific packages and its communciation infrastructure
. R has packages covering a wide range of topics such as econometrics, finance, and time series. R has best-in-class tools for visualization, reporting, and interactivity, which are as important to business as they are to science. Because of this, R is well-suited for scientists, engineers and business professionals.
What Should You Do?
Don’t make the decision tougher than what it is. Think about where you are coming from:
- Are you a computer scientist or software engineer? If yes, choose Python.
- Are you an analytics professional or mechanical/industrial/chemical engineer looking to get into data science? If yes, choose R.
Think about what you are trying to do:
- Are you trying to build a self-driving car? If yes, choose Python.
- Are you trying to communicate business analytics throughout your organization? If yes, choose R.
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