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After Hiring Creator of Python VS Code Tool, Microsoft Hires Creator of Python

Microsoft is pursuing its prominent Python push in a big way, hiring the creator of the popular programming language, Guido van Rossum.

We first reported Microsoft's going "all in" on Python several years ago, a strategy capped off by hiring software engineer Don Jayamanne, who created a Python extension for Visual Studio Code that became the most popular tool in the VS Code Marketplace by far. How popular? As of this writing, it has been downloaded more than 27.6 million times and received an average rating of 4.4 (0-5 scale) from 349 reviews. Those 27.6 million downloads dwarf the second-most popular tool, C/C++, at 15.4 million.

Microsoft took over the VS Code Python project as its own after hiring Jayamanne and subsequently put out a hiring call in search of more Python developers.

With news breaking last week that Microsoft hired van Rossum, the company seemingly has culminated its embrace of Python, known both for simplicity -- and thus a good candidate for teaching programming -- as well as its facility for data science projects.

While Microsoft has been fairly mum on the hiring -- doing little more than to confirm it in response to press inquiries -- van Rossum himself announced the news last week with a tweet:

Hired to Make Python Better
[Click on image for larger view.] Hired to Make Python Better (source: Twitter).

Another well-known industry creator scooped up by Microsoft, Miguel de Icaza (GNOME, Mono, Xamarin), subsequently posted his own tweet noting the growing number of programming language designers and contributors employed by Microsoft:

Microsoft Language Designers/Contributors
[Click on image for larger view.]Microsoft Language Designers/Contributors (source: Twitter).

Now 29 years old, Python has been steadily climbing in popularity indices and surveys, recently reaching a popularity milestone: overtaking Java for the No. 2 position on the prominent TIOBE Index.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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