I’ve been using MATLAB for most of my research career. MATLAB provides an easy-to-use programming environment where you can rapidly prototype new ideas. Everything is self-contained, so you don’t have to worry about installing extra packages or their dependencies. The documentation is well done, most of your questions can readily be answered by the broader MATLAB community, and there is also tons of user-contributed code on MATLAB’s File Exchange. Sounds great, right?

However, I’ve found that most employers seem to prefer a more general purpose programming language (e.g. Python) over MATLAB. One of my recent coding interviews was done in Python, and the emergence of the Numpy/Matplotlib/Jupyter Notebook stack makes Python a viable competitor to MATLAB. One real advantage of Python over MATLAB is that it is free and open source. I also came across this recent post detailing the reasons why MATLAB isn’t ideal for students and scientists. As I start looking for jobs, I hope to learn more Python. What do you think of the MATLAB vs. Python debate? Which do you prefer and why?