One of the wonderful things with modern programming languages—the sense of community associated with them.
Volunteers from around the world work without thought of reward in order to build a foundation for others to build on. The open source and open data movements allow for there to be an infusion of decentralized innovation.
Good old Python is one language that has been used for an array of different tasks, from manipulating data, to creating entire web platforms. Popular templates such as Django allow it to build household names such as Pinterest. Recently Python has become the most popular introductory language taught at American universities.
It represents a canvas which individual volunteers have painted in. You can plug and play different modules for all sets of tasks with the Python framework. For example, you can use Scrapy for web crawling, or SciPy for scientific calculations.
Each one of these modules comes with healthy communities supporting their maintenance and continued development, as well as ample documentation to allow everybody to really understand the tools they’re using.