Overall Satisfaction with MATLAB
We use MatLab as our go-to engineering to programming platform. Our whole research procedure is vertically integrated using MatLab - we use MatLab's data acquisition toolbox to collect experimental data; its statistical tool-boxes to perform statistical analysis on the collected data and use its general programming interface to post-process the data and to make multi-physics simulation models to study the observed phenomenon.
- Has robust and easy-to-use debugging tools that can help one identify problems in one's codes.
- Rich, well-developed and efficient library of mathematical and statistical functions that one might need to develop models or perform statistical analysis.
- A very active online user community that is a great resource in terms of seeking help when you hit a snag.
- Great help literature (and sometimes videos too) on all tools making it possible for all to train themselves.
- MatLab is pricier than most of its competitors and because of this reason, many organizations are moving towards cheaper alternatives - mostly Python.
- MatLab is inefficient when it comes to performing a large number of iterations. It gets laggy and often crashes. Python is better in this regard.
- There is a limited number of hardware options (mostly NI) that can be connected directly to the data acquisition toolbox.
- Positive: Helped me integrate my whole research process.
- Positive: Given me the freedom to get rid of third party "black-box" design tools that I could not customize to meet my needs.
- Negative: Forced me - and my colleagues - to learn a skill that is increasingly becoming rare in the industry because of its price.
MatLab is better than Phython in terms of robustness of its tools, help library, online community, library of tools, ease of programming (simpler and more intuitive syntax), ease of installation and after sale service. These are really significant advantages and they are the reason why I still use MatLab. Having said that, MatLab has significant disadvantages compared to Python in terms of efficiency of running iterative scripts and its price.
My rating would have been an "8" if MatLab was more affordable, but because of its steep price point, and especially after its recent increase in licensing price, I don't feel comfortable recommending my colleagues a tool that I absolutely love and use everyday, but also believe that it is overpriced. Had the price not been an issue, I would've strongly recommended MatLab to all my peers, especially those working in STEM.