In the last years Python has evolved into the primary language used in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. The flexible and dynamic nature of the language as well as the wide range of scientific libraries allow for fast prototyping and simple development of new applications. Unfortunately Python programs can be slower than native compiled languages such as C++ or Fortran by orders of magnitude, limiting the applications of Python in astronomical surveys where complex analyses have to be performed on large data sets.
In this talk I will present HOPE, a specialized Python just-in-time compiler for astrophysical applications that combines the ease of Python and the speed of C++. I lay out the architecture, concept and implementation of the package and show how we have significantly improved the performance of our simulations for astronomical surveys.