What is Python?
Python is an object-oriented programming language that is interpreted – as opposed to compiled – which has become popular thanks to it’s clear and incredibly readable syntax.
In fact, it is so easy to read that a majority of novice coders have chosen it as their first language.
It is considered portable because it is a cross-platform language. This means you can write Python code on a single platform, and it can be interpreted on several others like UNIX, MacOS X, MS-DOS, Windows, and more.
Here’s an interesting but little-known fact! Python was created by a developer named Guido van Rossum. At the time he worked on the language, his favorite comedy group was Monty Python’s Flying Circus – hence the name Python.
It’s also worth noting that Python is an open-source language, so the source code is available freely, online for anyone to modify and use.
How is Python used?
Python is a high-level, general-purpose language, so it can be used for multiple forms of development. For instance, it has been used to carry out tasks like analyze data, but it’s also been used in game development.
TIP: When a language is referred to as “high-level” it is because the syntax and commands it recognizes are closer to human language instead of that of a computer. The term high-level was initially used to describe languages that are not locked down to a particular type of computer.
As an aside, Python is popular in the scientific community because a lot of modern scientists use it to calculate complicated equations in the data analytics field.
If you’re familiar with developer lingo, it can handle dynamic data types, ready-made classes, and allows interfaces to both system calls and libraries. Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of that now.
When working with the language, you can also extend your applications and programs using C or C++ if need be. This means it can be beneficial to learn these additional languages if you plan on working with Python regularly.
To provide some real-world examples, Python powers Microsoft’s Active Server Page (ASP) technology, Melbourne Australia’s Cricket Ground, and the Z Object Publishing Environment (a popular web application server).
It doesn’t matter whether you are new to programming or you’re interested in learning another language, we have the resources to help you get started.
Follow our comprehensive guide that will introduce you to the basics of the language, and walk you through creating your first programs.
We recommend starting at the top and finishing each section before moving on, even if you have prior experience.
What Does “Interpreted Language” Mean?
Python is an interpreted language, which means that the written code is not actually translated to a computer-readable format at runtime. Whereas, most programming languages do this conversion before the program is even run. This type of language is also referred to as a “scripting language” because it was initially meant to be used for trivial projects.
The concept of a “scripting language” has changed considerably since its inception, because Python is now used to write large, commercial style applications, instead of just banal ones.
A long list of modern web applications and platforms rely on Python, including Google’s search engine, YouTube, and the web-oriented transaction system of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
In fact, Python is so powerful that NASA uses it for their equipment and space machinery. How cool is that?
Python is also used behind the scenes to process a lot of elements you might need or encounter on your device(s) – mobile included. These include things like processing text, displaying numbers or images, solving complicated equations, or storing data.
Next, we’re going to discuss the Benefits of Learning Python.
The Benefits of Learning Python
Learning and working with Python has a handful of benefits.
For starters, it is extremely easy to learn, and can be used as a stepping stone into other programming languages and frameworks like PERL, C, C++, and more. If you’re an absolute beginner and this is your first time working with any type of coding language, that’s something you definitely want. Once you complete your training you’ll have many opportunities to grow if need be, instead of being confined to a single language.
Next, Python is popular so it’s widely used. So popular, that it’s used by a number of tech giants like Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Yahoo!, Disney, IBM, Nokia, and more. Once you learn Python, you’ll never have a shortage of ways to utilize the skill. Not to mention, because a lot of big companies rely on the language, you can make good money as a Python developer.
Additional benefits are:
1) Python can be used in the development of prototypes, and it can help speed up the concept to creation process because it is so easy to use and read.
2) Python is ideal for general purpose tasks such as data mining, and big data facilitation.
3) Developers of all skill levels tend to stay more organized and productive when working with Python when compared to languages like C# and Java.
4) Python is easy to read, even if you’re not a skilled programmer so it is ideal for use among multi-programmer and large development teams, especially those with coding inexperienced team members.
5) Django is a complete and open source web application framework and it is powered by Python. Frameworks – like Ruby on Rails – simplify the development process, by allowing developers to work with snippets of existing code called modules. These code packets can be modified and repurposed as necessary across multiple projects.
6) Since Python is an open source language and is community developed, it has a massive support base. Millions of like-minded developers work with the language on a regular basis. In addition, the community continuously works together to improve upon core functionality. This is also a great way to network with other developers.
7) Python continues to receive official enhancements and updates as time progresses. This is a great way to implement new functionality and meet evolving development standards.