What Is Python: A Beginner’s Guide on the Versatile Programming Language
All computer programs are written using something called a programming language. Python is one of the most popular. What is Python, exactly? Discover more information, along with common uses.
What Is Python?
Python is the most widely used general-purpose programming language, due to its many uses and beginner-friendliness. It is a simple language, similar to English with an added influence of mathematics. It also gives you the option to include third-party modules, which are available from the Python Package Index. There are many versions of Python, with Python 3 being the most current. The language is frequently updated, and getting the latest version is easy.
Python is a high-level and versatile language, yet it is easily learned and used, making it a great solution for a wide range of projects. The basic syntax is comparable to Java, C, and C++. Many developers and novices alike choose this computer programming language to build websites from scratch, create new software, analyze data, and even automate tasks to save time. Since it’s general purpose, there is no specialized area where Python focuses on fixing problems. Instead, it can be put to many purposes.
Python coding is the method by which we communicate with computers through a programming language. It involves the actual process of writing the code to provide instructions regarding the various tasks the computer should perform. Essentially, coding is a translation act, converting instructions for a process into a form that the computer can use.
Programming, or the process of providing the computer with the information and commands it requires to carry out the functions of programs, is an essential function of all programming languages and is how developers use coding to design software.
Programming is a highly complex process done in stages. It starts with recognizing the problem or task required, followed by designing algorithms, developing and testing software, and then providing maintenance to keep everything in good working order. Writing a complete program requires the use of a number of tools and skills throughout all stages.
When Was Python Created?
The Python programming language was originally developed in the 1980s, although it was not released until 1991. It is both easy to use and enjoyable for most programmers, even beginners. The language takes care of many of the complexities and details, allowing those who are learning to focus on the basic concepts of the language.
Who Made Python?
Guido van Rossum developed Python. Its name is a reference to Monty Python, a well-known British comedy troupe. When designing the language, Van Rossum decided to make indentation meaningful. This was initially unpopular with critics, who believed the choice would ultimately make it more difficult to use. However, it turns out that his decision is one of the reasons for Python’s readability and overall success.
The developer ceased acting as the "Benevolent Dictator For Life" of the language in 2018. It is now led by a steering council. The Python Software Foundation currently holds the rights.
Is Python Open Source?
Python is an open-source language, meaning that it’s not proprietary and independent programmers can and do create new modifications and customizations all the time. However, they must fall within the provisions of the open-source license.
What Can Python Do?
Some of the major uses of Python are backend web development, AI, and data analysis. When it comes down to what is Python good for, there are numerous use cases. Examples include:
File reading and modifying
Server-side web applications
Building workflows to use with other software
Programming apps and games
If you need to develop a project, use our customized quiz to find Python hiring sites that fit your needs.
Benefits of Programming With Python
It’s easy to see why Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. It has a whole host of benefits to recommend it.
Many computer programming languages are complex and require programmers to delve deep into the details instead of focusing on the concepts of programming. Python removes much of that complexity so even beginners to coding can effectively build projects.
There is a huge range of tasks possible with Python. Once you learn the language, the possibilities of what you can do are nearly endless.
Python is compatible with any system that also uses Python code, and is now a standard component used in multiple operating systems. It runs as well on a Mac as it does on a Windows computer.
The syntax of Python has a lot of similarities with English. This makes it easy for users to read and understand on an intuitive level. There is no need to learn the meanings of numerous confusing symbols. This simplicity contributes to the ability to build new projects more quickly.
Python is open source, so programmers can use it for free, no matter the purpose. They also have the option to make modifications to improve upon functionality.
Extensive Archive of Libraries and Modules
Python keeps an archive of libraries and modules. These consist of all the code created by third-party users. You can benefit from this continuously growing collection that expands the capabilities of this favored programming language.
Another great benefit of Python is the large and active community that welcomes new members with open arms. Beginners especially can take advantage of the expertise and experience of others they interact with. If you run into a problem, just ask. It’s likely that someone else has already experienced the same issue you are having and has a solution ready and available to share.
Advantages of Python vs Other Programming Languages
There are several reasons why many developers and non-programmers alike prefer Python to similar languages. Python is generally viewed as more approachable, even for those who lack extensive training. It is also a web programming language, so it can send and receive web requests. Users of Python report that it is less wordy than programming languages like Ruby.
The most common alternatives to Python are:
Ruby: While Ruby has many benefits, Python is more popular, and therefore a more employable skill to learn. It is also more predictable, making it easy to spot when something goes wrong. Python also has more accessible instructional material.
Java: Java has many strengths, including its usage in building apps for Android. In comparison, Python doesn’t focus on developing mobile apps. The advantages of Python are that it boasts greater support resources compared to Java, and it requires fewer lines of code.
C#: Python and C# are both general-purpose languages, but C# focuses mainly on Windows instead of multiple operating systems.
PHP: While both are favored for backend development, Python comes with a powerful toolbox filled with resources, such as its libraries. PHP also has a more complex syntax, making it harder to learn.
What Is Python Used For?
The use of Python is worldwide and encompasses everything from website development to software testing. Part of the reason why Python is so popular is that it’s relatively simple to learn, so both developers and non-developers can use it. There are many potential uses of Python.
The most common use of Python is backend development for building websites. This encompasses all the data transmissions between servers, database communication, and processing of data, all while ensuring everything remains secure.
Python is also used to build web applications and games. Some big-name games like The Sims and Mount & Blade have used Python for design and development.
All web development requires a software framework for support. There are several choices when it comes to available frameworks used with Python. The two most used are Flask and Django.
While Python is amazing for programmers and developers, an often overlooked feature is its potential application to automate basic, daily tasks to simplify life. Even non-programmers can benefit from using Python for the following:
Sending text reminders
Tracking crypto or stocks
Converting text to spreadsheet format
Filling out online forms
There are many more possibilities. The bottom line is that Python has so many creative uses for your personal life as well as in business.
The Python programming language is frequently used in data science to:
Make complex calculations
Build algorithms for machine learning
Create visual representations of data
Python can translate data into various graphs and charts, making it easier to understand and explain broad themes to groups. Python libraries are also helpful for writing programs more efficiently.
Testing Software Prototypes
Developing successful software requires extensive testing to find bugs and identify weaknesses in the features. Python has tools, such as Green and Requestium, that test new software or individual features.
Another crucial area that uses Python is cybersecurity. Keeping data safe from hackers and malware is an ongoing job that is essential to the health and stability of web-based activities. Today, cybersecurity experts often choose to learn Python to have the option of building solutions for internet safety.
Simple, repetitive tasks that get performed regularly waste time and manpower. Automating these types of tasks is a great solution to free up resources and make everything run more efficiently. Python provides the ability to write code used in automation.
This process, called scripting, has quite a few compelling applications that make it worthwhile, such as delivering texts and emails at pre-scheduled times. Python can automate functions like error-checking files, mathematical calculations, file conversion, and deleting duplicates found in data sets.
Developers can even use Python to construct a blockchain. Real-world applications already use Python in everything from gambling platforms to market index software, to stock trading algorithms.
Who Uses Python?
Quite a variety of jobs across many industries use Python. A few job titles include:
There are also a huge number of well-known, large organizations that use Python. Some of the most recognizable are:
Google: Shares Python training
Netflix: Uses Python for multiple purposes, including data science and monitoring software
Reddit: Has its site mainly written in Python
Microsoft: Is big on Python development
Dropbox: Uses Python in its infrastructure and is a big public advocate of the language
Python is a great choice when it comes to selecting the right programming language. It’s easy to use yet has nearly infinite possibilities and applications, making it both reliable and flexible enough to accommodate your unique project development plans.