Have you made up your mind to set foot in the world of programming, but struggling to choose a starting point? If that’s the case then you’ve come to the right place, because Python is just the thing. Given the wide array of computer languages, deciding your first can be stressful. It is definitely an influential verdict and plays a huge role in defining the future paths of your career. Python is one of the most popular choices in the software development industry today. It is not only easy to learn, but is extremely powerful and can be used to do anything! (No Kidding!)
No matter what language you begin with, get ready to spend a lot of time together. You will have to build a solid relationship with it, and things get messy if your partner is complicated. Python is a reliable choice because it’s different from your regular machine language – it is as close to plain English as can be. This makes it extremely readable and easy to understand, even for newcomers. It was introduced in 1991 and still delivers regular upgrades, so don’t take it as an outdated affair.
Despite being old, it continues to manufacture many modern development tools that are booming. There are certain advantages to the age-old status, such as the large community and supportive documentation. Many contemporary technologies might look promising, but you’re likely to get stranded when you run into an unusual conflict. Everything you need to start coding in Python is easily available online and absolutely free. Install Python on your computer, pick a text editor and you’re actually good to go!
Python has a syntax that reads like poetry or prose, and it is naturally simpler to type as compared to other machine languages. An interesting fact about this language is that the name was inspired from ‘Monty Python’ – a British surreal comedy group that became a famous television icon in the 1970s. Guido Van Rossum (founder of Python language) was a die-hard fan of the troupe, particularly Eric Idle. The default IDE (Integrated Development Environment) of the language, which is commonly referred to as ‘IDLE is also called ‘Eric’. If you consider yourself as a member of the fan-club, that’s one more good reason to come aboard.
Once you start studying Python, you will quickly adapt to thinking like a programmer and begin to write legit code. By the end of a month, you’ll become capable of creating your own programs; probably nothing Oscar-worthy but definitely something useful. As I mentioned earlier, you can use this language for building absolutely any kind of project. It is simply versatile, flexible and resourceful; so it doesn’t matter whether you’re building a one page website, or a high level mobile game app. NASA uses Python in many projects – does this revelation help resolve the enigma of its potential?
The Python bundle includes IDLE which is much more than an integrated development environment for running code. It acts as an interactive shell and provides many cool features to facilitate your coding practices; a few to name are highlighting, autocompletion, and ‘smart indent’. Moreover Python is platform independent, so you can run it on any machine and operating system.
Python is a multi paradigm programming language, which implies that it can be used for object oriented development, logical development, functional development, structured development and so on. It is magical in the sense that it can compose functions with lesser and more straightforward code, as opposed to other complicated machine languages. For a rough idea, five confusing lines of code written in C are equivalent to one simple line of code written in Python; yes, both can do the same thing. As a result, one can complete a 1-hour task within a fraction of the time frame, or maybe even a few minutes.
Before diving into Python, I recommend that you check out the “Zen of Python” which is a set of 19 principles that depict the design of this language. It is written rather poetically and you will enjoy it, unless you’re a buzzkill. The knowledge of Python can make you feel like a wizard as it is frequently used for automating many tasks, setting up code web scrapers or data mining. Lastly, are you ready to be part of a massive community and train yourself to become one of the Pythonists/Pythonistas/Pythoneers?
P.S: I recommend that you read the book ‘Python Tricks’ by Dan Bader, regardless of your Python language skill level. It’s an absolute delight and you’ll come across one or two interesting things every page or so.