20 Jun 2020
Python is an easy to learn and general purpose high-level programming language. It was created by Guido Van Rossum in 1991, and it is widely-used in writing programs that solve problems across various industries.
Some of Van Rossum’s goals for creating the Python language was
Today, Python is one of the most popular programming languages. It was ranked 3rd in the February 2020 TIOBE Programming Community Index ranking, and according to a survey it is among the top 10 most mentioned required skills in job postings. The Python Language provides many benefits, but these are its most prominent advantages:
Python is easy to read and understand
Unlike other programming languages, Python emphasizes code readability hence its syntax is easy to learn and understand. This makes it the ideal language for novices to accelerate their learning curve for programming. The object oriented approach of Python provides a consistent way to use objects (called classes) that allows programmers to write clear, good code for both small and large projects.
Python runs on major systems and platforms
The wide usage of Python is encouraged by the fact that it runs on all the major operating systems. In addition, Python is an interpreted programming language; that means it gives you the flexibility of running the same code on different platforms without having to recompile it. This time saving feature allows Python to interface freely with other platforms.
Python is open source
As an open source language, Python gives you access to a range of frameworks, libraries and development tools that reduces software development cost and time significantly.
Python is kept up to date with regular revisions
The python language is constantly advanced through the release of new versions. Each revision comes with new capabilities that ensures the language stays up to date with the latest software development practices.
Python can be used for so many things but these are 3 broad categories of how it is widely used today.
Web Development using frameworks:
Web frameworks like Django & Flask now make it possible to write server-side code in Python. The Python language cannot be executed on the client-side (typically web browsers), but web frameworks allow developers to use Python to create back end code for data-driven websites and products that deal with large databases.
Python is useful in helping Data Scientists import, clean, manipulate, and visualize data. Data is king and Data Science is now one of the prominent fields of IT in which Python is widely used. Python has a vast and deep support, and most data science libraries and machine learning frameworks out there have a Python interface. Popular Python libraries like pandas, Numby, Matplotlib are used to visualize and analyze large data.
For Scripting & Automation
Scripting is the process of writing small programs that are designed to automate simple tasks.
For instance, if you need to track and record the frequency of packet loss on a network, a simple Python script can be written to automate this task. Python allows DevOps and Network Engineers to use tools like Ansible and Salt to configure systems and carry out system provisioning.
As a programmer it’s essential to know the major limitations of Python. It will guide you in deciding if it’s the suitable language to code that new project with
Speed of execution
Python is an interpreted script language which makes it slower in translating code when compared to other languages. When creating applications that require speedy execution of tasks, Python is not your best choice for development, therefore use compilers like Java or C/C++. However, there are ways developer’s enhance the speed of applications written in Python.
Python is not suited for mobile development
The speed and support Python lacks from the major mobile platforms (iOS & Android) makes it unattractive to developers for mobile applications. iOS apps are written in either Objective-C or Swift while Android apps need to be written in Java, hence developers can’t directly develop mobile apps in Python without using third-party frameworks like Kivy.
Consumes more memory
Python is not suited for memory-intensive operations. The flexibility of data types makes Python's memory usage relatively higher. This high memory consumption makes it less suitable for memory-intensive applications.
How to learn
A good resource to start with is the standard Python FAQ set by the Python Software Foundation - a non-profit organization that manages and directs resources for Python development.
Treten Academy also offers a course that allows you to learn Python from scratch. You will be taught the basic concepts of object-oriented programming with Python and you will get to implement real-life applications of Python by working on two projects. At the end of the course you will gain a certification that gives you an opportunity to advance your career with a high demand skill. You can find more information on the Python Course page.