What Is Python? 11 Things To Know Before Python Programming

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Python Programming

Before starting your journey with python programming, it is advisable to know what is Python?

Therefore, in this tutorial, we shall understand the history of python programming, where is it used, Python’s popularity, and top companies that use Python

Python is a general-purpose interpreted, and interactive language that supports object-oriented programming. Python is a high-level programming language, and it can also be utilized as a scripting language.

What Is Python?

Who Created Python?

Python was being built by Guido Van Rossum, during 1982-1990, at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica(CWI), and was first released on February 20, 1991.

Guido Van Rossum, the creater of Python

Guido Van Rossum

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica(CWI) - place where Guido Van Rossum created Python

CWI

Why Was It Named Python?

Guido Van Rossum was a big fan of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’. It used be a famous TV show, which was first aired by BBC in 1969.

Getting inspiration from the show, Guido Van Rossum wanted a short and unique name that would stay in people’s minds forever. Therefore, Python was named after Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

When Was Python Created? 

Below mentioned is a brief timeline of the Python Programming Language;

  1. Python’s first public release (USENET)  – 20th of February 1991
  2. Later PYTHON.ORG website  was introduced on 27th of March 1995
  3. Python 2.0 was released on 16th of October 2000
  4. Later Python 3.0 was released on 3rd of December 2008
  5. Currently Python 3.8 is the most stable version, released on 14th of October 2019

What Can Python Be Used For?

Python can generally be used for the following;

  1. Software Development
  2. Web Applications
  3. Artificial Intelligence 
  4. Scientific and Mathematical Usage
  5. Robotics
  6. Embedded / Internet of Things Applications
  7. Data & Business Analyst
  8. Game Development
  9. Cyber Security
  10. Big Data
  11. Finance
  12. Design & Modelling

What Can You Do With Python?

Python is a general-purpose programming language. Making it easy for you to;

  1. Build Desktop Applications(GUIs),
  2. Use it in AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Robotics
  3. Create Virtual Assistants.
  4. Perform operations in Scientific Calculations,
  5. Utilize in Web Development, for creating fully-functional websites
  6. Use in Big data, Game Development, Cyber Security, and much more

Why Use Python Programming Language?

  1. Fun and Easy to Learn.
  2. Syntax is very similar to English language
  3. It can easily operate on different platforms.
  4. Python runs on an Interpreter system.
  5. Jobs like Python Developer give you a higher salary
  6. Python is blessed with a large community
  7. The language is Portable & Extensible

Why Is Python So Popular?

There is no doubt that python is very popular among developers and tech giants.

Below is the graph taken from Stack Overflow’s index, showcasing the percentage of questions that have appeared for each programming language. Hereby, Python is the most popular with a growing curve from year 2009 to 2021.

 

percentage of stack overflow questions for each programming language

Now let’s discuss why developers love python and why is it so popular?

Python Is Easy to Learn and Implement 

Python language is straightforward to learn and code for beginners and newcomers. The language is one of the most accessible programming languages. Since, it has a very simplified syntax and is not at all complicated, emphasizing a natural language flow.

Due to its ease of learning and usage, python codes can be easily written and executed much faster than other programming languages.

Huge Community With Supportive Members

Python is almost 30 years old. Giving it a lot of time to mature its community with experienced developers. Since, python adopted Machine Learning, people who learn python have a very massive growth with great opportunities.

Supported By Corporate Sponsor

Having a corporate sponsor backing a programming language helps a lot. C# is sponsored by Microsoft, Java under Sun and now Oracle, and PHP is heavily used by Facebook.

Google has adopted Python from 2006, and they’ve used it for creating multiple platforms and applications since then.

It really helps a lot when a programming language has a corporate sponsor.

Python Has Large Variety of Libraries

As Python has a large community and great corporate sponsor, they have various libraries for each field, which are as follows;

  1. Django and Flask for Web Development
  2. Tkinter for GUI development
  3. Pygame to develop games
  4. SciPy for Scientific and Technical Computing
  5. Keras for building Neural Networks
  6. TensorFlow to build Deep Learning Applications
  7. NumPy, Pandas, and SciKit-Learn for Data Analytics & Machine Learning, etc.

Python Has Boosted Big Data

Big data and cloud computing solutions in the enterprise world have been boosted after the success of the Python language in terms of data collection. This makes python one of the most popular languages used in Data Science.

 

Top Companies Using Python

Many world-class companies use Python; like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, Netflix, Quora, and much more.

Even NASA uses python for in-depth space research projects.

Google

Google is one of the top players to use python initially for  Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing. It even started improvising its search engine algorithm using Python. Google used python to power their most advanced AI called, DeepMind.

As a Google engineer said;

Python where we can, C++ where we must

Facebook

Facebook uses python in technologies like managing infrastructure, binary distribution, hardware imaging, and operational automation. Almost 21%  of Facebook codebases are written in Python.

Facebook also has its real-time web framework developed in Python called Tornado.

Instagram

 In 2016, the Instagram engineering team members announced that they are running the world’s largest deployment of the Django web framework, which was written entirely in Python.

A software engineer at Instagram says;

We initially chose to use Python because of its reputation for simplicity and practicality, which aligns well with our philosophy of ‘do the simple things first’

Dropbox

A vast percentage of Dropbox’s server-side code is written in python. As Dropbox had once employed Guido Van Rossum.

The Director of Engineering of Dropbox Engineering department said;

The Dropbox desktop client is written in Python, and it’s one of if not the largest piece of desktop client software that is out, and Dropbox has 400 million users. There aren’t that many pieces of desktop software that don’t sort of bundled with an operating system distribution, that have that level of a user base.”

Netflix

Netflix uses the power of data analysis for its movie recommendation system using Python.

You can check out python projects for getting better understanding of python programming.

Python Syntax Compared

Python is straightforward to implement and easy to read compared to other programming languages like Java, C, and C++.

Java Python C++
public class Main {
public static void
main(String[] args) {
System.out.println(“Hello World”);
}
}
print(“Hello, World!”) #include <iostream>
using namespace std;int main() {
cout << “Hello World!”;
return 0;
}

How Python Works?

Python does not work like any other programming languages, which converts codes into machine language.

Until today, python code transforms into something called as Byte Codes. These byte codes get compiled within the python interpreter, and never convert the code into machine language.

Making the code short and so flexible, saving you a lot of compile time.

Different From Other Languages

In the above example, both Java and C++require multiple lines of code, for printing a single line of text. However, Python needed only one line of code to print a single of text.

Easy observation, isn’t it?

This is just a basic comparisson. On the same token, there are multiple such situations where you will easily get to know the difference between other programming languages and Python. 

What Are Python Implementations?

There are multiple python implementations or we could say languages derived from Python, to execute certain types of programs.

  1. CPython
  2. Jython
  3. IronPython
  4. PyPy
  5. MicroPython

 

Tips For Beginners In Python Programming

Tip 1: Practice every day, make your hands dirty by coding and executing the python examples everyday.

Tip 2: Make Notes. Start writing handwritten notes based on your understanding, which will help you get better at each particular topic.

Tip 3: Make Something. Based on the learning, start developing your own programs. Try all sorts of logic and use use your imagination to create something useful.

FAQs

What is the main use of Python?

Python is a high level general purpose programming language, which is very easy to learn. It is mainly used in Website Development, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Desktop & Mobile App Development, and Designing.

What language is Python derived from?

Well, this is mainly known to all that Python is the successor of ABC. But, in the making of Python, Guido Van Rossum has also taken Modula-3, C and C++, shell and other scriting languages into account.

Why was Python created?

Initially developed by Guido Van Rossum as a hobby project. Python focussed more on code readability and easy to understand syntax. Hence, it was created to develop and create programs by using fewer lines of code. This gave rise to Python’s popularity amongst programmers all around the world.

What version of Python should I use?

When talking about program compatibily, its always best to use one major release/version behind the current version. At the time of writing, the current version, 3.9 is undergoing bugfixes. Therefore, you can download and use Python version 3.8

 

 

Was this article helpful?
Share on: