python programming - introduction

20 Oct 2018 - Mark Edosa

Python is a general-purpose high-level programming language, useful in the creation of both small, medium and large scale mobile, web and desktop applications.

  • It was created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991. Link.

Python comes in different flavours including but not limited to:

FEATURES OF PYTHON

Here’s why you would want to learn python programming.

  • Python is easy, concise / readable.
     
        name = "Peter Griffin"
        number = 5
        
        print("Hello")
        # note the absence of semicolons `
       
 
  • this is the equivalent C++ code (which is the beginning of all difficulties… C++ is great but not as a first language in my opinion)
        #include <iostream>
        
        using namespace std;
        
        int main(){
           
           string name = "Peter Griffin";
           int number = 5;
           
           cout << "Hello" << endl;
           
           return 0;
        }
       

This implies that the immediate result(s) of code written is executed line by line without an initial compilation into a machine-readable format (e.g binaries or zeros and ones) by a compiler

  • automatic memory management (unlike C++).

When objects (e.g. strings, numbers, lists) are created they are stored in memory of your machine or device. Python helps with cleaning or removal of these objects after the program is ran to completion. While in some programming languages e.g C/C++ , the memory used by the created object as has to freed or reallocated by the programmer.

  • dynamically typed (you don’t have to declare variable / function return types like in C, java, C++ etc..).
       name = "Peter Griffin" (python) 
       # the interpreter automatic knows that the variable name is / holds a string.

       string name = "Peter Griffin"; (Java, C++) 
       # you must tell the compiler the type of variable. In this case, a string also.

    
  • Supports different programming practices (procedural, object oriented, functional)

  • versatile use (web, ML, embedded, big companies)

  • scalable (small and large applications can be created)

  • popular. Python is among the fastest growing programming languages.

USES OF PYTHON

Some of the uses of Python includes (You’ll love this!):

  • Desktop applications (e.g. an example is Inkscape, a free computer graphics application).

    Wxpython, an implementation of wxWidgets is a popular tool for creating graphical user interfaces (GUI).

  • Artificial intelligence / Machine Learning as well as Data analysis (via the sciPy packages)

  • DevOps / System administration / Writing automation scripts

  • Educational purposes (great for introducing programming concepts, since it is easy)

  • Embedded development (This is the use of python within a programming language such as C / Java etc.)

  • Game development (check out pygame , a tool for game development)

  • Mobile development(e.g. with kivy)

  • Multimedia applications development

  • Network programming

  • Programming of web parsers / scrapers / crawlers

  • Software prototyping

  • Software testing / Writing automated tests

  • Web development (Django web development framework, Flask microframework)

CONCLUSION

python is a great piece of software that you should consider learning or mastering because there are many possibilities or opportunities available to a python programmer. Next let’s install the python software.

About author
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Mark Edosa

Mark Edosa is an Optometrist by day and a Web developer / Data scientist by night. At his spare time, he loves learning new stuffs as well as listening to music.