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What is Python?

joelbuenrostro profile image Joel Buenrostro ・3 min read

Python is one of the most popular and fastest-growing programming languages in the world. It's used for all sorts of tasks including web programming and data analysis, and it's emerged as the language to learn for machine learning. That popularity means that python developers are in demand and python programming jobs can be lucrative.

Created in the early 1990s, it enjoys a wide range of uses from automating repetitive tasks and writing web apps to build machine learning models and implementing neural networks. Researchers, mathematicians, and data scientists in particular like Python because of its rich and easy-to-understand syntax and the wide range of open-source packages available. Packages are commonly used, shared code libraries that are freely available for anyone to use.

Python has a simple, easy to learn syntax which emphasizes readability. Applications written in Python can run on almost any computer, including those running Windows, macOS, and popular distributions of Linux. Furthermore, the ecosystem contains a rich set of development tools for writing, debugging, and publishing Python applications.

Finally, Python is supported by an active user community that is eager to help new programmers learn the Pythonic way where you don't just get the syntax right, but use the language the way it was intended.

The PSF

The Python Software Foundation is an organization devoted to advancing open source technology related to the Python programming language. Also produce and underwrite the PyCon US Conference, the largest annual gathering for the Python community.

Installing

Installing Python is generally easy, and nowadays many Linux and UNIX distributions include a recent Python. Even some Windows computers (notably those from HP) now come with Python already installed. If you do need to install Python and aren't confident about the task you can find a few notes on the BeginnersGuide/Download wiki page, but installation is unremarkable on most platforms.

Learning

Before getting started, you may want to find out which IDEs and text editors are tailored to make Python editing easy, browse the list of introductory books, or look at code samples that you might find helpful.

There is a list of tutorials suitable for experienced programmers on the BeginnersGuide/Tutorials page. There is also a list of resources in other languages that might be useful if English is not your first language.

The online documentation is your first port of call for definitive information. There is a fairly brief tutorial that gives you basic information about the language and gets you started. You can follow this by looking at the library reference for a full description of Python's many libraries and the language reference for a complete (though somewhat dry) explanation of Python's syntax. If you are looking for common Python recipes and patterns, you can browse the ActiveState Python Cookbook

Looking to Help?

If you want to help to develop Python, take a look at the developer area for further information. Please note that you don't have to be an expert programmer to help. The documentation is just as important as the compiler, and still needs plenty of work!

That's all for a quick introduction to the Python world and with this information now you can do your first steps in the Python community.

Enjoy and happy coding!!!

Discussion (6)

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rishitkhandelwal profile image
Rishit Khandelwal

Sadly, python sucks cause some code will reach 3000 position horizontally

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joelbuenrostro profile image
Joel Buenrostro Author

Hi Rishit, Python is a tool like many others, there is no perfect language and the programmer's job is to create readable and efficient code.
Thanks for comment!!!

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rishitkhandelwal profile image
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webketje profile image
webketje

Here's my similarly-titled counter-article:

What is Python?

A snake

EOF

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techyez_com profile image
Techyez

Good post!

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joelbuenrostro profile image