Over the past 5 years, Coding Dojo has taught thousands of developers their first ever programming language. One thing we have always kept an eye on was finding that perfect first language for a beginning programmer. We’re searching for a language that is friendly, well versed in good practices and commonly used in the industry as this would be best for your learning experience. Given our experience training thousands of developers from scratch, our resounding pick is Python.
Python is easy to learn, read, and use. And it’s also one of the hottest technologies in the job market. But this is just Python in a nutshell – there’s a lot more to it. Read on to see our top reasons for why Python is perfect for beginners.
Easy to Learn, Read, and Use
Unlike C# and other languages, Python’s syntax is human readable and it’s concise. As a beginner, this will allow you pick up the basics quickly, with less mental strain, and you can level up to advanced topics quicker. With one glance at Python code, you can infer what the code is doing. In contrast, most programming languages require more syntax (written) code to accomplish similar tasks, and the syntax doesn’t mirror the human language.
As you can note, the amount of code we write even for a simple application (7 lines in C# vs 1 line in Python) supports the narrative that Python is easier to use. If we extend that example further to a small number guessing game we can take see how much Python can take the stress out of programming.
This small example shows us that as we keep scaling up, Python maintains the core functionality of readability and keeping itself easy and usable.
Less Syntax Memorization
Given the simplicity of Python’s syntax, you won’t need to memorize lots of sections code that are included in many different places. This will open up hours of time, for you to focus on more advanced concepts that develop your true programming skills, rather than just your ability to memorize syntax – an important aspect of programming, but not a true measurement of your proficiency.
With less code to memorize, there are fewer mistakes made by a developer. Over the years, Python has evolved to incorporate new ideas and meet new requirements; however, the structure of the language has not changed at all. Those methods and functions you will use today are almost identical to the ones used 10 years ago. This allows you to read across decades of code without adjustment.
Proper Programming Practices are Built-in
When learning new concepts, it is a great time to learn about industry standards and proper programming practices. Python has you covered. There are a ton of programming standards to follow but it always will come down to the basics. The practice of indenting your code is a perfect example. This allows you to stay organized and makes it easier for developers to read your code base. It also is required in Python. For Python to be interpreted, indentation tells our compiler how our code base is meant to be run.
Having code that is readable, and allows team members to read what was written, is extremely vital and required of any developer. With Python, we are already following great programming practices and helping our team out.
Python is an Object-Oriented Language
Every developer needs to know about Object-Oriented Programming and it comes built into the Python language. This is the practice of creating objects and data to solve problems. This foundational concept is what Object-Oriented Languages are built on top of. Before Object-Oriented Programming existed, programmers would write lines of code that will run procedurally. This was a top-down approach that would solve one problem at a time but your code base was not flexible. Instead, Object-Oriented Programming came into the picture to allow us to create objects that would be flexible and allow unique actions to trigger different results.
Using classes, understanding inheritance and instantiation are keys to advancing yourself as a young developer. In addition to already being built as an Object-Oriented Language; Python comes built with a host of libraries and modules that further expand its capabilities. These tools will allow you speed up your development cycle causing you to produce better projects, quicker than other languages could.
None of this would matter if Python was not relatable to the industry. Python is widely used in Data Science, Web Applications or Game Development. Some of the top companies that utilize Python include Google, Facebook, Dropbox, NASA, IBM, EA, 2k Games, to name a few. A complete list is located here: Organizations Using Python. Companies will use Python for its ease, flexibility, and power. It can solve almost any problem thrown its way. Need a program to run quickly? Python is almost twice as fast as Ruby. Do you need to scale your application for millions of users? Python can be easily expanded to accomplish that. Want to minimize the amount of code you write but maximize value? Python allows you to write less and accomplishes more.
Every company has a need for Python.
With that in mind, there is a demand and reward for those that are skilled with Python. The world needs more Python developers and you could not ask for a better language to start off with. Python will speed up your learning curve and get you started on the right path to being a great developer. With so much to learn and so many amazing opportunities presented by Python, be sure to check out Coding Dojo’s Python Curriculum for more information.