What is Python?

No, we’re not talking about the snake. Python is arguably the most popular, friendly, and simple programming language out there. Pretty much everyone seems to be using it now, for lots of different reasons. But what exactly is it? Who uses it and what for? That’s what we’re going to chat about in this article. 

So, what is Python?

It’s a multi-purpose programming language and is the most in-demand language in the industry. Instagram, Youtube, Spotify, Netflix, Uber and even Reddit are all companies that are known to use it. But what makes it stand out is just how much you can use Python for. You may think only software engineers use it, but scientists, mathematicians, data analysts, and accountants tinker with Python every day. All for different reasons.  Why? Because it’s simple and easy to learn. It’s a flexible language, using relatively straightforward syntax.

What’s Python used for?

A lot of things. It’s a multipurpose language. But here are the big buckets that it’s most commonly used for: 

  • Managing big data: Data scientists will use Python to manage, compile and visualise massive amounts of data, saving days (even weeks) or manual work.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Companies will use Python to create AI and ML which uses all of their data. So, they could use this to better understand their audience and improve content and targeting, as an example.  
  • Automation: This can be used for tasks big or small. From managing files, running a simple Reddit bot, or even sorting and organizing a massive amount of data for a publishing company.  
  • General programming and web development: Developers can even use Python to create simple video games, and build most web, desktop, and mobile apps and sites. 

What makes Python so special?

It’s super simple

You can figure out really complicated problems with Python with very little code. The language is super short and sweet. It has a simple but powerful syntax, which just makes things all of the easier for your average joe. Compared with other languages, it’s much easier to read Python. Most of the language is written in the language, whereas a language like C is going to look a lot more like algebra.

It’s cross-platform 

You can build apps and software on all of the major platforms (windows, mac, and Linux). A lot of languages require you to do more custom coding and work to get your app to run across other platforms. But Python is versatile. 

There’s a large community and lots of resources 

A lot of different industries and communities use Python, from beginner to pro. So there are more resources out there to dig through. More templates to use and guides to follow (a bit like the one we’ve put together here). And there are more people to ask questions to. Technically speaking, all other programming languages can do what Python does. But because it’s oh-so-simple and neat and tidy, it’s the easiest one to get into. This is important, considering how fast technology is evolving. It’s a way for smaller businesses to catch up. 

It’s open source 

So it’s free and anyone can use it. Even for commercial reasons. 

How to get started

Head to Python.org and you can download the tools you’ll need to get started. Next, you should tackle some courses to get started. It’s a simple language, but you’ll need a solid course or guide to kick you off. We run some bootcamps here at Coding Dojo. Both on-campus and online. And you don’t need to have any prior knowledge or experience before joining.

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