What is Python (Programming Language)?


Python is a versatile scripting language that offers many features and benefits. It’s recommended for beginners of coding because it is in high demand and relatively easy to learn. This guide will provide a basic overview of what Python is and why it might be beneficial for you to learn.

What is Python?

Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built-in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together.

Python’s simple, easy-to-learn syntax emphasizes readability and therefore reduces the cost of program maintenance. Python supports modules and packages, which encourages program modularity and code reuse. The Python interpreter and the extensive standard library are available in source or binary form without charge for all major platforms and can be freely distributed.

Interpreted vs. Compiled Languages

One key thing to know about Python is that it is what’s known as an interpreted language. This means that when you write code in Python, you don’t need to compile it before you can run it. This is in contrast to languages like C++, which are compiled languages. This interpretation process happens every time you run a Python program.

The way this works is that your computer has something called a Python interpreter installed on it. When you tell the interpreter to run your Python code, it reads the code line by line and executes the instructions you’ve given it.

This interpretation process makes Python code less versatile than compiled languages like C++ because interpreted languages can only be run on computers that have the appropriate interpreter installed. However, most modern computers do come with a Python interpreter pre-installed. So unless you’re using a very old computer, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Furthermore, interpreted languages tend to run more slowly than compiled languages because the interpretation process takes up extra time and resources. However, this downside is generally outweighed by the fact that interpreted languages are generally much easier to learn and use than compiled languages. And we’ll talk more about why Python is easy to use in just a bit.

High-Level vs Low-Level Languages

Another thing to know about Python is that it’s considered a high-level language. This designation refers to the abstract nature of the language. In contrast, low-level languages are designed to be closer to human assembly languages and machine code—the code that actually tells your computer what to do at a very basic level. Low-level languages are difficult for humans to read and write because they use symbols instead of words and they generally require more lines of code to complete even basic tasks.

High-level languages like Python are further from machine code but closer to human languages—hence their name. They use actual words instead of symbols and they require far fewer lines of code to complete tasks than low-level languages does. For these reasons, high-level languages are much easier for humans to learn and use than low-level ones. And this helps explain why Python is such an popular choice among beginning coders as well as experienced developers.

Python’s intuitive syntax

Python is sometimes described as “executable pseudocode,” because code written in Python is often close to plain English in terms of structure and readability. For example, compare the following snippets of code written in Java and Python respectively:

Java:

if (i==0) { System.out.println("First Iteration"); }
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Python:

if i==0: print("First Iteration")
Code language: PHP (php)

As you can see, the Python code is much cleaner and easier to read. This is because Python takes care to minimize the use of special characters (such as curly braces) and to optimize whitespace usage. As a result, Python code is often shorter and more readable than code written in other languages.

Python’s powerful data structures

Data structures are pivotal in any programming language because they store information that can be manipulated later on by the code. Python lists are very versatile; they can contain items of any data type, and they can even be changed after they’ve been created (unlike in some other languages where lists are immutable).

Tuples are similar to lists, but they can’t be changed after they’ve been created—which makes them useful for storing pieces of information that shouldn’t be tampered with later on, such as dates or version numbers. Dictionaries are another important type of data structure in Python; they store information in key-value pairs so that it can be retrieved efficiently later on by using the key rather than having to search through the entire dictionary for a matching value.

Python’s standard library

In addition to the wealth of data structures that come built-in to the language, Python also has an extensive standard library containing numerous modules that provide even more features and functionality.

For example, the “os” module provides functions for interacting with your operating system ( Windows, macOS, Linux), while the “math” module contains functions for performing mathematical operations such as square roots and trigonometric functions.

And these are just two examples out of countless modules available in the standard library! If there’s a task you need to perform in your code, chances are there’s already a module in the standard library that will do it for you—so you don’t have to write all your code from scratch every time. All this functionality makes Python an extremely versatile language that can be used for anything from web development to scientific computing.

Why Should You Learn Python?

Python is a versatile language that you can use on the backend, frontend, or full stack of a web application. The demand for python developers is constantly increasing as this versatile scripting language continues to be adopted by major companies such as Google, Instagram, Netflix, Quora, Reddit, Lyft, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts, and Bloomberg LP, and invoke necessary commands. What’s more? The average salary for a python developer in the United States is $119,064 according to Indeed!

In addition to its status as one of the most popular languages, python is relatively easy for beginners to learn because of its readability. Code written in python is often 3-5 times shorter than Java code and 5-10 times shorter than C++ code. Not only does this make learning python more feasible within shorter time frames; but when working with large projects containing thousands of lines of code – these savings in development time can add up! Even experienced programmers appreciate the fact that they can express concepts with fewer lines of code in python than they would need in other languages like Java or C++.

Python has become one of the most popular programming languages within the last few years due to its versatility and readability. Big companies such as Google, Instagram, Netflix, Quora, and Reddit… have incorporated this language into their everyday operations.

Learning python could lead to multiple doors opening career-wise. If you’re just starting out your coding journey or even if you’re already an experienced programmer, learning python might be beneficial for you.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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