What is Python

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

What is Python? If we have to speak about one of the most versatile programming languages of all time, only one language comes to our mind instantly, and that is Python. There are some other counterparts of Python, such as Ruby and Swift, but in the end, Python is the one that actually rules them all in terms of usefulness, implementation, and easy development. One of the examples of Python’s versatility can be found in its usage of expediting tedious tasks in the popular game called Minecraft, which is actually developed using Javascript in the first place.

To answer the question asked in the first headline of the article, “What is Python?” Python is one of the high-level programming languages which is used for developing web applications, machine learning projects, and it can also be used as a base programming language for creating new software. Python is exceptionally suited for newcomers who are just starting out their career in computer science and want to learn software development, web development, and machine learning as well. This is what Python is all about, but that’s just the definition of Python. If you want to know the in-depth benefits and disadvantages of Python, you need to read the rest of the article written below. We have explained below how Python overtime has become such a massive programming language giant that every programmer must have worked on it sometime during their initial phase of learning or employment.

Why Should You Learn Python?

This is the one question that comes to mind for a lot of new web designers and computer science students. See one thing to note here is that each programming language has its own purpose. For example, if we look at Javascript, we can see it is pretty popular among web developers because Javascript allows its developers to handle the application by using different frameworks which are already developed by other developers. These frameworks will provide the base for creating great user interfaces. However, Javascript implementation also has its pros and cons.

So if we think about Python’s general-purpose, we can see that it can be virtually used in many domains because it is simple to understand in the first place and provides excellent scalability features, thus allowing the developers to wrap up the development of the project in a short time. On the other hand, Python comes with a simple syntax which is quite like the English language, which makes it possible for the developers to write the code in much fewer lines. Just like Javascript, Python is also an open-source programming language, so you will be getting tons of libraries and frameworks which are made by other developers and can be used in your project, resulting in higher productivity, less errors, and better results.

What Are The Tips For Learning Python?

So you have made up your mind about learning Python, but you don’t know what all things you need to keep in mind when starting the new programming language. Well, given below, we have provided you with a list of some of the best methods and learning processes that will help you learn Python in a short time and will allow you to practice your skill as well.

1. Write Code Each Day

Learning a programming language isn’t theoretical; you need to write code each day, starting from day one. Being consistent in writing a code is essential; one code each day is a fair task as it will help you to use the learning that you have done and use it in the program that you are creating. On the other hand, when you are coding each day, you are actually building muscle memory that will go a long way when you become a professional in the field. Also, even as little as spending 30 minutes writing a code each day in the initial phase will help you in getting familiar with the syntax of the programming language.

2. Write Interactive Code

No matter if you are learning the basics of the programming language or looking to up your skills, you need to use the Python shell as it is one of the best ways to learn the interactive coding of Python. In order to use the Python Shell, you first need to know whether Python is installed on your computer or not? Once you figure out the Python is present, download the tool and start using it.

3. Join The Community Of Learners

When you are learning something new, you always end up having some questions or doubts in your mind. In order to get answers, you can take the help of Google, but asking someone who is learning alongside you or a teacher is better because they will add in their personal touch and will explain the things in a much more elaborative way than you will find on Google. Also, you will be able to cross-question the person if you still were not able to understand the thing.

4. Create Something New

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; create something new, it could be a web page, software, or a mobile application. This project can be used in your portfolio as well and will boost your chances of getting employed. In addition to this, you can start coding on various online websites which provide small exercises that help you become confident with the programming language. Keep in mind, what you build during the initial phase of your learning is not essential, but how you build it and how you have written its code is what matters.

5. Contribute

The last thing we want you to do when learning a new programming language is to contribute to its open-source libraries. In these libraries, you are going to find the codes available for the software, and anyone can easily collaborate and use the source code in their project. Moreover, there are tons of companies that produce open-source projects online. As a result, you can work on the project with the code written by the professionals who are hired by the company. When you are contributing to the open-source Python project, you are actually adding in the experience of working on a live project which is extremely valuable for your resume.

How To Use Python?

Python programs can be created using Mac, Windows, and Linux OS. Also, the programming language comes pre-installed in macOS and other Linux distributions. But you need to download the latest version so as to use the updated version of the same. Moreover, a developer can install various versions of Python on their computer and use them according to the needs of the individual project.

In order to check the version of Python installed in your operating system, you need to open the command line and type in the following command: Python -V

Also, be sure to use Python 3 instead of Python 2, which already comes installed in most of the operating systems and Linux distros. Once you have downloaded the latest version of Python 3 on your computer, install it and then run the application from the command line.

Ensuring Python Is Installed Correctly

Although most of the time, you are going to find that Python is installed correctly, there should still be no lousy ends. So we recommend checking if the Python version which you have installed in the system is working correctly or not. For this testing, you need to open the terminal or command line and type in the Python3 command. Once you click the enter, if the program is installed correctly, it will open up a Python interactive session.

The Basic Python Syntax You Need To Know

As we already said, Python’s syntax is relatively easy to understand and learn. Its readability is one of the best features, making it an excellent choice for new programing language learners. Given below, we have provided you with the list of essential Python syntaxes, which you will use in almost every code that you will be making.

1. Comment

Comments are basically a text which is present in your code, but during the compilation, the Python interpreter ignores it. The comments are written to make the code more understandable for the other people who are viewing the code. With the help of comments, you get to describe the working of the code and why to use the specific code, and where it is going to be used when the compilation is done.

If you want to add in a comment in Python program, you need to use the hash mark (#) before you start typing the comment; Any text after you have put in the (#) will be a part of the comment in a single line, given the final part of the line is occupied by the comment.

2. Variables

Variables are the name which is attached to the specific object. A variable holds up a reference or a pointer to the memory on which the object is being stored. When you assign the variable to an object, you will be able to access the object using the variable name. But for that, you have to define the variable at the forefront. Use this syntax to define the variable in Python:

variable_name = variable_value

Keep in mind to use a naming scheme for your variable, or it will be difficult for you to call them up when you need them. A variable needs to provide information about the values which are assigned to it. So don’t use short variable names like “x” and “y.”

3. Keywords

In each programming language, there are a bunch of keywords that are used to perform a particular function. You can easily find the list of all the keywords using the command help (“keywords”).

Some of the examples of Python syntax keywords are class, false, from, pass, raise, del, def, else, except, etc. Each of these keywords have a specific meaning in Python, and you can’t use it for any other purpose or create a variable with the same name.

4. Data Types

Python comes with a handful of built-in data types like numbers, booleans, strings, lists, tuples, dictionaries, and sets. There are multiple ways to manipulate them using operators and other data type methods. The operators represent the operations that you can perform on the data types. The operators are addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.; when you combine operators and data types together, they form an expression that can be understood by the Python interpreter.

Moreover, an operator works with two operands which are nothing but arithmetic operators. Also, there are functions present in Python which are always at a developer’s disposal to use. As a result, these functions don’t need to be imported to be used in the program.

5. Conditionals

When writing a program, you might come across a code or block where you need to type in the condition. You need to use conditional statements in this case in order to control how a group statement is executed based on the true value of an expression. Python uses if, elif, else to create conditional statements. There could also be recurring conditional statements and nested conditional statements.

The “if” statement will only execute a specific code block, if the expression is true. Once a condition is executed, the interpreter will jump straight to the “if” statement written below.

In case the first statement is not correct, then the “elif” block will execute. The last block of code is the “else” statement; it only runs when all the evaluated conditions are false. There can be as many “elif” as you want in a single condition, and even none in a single code. But there could be only one “else” clause in the conditional statement.

Wrapping Up

This is what Python is all about, it is one of the best programming languages for new computer science professionals and or students, and it will help them get familiar with the programming language. There are various websites from which you can learn Python at your own pace, or you can join the online classes where you will be learning and writing codes for the project given by your tutor.

The choice is yours to make; in the end, you need to write the code and learn why you have used specific functions, variables, and conditions in the program. We hope this article helped you in understand the concept of Python and cleared your doubts which you have about the same. We wish you all the best and success in your learning journey.

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