Python is a multi-platform and multi-paradigm programming language. It’s known as a slow language, yet it has known an extremely fast grow, these last years. Whether you just want to learn a new programming language or start a freelance career, Python may be your next ally. In the sections below, we will get to know why it’s trending upwards, and what’s special about it.
A slow programming language
It is an interpreted and a dynamically typed language, which means that the interpreter doesn’t know the types of the variables you use. Each data is considered as an object, thus, Python has to go through many steps to know the right routine to invoke. To solve this problem, programmers usually use vectorization, to do many operations at once, or mix up code written in Python with code written in other compiled languages so as to speed up the execution. For example, we use Cython to give a Python-written code a C-like performance.
Python’s most prominent advantages
Many advantages may make you fall for Python:
- It’s designed to be easy to read and learn (a high-level programming language which has an intuitive syntax and a clear structure).
- It’s very simple and it allows us to save many lines of code. Following is a very simple example which illustrates its simplicity. This is how we swap two integers, a and b, with Java (we need an extra variable):
int c=a; a=b; b=c;
Whereas swapping is simply done like so with Python:
- It’s very-well paid and ranking amongst the top and most used programing languages:
“Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we’re looking for more people with skills in this language”.
Peter Norvig, director of search quality at Google, Inc.
- It’s dynamically typed (you don’t have to worry about your variables’ types, Python does it for you).
- It’s free and open source.
- It supports a lot of paradigms.
- It has an extremely large library which keeps growing. With a simple “import”, you may save hours of coding by using customized functions.
- It has a large community.
- It’s multi-platform, which means that it doesn’t oblige you to stick to one operating system. However, some of its packages can only be used on specific platforms.
- It has testing frameworks that make software debugging much easier.
What can you do using Python?
Thanks to its numerous features, Python can be used in different fields and to do different tasks. Below are some of its major uses, with some of the respective libraries and frameworks used:
- Most commonly used in artificial intelligence:
- Build web applications, going from basic to very complex ones (Django, Flask, Pyramid, Pylons, Web2py). Most of today’s giants (websites/companies) use it, including: Nasa, Youtube, Google, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Dropbox, Bitbucket and many more besides.
- Build powerful desktop applications (Tkinter, PyQt).
- Program Raspberry Pi computers.
- Write your own piece of code being inspired and helped by a set of packages in which you can find Python code, scripts, tutorials and tricks related to a certain field (EarthPy, PyNGL).
- Build games using PyGame.
- Build films and animations.
Now you’ve noticed that Python is everywhere and can be used to implement almost everything. It’s your turn to decide whether you need it or not and in which field, to make the first step. Are you ready? Go for it now!