Python, a general-use programming language, has quickly become one of the most favored coding powerhouses in fields such as AI, data science, systems management, and more. Its syntax is clean and straightforward, it’s widely used across major operating systems such as Mac OS X and Windows 10, and it never stops evolving. Read on to learn five characteristics and advantages of the language to help you answer the question, what is Python?
1. Its Code Readability is Straightforward and Easy to Learn
Python is an ideal programming candidate for beginners. With a clean syntax, its language functions are based on English words. For example, if you’re writing a code where the user needs to enter a value, you can use the “input” function. These intuitive functions make the program easy to understand at first blush.
Take a look at this:
Using this code, it’s easy to see that the program is asking the user to “input” a value to the function.
Plus, depending on the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) you’re using, like Spyder, Python will also show error messages. This makes it simple to identify mistakes and organize the variables you’ve created.
With many IDEs, the language is color-coded. This allows the programmer to distinguish variables from text, functions, and other objects. In this example, green is for the functions, red is for the text, and black is for the variables. This simple syntax makes Python easy to learn.
2. It’s Accessible, Free, and Community-Oriented
Another reason to learn Python? It’s free. The language is open-sourced and available for anyone who has a Mac or Windows. This means the program is freely distributable, even for commercial use. Since this is such an accessible program, there are many additional tools (also free) to enhance Python’s functionality.
Previously, we mentioned IDEs. IDEs are programs allowing you to write and test code in an organized fashion, just as in the example above.
Due to Python’s accessibility, the program is very popular. This means there are countless forums on how to use it. Google, “python tutorial,” “python download,” or “python basics,” and millions of results show up. If you’re experiencing a problem, it’s almost guaranteed another user will have an answer for you.
An article in The Economist proves “Pythonistas” are creating a well-established community around the coding software. On Instagram, @pythoncommunity_ an account providing insight into the language has more than 104k followers.
3. It’s Used Across Diverse Industries (And Will Probably Land You a Job)
Startups love Python because it can complete on-budget tasks ahead of schedule. Data science, analytics, machine learning, and web development jobs also seek employees who know how to use Python. Netflix, Uber, Reddit, and Instagram are just a few of the many companies using the program.
Due to its versatility across many industries, knowing how to use it could also land you a high-paying job. Forbes explains, “Open positions for Data Scientists most often require Python,” and also lists it as one of, “The five most in-demand coding languages in America.” Coders adept with Python are in-demand because the language is so widely used across fields and implementations including software development, data science, and database management.
4. It Organizes Your Data and Saves You Time With Automation
Python is a program to help optimize your time while still doing its job. One way it does this is through automation. Simply put, automation is getting rid of the boring stuff. With Python automation you can write codes to create and edit your Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and Word documents; gather information from external sites; and send out automated emails. You can even write a code to control your keyboard and mouse, allowing you to save time on clicking and typing.
In essence, Python’s purpose is to execute tasks faster than a person can, so it’s built to be efficient and productive in nature.
5. It’s an Innovative Asset of the Future
There are users who complain Python is slow. After writing the code and hitting “run,” it’s true Python takes a longer time to execute a command than other computer programming software. However, going back to point number one, since Python is a simpler and easier-to-use program compared to other languages, it’s not as demanding to come up with code. This allows room for innovation that may not be as achievable in other coding software such as Java or C++.
The user-friendly perks of Python make it productive, popular, and a part of the future. The New York Times reports, “The blooming interest in programming is part of a national trend of more people moving towards technical fields.”
With Python, coding is becoming more efficient, and advancements are being made in fields such AI and machine learning where Python is an integral part of progress. Python itself evolves and changes with the times, making it an easily-adaptable program for modern software development.
The Take-Aways of Python
Python is an object-based coding language that allows you to complete almost any task, from sending automated emails to doing complex, non-linear regressions in statistics. It’s a great program for beginners due to its simple readability and is accessible to anyone with a computer. Due to its many benefits, enduring popularity, and versatility across applications and industries, Python is the ideal language to launch a career in tech.
Julia received a dual degree from Bucknell University in 2020. Currently, she is a writer living in Connecticut.