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Python for Enthusiasts

If you are reading this, you are probably interested in learning or at least knowing about the python. Maybe you are wondering – why is there so much hype around this programming language all of a sudden, where everybody is talking about it? There are very good tutorials out there on python, I don’t need to add another one. I will provide links to some useful resources from where you can learn it. Let’s begin!

First of all, Python is not a new language. It was developed by Guido van Rossum and the first version was released in 1991, So it has matured very well. It is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. It is among the most popular languages these days. If you see around, you will find it in every sphere of the Technology; Here’s the List of Broad Areas where it is used:

  1. Web development
  2. Application development
  3. Scientific studies and research work(simulations etc)
  4. Desktop GUI Apps
  5. Network Programming
  6. Software development and Automation testing
  7. Data science and Machine Learning
  8. Scripting
  9. Game Development
  10. Database Access
  11. Web Scraping

Philosophy

  • Simplicity is Beautiful
  • Readability Helps
  • Boost to Productivity
  • Learn one, Apply anywhere

Key Features

  • Python is a high-level dynamic programming language(Dynamic- meaning, Data type doesn’t need to be mentioned, it automatically picks the type. Although in some situations, it may be required.).
  • Python Supports Multiple Paradigms such as OOPS, Procedural, Functional, etc.
  • It is easy to learn and provides Duck typing.
  • It is like plain English which is easy to understand. Thanks to the lack of semicolons and braces.
  • It can run on any platform.
  • It is a very versatile language which can be used from web development to Machine Learning etc.
  • It is interpreted language but still quite fast.
  • A Large of companies use it across the globe.

Reasons for its Popularity

  • Strong Community Base – For any Programming language, a strong Community Support system is essential. Python being available for a long period of time has a large no. of users available. This community base ensures a timely solution to any problem that a user(be it a beginner or expert) might have. In crunch situations where deadlines become headaches(If there is no solution to a problem), this kind of support can be a saviour.
  • Big Corporations as Adopters – For a language, If there is a Big corporation that adopts it for its development work. It instills in Trust and provides additional resources. It could be documentation, usage reports, 3rd Party Libraries. Google, for example, adopted it in 2006 and uses it for its Machine learning and data science programs. Some of its subsidiaries use them, as well. Most notably -Youtube. There are other companies too, like Instagram, etc. Here is a list of Some major players using python:
  • The De facto player in the field of Big Data and Data Science – With the advent of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Analytics; Python’s popularity has soared through the roof. Python is the most used language in these domains.
  • Availability of Amazing libraries and Frameworks – When you are working on a Large project, Availability of libraries really helps speed up your work. These are easy to import and use. Some popular libraries such as Numpy, Scipy, etc are easily available. There are some domain-specific libraries such as scikit-learn for machine learning applications and nltk for natural language processing. Frameworks such as Django and Flask are very popular especially in startups where production speed is of utmost importance.
  • Efficiency – Its simple syntax, dynamic nature and availability of libraries and frameworks make it significantly favourable among developers. They can use more time on thinking about the solutions rather than writing long syntaxes.

Java vs Python

One of the hottest debates in the Programming world is the Choice of Language between the two giants – ‘Elegant’ Python and ‘Powerful’ Java. Most people get confused while answering this question. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Ease of Use and learning curve – Python here clearly wins, In Fact, it was one of the major motivations for developing it. With its duck-typing ability and indentations in place of the parentheses. It has a shallow learning curve. With its simple syntax, it is easy to learn and apply libraries.
  2. Performance – In order to compare the speed, we need to test them against the same software/application. Keep in mind that performance is not only a function of the language’s execution speed, the program’s implementation, and the third party libraries performance is usually the number one factor in the equation.
  3. Popularity – As per Github’s Octoverse, Java was the second most used language on Github followed by Python. In Stackoverflow’s 2018 developer survey, Python was termed as the fastest-growing programming language. Java is still more popular than Python being choice of 45% of developers while Python was chosen by 39%, however, that gap is diminishing.
  4. Jobs and Salary – The Job market for Both the languages is good, The only thing that matters is your skill level. If you develop enough expertise in either of them, then you can have good job prospects, However, Java is strong in enterprise mainly for legacy projects, for newer projects or in startups Python is preferred especially for AI.

Useful resources for learning Python

  1. Official Python website
  2. Geeks for geeks
  3. Github – Do put your projects here for displaying your portfolio
  4. DataQuest – for overall Data Science learning. (Highly Recommended for learning python Fundamentals(and further) with exercises on each step and Guided projects.)
  5. Python3 Cheatsheet
  6. Guru99 – for Automation Testing with selenium using python (Good website for learning about Software testing)
  7. Official Selenium website – Selenium can be used for other Automation tasks apart from Testing.
  8. Stack Overflow – You can post your programming related issues here and the community will answer them.
  9. Automating the Boring stuff – It is a good website with interesting content. You can Download PDF from here or you can buy the Textbook from here.

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