What is Python Programming?

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Overview

Python is a popular general-purpose programming language that can be used for various applications. It was developed by Guido van Rossum in the late 1980s. It is used in almost every domain ranging from Web Development to Artificial Intelligence.

Scope of Article

  • In this topic, we are going to introduce ourselves to Python programming.
  • We will learn why Python is so valuable to learn and which large industries use Python.
  • Then we will also discuss some downsides of Python.

Up until 1991, most people thought of snakes when the word 'Python' was mentioned. But not anymore! The word Python has taken the world by a storm and is currently all the rage in the world of programming.

You must be wondering why. What makes Python so popular? Well, this article will satisfy your curiosity around “What is Python Programming?”

Why learn Python

What is python

Be it "NASA" using Python for WAS (Workflow Automation System) or "Facebook" using Python for their scheduling, automation and networking switching setups, it's safe to say Python is everywhere.

Python is becoming so popular that it has been used by the tech giants like Google, NASA etc..

In this article, we are specifically going to focus and talk about-

  • What is Python Programming?
  • Which industries make use of Python?
  • All the reasons to learn Python!

What is Python Programming?

Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. By "interpreted", we mean that Python code is "not compiled".

Instead, the interpreter reads the code line by line and executes the code. It was developed by Guido Van Rossum in 1991. Python supports multiple and different programming paradigms, such as 'structural programming', 'object-oriented programming', and 'functional programming'

Python is also open-sourced and a dynamically typed language. What does dynamically typed mean? In simple words, a programmer using Python need not declare the data types of the variables that they are working with right at the beginning. This allows them the creative freedom to use variables as they please and even modify their type later on- unlike other object-oriented languages like Java and 'C++'.

Everyone uses python

The popularity of Python and its growing user-base can be credited to the numerous modules and packages that come with Python available. These facilitate code reusability and promote code modularity. Along with that, they make Python very versatile as these libraries make it possible for it to be used across various domains such as "Django" and "Flask" for Web Development, "NumPy" and "Pandas" for Data Science, "PyGame" for Game Development etc.

So now, I think some of the buzzes around “What is Python Programming?” is clear to you now!

Which industries make use of Python?

As mentioned, several companies are taking the plunge with Python owing to its multifaceted nature. Tech giants like Netflix, Google and Facebook, all have one thing in common- they know the answer to “What is Python Programming” !

Python’s 'easy-to-learn syntax' makes it the best fit for budding programmers. Hence, most newbie developers are well-versed in Python which makes them suitable for job opportunities at these multinational tech companies.

Along with the mentioned brands, almost all other domains are also witnessing the widespread use of Python- be it Data Science, Development, Automation, Retail Banking, Insurance- Python has captured the limelight everywhere.

Other than that, Python is a very scalable programming language, which is why many startups use Python to make their first-ever product i.e 'Minimum Viable Product or MVP'.

Note: By scalable programming language, we refer to a language that supports a concise form of programming based on a mix of object-oriented and functional programming.

major companies that use python

Generally, almost every type of company uses Python. Let’s see some more examples-

  • Netflix is using Python for their "Recommender Systems". These recommend the best web shows, and movies for users by analysing the data of their watch history.
  • Amazon is using Python to recommend the best shopping items.
  • Have you ever searched for a product and seen the ad for the same product the very next day on Facebook? Well, this happens because Facebook is using Python to generate 'custom ads' according to the user behaviour and search history.
  • Our day isn’t complete without watching some videos on YouTube- be it for fun or to learn something. Well, unknowingly, we have been using a product that is one of the biggest users of Python! Yes, you read that right. Google’s YouTube uses Python for different purposes throughout the platform- ranging from the 'video window' to accessing 'canonical data' and so much more. Our user experience on YouTube is getting better every day- all thanks to Python.

Why Should You Learn Python?

Till this point in the article, we have understood what is Python Programming and what is the importance of Python. Now let’s discuss why you should learn Python and why it is called a versatile programming language

1.Python is Easy to Use & Learn

Python is a very simple and easy to learn programming language. It has a very gradual learning curve. Anyone can learn Python because of its simple syntax which almost resembles simple English.

These are some factors that make Python a beginner-friendly language. Due to its simple syntax, you can focus on the logic part rather than the syntax implementations.

Having simple syntax makes it easier for developers to use Python over any other language. Since one has to focus on the logic part, it saves time and increases productivity. This is the reason why Python is used in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

2.Python is Versatile

"Versatile" means to be able to adapt or to be used for many different functions. Just as the meaning of the word suggests, Python lives up to its claim of versatility. There are countless domains and scenarios where the use of Python saves the day- thus depicting its versatility. Some of the most common use cases for Python are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analysis, Data Science and Software Engineering.

The various frameworks and libraries that have been built for Python are the main reason why it is favourable for these technologies. Some of the most widely used ones are- Django for building Backend using Python, PyTorch for Deep Learning, NumPy and Pandas for Data Science, PyGame for Game Development.

  1. Python is a Faster Growing Programming Language

Check out the comparison between some of the trending programming languages with Python. This is the data of Google trends of the past 12 months..Notice that Python is at the top.

growth chart of programming languages

Python is used across the globe by many industries as Python’s simplicity allows engineers and programmers to be extremely productive.

TIOBE "(The Importance Of Being Earnest)" represents the popularity of programming languages based on search queries across 20+ search engines. Currently, Python is in the third position in the world.

Here is an image source from "TIOBE".

programming language change chart

All these statistics show that Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages.

  1. Python is used in Data Science.

Just knowing “What is Python Programming?” is not enough, we also have to be aware of its industry-based applications.

Data is the new oil and data is everywhere. With the passing of every second of every day, more and more data is being generated. Thus, there is a need to manage, analyze and interpret this humongous data. That’s where Data Science comes into the picture.

Managing data using database systems is not enough and neither is just storing data. The data available can be used to solve a lot of real-world problems- from "Risk Management" to building intuitive "Healthcare solutions".

python libraries for data science

Our favourite programming language- Python- helps greatly in this. Libraries such as NumPy, PyBrain, Pandas help us in developing innovative Data Science products.

Let’s discuss the features of some of those libraries-

  • Numpy provides mathematical functions to handle large dimension arrays. It also consists of the functionality of arrays and many functions of linear algebra.
  • Pandas is a popular library for data manipulation. It provides huge data structures and manipulates numerical tables and time-series data. It is also used for data wrangling
  • PyBrain is a Machine Learning library that we can use to test out ML-based algorithms.
  • PyMySQL is the library that allows us to interact with an interface that connects MySQL to our codebase- thereby making the access of data easy and efficient.
  1. Python is used in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Technology has come a long way and now in our current times, we are successfully able to make machines learn. That’s Machine Learning in a nutshell for you! So it is advisable to learn more about Machine Learning along with the answer to “What is Python Programming?”

We use Python for building algorithms and models using Statistics to allow computers to perform actions.

The most common Python libraries and modules that are used in Machine learning are "Scikit-learn", "OpenCV" and "TensorFlow".

python AI ML

Just like Python is being used in Machine Learning, its presence in the field of Artificial Intelligence is also very significant. Be it the Terminator movies or Star Wars, we have loved watching AIs at play in the movies. Well now, we can use Python to create our very own!

Artificial intelligence is nothing but the intelligence that is not displayed by humans i.e the intelligence depicted by machines. In Python, packages libraries like NLTK and FANN help you build your own AIs. So the next time you want to build your very own digital assistants like Jarvis or a recommender system like Netflix? Start coding in Python without a second thought!

  1. Python is used in Web Development.
    Python is also very popular for Web Development. Python has a lot of libraries and frameworks such as Django, Flask, Web2py, Pyramid etc- which are used extensively to develop the backend and the related APIs. The numerous frameworks make it much easier for developers to develop web applications using Python.

Python is used in Web Development

There are many websites that are powered using these frameworks of Python such as Spotify, Reddit etc.

  1. Python is used in Automation

Python is not just a programming language but also a scripting language! A scripting language basically allows us to automate our work so that the work can be executed without human intervention. Automation saves both the time and energy of the programmer.

Redundant tasks such as reading-writing files, scraping files from the web can be achieved very easily through automation using scripting.

  1. Python is used for Building GUI

"GUI" refers to the interface that a user can use to interact with applications. You can also use Python for building a graphical user interface (GUI). There are many cross-platform GUI toolkits available such as "PyQt", Pyside etc. The standard Python GUI library is "Tkinter", which is included when we install Python for almost all Operating Systems.

  1. Python supports numerous testing frameworks

Building a product is not just enough. We need to ensure that it accurately does what it's supposed to. The process of evaluating the product or application’s proper functioning is known as testing.

Automated testing is a well-known context in the field of testing. Python comes with several testing frameworks & libraries that support automated testing for your system.

python testing frameworks

Python test cases are comparatively easy to write. Python also supports cross-platform and cross-browser testing with frameworks like PyTest, Robot.

Note:

  • Cross-platform testing refers to the type of testing where we try to ensure our application is working across multiple webs and mobile platforms.
  • Cross-browser testing refers to testing our applications across different browser environments to see whether an optimal experience is delivered or not.

There are also other testing frameworks available in Python such as:

  • Unittest
  • DocTest
  • Nose2
  • Testify
  1. Python is Portable and Extensive

Python is considered to be a portable and extensible programming language because a program, which is built-in Python, is often compatible with most non-native platforms.

It can be integrated with JAVA, C++ and .NET etc. Python is supported by many other different platforms such as Windows, Macintosh, Linux, etc.

  1. Python Has Active and Large Community

Community plays an important role in the popularity of any programming language. Having a large and active community can help you with programming errors, issues in the community forums.

python community

You can also find many resources related to Python libraries and frameworks. In short, you can always rely on the large community of Python to seek help.

  1. Career Opportunities and Salary

We have already discussed “What is Python Programming” and the type of companies that use Python and those companies hire people to work for the same.

The companies are on the lookout for more and more Python Developers to hire and thereby has caused a spike in the Python jobs salary.

As per PayScale, the average salary of a Python Developer is ₹427,293 per annum for a fresher. It comes down to around ₹35,607 per month. The salary can go up to a maximum of ₹1,000,000 per annum. On the flip side, the minimum salary can be around ₹225,076 per annum depending on skills, experience, and job location.

python salary

If you are able to strike a balance, you will not have to think too much about your salary after that. You will have the opportunity to work with the world’s most popular companies such as Google, Amazon, Accenture, Cognizant and many more. Your career will continue to grow as you gain the required experience.

There are several popular job roles that you will be able to take on once you learn Python. They are-

  1. Python Developer
  2. Data Scientist
  3. Machine Learning Engineer/ Practitioner

Java VS Python- Which is faster?

The credit to Java’s efficiency is owed to the "Just-in-Time (JIT)" compiler. It also supports concurrency. So while a Java code will be compiled directly, the Python code will be interpreted line by line- thus obviously being slower than Java compilation.

The process of determining the variable datatype during runtime slows down Python even further and thus makes Java faster when compared to Python.

What are the downsides of using Python?

  • Bug fixing in Python has a major drawback in Python. A developer doesn't get to know the error until the very end. Hence the slow speed coupled with this is an issue.
  • Python also consumes a large amount of memory and is server-side programming, thus making it weak in mobile computing.

Conclusion

I am sure that by now, you have successfully joined Team Python and your curiosity around “What is Python Programming” is satisfied. In this article, we covered all the reasons one should learn Python for. So without wasting any more time, start your Python journey today!

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