Compared to many languages, Python is easy to learn and to use. Its functions can be carried out with simpler commands and less text than most competing languages. And this might explain why it’s soaring in popularity, with developers, coding students and tech companies.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Python plays a small part of all of our lives. It’s one of those invisible forces with a presence in our mobile devices, web searches and gaming (and beyond). So it was an obvious choice for inclusion in our full stack coding bootcamp. Here’s an introduction to the language itself, and some of the everyday but profound, things that Python is used for.
Python – an overview
Python was created in 1991 by Dutch programmer Guido Van Rossum. It is an interpreted language. This means that it has an interpreter to execute the programme directly, as opposed to depending more complicated machine languages. In fact, Van Rossum wants Python to eventually as understandable and clear as plain English. He has also made the language open source, which means that anyone can contribute to it, and he hopes that it will become as powerful as competing languages.
“Readability” is a key factor in Python’s philosophy. As such, it aims to limit code blocks (blocks of source code text) and have white space instead, for a clearer, less busy appearance. It’s a versatile language that runs on many systems, which brings us to…
What Python’s used for?
Not surprisingly, given its accessible and versatile nature, Python is among the top five most popular languages in the world.
Python is used by Wikipedia, Google (where Van Rossum used to work), Yahoo!, CERN and NASA, among many other organisations.
It’s often used as a “scripting language” for web applications. This means that it can automate specific series of tasks, making it more efficient. Consequently, Python (and languages like it) is often used in software applications, pages within a web browser, the shells of operating systems and some games.
The language is used in scientific and mathematical computing, and even in AI projects. It’s been successfully embedded in numerous software products, including visual effects compositor Nuke, 3D modellers and animation packages,
Everyday Places You’ve Seen Python
Like other coding languages, Python is one of the unseen elements that we benefit from without knowing it.
YouTube, Instagram and Quora are among the countless sites that use Python. Much of Dropbox’s code is Python (where Van Rossum works now), Python has been used extensively by digital special effects house ILM (whose work spans across all of the Star Wars and Marvel films) and it’s a favourite of electronics titan Philips.
We at Code Institute are among Python’s legion of fans – our students find it relatively easy to pick up; it has a countless, ever-expanding list of applications and (perhaps most importantly) it’s probably the hottest language in the ICT world right now.