We Love Python — And Why You Should Too

For a coding language named after a surreal comedy group (Monty Python), Python has really done rather well. First introduced in 1991, Python is now the sixth most popular coding language and still growing. We love it — and you should too — because it’s easy to learn and use.

What is Python?

Python is a general purpose object-oriented programming language which can be used in most situations. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best tool for every task, but it does make it very useful. Because of this, many programmers choose Python as their go-to tool when it doesn’t matter which language they use. It’s easy to learn, quick to use, and runs almost anywhere — including on Windows, OS X, Linux, Unix systems.

In particular, Python excels in situations where data is involved, which means that businesses involved with Big Data or Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning have a high demand for Python developers. If you’re excited about new technologies such as AI, Python might be a great tool for you to learn. Python is also regularly used for automation and scripting, for systems management, and is used to build many new web apps.

The latest version of Python is 3.x, although the legacy version 2.x is still supported (and will be until 2020). Initially, Python libraries were slow to support 3.x, which is why 2.x is still in use. However, most libraries now support both, and since 3.x is more up-to-date and has more features, we recommend you stick with that unless you have a very specific reason for using 2.x.

Python is Easy to Learn

One of the biggest advantages of Python is that it is easy to read because it is a high-level programming language — it reads quite like English. Even novices will find that code starts to make sense to them quite quickly and they can understand it the basics, even if they don’t know everything. This is useful both when you’re starting out writing your own code and when you’re looking at code written by other programmers.

This readability is also helped by the fact that Python requires proper indentation as part of the syntax — if you don’t use indentation correctly, your program won’t work. This makes Python code better to look at, but critics find the large amount of whitespace wasteful, as you can’t see as much code on your screen at once.

Overall, Python is much easier to learn than most programming languages and makes a great first programming language.

Python Excels at Speedy Development

Python offers much faster development speeds than many other coding languages. This is down to two key factors:

1. Python is an interpreted language — It is not converted into computer code before it needs to be run. Because there’s no compilation step, the development cycle (edit/test/debug) goes faster.

2. Python has lots of libraries — There’s a large standard library plus thousands of open-source 3rd party libraries, which means that developers can code more with less effort, since many of the tools they need are ready to be plugged in and used.

This quick development time makes Python particularly popular with startups and other businesses who have switched to an agile development methodology because new iterations can be brought out faster.

The speed of development does come at a cost: once constructed, a Python program will typically run slower than it would in other languages. A similar program in Java or C++ could easily be several times faster. However, for the many businesses where the speed of development is key, Python excels.

Python Job Opportunities

Easy-to-use, easy-to-learn, and useful in most situations — it’s no surprise that Python is popular. The Stack Overflow Developer Survey surveyed 50,000 programmers and found that 24.9% of them used Python, putting it 6th in overall popularity. Used in new technologies such as AI and IoT (Internet of Things), Python is slowly growing in popularity — up from 21.9% in 2013.

Predictably, Python coders are in high demand. Skills analytics platform Gooroo calculates there are 13,000 jobs per month advertised which require Python, of which 7,500 are in the US. The average salary is competitive, hitting $105,000 in the US (and $91,000 worldwide).

How Can You Learn Python with SoloLearn?

SoloLearn makes one of the easiest-to-learn programming languages even easier. The SoloLearn Python 3 tutorial features 92 lessons and 275 quizzes across nine modules:

· Module 1: Basic Concepts

· Module 2: Control Structures

· Module 3: Functions & Modules

· Module 4: Exceptions & Files

· Module 5: More Types

· Module 6: Functional Programming

· Module 7: Object-Oriented Programming

· Module 8: Regular Expressions

· Module 9: Pythonicness & Packaging

Don’t know what any of that means? Don’t worry — you soon will. These lessons contain everything you need to know to start your journey as a Python programmer. Take your first steps in Python today by downloading the SoloLearn App.

… and before you go, share with friends who will love Python, too.