Python Programming: Everything You Need to Know

Python is a versatile programming language that is developed by the Python Software Foundation and since its creation, many versions have been released, the latest being version 3.8.5, which was released on July 20, 2020.

According to the TIOBE Programming Community index ranking of most popular programming languages, python ranks among the very top 10.


What is Python?


Python code
Python code

Python was initially created by Guido Van Rossum, a computer programmer from the Netherlands, and the programming language was released to the public on February 20, 1991.


The programming language was created as successor to the ABC programming language and took it’s named from one of BBC’s old TV shows known as ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’. Guido Van Rossum was a big fan of the show and decided to adopt the name for his creation.


Advantages of Python

Python has several advantages that makes it so popular among computer programmers. It is a trustworthy as well as mature programming language that is quite easy to learn, use and teach.


a. Interaction with Other Programming Languages:


Python is designed to be able to interact with quite several other computer programming languages. This feature of Python is made possible by the third-party modules that are contained in the Python Package Index (PyPI).


b. Reduced Code Length:


The standard library of Python is large and contains areas such as web service tools, internet protocols, operating system interfaces and string operations. This large standard library makes the length of the code to be written significantly shorter.


c. Free to Use and Distribute:


By design, Python has an open source license that is OSI-approved. This makes Python free to use as well as distribute for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.


d. Easy to Learn:


Python has a simple-to-learn syntax that makes the language easy to be read. Beginners can easily learn this programming language.


e. User-friendliness:


The inbuilt dictionary data structure of Python makes it possible to construct data structures with fast runtime. Python also makes the length of support code shorter through its high-level data typing option.


f. Increased Speed and Productivity:


Python has capability to process text and control processes effectively, this quality is one reason for the increased speed and productivity of the programming language.


PYTHON, JAVA, OR C++?


JAVA Code
JAVA Code

Just like Python, Java and C++ computer programming languages are among the most popular in the world. Python language is easy for beginners to learn because of the advantages already mentioned above. The language is very useful for scientific works that require computational applications such as Abacus, FreeCAD; 2-dimensional imaging and 3-dimensional animation; video games, to mention a few. A beginner can quickly make appreciable progress in learning computer programming with Python.


Java is a highly demanded computer programming language today because it is a general-purpose language. Java is commonly used for developing websites and applications. C is a simple, low level programming language that a beginner will find very useful to learn programming.


Different programming languages have their specific uses as well as advantages and disadvantages. Practically, choosing which programming language to learn depends on what area of programming one intends to explore. In programming courses at college, Java is often the first choice. C is simpler while C++ is more complex though more useful. Python is better for high level programming, is easy to learn and allows for achieving good results in shorter time. A beginner can learn programming easily with Python language.


Learning Programming

Using the right laptop is very important to in learning computer programming, it makes learning easier and more productive. The following are qualities of the right kind of laptop for learning computer programming.



Python Programming
Python Programming

High processing power:


The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a laptop determines the level of its performance. The size, thermal design, power, number of cores and frequency of the computer processor should be checked out. Intel, core i5 or core i7 with a frequency of 4 GHz should enable good programming experience.


Good memory:


A laptop with a small Random-Access Memory (RAM) will make programming more difficult. A RAM of at least 4 Hz (or 8 Hz preferably) is a better choice, more still, a 16 GHz RAM is far better for your programming experience.


Good storage and Capacity:


For computer programming Solid State Drive, commonly called SSD is better than the Hard Disk Drive (HDD). SDD makes the performance of the laptop better especially in booting operating system (OS), loading of projects, launching of applications and in compiling code. An SSD of 256 Gigabyte is good, however, 512 Gigabyte or 1 Terabyte are better options.


High Definition display:


Full HD display is a desirable quality in a laptop to be used for learning computer programming as it enables the user or programmer to clearly visualize each line of code.


Portable:


A very portable laptop is a great choice for a computer programmer especially one who will be on the move most of the times. A 13 or 14-inch screen is portable enough.


Good keyboard:


A bad keyboard makes programming work very frustrating and boring. Ensure that all the keys are functioning and comfortable. A keyboard with backlight is better while working in the dark or in low-light environment.


Long battery life:


A laptop with battery life of at least 6 hours is a good one for a computer programmer. Poor battery life will only end up making the programmer frustrated.


Operating System:


The operating system of a computer is one of the most important qualities that computer programmers look out for. A computer that already supports Linux is a worthy option because almost all computer platforms support it. MacOS is good, however, it is outperformed by the MacBook. Microsoft Windows and Chrome OS are also good for writing a computer program.


Integrated Graphics Card:


An integrated graphics card makes programming work easier than the dedicated graphics card.

Examples of some of the best laptops for programming include Apple MacBook Pro 15, Dell Inspiron, Lenovo ThinkPad P1, Huawei MateBook 13’’, Asus Zenbook UX, LG Gram 17’’, to mention a few. Other very good laptops for computer programming are available, while no computer may be outrightly the best, the qualities listed above can be used to get a laptop good enough for programming.


Running Programs on Python


Python framework
Python framework

In order to run a program Python makes use of an interpreter. The interpreter, through reading and carrying out the instructions in the program, makes it possible to run other programs that are written. The Python interpreter can run a program through different methods.

Python can run programs by way of typing codes interactively. The interactive Command Line is a simple method for running programs. The code is typed into the command line of the system after prompts and it is executed immediately by the Python interpreter.


Running Module Files is another way by which Python can run programs. This module saves files permanently unlike the interactive command line. These are usually text files that contain Python statements. By listing the name of the file in a command, you instruct the Python interpreter to execute the file. Contrary to the interactive command line code it is typed into a file and not into interactive command line after prompts.


Python can run a program through Running Unix-Style Scripts. These scripts are also text files but differ from those in module files in that they start with the characters #!, followed immediately by the path that leads to the Python interpreter, in their first line; and they are named as executable files.

Embedded Code (I.e code run by another program) is run by an enclosing system. In this method the Python code can be stored in a database or imputed in a text file, however, another system is responsible for instructing Python to run the code.


Another method for running program with Python is the Platform-Specific Startup method. As the name suggests this method depends on the platform being used. On systems with Macintosh ports program files can be executed by dragging the icons of Python programs to the icon of the interpreter. Windows ports of Python enables a code to be run using Unix-like command-line, also by double-clicking the icons of Python programs.


To start using Python first install an updated version of the python onto the computer but check if an updated version is already installed on the computer. This is done by typing Python in the command window line. If Python is not already installed, install the most recent stable version, this is usually the version with the highest number not marked with an alpha or beta.


In order to open Python programming page on google, first sign in to your google account or sign up for one if you don’t have an account. Next is to set up a Cloud Console project, set up project. Then enable the cloud natural language API for the project. Next, create a service account and download a private key as JSON.


In programming with Python language, sequence is a term that refers to an ordered set. Sequence makes it possible to multiple values in a very structured and efficient way. Many types of sequences are available on Python. Examples include Lists, Tuples, Strings. Other examples are Unicode strings, bytearrays, buffers and xrange objects. Lists constitute the most versatile of all types of sequences and they are changeable. The elements of this type of sequence can be removed or reassigned. Tuples are sequences that are not changeable unlike Lists. Strings make up another type of sequence in which it is possible to store only characters. The characters in this sequence have a special notation. Example of a sequence operation is using the = operator to evaluate(1,2,3,4,5) + (6,7) to give (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,).


An image can be stored as a data file and then the file imported to Python. The image is stored as a Binary Large Object (BLOB) data type using the SQLite table. Or the image can be stored on the local storage, then the path to the file is stored in a database. The BLOB data from the SQLite table is read using Python. The SQLite table name has to be known, then a table capable of holding binary data is created. By creating a ‘write_file’ and ‘read_blob’ function Python can read the BLOB data of the image.


What’s in Store for Python Programmers?


Python Programming
Python Programming

Python programming language is a skill that is in high demand today. A Python developer can work independently, that is, set up his or her own private establishment or can work with the government and or other cooperate bodies.

This programming language is relevant in many organizations such as government institutions and industry. There are quite a number of good government jobs that require the application of the Python computer programming language. Some of these job opportunities include Python programmer, Machine learning engineer, Data science tools programmer, Python developer, Principal programmer, Network engineer, Applications development senior programmer analyst, Senior data engineer, Audio programmer, to mention a few.


Computer programmers with Python programming language developing skills can work in many government departments. They are needed in military, science and technology, education etc. Python programming jobs offer very good pay. The average salary for a Python programming language developer in the United States of America is $119, 184 per annum. This comes with a bonus of about $5,000 in cash per year.


Conclusion

Python is one of the most common programming languages available today. It is easy to use and teach. Beginners would immensely benefit from using Python in their journey towards becoming a computer programmer.