How do you go about telling a computer what you need it to do? Most people are only used to seeing the GUI or graphical user interface, so they’re unaware of what actually goes on behind the screen that makes it all work.
Programming languages are at the base of everything that we do using our machines. Whether that’s streaming a movie, rendering 3D graphics, browsing the internet or simply reading the news online, all of that has been made possible by developers who use programming languages to create powerful products and services.
There are many different programming languages and each has its own benefits. Not all are suited to every type of project, so it’s up to the programmers to decide which language is better suited to the project that they’re working on. Python remains one of the most widely used languages because of its flexibility and abilities.
What is Python?
Python is a general purpose programming language that emphasizes code readability to enable programmers to write logical and clear code for all kinds of projects. It's dynamically typed, meaning that it executes programming behaviors at runtime as opposed to static programming languages that perform those behaviors during compilation.
It was created in the late 1980s and was first released in 1991. Python 2.0 arrived in 2000 with new features such as list comprehensions. There are many Python interpreters available for different operating systems. Python's massive standard library is often referred to as one of its greatest strengths. It provides developers with the tools that they might require for a task.
Since much of the standard library is cross-platform Python code, programmers only need to alter or rewrite a few modules for variant implementations. There are more than 200,000 packages in the Python Package Index, which is the official repository for third-party Python software.
Another reason why it's so beloved is because it's one of the most easily understandable languages. Python is easy to learn and use because of its structured syntax. The code is similar to the English language which makes it highly readable. The writing process thus becomes highly intuitive.
What is Python mainly used for?
Python is mainly used for web and game development in addition to data science and data visualization. It's also proven to be very useful for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. Many developers also use Python to program desktop applications.
Another well known use case for Python is web scraping. It makes it relatively easy to pull large amounts of data from websites through a script that can do all of that automatically. Python-based web scrapers are useful for price comparison, research and development, job listings, and more.
Some of the largest organizations in the world like Google, Facebook, Amazon, NASA, and CERN use Python for various different applications. Some of you might be surprised to know that Reddit, a popular social news networking site, is entirely written in Python.
Netflix uses Python in many of its application modules and components. Spotify relies on the language for data analysis on its back end. Instagram and Facebook use Python for data analysis as well as processing and statistical applications. Much of Google’s core infrastructure relies on this language.
Python is included as a standard component in many operating systems. For example, most Linux distributions include Python. This programming language is used extensively for exploit development in the information security industry as well.
Python for beginners: How to get started
To get started with Python, you first need to get the open source software that's available for almost two dozen platforms, including Windows and Mac. It already comes pre-installed on Mac.
Then it's a matter of choosing between the versions. Most beginners tend to get confused about whether they should start out with Python 3 or Python 2. The consensus among developers seems to be that beginners should opt for Python 3.4.x because it's actively maintained with new features being added and further refinements.
Once you’ve decided on a version, you can go ahead and download it from the Python Software Foundation for free. You then need to make sure that it has been installed properly on your machine.
Start off by launching the Python Interactive Shell. You can do that by launching Terminal on Mac, if you're using Mac, and typing run:python or python3 depending on your installation. On Linux, open the terminal and type run:python. If you have only one version of Python installed on Windows, just run python in CMD.
You should see the Python version you've installed come up in addition to the date and other information about your OS. This is an indication that it's properly installed on your machine. You can now get started with writing fun programs with Python!
5 great things you can do with Python
Scripting is one of the many tasks that Python is excellent for. Imagine you want to scrape all data from a job hunting website so that you can sort through it effectively. It would be next to impossible to try and do that manually but building a Python script can let you do that very efficiently.
The great thing about this programming language is that it can allow you to automate your scraping jobs with only a few lines of code. That can be anything from setting cron jobs to download YouTube videos. All of that can be done using a few lines in Python.
- Developing games
It’s also possible to develop fun games with Python. This programming language does have support for developing games so you should take full advantage of it. There's support for sound, video, art, music, and multimedia projects to be built with the games.
The best starting point for aspiring developers who want to create games with Python is an iteration of the popular hangman game that can be played in the terminal itself.
- Data science
Python is a great resource for data science applications. Whether required for data analysis or manipulation as well as for implementing complex algorithms, Python is the right tool for the job.
It makes it possible with only a few lines of code to parse and visualize data in conjunction with Python libraries like scipy, NumPy, and others. Many deep learning tools also support this language, this includes the likes of TensorFlow and PyTorch.
- Web development
Complex web development tasks can be done with Python as well. Since it's an Object Oriented language, it's relatively easy to play around with OO concepts using Python. Developers who use it for web development have options like Pyramid and Django to work with.
They can thus build a very powerful website from scratch while also taking advantage of other micro-frameworks like Flask and Bottle. The standard library of Python supports many internet protocols like JSON and HTML.
The Raspberry Pi machines are widely used as the brain of small robots. Python can be used to code these machines to enable the robots to interact with their environment and perform different tasks.
This is another fun use of the programming language since it allows developers to extend its capabilities to robotic devices.
Get custom app development that use Python
By now, you have a great understanding of what Python is and just how capable of a programming language it is. There’s a reason why it remains one of the most widely used programming languages and with good reason. You should absolutely be considering Python for custom app development.
Chances are, it could power a custom app solution for you that you haven’t even thought about yet. If you already have a good idea of what sort of an app you’d like to have made with Python, then you need to work with developers who know the language like the back of their hand. That’s important because you’d want your app to be of the highest quality and that’s only possible when you have skilled developers in your corner.
Zibtek can help you with all of your Python development needs. Our team of highly skilled developers practically speak Python as a second language. They dedicate themselves to the highest quality software engineering. Our team can create powerful custom apps for you that provide exceptional usability, gorgeous design, and cutting-edge code.
We’re one of the world’s leading software development professionals with more than a decade of experience in the industry. Our clients have included both Fortune 500 conglomerates and startup companies alike, and we’ve helped them bring their vision to life.
Zibtek is among the leading Python software and web development companies in the United States. We provide custom Python development, enterprise oriented solutions, machine learning and Django development, Python Flask development in addition to Python support, maintenance, and more.
We’re based in the United States with offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. We also have a global talent pool of highly skilled developers that we can also utilize for your custom app project. If you’re looking for Python developers in the US, contact Zibtek today and we’ll be happy to help.