Python is a powerful multi-purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum and later developed by Python Software Foundation.
It has simple easy-to-use syntax, making it the perfect language for someone trying to learn computer programming for the first time. Basically, the syntax of the language is clean and length of the code is relatively short. It’s fun to work in Python because it allows us to think about the problem rather than focusing on the syntax.
This is a comprehensive guide on how to get started in Python, why we should learn it and how we can learn it.
However, if you have knowledge of other programming languages and want to quickly get started with Python, then you can ignore the first few topics related to the basic elements of the language.
In this tutorial, Python codes are written in a text editor e.g. Notepad++. It is also possible to write code in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), such as Spyder, Pycharm, IDLE or Thonny which are particularly useful when we are to manage larger collections of Python files.
However, we would propose Spyder which stands for Scientific Python Development Environment and it is a powerful software platform with advanced editing, interactive testing, debugging and introspection features.
One of the features of Spyder is that it uses IPython (Interactive Python) as its Python interpreter. So, we have everything in one platform which is very useful. An easy way to get it is to install the Anaconda software platform. Anaconda includes Python, Spyder, IPython and various data analysis libraries.
Before getting started, lets get familiarized with the language features first.
Features of Python:~
♦ Python is an interpreted, general-purpose, high-level programming language.
♦ Python can be used to develop database-driven web applications (server-side).
♦ Python consists of a dynamic type system and automatic memory management.
♦ It provides support for multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative, functional and procedural.
♦ It also has a comprehensive standard library such as NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Scikit-Learn, TensorFlow, Keras etc.
♦ It was mainly developed for emphasis on code readability, notably using significant whitespace.
♦ Its syntax allows programmers to express concepts using fewer lines of code.
♦ Python interpreters are available for many OSs. CPython is the reference implementation, what is an open source software.
♦ Python can be used for rapid application development and to perform complex mathematics.
♦ Now-a-days, Big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) based applications use Python extensively.
♦ The most recent major version is Python 3, which we shall be using in this tutorial. However, Python 2, is still quite popular.