Python is a programming language created about 30 years by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer. Today, it is one of the most popular programming languages around the world that can be used to build almost anything. If you’ve decided to add programming as a new skill in your toolbox, or even if you’re only toying with this idea, continue reading below for the top five reasons why you should consider learning to code using Python.
First, a disclaimer: Anyone who’s tried learning programming will tell you that easy is definitely not the best word to describe the learning process. However, if you are a beginner learning to program for the first time, Python language is by far the easiest to start with. Its creator, Rossum, had prior experience developing ABC, which was a much more difficult language to use. When designing Python, Rossum envisioned a simple scripting language that is much more intuitive and easy to use than all the other existing programming languages.
Today, the language has steadily risen in popularity to replace Java as the most popular introductory programming language taught at most U.S. universities. For one, it is a high-level language that can be used to create complex projects. But it is also highly user-friendly as it lacks complicated syntax and is great for young and older learners alike. Students learning the language can focus on the programming concepts and how to think like a programmer instead of spending hours memorizing dry syntax.
Additionally, the learning curve is also very gradual and it is seen by experienced programmers as a stepping stone into other languages such as C++. This is because it is very easy to read and understand. For example, to print the phrase ‘hello world’ in C++, six lines of complicated codes are required. In contrast, to print the same phrase in Python takes just a single line of easy-to-read code:
The language remains popular decades after its invention is due to its versatility. It can be applied to all types of projects, from simple scripts to automate boring tasks at work, to infrastructure management, website building and desktop application developments. For example, having even a little knowledge of Python can allow you to automate repetitive tasks at work. And if you’ve ever been frustrated with Excel before, you’ll be happy to hear that you can use Python to do everything you do in Excel, only much faster and without as much tedious repetition.
What’s more, Python is pre-installed by default on most computers. That means that your Python scripts will work out of the box on any machine, no matter what type of operating system you have. From MacOS, Linux, or Windows, you won’t have to worry about any system incompatibilities that can limit or hinder your code.
Based on a review published by Stack Overflow, a platform for developers to learn and share their knowledge, Python has been the fastest growing programming language in higher-income countries in recent years. These countries include the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany where it had the highest growth in popularity. In other countries, such as India, China and Brazil it has also grown in popularity, albeit not as fast.
Last but not least, Python’s popularity has definitely been helped along by the explosion of data science, for which it is the most popular language used across the board. The growth prediction in the Stack Overflow review shows that the language will stay in the lead in terms of growth and that its tag is on track to become the most visited in 2018. Even compared to smaller technologies, such as Rust, Scala, Typescript, Swift, and R, its growth in popularity is much higher between the years 2012 to 2018. All these trends illustrate its high demand, which can be explained by the fact that many white-collar roles such as marketing and project management - which traditionally do not require any coding - now require applicants to understand basic coding concepts.
It is no secret that most developers have high annual salaries and learning to code can boost your career. But did you know that the average Python developer in the U.S. makes $110,000 per year? This should not come as a surprise due to the fast-growing popularity of the programming language, resulting in an overbearing demand by employers and a shortage in supply of its developers.
One reason for the high salaries is because many of the tech giants in Silicon Valley such as Google, Youtube, NASA, Instagram, and Reddit all use Python in some capacity. As a result, they are always looking to hire more developers who understand it and are willing to pay high wages for their skills. What’s more, if you are a knowledge worker, even one whose job is not building software, your salary could still get a boost as you obtain coding skills.
You may have no doubt heard that artificial intelligence, or AI, is big these days, with newspapers constantly reporting its practical purposes and predicting how it will change and shape our futures. In fact, some AI technologies such as Tesla’s self-driving cars and the iPhone’s virtual assistant Siri have already been in use for many years, laying down a foundation for an AI-based future. But did you know that Python can be used for AI-based projects as well?
It’s true. The language carries tools that make AI programming projects a lot easier, and many pre-built code libraries already exist. For example, there is Numpy, which supports the computations of large arrays and matrices and is great for scientific calculations, and Pybrain, which offers code for neural networks to support machine learning. Not only do these pre-built libraries offer easy access and can help developers save time, they can also perform the same tasks using one-fifth as much code compared to other programming languages.
However, even if you don’t work in AI or plan to get into an AI-related career, basic coding skills are quickly becoming the new literacy for knowledge workers everywhere. Job descriptions for roles like marketing specialist, product manager and data analyst are increasingly listing basic coding ability as a desired qualification. What is more, this trend is likely to continue given the ever-increasing amounts of data being collected, and Python’s popularity for all things data make it a good bet as a first language for just about anyone.
As you can see, this versatile programming language has numerous applications and is easy to learn for both new and experienced programmers at any age. It is also a highly sought-after skill for employers, especially by large technology giants such as Google and Facebook, making it a lucrative career path to follow. Visit our Courses page for a list of the Python programming courses we offer so you can enroll and start learning today!