About Python

What is Python?

Python is a dynamic programming language created by Guido Van Rossum in the late 1980s.

You might be surprised to learn that Python is 30 years old!

Where is it used?

A common misconception is that Python is a simple scripting language, but it’s so much more. Django, a Python web framework powers Instagram, one of the largest websites in the world. It also powers Reddit, is used at Netflix, and early versions of Dropbox were written almost entirely in Python.

It’s also becoming an increasingly popular language for education at all ages.

Why Python?

Python is a language that prides itself on being easy to learn for beginners. In 2014, Python was the most popular teaching language at top U.S. universities.

“Python is now also the language of amateurs, and I mean that in the best possible way.” —Guido van Rossum

Because of Python’s ease of use, it’s also a great choice for development teams that want to build products quickly.

Python the language is open source, and in active development by a committed team of core developers.

What’s all this about Python 2 vs Python 3

This part is a bit of a stain on Python’s history. Python 3 was released 2008, and its adoption was slow. First and foremost because it took popular packages a fair amount of time to port over their code.

This debate is now over. Python 2 reached end-of-life in 2020, meaning that important updates - including security updates - will stop being released. That’s why this course focuses on Python3 only.

Python has an incredibly rich, fully featured standard library, as well as the PyPI Package Index for 3rd party packages, which as of October 2020 contains 270k+ packages.

Python is considered to be a “batteries included” language, because the standard library contains a majority of the libraries and packages you’ll need in a standard application.

If you need more, third-party packages are available for many uses.

  • AI/ML
    • SciPi
    • NumPy
    • Pandas
    • PyTorch
  • Hardware & Micro-controllers
    • Raspberry Pi
    • MicroPython
    • CircuitPython
  • Web Development
    • Django
    • Flask
  • DevOps

Continuing In The Community

The absolute best part about Python is the incredibly supportive community.

The biggest yearly conference is PyCon US with approximately 4000 attendees.

There are many local user groups worldwide, with many listed on this wiki.

There are many supportive groups for women and non-binary developers, such as PyLadies and DjangoGirls. These organizations have chapters in most major cities.