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Python Overview

Python was developed by Guido Van Rossum in the 1980's and is 1)an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language that relies on dynamic semantics. The Python interpreter and standard library are freely available, can be used freely and can be distributed as part of projects and solutions (freely).

Python is open source and can run on Windows, Mac, or 'nix-based systems, plus can even run in Java and .NET virtual machines. Python may be considered a scripting language like Perl or Ruby, but its power extends in many different directions.


  • data structures
  • dynamic typing
  • dynamic binding
  • modules and packages
  • open source
  • active community development
  • easy to learn

These features make it ideally suited for rapid application development (RAD) and scripting.

Unlike some other popular languages, Python is fairly easy to read without using formatting tools to pretty it up, which is great for those getting started.

In addition to readability, the fact that there's no need to compile at, or before, runtime, means development cycles can be iterated very quickly.

The website has presented some 2)comparisons with other programming languages to help get your head around how it fits into the spectrum of development choices.

Python Uses

Artificial Intelligence

From 3)Sklearn (sci-kit learn) to 4)TensorFlow and 5)Keras, everything from machine learning to neural networks are being developed with Python. With the power these tools afford, the utility of Python continues to be shown day to day.

Data Science (Big Data / Data Visualization)

Data analysis is perfectly at home with Python which is why a myriad of tools have been developed for data scientists using the Python language.

Check out 6)Pandas and 7)NumPy for examples of what can be done.

Desktop (and Mobile) Applications

Too many people think of Python as strictly a scripting language that runs at a command (terminal) prompt. That's far from the case! Python offers desktop GUI opportunities that enable developers to quickly create powerful desktop apps.

BitTorrent, Disqus, Dropbox, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Spotify and Uber were all built on Python.

We may rarely see a Built With Python footer credit on popular apps, they nonetheless have been built with Python at the core.

Though NASA won't say everything about their use of Python, we know from anecdotal evidence that the space shuttle Workflow Automation System was developed using Python. NASA have released some 8)400+ open source code projects - just check out the popularity of Python there!

Server management functions are popular uses of Python at Facebook as about 1/5th of all code deployments involve Python in one form or another.

Web Development

The world of web development is dominated by talks of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, because those control the front end - the part website visitors can see and interact with the most. However, Python, and Python frameworks like Django, are often used for server-side handling.

Look no further than Google or YouTube to find Python being used extensively on the backend for mission critical server tasks to support their popular sites.

Remember who founded Python in the 1980's? Yes, Van Rossum was hired by Google from 2005 to 2012 to help with development projects. His Python got ingrained into many Google systems from code eval tools to system admin and building software.

Get Started

Check out the Python documentation and see for yourself how easy it is to 9)get started with Python today.

developmental/python-overview.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/21 09:31 by Karson N.