What is Python?
Python is a programming language: a structured form of communication used by computers to handle information and complete tasks.
Programming languages allow people to write a formal set of instructions that are used to communicate with a computer. They consist of rules on how to write those instructions for the computer (syntax) along with the underlying meaning of those instructions when they are interpreted and executed by a computer (semantics).
Python is a cross-platform, high-level, object-oriented, and interpreted programming language. Let's break this down:
- Cross-Platform: Python can be used on Windows, Unix or macOS systems.
- High-Level: This language provides high-level data structures and semantics to translate step-by-step instructions into code without worrying about how the underlying system will handle it.
- Object-Oriented: It provides syntax and semantics to design systems using Object Oriented Programming (OOP) principles.
- Interpreted: It is an interpreted language without complex compilation and linking, thereby allowing users to quickly write computer programs. It enables users to test and iterate on code faster by allowing line-by-line execution and error detection as the user runs code.
Programming in Python can be done in many different ways using many different IDEs. However, for the sake of simplicity and to easily grasp core concepts, we will be using Jupyter notebooks.
What is Python Used For?
According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, over the last few years, Python has topped the list as one of the most popular and desirable programming languages. According to another popular programming language survey called the Tiobe Index, Python remains the most sought-after programming language amongst developers. One may ask, what could be the reason behind that? Let’s uncover why.
In today’s world of artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, Python is the unseen force behind how we interact with the world. In short, Python is the language of choice for a number of the world-class tech products we use in our daily lives.
Python is used by Intel, IBM, NASA, Pixar, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, Spotify, and a number of other massive companies. It’s one of the four main languages at Google, with YouTube being largely written in Python. Python also holds an important role with other platforms such as Reddit, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Furthermore, Netflix uses Python across their business, and also to develop machine learning models that recommends movies based on a user’s viewing habits. These recommendations are further personalized using Python by selecting the artwork a specific user would see for any given recommendation. On top of that, day-to-day security operations at Netflix also makes use of Python to watch for vulnerabilities and threats across various platforms.
These projects are just the tip of the iceberg. Python as a programming language impacts our daily lives through so many other products and services we use. Python also remains the language of choice for automation and scripting whether it be large-scale projects for Fortune 500 companies, or a hobby project that will make your life easier by automating tedious tasks.
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