Programming can never go out of fashion in the computer science horizon. Programming is a skill, an art, and a science that must be learned, developed and explored. In the world of programmers, they need to learn more than one programming language to solve various kinds of problems. There is a continuous endeavor among programming language developers to offer better languages that are versatile, easy to learn and code, need minimum resources, platform independent and can be used to solve a variety of coding challenges. Python has emerged as a language that satisfies the needs of a programmer of this age who wants to be ready for different programming assignments.
The future belongs to machine learning, big data, and web programming. Python is tailor made for all these high-end applications. The popularity of this programming language is not sudden. It took this language around 25 years to reach its current stage. TIOBE Programming Community Index analysis of programming languages indicates favorable years ahead for Python. Right now Python is at a fourth place just behind Java, C, and C++.
Reasons for Wide Acceptance of Python
Here is my take on Python. I am overwhelmed with its countless features for faster and better programming. Here are a few features that make it comparable to other languages of this genre.
Can be coded as command prompt instructions or scripts
Python instructions can be written and executed on the Python command prompt to immediately see the results. These can be later added to a text file to create and save as .py script to be compiled using the command “python filename.py” command in your python programs folder.
Simple English like Statements
Python is a fun to learn and program since the programmers are able to express the solution to programming problems using the natural language like the syntax of the statements. It can be easily understood by other programmers who are expected to modify programs written by other programmers.
Handy String Operations
The string operations in Python are extremely helpful to programmers. It allows concatenation of a string with + operator and repetition a specific number of times with * operator. A string can be traversed with a for loop and len function to get string length. The string can be sliced and searched for a specific combination of characters. Strings in Python are immutable which means an existing string is disallowed to be changed. In operator can be used to find words within a string.
Eliminates Hassles of Matching Curly Brackets
A very impressive feature of Python is the elimination of curly brackets to block the statements in a loop or a function. The python statements can be blocked by placing them along the same column. You can do this easily by using the tab space to align the statements belonging to one block. The readability of Python codes is very easy due to forced use of spacing to block the statements which are usually ignored by programmers while programming in other languages.
Incremental Development using Scaffolding
Python is an excellent programming language to create a reliable application with incremental development. Programmers can add small code at a time and check whether it runs correctly. It reduces the time that may be lost in creating the whole program, compiling it and subsequent complicated debugging. Scaffolding is another way of efficient coding since trying and testing code can help in reaching the final solution that will not be a part of the complete version. Conditional statements executed correctly on the command line can be used to check for possible reasons for runtime errors and other programming faults. This pattern of programming is called guardian.
Unlike other programming language Python allows programmers to create lists of data values of different types. Lists can be empty and nested. Lists are mutable means the elements can be added or deleted anytime. List elements are mapped to indexes just like values of an array. Lists can be combined with a + operator or repeated with an * operator. Lists can be sliced and one list can be appended at the end of another list. List elements can be accumulated and sublist can be extracted from a list. Lists can be aliased, one list can be identified by more than one variable.
Python offers versatility to programmers by creating lists with keys. These are called dictionaries. The dictionary is just like a list with the differences that instead of indexes for elements they are mapped with user defined keys which makes it easy to remember and manipulate. The count of dictionary elements can be attained by len function. In operator can be used to find a specific key and values operator can be used to find an element. A dictionary can be traversed. It can also be reverse looked up to find a key against a value.
They are just like lists with the only difference that they are immutable. All operators that work for lists are good for tuples as well. Tuple assignment is the easiest thing ever used in a programming language especially for swapping values. A built-in function zip accepts two or more sequences and combines individual elements from sequences to form a list of tuples containing an element from all sequences. Tuple comparison is just like comparing two variables.
Files and Database
With Python, you can not only store the data in the files but you can also work with databases. By installing the appropriate Python database API you can access data from Python programs to SQLLite, PostgreSQL, MySQL or Oracle, etc.
Python supports Object Oriented Programming with the help of in-built classes and user defined classes. The objects in Python are mutable. Copying one class to another is possible. A pure function is another feature that does not modify the objects arguments. Opposite to this, you can also use modifier function that changes objects passed to it as arguments. The basic features of OOPs like operator overloading, inheritance, polymorphism, information hiding and type-based dispatch are easy to implement.
As a programmer, I have worked with many programming languages and my own experience with Python is every encouraging. Share your views about Python. I would love to learn more about it!!