Python Programming is Awesome

May 17 2012

Logical Awesome

Programming is awesome. Its a great ego boost I’d recommend to anyone, and if you’re interested in learning a little software engineering Python is a great starter programming language.

Python is friendly on the eyes and doesn’t try to intimidate you. A classic example program for any programming language is the hello world program. Its meant to be about the simplest program you could write in any language, and is usually the first assignment you’ll have no matter the tutorial. All any hello world program does is write the words “Hello, world!” on your screen. This is how you’d write that hello world program in Python:

print "Hello, world!"

It just looks right, doesn’t it? Its entirely intuitive what’s going on there (excluding perhaps that "print" is a bit odd for most people to see outside the context of a machine that spits out paper, but you’ll get used to it and don’t worry it isn’t going to waste any of your printer’s ink).

Here is how you’d write that same program in the C programming language:

#include "stdio.h"
int main(void)
    printf("Hello, world!\n");
    return 0;

Which intimidated me when I first saw it. Even though C, and its successor C++, are both very common programming languages that are entirely approachable when given enough tolerance by the approachee, the difference with Python is that its community has made an effort to craft their language into something initially more welcoming and that comes through in the hello world example.

The next great advantage to Python is that there are no lack of resources for programmers looking to learn Python as their first language. Here a few of my favorites, each with its own tact that’s fantastic.

You’ll also want to checkout Python’s homepage, of course, it has plenty of resources and links to other Python community sites.

Finally, Python is a general purpose language that many paid programmers use every day in their jobs. So if you’re looking to learn something that you can use in your day to day life Python has proved itself as viable in the "real world". Plus a side effect of a large, enthusiastic community is that there is no limit to the free and example Python code to be found on the internet, which is code you can use or reference in your own programs.

When learning any programming language, if you find yourself stuck on something try googling it. If you’re getting a error message, paste it right into the search box. If you don’t understand how to do what you want, try writing out the question and doing a search on it. Many of the problems new programmers face are common and above all normal to go through, plenty of people have been stuck right where you are and Google can connect you with the person that helped them.

If Google doesn’t work out for you you can ask me, or you can try the Python newsgroup. Just remember the most helpful responses go to those that politely ask clear questions.

Continue reading...
« Prev
1 2 3 4