Thursday, February 16, 2017

Python: Why Everyone Should Already Know It

By Tim BartoŇ°
Image result for python
While tech companies whiz around the global economy at a lightning speed, most consumers have become used to the advancement of technologies surrounding the computer industry. For decades, these companies have been developing and advancing technologies which have expanded our capacity to work, buy, live, and even exercise. For the most part, these technologies come from one crucial mechanic: computer programming. While this technology has opened thousands of doors in the job sector, up-and-coming startups find a critical lack of adequate programmers, a problem which has led to an enormous increase in computer education. However, interest in computer programming among crucial groups like females and middle-aged workers remains incredibly low. With less than 5% of the American population knowing how to code, it’s time that the U.S. learned why coding is so important, and why it is so easy. In this post, I’ll be telling you 5 reasons why you should be picking up Python, right here, right now, and why you can do it with nothing to lose.
  1. It’s easy to learn.
If nothing else, Python 3.0 has, by far, the simplest syntax (fancy word for how the code is written) of all the common programming languages, especially for a beginner. With a simple knowledge of algebra, learning the basics of Python is so easy, most comprehensive courses range from 3-6 months. For the very basics, however, some “crash” courses can teach you in just about an hour. As an example of the simplicity, even someone who has never read a line of code can comprehend the basics of the code below:
  1. It’s powerful
Now, most skills don’t often find beginner methods/strategies common amongst the most experienced, but computer programming is quite the opposite. Python, as simple and easy to learn as it is, is found in top-level online businesses like Google, YouTube, and Instagram. This comes down to the variety of modules (bits of code than can be “imported” and used within another bit of code) that allow for Python to be able to work online, offline, and on almost all systems. Combined with its simplicity, Python can be a job opportunity in waiting at any level of programming.
  1. It’ll help you be more productive in other fields.
While most people associate computer programming with the fields of computer software and hardware, it is impossible to ignore the invasion of computers into other fields, from office work to mechanics; from management to art. The truth is that many of us, even the most tech-savvy can always find better ways to work. For example, a short program written in Python can convert any number of file formats into one; another could even automatically reformat images or spreadsheets. Python poses the perfect answer to the grueling, near-manual labor that computers sometimes force their users to do, especially with large amounts of data. While the digital revolution may have put the average worker on par with the computer, code is the only way to finally put the computer fully to work for us.
  1. It’s free, and widely used.
Unlike a lot of things in the 21st century, Python is free, readily available, and safe for any learner. Because of this, Python has rallied dozens of sites dedicated to every detail you could possibly learn about it. Whether you choose to partake in a course or learn by yourself, the amount of resources are endless when it comes to Python, especially basic Python. Chances are that if you make a mistake, thousands have made the same mistake as well. As a consequence, Python has a whole online wiki and Stack Overflow, which contain many useful solutions to common problems in Python (http://wiki.python.org and http://stackoverflow.com/documentation/python/topics). Such cannot be said for many, many other working skills.
  1. It’s easy to transition to more advanced languages.
While I did say top tech companies do use Python, different sectors of the computer software market produce many different products. For certain applications in science, some niche programming languages are employed for easy calculations of laboratory math. For video games, more advanced languages integrate with graphic elements and online networks. Since Python teaches the basic mechanics and structure behind programming, it is incredibly easy to go from an intermediate knowledge of Python into learning another language, like Java. As a consequence of learning Python, many realize they enjoy the creative outlet that Python provides, which may put some towards an opportunity to enter a well-paying field which awards creativity. If you try out Python, you might just have a talent in coding. If you do, the opportunities are endless.


To conclude, I hope that at least one of these reasons has convinced you to at least search some basic Python tutorials or guides. Maybe a select few have even downloaded the free development kit (https://www.python.org/downloads/) from the official Python website. Hopefully, everyone in the world will have an opportunity to at least try Python at one point or another.
Here’s a few final places to look for a place to start your adventure in coding!:
https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers - Guide for beginners seeking to learn programming, who come from a non-programming background
https://docs.python.org/3/ - Comprehensive documentation of nearly every function and detail of Python 3 (the current version). Not a good place to start, but a great place to find specific tutorials.

Citations:
Official Python logo. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Commons, 30 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Feb. 2017. <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Python.svg>.