Level of Difficulty: Beginner.
You’ve decided to expand your knowledge by learning the basics of Python, but you find yourself with the 5WH in mind, asking the following questions:
- Who uses Python?
- What would you use to code Python?
- Where to use Python
- When to use Python?
- Why would you use Python?
- How to get started with Python?
These are all valid questions and here are the answers.
Who uses Python?
Python is used by people who are looking to write basic scripts, all the way through to web developers who want to write a website, data engineers who need to wrangle data and even data scientists who build models. Some even use it as an introduction into learning how to program.
What would you use Python with?
Generally, the tools we use to code in a specific language are known as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and there are a few available for Python. The most common ones are:
- Jupyter Notebook (also available with Anaconda)
- IDLE (standard with Python install)
- Microsoft Visual Studio + Code
My favorites include Jupyter Notebook, PyCharm Community and using Python through command line.
Where, when and why to use Python?
Python can do almost anything that any other technology stack can do. Maybe not as elegantly, but the capability is definitely there. So my answer to this question is that you use Python whenever and wherever you need it and feel comfortable implementing it.
How do you determine whether or not you’re comfortable with Python, you might ask? Well, are you confident that your solution is modular enough to be expanded upon, tests will be passed, will continuous integration and continuous deployment be possible and is there enough logging to debug easily if something goes wrong after deployment to production?
If the answer is no, that’s completely okay, that indicates room for growth.
How to get started Python?
A few “cool-things-to-know” when learning Python are:
- You should probably pick an IDE and install it (along with Python)
- print(‘Hello World’) or print(“Hello World”) – same same but different
- Basic Python Structure and Syntax
- Navigating through directories and working with files
- Working with pandas and data frames
- Visualising data using Pandas
- CSV to JSON manipulation
- Working with API Calls (SOAP and REST with or without authentication)
- Basic logging to file
- Working with SQL Databases
The basic understanding of the above ten points have shaped my Python journey and what a journey it is turning out to be.
Any more points you feel should be included in the list above? Drop a comment below or pop it through to firstname.lastname@example.org