Python programming for the absolute beginner – An elaborate guide
If you want to start Python, then this Python programming for the absolute beginner article will help you a lot to get familiar with the basics of Python.
I am assuming here, you may not have much or very less knowledge about knowledge, basically, a beginner in Python.
Python programming for the absolute beginner
As an absolute beginner in Python, let us start with
What is Python?
- What is the main use of Python?
- Features of Python programming languages.
- Why is Python one of the most popular programming languages?
- How does Python work?
- How Python is interpreted and a lot more things?
So let us check it out python programming for the absolute beginner
Introduction to Python
What is Python?
Python is an open-source object oriented programming language like C#.Net, Java, C++. etc.
According to technology experts and top educators, Python is one the best programming languages of 2021 and will be for 2022 onwards. Python is free to use. Compared to other programming languages, it is easy to learn and it has easy syntax, which makes programmers easier to read, write, and understand the code.
It also supports different types of standard libraries and is compatible with 3rd party libraries. Python also supports familiar data types like numbers, strings, lists, dictionaries, etc.
For example, in Python, you do not need to initialize anything before using it. It will initialize dynamically, dynamic semantics, it will update multiple values to a single object. Python is widely used by various large enterprises like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Instagram, Spotify, Quora, Dropbox, Reddit, YouTube, Amazon, etc.
This is not a new programming language, it was invented in 1991 by Guido van Rossum.
What are the main uses of Python
Let us check out the main uses of Python.
Being an object-oriented programming language, we can use python for developing different applications as below.
- Desktop applications (GUI based) – You can use Python for developing different GUI based desktop applications. There are many pre-defined libraries that you can use extensively along with this for developing GUI based desktop applications in Python. The libraries are tkinter, wxWidgets, Kivy etc.
- Web applications – Python is used for developing many web applications. You can use Different frameworks like Django, Flask, Pyramid along with this to develop many web applications. This also supports different protocols like HTTPS, IMAP, FTP, SSL, etc which helps for the development of the web applications.
- Gaming applications – In the current market, Python programming language plays a vital role in the development of many games. Python is one of the best choices while developing 3D games. There are many useful libraries, for example, PyGame, PySoy, Panda3D, Blender, etc. We can use these Python libraries for developing various game applications in Python.
- Software development purposes – Since Python is an open-source language, many companies starting from startups, mid-scale, and very large companies use Python language for developing many businesses, eCommerce, scientific software applications.
- Machine learning (ML) along with Artificial intelligence (AI) – Python is widely used for Programs for Machine learning(ML) meaning the programs written with this language can be used by the machines to learn and operate along with Artificial intelligence(AI).There are different libraries like Keras, TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc which you can use along with this for this purpose. Python is the best for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
- Data analysis and Data Visualization – Python is used widely for Data analysis and data visualization when you have large amount of data. Data scientists use Python language to investigate large amounts of data and visualize the correct data on them. There are many standard libraries like Numpy, SciPy, etc which you can use along with python for this purpose.
Advantages of using Python
There are many advantages of using Python as a programming language. See below for details.
- Open Source – One of the main reasons for Python is getting so popular nowadays is because it is open source and free to use. Start-ups, mid-scale, or large companies prefer Python as the programming language to use in organizations.
- Ease to Learn – Python is very easy to learn and many beginners who are starting their career or since they don’t have any coding knowledge prefer to learn Python. Syntax of python is very easy to understand so it is a massive advantage of using this as a language.
- Compatible with many third party libraries – Python is very compatible with many third-party libraries which helps developers or programmers to achieve many business-critical functionalities with minimal effort.
- Less coding involved – Compare to other languages, when you are trying to achieve any of the critical functionality using this language, you no need to write more lines of code. The main reason for less coding is because it has extensive support libraries like NumPy for numerical calculations, Pandas for analysis of big data, etc which indeed helps the developers as well.
- Python for Everyone – This is very easy to learn, read and write so it is suitable for everyone including those who are very new to the programming language. It has very simple syntax, simple data structures, a simple set of basic data types, support to many standard libraries so it is a better choice for beginners and experienced programmers
- Increase Productivity – This helps the developers to increase their productivity since it has extensive support libraries. Many functionalities can be done easily using these libraries. So if you will compare with any other language like C, C++, C#, etc, to achieve the functionality using this will take very little time.
- Friendly Data Structures – This provides inbuilt data structures like lists and dictionaries which are very easy to use. The syntax of the list and dictionaries are very simple to understand and simply do the relevant operations.
- Easy Integration with other languages – This can easily integrate with other languages like C++, C, Java with the help of few libraries like Cython and Jython which in turn makes it easy for cross-platform development. So you can write your code once and run it anywhere.
- Can Embedded with other languages easily – You can embed Python code easily with other language codes for example if you have written your source code using C++. You can add your python code to the same solution easily.
- Portability – Lastly, you can write your code once and run it anywhere. It’s not like any other language. You need to make a lot of changes to the code to run it on other platforms.
Now, let us see how Python works?
Python is an object-oriented language like C++, C#, etc. Behind the scene, when you are writing any program in C++ or C#,Java, what exactly happens?
When you are compiling the source code, the compiler internally converts the source code to machine level code or machine code, which the machine can able to understand and give you the output. So compiler acts as an intermediate between your source code (Human understandable language) to convert to machine code (The language which the machine can understand).
Is Python interpreted, or compiled, or both?
Now, let us understand:
- How is python interpreted?
- Can python be compiled?
- Is Python interpreted, or compiled, or both?
Actually, When python code runs, it first gets compiled by python and generates the byte code. So python code first gets compiled and then it gets interpreted. Then the byte code is processed as an input to Python virtual machine(PVM) and PVM processes the byte code to machine code and gets you the output, provided there is no error in the processed code. If there are any errors in the processed code PVM will prompt with the error message. The compilation of python code happens internally and it’s not visible to the real world.
The .py source code is first compiled to byte code as .pyc and later on the byte code is interpreted. Python used to create a file with a .pyc extension internally when you are trying to execute any of the .py files. So .pyc is nothing but a Python compiler.
This is the reason Python is also known as an interpreted (byte code-compiled) language.
So, basically Below are the steps for the whole story
Step-1: User provides the input as the python code or program.
Step-2: Python compiles the python code to Byte code. This happens internally its not visible to the real world.
Step-3: Now the next major role is for the Python virtual machine (PVM) which processes the Byte code to Machine code or Machine level code(which machine can able to understand) internally and give us the output.
Why is python so popular and booming?
Let us try to understand why Python is so popular and booming in the IT market?
The reason why python is so popular.
- Open Source – The reason why python is so popular is because python is an open-source language meaning it is totally free to use.
- More Productive and Less code – Python is a highly productive language that means, it will take less time, minimal effort, Less coding, fewer resources to achieve any of the complex functionality compared to any other language since it is very simple.
- Easy to learn – The syntax of python is very simple and looks like normal English which is easy to read, write, and simple to understand.
- Extensive support for many standard libraries – Python has extensive support for many standard libraries and frameworks. which helps the programmers to achieve the functionalities easily with very minimal coding efforts.
- Community support – Python has very good community support. The python developer community is incredibly active.
That means if any time you need help or support they will help you immediately. Since Python is there for such a long time so there is a lot of documentation available, Lots of online tutorials available.
One can learn python easily without any external training.
- Python for Everyone – Python is for everyone meaning if somebody has zero knowledge in programming stil s/he can learn python easily because of its simplicity. Python is a choice for beginners and experienced programmers.
- Software engineers can develop web applications, websites, desktop applications, 3D games, etc using python.
- Software testers are using selenium automation tools with a python script which is easy to automate the manual processes.
- Managers (Since they are not into technical) can learn python to analyze huge amounts of data using the data analysis library known as Panda.
- Data scientists use python language to investigate large amounts of data and visualize the correct data on them.
- Widely used in ML and AI – Python is also the best choice for Researchers. They use python for many scientific applications. Nowadays many developers are widely using python in the area of machine learning and Artificial intelligence, which will be the future.
Which Python version to use?
- Different versions – Python has versions like 2.x and 3.x. It started with 2.x series and later upgraded to 3.x series. There is a confusion for the Beginners Should they start with version 2.x or version 3.x?
- Looking at the Future – The suggestion here is Better to start with the latest version or upgraded version i.e 3.x instead of starting with an older version. Because the 3.x version is the future. Both versions have their own advantages and disadvantages.
- In the case of the 2.x version, since it was started a long time ago, one can get more documentation, free tutorials, and support from many standard libraries that are built on the basis of version 2.x. Whereas python has already started working on version 3.x more compared to 2.x. So you will get all the updated features there with the 3.x version. Some of the standard libraries which were developed based on the 2.x version already started upgrading to support the 3.x version. Few of the libraries are already being updated to support the 3.x version. So nothing much to worry about.
- Now the new frameworks or libraries whatever will be developed in python will obviously prefer the 3.x version.
- Support Prospective – One more thing is we don’t know if Python will stop supporting the older version at some point in time and will ask everyone who is using version 2.x to upgrade to 3.x. So at that time it will be a problem for you if you are not upgrading to the 3.x version.
- If you want to learn legacy code or if your project is already being developed by version 2.x then that is a different story or else if you are a beginner then its better to start with version 3.x.
Let us check out a few FAQs on Python programming language.
Is Python easier than Java?
Many users find python easier to read and understand than java.to read and understand than java. Python is more user-friendly than java. If you are beginning your path towards a programming career, then you might want to start by learning Python, as it is less complex. Python has easier syntax as compared to java.
Is python hard to learn?
No, Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn, according to the people who are already working on it. When it comes to learning programming, then python should be your first language as it is more user-friendly than any other programming language. Its intuitive coding style and many other advantages make python easier to learn. Also, there are many reasons that python is the first language of people who enter the world of programming.
What to do with python?
Well, it’s a tricky question to answer, because python is a very popular language among developers and there are so many applications for Python.
Here are some popular applications for python:
- Data Science and Machine Learning – These technologies are the future of computer science. Python is well suited for the analysis, implementation of algorithms, and manipulation of data.– Data Science and Machine Learning.
- Automation and Scripting – There are many things that we can automate with little lines of code. We can set a reminder to download our favorite videos etc. Python supports the development of games. Pygame library is highly useful for games with music, sounds, and more.
Is notepad good for python?
Notepad is highly functional and good for python. It is a free and open-source editor which can recognize several programming languages. It provides indentation guides, which is useful for python which relies not on braces to define functional code blocks, but rather on indentation levels. Besides syntax highlighting, it has some features which are useful for a coder. Another very convenient feature is that we can group sections of code and make them collapsible so that we can hide blocks of code to make the page more readable.
Most popular python packages
There are more than 200,000 python packages and with so many packages out there, the most popular and important ones that every python programmer need to know are as follows:
- NumPy – NumPy provides tools to build multi-dimensional arrays and perform calculations on the data stored in them. We can also do mathematical operations.
- Tkinter – It provides a python app with Graphical User Interface(GUI packages).– It provides a python app with Graphical User Interface(GUI packages).
- Pandas – Pandas helps to manipulate and analyze large sets of data without having to learn a specialized data-processing language like R
- Pytest – The Pytest package provides a variety of modules, whether its a simple unit test or a more complex functional test, Pytest can help you
- MoviePy – It provides a range of functionality for common tasks associated with importing, modifying, and exporting video files, etc.
Is python a programming language or scripting?
Python is a programming language, but it can be used for scripting as well. Python is widely used in programming and is an interpreted language that occurs during runtime. Since it translates code, it becomes more flexible and versatile than many other languages.
Python vs Java performance?
Let us check out Python vs Java performance.
- Python is not faster. Java is generally faster.
- Python is an interpreted language, so it is less efficient. Java is a compiled language, so it is more efficient.
- Python has a simpler, more concise syntax. Java is not as simple as python.
- Python is interpreted which slows down during runtime. Java programs are compiled directly.
- Python takes 2 lines of code, so it is a more preferable language. It takes 10 lines of code to read from a file in java.
Node.js vs Python?
Let us check out Node.js vs Python.
- Node.js is best suited for asynchronous programming. Python is not exactly the best option for asynchronous programming.
- Node.js is an ideal platform available right now to deal with real-time web applications. Python is not an ideal platform to deal with real-time web applications.
Anaconda vs Python programming
- Anaconda is a free and open-source distribution of the Python and R Programming language for data science and machine learning. Python programming is an open source interpreted high-level programming language for general-purpose programming.
- Anaconda belongs to data science tools. Python belongs to computer Languages.
- Anaconda provides conda as the package. Python provides pip as the package
Can python be used to make apps?
Yes, you can use python to develop different apps. Developers are using many python frameworks to develop different apps.Kivy is one of the most popular frameworks in python, which you can use to develop many mobile apps. It is absolutely free to use. Kivy can run on Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, and Windows. Apart from kivy, Many are using other frameworks to develop different apps. You can also use some cool frameworks like Django, Flask, Py4A, Web2py, Bottle, and CherryPy to develop different apps.
Is python the future?
Yes, python is considered a future because many top companies are using python and have developed successful apps by using it. It has been seen that python has a remarkable and constant trend growth in the 21st century.
Python has managed to reach a level that is high above others making it the fastest-growing language. Python also has a promising future along with the addition of other technology. Python has managed to grab the attention of programmers because it is full of features that are taking it to a new level. Python is among the top five most loved programming languages for developers professional. The growth of the python clearly depicts the steady upliftment of the python and also it has a bright scope in technologies like ML and AI.
Can Python be used to hack?
Yes, python can be used for hacking as it has great libraries. When you start learning the core of hacking, python is great. Python is very easy to learn, so learning to hack with python will be fun. Hackers generally develop small scripts and python being a scripting language provides amazing performance. Python plays a major role in ethical hacking and cybersecurity industries that mainly used to develop the various penetration testing and tools for hacking.
How to learn programming fast?
Here are some tips on how to learn programming fast.
- While learning coding try to play with the code – If you are learning to code then start playing with the code, the sooner you start playing with the code the faster you will learn the concepts.
- Clear your fundamentals concept – Programming fundamentals is very important, the better you understand them, the easier it is to learn the concepts. The mistake that a student or beginner commits while learning programming is skipping the fundamentals concept. So, when you start doing programming, pick one programming language, stick with it, and clear all the basics of programming first before going to the next.
- Start practicing and not just reading – You really need to get your hands dirty in coding and keep practicing it regularly. The big mistake beginners make while learning programming is just reading a book and reading the sample code without practicing it. When you write the code, play with the code, and get an error while changing your code, to see different results and then you try to solve it. In this way, your logical ability improves day by day, and your programming concept gets better.
- Code by hand – Code by hand is very important for students and freshers, it is one of the most effective methods to learn how to program. So, start coding on a whiteboard or notebook by hand. It is also good for an interview, when you apply for a job in programming, most of the time the technical evaluation process will include code by hand. Code by hand gives you a clear understanding of syntax and logic.
- Ask for help, discuss and share – Generally, beginners feel shy when they need to ask for help, they hesitate in asking for help while learning to program. It doesn’t matter if you ask silly questions, it will help you in the long run. So it is good to take help or find a mentor to understand concepts easily. Always discuss your code with friends or co-programmers. One of the best ways is sharing your knowledge and doing discussions, which will make you a better programmer.
- Use more online resources – There are very good tutorials and plenty of online resources available unpaid and paid. So, you can take help from these online resources and can learn programming quickly. You can go for online resources and can start a programming journey in just one click.
- Take breaks when debugging – It is very important to take breaks while learning programming. It is not good to sit for hours in front of a computer because you will get exhausted by doing this. It is always good to take small breaks. While debugging a code keep in mind that you should not give hours and hours to find bugs, so take a break and refresh your mind and do something else. It will restore your focus and you may come up with the solution. Doing this will keep away from frustration and headache.
How to make python faster?
There are some ways to make python faster.
- Keep python code small and light – It is very important to keep python code simplest for fast working. So, to make python faster keep the python code as compact as possible to reduce latency and speed things up.
- Avoid unwanted loops – Too much looping in any programming language is not a good thing.
- Use built-in functions and libraries – Built-in functions like max, min, sum, and map are very efficient.
- Consider writing your own generator – While working with a list, consider writing your own generator. Generators are particularly useful when reading a large number of files.
- Using the latest releases of python – The new release of language is technically going to be faster and more optimized than before.
How to end a program in Python?
To end the program in python, you must be unaware of the fact that the code has an infinite loop. When we run the code, then it goes to an infinite loop. So in that case, we have to stop the code execution. There are some ways to end a program in python :Using os.exit()Using sys.exit()
I hope this Python programming for the absolute beginner tutorial will help you to learn Python. If you are keen to start learning, I would recommend you to go through the following courses and enroll in suitable one. But, start today, because, first step is vital for future success.