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Python Transcript

Today's Digital Tuesday will introduce to the programming language Python.

What is it?

Python is a high level general purpose programming language. What does that mean?

  • A programming language is a way giving instructions to a computer.
  • High level languages allows a programmer to create programmes, which are independent of the particular computer are working on, for example, Apple of Windows. High Level languages are more like a human language then machine code.
  • General purpose means it can be used for other types of programming and software development besides web development. Python is used across many industries and for a number of different applications, including game development, machine learning, scientific computing, and web applications. 
  • Python supports modules and packages, which encourages program modularity and code reuse. It comes with a large collection of standard modules that you can use as the basis of your programs

Object-oriented Programming

If you look up Python, you'll eventually come across the phrase object-oriented programming. Without going into much detail OOP is a computer programming model that organizes software design around data, or objects, rather than functions and logic.

An object can be defined as a data field that has unique attributes and behaviour. Rather than focusing on the problem that needs to be solved, OOP focuses on the objects that make up the system. This means that all of the data and all of the procedures/functions of a system belong to one or more objects. Objects in object-oriented programming collaborate with each other, by sending and receiving messages. This approach to programming is well-suited for programs that are large, complex and actively updated or maintained.

The Python training materials will introduction to Classes which definte attributes and behaviour.

And yes, it is named after "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and not the reptile.

Why learn it?

Python is great for beginners because it has a simple syntax and so is one of the most accessible programming languages available. Python codes can be easily written and executed much faster than other programming languages and it's very versatile and is used by, just to name a few, Google, Dropbox, Reddit and Instagram.

Philosophy

The philosophy behind Python values simplicity. Just to name a few:

  • Beautiful is better than ugly.
  • Explicit is better than implicit.
  • Simple is better than complex.
  • Readability counts.

[See the The Zen of Python]

What can you do with Python?

Because it's a general purpose programming language, it has a huge variety of applications. You can create web frameworks, for example, Django, which was used to create Instagram. Scientific computing. Python has become extremely popular amongst mathematicians, scientists, and statisticians due to some incredible open source libraries for high-level mathematics and data analysis. Automation.

You can use Python to read and organize files, to scrape web pages for information, download pictures, or send emails and text messages. Pretty much anything you can imagine doing on a computer, you can write a program for it in Python.

This short course will cover getting setup and introduce the basic concepts. We've also provided some links to further resources. Happy coding!

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