If the subject of coding has ever come up in conversation, Python was probably mentioned – but what is it and what is it used for? Python is incredibly popular and widely used due to its versatility. Perhaps you’re interested in learning it? Let’s discover more about it and its uses…
What is Python?
Python is a programming language and since its release in 1991, it has become one of the most popular of its kind.
A programming language is used by programmers to develop a set of instructions for a computer to execute. Similar to how a human would follow instructions to build something like a new piece of furniture.
Programming languages help to translate the binary code of 1s and 0s used by computers into a language that humans can understand and then write in order to create new programmes, software and so on.
Python is known as a high-level language, and whilst “high level” might sound like it’s more difficult, it’s actually easier as the term means that it’s closer to what humans can understand and how they communicate. In contrast to this, low-level languages are closer to the code that computers use, so will offer more precise control of the programme but will be harder for humans to understand.
Other Programming Languages
Along with Python, there are a handful of other programme languages, here are some of the most popular:
- Visual Basic
- Assembly language
What Can Python be Used for?
Python is used for a range of tasks, including:
- Web development
- Software development
- Data analytics
- Machine learning
Python is used by many companies who all implement it in some form, using it to help their services function. Well known organisations and businesses who use Python include Google, Netflix, Spotify, NASA and many more.
Let’s look more in depth on each of these uses…
Data Analytics and Visualisation
Using Python, data can be collected, organised and analysed for a variety of uses. It can also present data in an easy to understand way via graphics and charts. One such use of data and Python in combination is in the trading industry…
How Python Helps Trading
Trading experts use various techniques to improve their chances of success. A popular method used by these experts is backtesting, which analyses historical data in order to determine if a certain investment strategy will do well if used today.
Backtesting python can gather and present this data, so a trader can determine whether it’s worth making an investment or not.
Python is popular for web development use as there are many existing frameworks to choose from. A framework is a code library that gives basic patterns that allow web developers to build web applications much faster and with less effort.
The framework will help create a website that is reliable (won’t crash) and easy to maintain.
Though other tools are more popularly used to create video games, Python can sometimes be used too, at least for some aspects of the game. Python has been used in the development of games like Sims 4, Battlefield 2 and the map editor in Civilization IV.
Simple games can also be created in the programming language that can then be used as prototypes.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Thanks to both its stability and flexibility, Python is perfect for projects that involve machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). It is a favourite among data scientists due to its simplicity and the range of packages and libraries for AI and machine learning that are already available.
Creating Applications (including Design Apps)
Python can programme many kinds of applications, meaning it has helped the design industry by creating apps used for graphics, such as 2D imaging for Gimp and 3D animation software like Blender. There’s no end to Python’s uses.
Python is an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn coding. Finding out about its many uses may help you find something you are interested in doing as a first project. For example, if you’re a gamer, you could learn Python to create a simple game.
Give it a try – it could lead to a great career.
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