Python Basics

Python Introduction

Python is one of the popular programming language. It is bit different than any other programming language such as java, c, c++,.net,c# etc. And since last one and half decade python has gained the most fame in the world of coding. Especially in web scraping, machine learning and data mining python is heavily used. Because of its light weight nature, easy to learn architecture and human relatable concepts integration.

That’s why popular organisations such as Nasa, Facebook, Instagram, Google etc are using python in their projects. And the most popular framework Django is built using python.

Python can be learned in less span of time and the best part flood of course materials on each and every topic is easily available. There are plenty forums where your python related questions can be answered by professionals.

What is python?

Python is a computer programming language and most specifically it is general purpose interpreted object oriented programming language. Python is an open source project whose code is publicly available. And this programming language is available under General Public License (GPL).

History of Python

During 1980s, Guido van Rossum, a dutch programmer, planned to create a computer programming language which would be super easy to learn and implement in projects. And hence in 1989, for the first time, he introduced python to the world. If you are assuming, the name of the computer programming language has anything to do with “Monty Python” then your assumption is right. He named this language after the popular show monty python.

Python Installation

Python is available for free as it is a open source project. Before installing python, it is better to check if python is already installed. Because mac OS, Linux OS by default provides python. And some software they include this package. If you have installed those software then chances are python is present in your computer system.

To check, open command prompt if you are using windows otherwise open terminal. Type below command and press enter.

python –version

If python is installed in the system, then it will show the current version other wise, you need to download python from its official website.

Python official website: Python.Org

Depending upon your operating system, download the latest version of python and install it.

Note: Mac OS could have the oldest version of python, if that is the case then install a latest one.

Once your python is successfully installed then check the version of python by following above step.

Test Python is Working

In next chapters, we are going to learn python in depth but for now just follow following steps to test whether python is working or not.

Create a empty document in any simple text editor and save it with any name with .py extension. Name should not contain space or any special character.

For this example, I am saving the file name as example.py

Then inside the file write

print(“Good Morning”)

Save the file and now in command prompt or terminal type following code

python example.py

It will print “Good Morning’.

Here, print is a function whose job is print the information provided inside the bracket.

What is a function, why the text inside the bracket is kept in between double inverted quote we will learn in some other chapter.