Why choose Python as your first programming language?

By Riya Jain & Abhinash on November 22, 2022

Language is a medium to communicate ideas, opinions and instructions. Communicating instructions requires the use of methods, abstracts and examples that can be followed by the receiver. A programming language is defined as a computer language that is used by developers or programmers to write functional instructions for the computer (Beal, 2022).

EXAMPLE

In a class where the teacher is communicating in Spanish but the students understand English, then the language chosen by the teacher is wrong. Thus, the flow of information and instructions is blocked by language as a barrier.

This article focuses on discussing the importance of language in programming a computer and exploring some of the commonly used computer languages.

Different types of programming languages

Types of programming language
Figure 1: Types of programming language

A low-level programming language is a machine-dependent language written to translate instructions into binary i.e 0 and 1. As there is no need for an interpreter or compiler, thus, the language is fast. It could be majorly classified into two types:

  1. machine language and,
  2. assembly language.

Machine language also known as an object or machine code is displayed in the form of hexadecimal or binary form and provides the advantage of faster program execution (Alubady, 2022). Assembly language on the other hand works with the processor and represents instructions in form of human-readable and symbolic forms.

An assembler is used to convert assembly language into machine language but still as the time of execution is less and the memory required is low, thus, the language is still effective (Javapoint, 2022).

A middle-level programming language is also known as a pseudo-language or intermediate programming language. This language works as a bridge between the computer’s programming layer and the hardware (Technopedia, 2022). The middle-level language supports high-level programming language and reduces complexity by making it human-friendly. Some of the popular middle-level programming languages are C++, C, and Java Bytecode (Jacob, 2020; Technopedia, 2022).

High-level programming language is used by most developers to build computer applications such as websites, games and word processors. High-level programming language requires compilers to translate human-written instructions into machine-readable instructions. Some of the popular high-level languages are C#, C++, Pascal, Python, PHP, HTML and JavaScript (Joshi, 2019).

Types of high-level programming language

The high-level language could further be classified as:

  1. procedural-oriented programming (POP),
  2. object-oriented programming (OOP), and
  3. natural language.

Procedural-oriented programming is structured programming based on the call concept wherein the entire program is divided into small parts known as functions or routines. These functions provide the benefit of easily tracking program flow that facilitates the reuse of the parts of code in different programs (BBC, 2022).

Object-oriented programming is based on objects wherein the program is divided into small parts called objects. The language provides the benefit of having real-world entities like abstraction, inheritance and implementation. Objects enable the reusability of code and add efficiency to the process.

Natural language is the human language part used by machines for interpreting and understanding human language by performing tasks like summarization, topic segmentation, or translation. Language enables direct interaction with humans and provides and addresses human queries in plain language (Hernyák, 2014).

Understanding the role of compilers in a programming language

Computers are machines that follow instructions without any conscience bias. Thus, to instruct computers to perform a task, the instructions have to be coded in the language that computers can read. Although computers can read instructions only in binary, it is a daunting task for a human to develop an application using only binary. Thus, to make it easier for humans to write thousands of instructions as codes that humans can easily relate to compilers help to translate human-written codes into machine-readable binary codes (Mcgill, 2022). This makes computers perform large sets of repetitive tasks more efficiently and accurately.

Why learn Python?

Unlike Java, C, C++, R, and PHP, Python is witnessing incredible popularity and growth lately. Python is defined as a general-purpose high-level programming language with versatility with the feature of building different functions (Rossum, 2018). Python is a dynamic, open-source, and high-level programming language that supports object-oriented and procedural programming. The Python language is an interpreted language that does not depend on compilers and is executed line by line. This also makes the language versatile and does not have any operating system preferences.

Why learn Python?
Figure 2: Why learn Python?

Most programming languages consist of their own set of rules, grammatical structures, and syntax that creates the need of understanding a completely new vocabulary. But this is not the case with Python. As the programming language follows the rules of commonly spoken English thus, its syntax is simple (Linner et al., 2021). Python also has an active community to resolve program-related issues and problems (MRCET, 2019). The language also provides a reliable and efficient environment for developers to develop powerful applications in data science. Lastly, the presence of an advanced level of automation, multiple libraries and frameworks, extensive use in data science, and a vast range of in-built solutions makes working with python handy for developers (Huenerfauth et al., 2009).

References

I am currently working as a Research Associate. My work is centered on Macroeconomics with modern econometric approach. Broadly, the methodological research focuses on Panel data and Times series data analysis for causal inference and prediction. I also served as a reviewer to Journals of Taylor & Francis Group, Emerald, Sage.

I am a master's in Economics from Amity University. Having a keen interest in Econometrics and data analysis, I was a part of the Innovation Project of Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. My core expertise and interest are in environment-related issues. Apart from academics, I love music and exploring new places.

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