Python is a flexible general-purpose programming language that is easy to learn.
Furthermore, Python is relevant in almost all fields of technology and software development.
You can practically build any type of software with Python.
Python has been around for 30+ years and it has gained massive popularity.
But how far is it going? Is Python all hype? Should you still learn Python this year?
In this article, you learn 8 reasons why you should still learn Python and why it is definitely worth it.
Python: Beginner-Friendly & General-Purpose Language
Python is a general-purpose language that has been around for more than 30 years. It is one of the most popular programming languages to date.
Let’s take a brief look at Python’s history to understand why such a language exists and why it became so popular.
History of Python
Back in the day, programming languages were built for a specific purpose.
One language was for game development and the other for web development.
But there was no one-size-fits-all language that could be used everywhere.
Furthermore, programming languages were hard to learn due to their complex syntax.
A Dutch programmer, Guido van Rossum, was well aware of this.
He wanted to make a change.
His goal was to build a programming language that is both easy to learn and could be used everywhere.
The result was Python programming language.
Python is a general-purpose programming language that reads like English and can be used everywhere. It is still one of the most popular programming languages to date.
8 Reasons to Learn Python
Here are 8 great reasons to start learning Python right now.
Python is a beginner-friendly language.
As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons Python was built is to create a beginner-friendly language that is easy to read and quick to learn.
Even if you have not coded before, you can probably see what this piece of code is trying to do:
fruits = ["Apple", "Orange", "Banana"] if "Pineapple" not in fruits: print("There is no Pineapple in the basket.")
A programming language that is easy to read is beneficial to you as a software developer. This is because you do not need to spend time scratching your head on the syntax. Instead, you can focus on solving actual problems.
Another main goal of Python was to build a versatile language applicable to anything.
In this sense, Python has done a sensational job.
You can apply Python to practically anything, such as data science, web development, game development, IoT, and so on.
Because of its versatility, Python is often recommended as the first programming language to learn.
If you are interested in programming, but you are not sure what type of software you want to write, Python is a great way to get started.
With Python, you can experiment different forms of software development, such as web development or game development before deciding which you want to focus on.
In that sense, Python can also be used as a springboard to the realm of software development.
3. High Demand
Python became the most wanted programming language in the job market.
There are more Python positions than ever before.
This is partly because the trending technologies such as Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence rely on Python.
For instance, to become a data scientist, you need to know a lot of maths in addition to Python. As a matter of fact, Python is just a tool to execute your math skills to solve business problems.
In case you are interested in Data Science, here are the best Python courses for Data Science.
4. Well-Paying Jobs
As you may have heard, software developers’ salary is usually great.
Python is no exception.
According to Simplilearn, the average entry-level Python developer’s yearly salary varies from $59,888 to $111,605.
Python jobs tend to pay really well compared to other industries.
If you are looking for a lucrative business, becoming a programmer is definitely one of those.
Also, software development jobs tend to be remote these days. So if you like to get paid well for working on your sofa, learning Python (or other languages) is a great option.
5. Code Libraries: Lots of Useful Pre-Written Code
Python has a vast amount of free code libraries that make your life easier.
If you have never coded before, a code library is like an extension to your code. A library comes with a bunch of useful pre-written code modules you can use.
This saves you time because you do not have to reinvent the wheel.
For instance, a popular Python library Matplotlib lets you create visualizations and charts with ease.
There is a ton of these free libraries that make your coding process really smooth and streamlined.
Furthermore, these libraries are super easy to install with one simple shell command.
6. Big and Helpful Community
Python has a 30+ years old community.
This is a long period of time and during these years the Python community has matured well.
There are hundreds of thousands of Python developers.
The Python community is among the biggest software development communities.
When you run into some trouble with your code, chances are you find a solution from these developer forums.
As a matter of fact, you probably do not even need to ask a question because someone has already faced the same issue before.
Typically, you just write your question into Google, and Google suggests you an answer from one of these forums.
Having a great and helpful community is essential for any programming language.
A programming language without a community will not survive.
Nobody wants to read 1000-page long manuals in despair to find out solutions. It is way easier to ask someone who already knows.
7. You Learn to Code and Solve Problems
When you learn Python programming language, you learn the basics of programming and how to solve problems with code.
Once you learn the basics of one programming language, you know how all of them work.
The underlying basics of each programming language are the same.
After learning Python, you can learn some other languages quite easily.
Also, the most important aspect of programming is the ability to solve problems with code.
No matter which language you learn, this is the ultimate goal.
When you learn how to solve problems with Python, you can then apply the skills to any other programming language.
All in all, learning Python is a great way to start learning software development.
By the way, if you are new to programming, I recommend reading What Is Programming.
One great advantage of Python over any other programming language is the ability to write automation scripts.
Python is not just a programming language used to build complex software.
It can also be used to automate repetitive tasks on your computer.
For example, you can use Python to write a script that converts a video to GIF. Or perhaps you can clean up a folder of junk files using Python.
There is an endless amount of manual tasks on your computer that a Python script could do.
These little Python scripts can be great time savers and increase your productivity.
Learning Python can thus help you save time with repetitive manual tasks.
Now that you know 8 reasons to start learning Python, it is time to discuss the drawbacks of the language.
Similar to any other programming language, Python has its own shortcomings.
In this guide, we talked about learning Python and why it is still worth it.
Now, let’s talk about some drawbacks and limitations of Python.
This part of the article involves some technical terminology.
If you are a beginner with no coding experience, do not worry about these drawbacks too much. Just know that Python is not always perfect and feel free skip to the next section.
When it comes to development speed, Python is a champion.
However, when it comes to running the program efficiently, Python is nowhere near the top.
The runtime performance of Python is not great.
For someone familiar with programming terms, here are two main reasons that cause the slowness of Python:
- A Python program is interpreted one line at a time during runtime. This makes the program easier to debug but slows down the runtime speed.
- Python is dynamically typed. A developer does not need to spend time specifying the data types of variables. However, the program must assign types before running the program, which takes time.
High Memory Consumption
Python has high use of resources.
Python objects take a lot of space. Far more than they would need to.
Although there is a built-in garbage collector in Python, it does not return the resources back to the system right when they are released. If your code has references to an outdated object, the garbage collector is unable to release the memory taken by the object.
As a consequence of high memory consumption, processing large amounts of data can cause problems in your code.
Python has a built-in mechanism called GIL (Global Interpreter Lock).
This only allows a single sequence of bytecode instructions to be executed at a time.
The GIL is useful because it enables thread safety, boosts the performance of a single-threaded program, and makes integrating non-thread-safe C libraries easier.
The downside of GIL is it makes running multithreaded programs not possible. In other words, you cannot take advantage of multicore processors.
Lack of Demand in the Mobile Development Market
Mobile devices do not natively run Python.
- IOS Development is done with Swift or Objective C programming languages.
- Android development is usually done with Java or Kotlin.
Although it is possible to develop cross-platform apps with Python frameworks, it is not common and usually, it is impractical.
As described earlier, Python consumes too much memory for mobile hardware.
This is why Python fails to become the mobile app development language.
So if you are looking to become a mobile app developer, learning Python is not the ideal choice for a programming language to learn.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?
So are you ready to start learning Python?
The first question you probably want to know an answer to is how long it takes to learn Python.
A very rough answer is it takes 500-1000 hours to become a job-ready software developer.
But there are a lot of moving parts, such as:
- Frequency of practice
- Type of practice (self-study, course, boot camp)
- The amount of previous knowledge
If you want to learn the basics of Python, you can take an online introductory course and complete it within 50-100 hours.
After such a course, you can start writing basic programs to add up to your portfolio and gain experience. You can also take an intense boot camp to prepare yourself for a software developer’s position.
Feel free to read how long it takes to become a job-ready programmer.
How to Start Learning Python?
To learn to code, you have to write code.
If you seriously want to learn Python, you should take part in a course or boot camp.
Alternatively, you can look up free Python resources on the Internet.
Just remember to write each line of code you see, not just read it!
Here you can find a complete guide on how to start learning Python.
When You Should NOT Learn Python?
You do not have to know Python to become an experienced software developer, although it can be helpful in many cases.
Generally, if there is no good reason to learn Python, don’t be afraid not to.
Perhaps the most straightforward reason not to learn Python is if you already know you want to learn some other programming language.
For instance, if you want to become an iOS developer, start with Swift instead of Python.
Also, needless to say, if you are not interested in programming or Python, do not waste time learning it.
Before wrapping up, let’s take a look at some common myths about Python.
5 Myths about Python
Due to its popularity, versatility, and beginner-friendliness, Python has some funky associations and myths to it.
In this section, we are going to debunk 5 common myths.
1. Python Is for Noobs, C++ Is for Pros
Python is the easiest programming language to learn.
This is what makes the language really great for beginners.
Some other popular languages, such as C++ are a different story. The syntax looks cryptic and the memory management features are overwhelming at first.
Thus learning a language like C++ or C is more difficult than learning Python.
Because of this, you sometimes hear people calling Python a useless newbie language.
This is far from the truth.
Python is the most in-demand language at the moment.
The easiness of the language is one of the factors that make it popular.
Writing software is a brain-heavy task. Thus, any optimizations you can make are welcome.
If a programming language is easy to learn and understand, it is all positive. This is because you can spend more time focusing on things that matter.
In an ideal world, we could tell a computer what to do in plain English.
However, because computers do not speak human languages, we have to write instructions as code.
The easier the coding process, the quicker you can build software and solve problems.
2. Python Is Not a Real Programming Language
Due to the simple syntax of Python, one could call it “not a real programming language”.
But Python is as real as it gets.
As a matter of fact, the versatility makes it a general-purpose programming language that is applicable almost anywhere, unlike many other popular languages.
Learning the basics of Python teaches you all the basic principles of programming, just like learning any other programming language does.
3. Python Will Die This Year
Every year, you are going to see clickbait videos and article titles that claim this will be the last year of Python.
The reality is Python is not going anywhere.
At least not yet.
Chances are the demand for Python skills will rise in the coming years.
But it does not mean Python would be there forever.
As new technologies and programming languages emerge, the old ones may go extinct.
In a long run, it is impossible to say whether Python will be around or not. As a matter of fact, writing code itself is something that may be done by robots in the near future.
So keeping up with the news is definitely worth it.
4. Python Is All Hype
Due to the massive popularity of Python, one could argue Python is all hype.
But the numbers don’t lie.
Python has been doing its thing for the past 30 years.
The language is still in high demand and relevant in the modern fields of software development, such as AI, ML, and Data Science.
There are loads of jobs and projects that rely on Python.
Python is definitely not all hype!
5. You Can Learn Python Over a Weekend
Because Python is easy to learn it can be tempting to think you can learn it over the weekend.
If you have a lot of programming experience under your belt, this can indeed be the case.
However, if you are a complete beginner, learning Python will take time.
It will take months of daily practice to be precise.
It can be a fun weekend project to start learning the basics of Python. But do not expect to get far over the weekend!
Learning Python is still worth it.
Python is a versatile and in-demand language that is one of the easiest programming languages to learn.
You can use Python in almost any field of software development, such as Machine Learning, Data Science, AI, Web Development, and much more.
To learn Python, you can enroll in a programming course, and apply for college or self-study on the Internet.
I hope this article was able to convince you as to why Python is still a relevant programming language and what are the benefits of it.
Thanks for reading.
To learn to program quickly, you should definitely read 14 tips to learn programming faster.
Here is a comprehensive list of 50 websites to learn to code.