Python is a big deal. It is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand programming languages in the world today. Python is so flexible and versatile that it is used for nearly every job that a programming language can do. Python powers desktop applications, is used for Linux system scripting and automation, acts as a glue language between Linux applications, is a supplemental scripting language in large programs like GIMP, Blender, and Autodesk Maya, performs crucial scientific and mathematical calculations, and runs some of the web's largest sites like Quora, Reddit, and Dropbox.
Python is also very easy to learn and read. Top computer science programs like the one at MIT rely on Python to teach fundamental computer science and programming concepts to their students. Python can be read a lot like plain English and its structures and flow are consistent with many other programming languages. Essentially, it is the perfect balance between readability and user friendliness and programming power.
This guide was written with first-time programmers in mind, but it will certainly work for anyone with previous programming experience. Only the basics are covered, but that doesn't mean that you won't be able to do anything interesting. Those top universities chose Python because beginners can see useful and interesting results quickly. Plus, Python is consistent in its conventions throughout, so moving on to more advanced topics will not be difficult once you've familiarized yourselves with the basics covered in this guide. You will learn the fundamentals of both programming and Python simultaneously; getting you up to speed with the world of free and open source programming as quickly and painlessly as possible.