- Nick Congleton
IntroductionPython is a dynamically typed, interpreted, general purpose programming language. It's useful for everything from system scripting, to web applications, to full graphical desktop programs. Because of that, it's no surprise that demand for Python programming skills is only increasing, and top companies like Google, Mozilla, Instagram(Facebook), and Reddit rely on it as part of their core technology stack. Not only that, but Python is a favorite in both academic and scientific circles and is gaining ground in the financial sector. Top universities are even using it to teach programming in their computer science programs.
With all of that said, you'd probably be thinking that Python is something super difficult to learn and only accessible to the elite in the technology field, but you couldn't be more wrong. Python is easy. Python is really easy. In fact, Python is one of the first languages used to teach children to program. Python was designed to be very clear and simple to understand. It reads like plain English, and its syntax makes use of spaces rather than brackets and semicolons, so it always looks clean and uncluttered. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to wright messy Python. This helps out new programmers and programmers new to Python big time because you can always tell what you're looking at, or at least, get a decent sense of what it does. This way, you can look at code examples from established open source projects to get an idea of what professional grade Python looks like and how it's used.
Python and Linux work incredibly well together. It wasn't all that long ago that Python supplanted Perl as the de facto scripting and "glue" language on Linux systems. This means that many scripts and utilities that ship with modern Linux systems are written in Python. As a result, most Linux distributions have Python installed by default, but there is a bit of a catch. There are two current versions of Python. Python
3.X.Xare both current. Syntactically, they are very similar, but Python 3 has some features that Python 2 doesn't. That means that they are not entirely compatible and many distributions package them separately. So, your system may have Python 2, but not Python 3 or vice versa. This guide and the others in the series are going to cover Python 3. It is the future of Python, and it's not so bad to go back to Python 2 after you've worked with Python 3.