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Arsheen Kour Arsheen is a blogger, an avid learner and a passionate Individual committed towards achieving goals. She is an Open Source Enthusiast ready to apply and enhance skills of being an IT Engineer. She is currently pursuing Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering(B.E)) at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar

Why You Should Learn Python in 2023?

7 min read

According to the StackOverFlow 2023 Survey report, Python is the 2nd most admired and desired programming language. What’s driving this significant growth? Python is popular and widely used in today’s era due to the in-demand for an easy-to-learn language with a good earning potential. The main reason for its popularity is its large collection of modules and packages. There is a wide range of packages that are supported by Python such as garbage collection, exception handling, and over 2 lakh more such packages.

Python is a relatively easy language to learn compared to other languages and is widely used due to the cluster of positive attributes present in it. In this programming language, the code doesn’t need to be compiled before being run. It is one of the most flexible languages used in many industries such as software and web development, data science, automation, and many more. It is one of the easiest and most fun to learn languages and is the second-highest-paid computer language in today’s era.

Compelling Features and Advantages of Python

Talking about the features, python holds a strong command of this. In addition, python is a programmer-friendly language with several advantages in the 21st century.

–         One of the easiest programming languages so far

–         Presence of standard library helping out for not writing code for every single thing

–         Line-by-line execution of source code as it is interpreted

–         No changes in code are required to run on different platforms

–         Having both object-oriented and procedure-oriented programming

–         Open source and free to use

–         Allocation of memory is automatic

–         Need only a few lines of code to perform tasks

–         Simplification of complex software development

Setting up Python

A detailed step-by-step guide for setting up Python is listed below:

For Microsoft Windows

1. Go to the official Python website at https://www.python.org/downloads/ and download the latest version of Python for Windows.

2. Once the download is complete, double-click the installer to begin the installation process.

3. On the first screen, you’ll be asked to choose whether to add Python to your PATH environment variable. This is recommended, as it will allow you to run Python from any directory in the command prompt. Click the “Add Python to PATH” checkbox and then click “Customise installation”.

4. On the next screen, you can choose which features to install. Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, you should leave the default options selected and click “Next”.

5. On the next screen, you’ll be asked to choose an installation location. Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, you should leave the default location selected and click “Install”.

6. The installation process will begin. This may take a few minutes.

7. Once the installation is complete, you should see a message indicating that Python has been successfully installed. Click “Close” to exit the installer.

8. You can now open the command prompt and type “python” to start the Python interpreter. If you chose to add Python to your PATH environment variable during the installation process, you should be able to run Python from any directory in the command prompt.

For MacOS

1. Go to the official Python website at https://www.python.org/downloads/ and download the latest version of Python for Mac.

2. Once the download is complete, double-click the installer to begin the installation process.

3. On the first screen, you’ll be asked to choose whether to install Python for all users or just for your user account. Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, you should choose “Install for all users of this computer” and click “Continue”.

4. On the next screen, you can choose which features to install. Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, you should leave the default options selected and click “Install”.

5. You may be prompted to enter your administrator password to continue with the installation.

6. The installation process will begin. This may take a few minutes.

7. Once the installation is complete, you should see a message indicating that Python has been successfully installed. Click “Close” to exit the installer.

8. You can now open the Terminal app and type “python” to start the Python interpreter. If you have installed Python 3. x, you can type “python3” to start the Python 3. x interpreter.

For Linux

1. Open the terminal on your Linux machine.

2. Type the following command:

sudo apt-get update

   This command updates the package list on your machine.

3. Type the following command to download Python:

 sudo apt-get install python3

   This command will download the latest version of Python 3. x.

4. Once the download is complete, you can verify that Python is installed by typing the following command:

python3 --version

   This command will display the version of Python installed on your machine.

5. You can now start using Python! Open the terminal and type “python3” to start the Python interpreter.

Choosing the right Python Version

In the paragraphs below, we will discuss which would be best for starting your journey in the coding field.

Python 2 VS Python 3

One of the most debated questions is whether Python 3 is a better choice than Python 2. Most of the new projects are being written in Python 3 so there is no longer use of Python 2 in today’s era. Python 2 is rapidly running out of steam, and more and more companies are migrating their code to Python 3.

Python 2 was made public for the very first time in 1991. Soon, different versions of Python were introduced in the market. The last version to be introduced was Python 2.7. Python 2 came with a new technical specification called Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP), which provided guidelines and best practices for writing Python code. 

 On the other hand, Python 3 was released in December 2008 having several improvements within it. Python 3 came along with various new syntaxes that were designed in such a way that the code could do the same task in different ways. Some of the major changes in Python 3 include changing the print declaration to a built-in function, improving integer division, and improving Unicode support. 

Installing Python using package managers

Using pip

1. Open your terminal.

2. Check if you have pip installed by typing pip in your terminal. If you don’t have a pip, you can install it by typing sudo apt-get install python-pip in your terminal. This command will install pip on your system.

3. Once you have pip, you can install Python by typing pip install python in your terminal. This command will download and install Python on your system.

4. Wait for the installation to complete. This may take some time depending on your internet speed and system performance.

5. Verify the installation by typing python in your terminal. This should open the Python interpreter. You can type “print(‘Hello, world!’)” to test if Python is working properly. This command should print “Hello, world!” in your terminal.

6. You can exit the Python interpreter by typing exit() or pressing Ctrl+Z and then Enter.That’s it! You now have Python installed on your system using pip.

Using Anaconda

1. Go to the Anaconda website at https://www.anaconda.com/products/individual.

 2. Click on the “Download” button for Python 3. x version of Anaconda.

3. Choose the appropriate installer for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).

4. Once the installer is downloaded, run it and follow the on-screen instructions to install Anaconda.

 5. During the installation process, you will be asked to choose whether to add Anaconda to your PATH environment variable. It’s recommended to select “yes” so that you can easily use Anaconda from your terminal or command prompt. 6. Once the installation is complete, open your terminal or command prompt and type “conda” to verify that Anaconda is installed.

7. You can create a new Python environment using Anaconda by typing “conda create –name myenv python” in your terminal or command prompt. Replace “myenv” with the name you want to give your environment. This command will create a new environment with Python installed.

8. Activate the environment by typing “conda activate myenv” in your terminal or command prompt. Replace “myenv” with the name of your environment.

9. You can now install Python packages using Anaconda by typing “conda install package name” in your terminal or command prompt. Replace “package name” with the name of the package you want to install.

 That’s it! You now have Python installed using Anaconda and can create and manage environments to install packages.

A Look at Python Development Environment

Choosing a code editor or IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

A code editor is the second name for a source-code editor. It’s a text editor that includes the ability to edit code that provides features for supporting software development. Code editors allow opening multiple coding files and windows in conjunction with a built-in-terminal environment

IDE(Integrated Development Environment)

An  Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities for software development. An IDE normally consists of at least a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Some IDEs, such as NetBeans and Eclipse, contain the necessary Compiler, Interpreter, or both; others, such as Sharpdeveloper and Lazarus do not.

POPULAR CODE EDITORS AND IDEs FOR PYTHON

Pycharm  

PyCharm is a widely used IDE that is suitable for professional developers. It provides features like code completion, code inspections, error fixing, and many more

It is created by JetBrains. Mainly, two versions of PyCharm have been introduced lately

•Community–it is a free open-source version, lightweight, good for Python and scientific development

•Professional — It is a paid version that contains a full-featured IDE with support for web development as well

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is one of the most popular code editors in today’s era. It supports additional packages for web and scientific Python development.

It is the most reliable platform for developers and supports GOTO anything to access files. It also allows a user interface toolkit. It is highly customizable and allows solid editing and instant project switch.

It does not support direct executing or debugging code from within the editor and the installation of extensions is quite tricky.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code or VS code is created by Microsoft and is used for Python development. It is an open-source lightweight IDE  with powerful features residing in it. Code completion, linting for potential errors, and debugging are some of the features in it.

You can add extensions to create a Python development environment as per your need in VS code.  It is compatible with Windows and Mac OS only and comes with free as well as paid versions.

Configuring the development environment for Python

1. Go to the official Python website (https://www.python.org/downloads/), and download the latest version of Python for your operating system.

 2. Run the installer and follow the instructions to install Python on your computer.

 3. Once Python is installed, you can open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on macOS or Linux) and type “python” to check if it’s installed correctly. You should see the Python version number and a prompt.

4. Next, you’ll need an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to write and run Python code. PyCharm and VS Code are popular choices, but there are many others to choose from which are already explained in the above paragraphs. You can download and install your preferred IDE.

5. Once you have your IDE installed, you can create a new Python project and start coding! You can also install packages and libraries using pip (Python’s package manager) to extend the functionality of Python.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Python is a versatile and dynamic programming language that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its simplicity, flexibility, and vast community make it an excellent choice for developers in 2023. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer, Python offers a range of applications and tools that can help you achieve your goals. So, if you’re looking to learn a new programming language or want to expand your skillset, Python is definitely worth considering.

In my upcoming blog, we will learn more about the usage of python in one of the vast field in today’s era . Stay tuned!

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Arsheen Kour Arsheen is a blogger, an avid learner and a passionate Individual committed towards achieving goals. She is an Open Source Enthusiast ready to apply and enhance skills of being an IT Engineer. She is currently pursuing Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering(B.E)) at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar

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