Python History and Versions
Why the Name Python?
There is a fact behind choosing the name Python. Guido van Rossum was reading the script of a popular BBC comedy series "Monty Python's Flying Circus". It was late on-air 1970s.
Van Rossum wanted to select a name which unique, sort, and little-bit mysterious. So he decided to select naming Python after the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" for their newly created programming language.
The comedy series was creative and well random. It talks about everything. Thus it is slow and unpredictable, which made it very interesting.
Python is also versatile and widely used in every technical field, such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Web Development, Mobile Application, Desktop Application, Scientific Calculation, etc.
Python Version List
Python programming language is being updated regularly with new features and supports. There are lots of update in Python versions, started from 1994 to current release.
A list of Python versions with its released date is given below.
Tips to Keep in Mind While Learning Python
The most common question asked by the beginners - "What is the best way to learn Python"? It is the initial and relevant question because first step in learning any programming language is to know how to learn.
The proper way of learning will help us to learn fast and become a good Python developer.
In this section, we will discuss various tips that we should keep in mind while learning Python.
1. Make it Clear Why We Want to Learn
The goal should be clear before learning the Python. Python is an easy, a vast language as well. It includes numbers of libraries, modules, in-built functions and data structures. If the goal is unclear then it will be a boring and monotonous journey of learning Python. Without any clear goal, you perhaps won't make it done.
So, first figure out the motivation behind learning, which can anything be such as knowing something new, develop projects using Python, switch to Python, etc. Below are the general areas where Python is widely used. Pick any of them.
Choose any one or two areas according to your interest and start the journey towards learning Python.
2. Learn the Basic Syntax
It is the most essential and basic step to learn the syntax of the Python programming language. We have to learn the basic syntax before dive deeper into learning it. As we have discussed in our earlier tutorial, Python is easy to learn and has a simple syntax. It doesn't use semicolon and brackets. Its syntax is like the English language.
So it will take minimum amount of time to learning its syntax. Once we get its syntax properly, further learning will be easier and quicker getting to work on projects.
Note - Learn Python 3, not Python 2.7, because the industry no longer uses it. Our Python tutorial is based on its latest version Python 3.
3. Write Code by Own
Writing the code is the most effective and robust way to learn Python. First, try to write code on paper and run in mind (Dry Run) then move to the system. Writing code on paper will help us get familiar quickly with the syntax and the concept store in the deep memory. While writing the code, try to use proper functions and suitable variables names.
There are many editors available for Python programming which highlights the syntax related issue automatically. So we don't need to pay lot of attention of these mistakes.
4. Keep Practicing
The next important step is to do the practice. It needs to implementing the Python concepts through the code. We should be consistence to our daily coding practice.
Consistency is the key of success in any aspect of life not only in programming. Writing code daily will help to develop muscle memory.
We can do the problem exercise of related concepts or solve at least 2 or 3 problems of Python. It may seem hard but muscle memory plays large part in programing. It will take us ahead from those who believe only the reading concept of Python is sufficient.
5. Make Notes as Needed
Creating notes by own is an excellent method to learn the concepts and syntax of Python. It will establish stability and focus that helps you become a Python developer. Make brief and concise notes with relevant information and include appropriate examples of the subject concerned.
Maintain own notes are also helped to learn fast. A study published in Psychological Science that -
The students who were taking longhand notes in the studies were forced to be more selective — because you can't write as fast as you can type.
6. Discuss Concepts with Other
Coding seems to be solitary activity, but we can enhance our skills by interacting with the others. We should discuss our doubts to the expert or friends who are learning Python. This habit will help to get additional information, tips and tricks, and solution of coding problems. One of the best advantages of Python, it has a great community. Therefore, we can also learn from passionate Python enthusiasts.
7. Do small Projects
After understanding Python's basic concept, a beginner should try to work on small projects. It will help to understand Python more deeply and become more component in it. Theoretical knowledge is not enough to get command over the Python language. These projects can be anything as long as they teach you something. You can start with the small projects such as calculator app, a tic-toc-toe game, an alarm clock app, a to-do list, student or customer management system, etc.
Once you get handy with a small project, you can easily shift toward your interesting domain (Machine Learning, Web Development, etc.).
8. Teach Others
There is a famous saying that "If you want to learn something then you should teach other". It is also true in case of learning Python. Share your information to other students via creating blog posts, recording videos or taking classes in local training center. It will help us to enhance the understanding of Python and explore the unseen loopholes in your knowledge. If you don't want to do all these, join the online forum and post your answers on Python related questions.
9. Explore Libraries and Frameworks
Python consists of vast libraries and various frameworks. After getting familiar with Python's basic concepts, the next step is to explore the Python libraries. Libraries are essential to work with the domain specific projects. In the following section, we describe the brief introduction of the main libraries.
There are many libraries in Python. Above, we have mentioned a few of them.
10. Contribute to Open Source
As we know, Python is an open source language that means it is freely available for everyone. We can also contribute to Python online community to enhance our knowledge. Contributing to open source projects is the best way to explore own knowledge. We also receive the feedback, comments or suggestions for work that we submitted. The feedback will enable the best practices for Python programming and help us to become a good Python developer.
Usage of Python
Python is a general purpose, open source, high-level programming language and also provides number of libraries and frameworks. Python has gained popularity because of its simplicity, easy syntax and user-friendly environment. The usage of Python as follows.
In the next topic, we will discuss the Python Application, where we have defined Python's usage in detail.