Skip to content

Introduction to Python

Many people have a misguided interpretation of software development. They tend to think most software is generated by solitary individuals beavering away in a darkened room with nothing but the glow of their laptop screens. They spend hours writing lines of code which auto-magically transform into multi-million dollar businesses overnight.

The reality is, that this couldn't be further from the truth. Software development is very much a team sport and community driven, with each member of the community or team contributing a unique set of skills. However, one important aspect that each member needs to have in common, like with any community , is a common language. Languages are vitally important for communication, they help express ideas and concepts using common expressions and words that are easily understood.

The 6 key elements a common language provide:

  • Information flow
  • Learning management skills
  • Developing Good Human Relations
  • Preparing people to accept change
  • Coordination
  • Ideas encouraged

One of the key factors of success in any software project can be it's choice of software programming language. The problem is that there is a not one correct language for every conceivable problem. Some problem domains require different approaches, and thought processes that different programming languages facilitate.

The purpose of programming languages are to help software developers

  • Comprehend a problem abstractly and to change it using code
  • Find ways of tackling problems and using common libraries to help solve them
  • Providing the ability to troubleshoot, debug and fix issues
  • help to develop solutions quicker and easier
  • easy for others to understand

What is Python ?

Python is an open-source , general-purpose, multi-paradigm, high level and interpreted programming language that provides programmers the ability to use various styles of programming to create complex or simple programs, get results faster and write code in as close to human readable language as possible.

Python is the programming language often used to create algorithms for sorting and analyzing chunks of data that businesses and organisations collect globally.

Lets break down what we mean by each of the terms highlighted.

High Level Language

This means code to develop a python program is more like a human readable language that the typical code used to control machines. It makes it easier for programmers to communicate their intention, concepts and ideas to other programmers, because the language is closer to human understandable language.

The human-like language goes through an interpreter that converts it into machine code for machines to understand.


An interpreter is a computer program that directly executes, i.e. performs, instructions written in a programming or scripting language, without requiring them previously to have been compiled into a machine language program.

An interpreter follows strategies for program execution:

  • parse the source code and perform its behavior directly;
  • translate source code into some efficient intermediate representation and immediately execute this;
  • explicitly execute stored pre-compiled code made by a compiler which is part of the interpreter system.


A multi-paradigm programming language is a programming language that supports more than one programming paradigm. The design goal of such languages is to allow programmers to use the best tool for a job, considering that no single paradigm solves all problems in the easiest or most efficient way.

There are a number different programming paradigms including imperative, functional, logic, constraint-based, object-oriented, or aspect-oriented. A paradigm characterizes the style, concepts, and methods of the language for describing situations and processes and for solving problems, and each paradigm serves best for programming in particular application areas.

General Purpose

Python can be used to develop any kind application, whether it be a website, console application, data manipulation , mobile application, games or even complex mathematical and financial calculations.

Open Source

Open Source is the process of producing a software product with source code freely and openly available to anyone who read or modify. The group of people who do this is called the Open Source community, although it should be noted that there is rarely a single identifiable community that shares exactly the same position on every single aspect of software development and licensing.

Who uses Python ?

Python is used successfully in thousands of real-world business applications around the world, including many large and mission critical systems. There are many stories of organisations initially using Python to program many different complex solutions.

One well noted case, is that of Google, whose initial search engine solution was all first coded in Python! Python's popularity and versatility continues to grow especially with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and machine learning.

It's worth reading some quotes on who uses python


Python isn't always the best tool for the job, but it also isn't the worst. Many software developers may always first use Python to quickly and easily produce an initial prototype or solution to a problem. Making time and investing in learning Python will no doubt provide opportunities in the future as many Scientists, Mathematicians, Marketers, Information Technology, Financial, business people, teachers, governments and even religious organisations all use python as their de-facto programming language.

Gary Woodfine
Latest posts by Gary Woodfine (see all)