Why is Python Programming Language So Popular Among Programmers?


In the eighties, nobody has ever thought that a programming language inspired by ABC (an abandoned programming language) will become one of the most popular languages of the 21st century. Today, Python is the reason behind the myriads of software applications used by a multitude of people worldwide. Be it machine learning, banking, scientific computing, video games, engineering or any other imaginable field, chances are that you’ll hear the term Python by most of the developers developing the software for it. From Google, Facebook, Microsoft, NASA, IBM to various small companies, everyone has either used it or using it for some or other reasons.

Basic Overview of Python Programming Language

Nothing could be better than starting this article from bang in the middle instead of from the beginning. It was the eighties when Guido van Rossum got his new dream job after getting his degree. There, he joined a team appointed with the task of creating a new programming language called ABC which will replace all the basic language of that time.

Four years after ABC was created, it got abandoned because of flop marketing and other reasons. It took a few years for Rossum to figure out the actual reasons behind it but the best one according to him was the internet. In those days, there were very minimal or no internet and because of this, it flopped.

Half a decade later, Rossum wanted to develop his own programming language named Python. He was keen to incorporate some of the ideas and concept of ABC while striking out all its flaws. Today, after so many years, he still believes that it was “release early, release often idea”, “open source movement” and “the evolution of computers” which actually made Python a success rather than his programming skills or experience.

Van Rossum’s Goals for Creating Python

Guido Rossum
Guido van Rossum

Since Van Rossum made Python an open-source, he was given the title of Benevolent Dictator for Life by the Python community, which he gladly accepted it. Talking about the goals beneath the Python programming languages, these are-

  • Must be easy and intuitive but powerful
  • Must be open-source
  • Code should be understandable
  • Must be suitable for everyday tasks

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The Name Python!

When you’ll inquire about Python to the non-programmers, most or all of them think about snakes found in Asian countries. But when you’ll ask any developer, the elated eyes are enough to tell you that it’s something which made their lives more easier and simpler.

Even its logo depicts two snakes having a blue and yellow color. But the actual inspiration behind its name was the Monty Python’s Flying Circus; a popular BBC comedy TV show. As Guido van Rossum was the big fan of this show, he named his programming language “Python” and since then it is unanimously called the Python programming language.

What Makes Python Programming Language so great?

Popular programming language- Feb 2019

Currently, there is a multitude of programming languages which we could count on our fingers. Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages but among all, what makes the Python programming language so great?

Now, let’s discuss some of its features-

  • Easy to learn, code and read
  • Free and open-source
  • High-level programming language
  • Portable and extensible
  • Interpreted
  • Object-oriented
  • Embeddable
  • Large range of library
  • GUI programming
  • Dynamically Typed

Read More: Check Out These E-Books for Learning Python!

Different Versions of Python

In 1991, its code was published to USENET for the first time. Since then, three major versions of Python have released i.e. Python 1.0, Python 2.0 & Python 3.0. The Python programming language grew throughout the early nineties with the gradual inception of functional programming tools and various other features. Soon, it becomes one of the most easy-to-learn and the most popular programming language.

Python programming language Versions History

Python 1.0 (1994)

It was the first major update of Python since its release in 1991. It included new features like different functional programming tools such as lambda, filter, map and reduce. By version 1.4, Python had additional features like keyword arguments and built-in support for complex numbers.

Soon Van Rossum launched an initiative called Computer Programming for Everybody (CP4E) with the aim of making programming more easy and accessible to the people. Now, programmers with basic skills can also able to use Python because of its clean syntax.

Python 2.0 (2000)

While Python was evolving, a key issue which surfaced the minds of the Python users was the continuous dependence on Van Rossum. To overcome this, in 2000, Python 2.0 was released by BeOpen Python Lab Teams with the aim of having an open and community-oriented development process with more transparency. Furthermore, list comprehensions and a garbage collection system were introduced.

In Python 2.2 the major innovation was the unification of Python’s types and classes into one hierarchy. This made the object model purely and consistently object oriented. Later, generators were also included.

Python 3.0 (2008)

It was also called Python 3000 or Py3K and was created to overcome certain design flaws. It was developed on the principle “reduce future duplication by removing old ways of doing things”. However, its release was a controversial decision due to a complete overhaul of the language with no backward compatibility. Nevertheless, Python 3.0 is still a multi-paradigm language and in Nov’2014, an announcement was made that Python 2.7 would be supported till 2020 and there would be no 2.8 release. Despite all the debates for using version 2 or 3 among the Python community, Python 3 is the future of this programming language.

The Future

Van Rossum Quote, the founder of Python programming language

Its users and community both are constantly growing and for sure, it’s not going away in recent forthcoming years. Already, it’s used by the big names like Google, NASA, Nokia and several others because of the easy syntax it provides. It also supports multiple programming paradigms like object-oriented Python programming, functional Python programming and others. Additionally, Python is supported by various IDE’s too which makes it an adaptive choice among the developers.

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Various IDE’s for Python Programming Language

IDE or Integrated Development Environment is a software which helps programmers to program easily by providing all the essential features required for the software development. Because of its fast setup and availability of tools, IDE increases the programmer’s productivity.

For the beginners, it consists of 3 parts. First is source code editor where programmers write their code. The second part is called the build automation tool or a compiler for compiling the codes. Lastly, a debugger is present to test or debug the program. Already, numerous IDE’s are available which supports Python. You can go through the below image to know about some of the popular IDE’s which programmers use for Python.

IDE's for Python programming language

Read More: Best IDEs and Code Editors for Python Developer- 2019

Application of Python Programming Language

Among countless applications, some of the most common ones are-

  • Web/Internet Development
  • Software Development
  • GUI-Based Desktop Applications-
    • Image Processing
    • Graphic Design
    • Games
  • Scientific and Computational Application
  • Data Analysis
  • Education
  • Business
  • Operating System and Language Development
  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Robotics
  • Scripting
  • Web Scraping

Now, Let’s have a Look into different Programs created by Python programming language!

** For running these codes install the latest version of Python and then PyCharm IDE

Example 1: Hello World

# Printing hello world!
print('Hello World!')


Hello world output screenshot

Example 2: Adding Two Numbers in Python

# This program adds two numbers

num1 = 1
num2 = 6

# Add two numbers
sum = (num1) + (num2)

# Display the sum
print('The sum of {0} and {1} is {2}'.format(num1, num2, sum))

OUTPUT: The sum of 1 and 6 is 7

Output of adding numbers in Python

Example 3: To Check Whether the String Contains Unique Characters or Not

User Input Examples:

#1. Input : st = “abcd”
Output: True
“abcd” doesn’t contain any duplicates. Hence the output is True.

Output Image

Output image for true

#2. Input : st = “abcc”
Output: False
“abcc” contains duplicates. Hence the output is False.

Output Image

Output image for false

Codes for the above example:

def isUniqueChars(st):
    # String length cannot be more than
    # 256.
    if len(st) > 256:
        return False

    # Initialize occurrences of all characters
    char_set = [False] * 128

    # For every character, check if it exists
    # in char_set
    for i in range(0, len(st)):

        # Find ASCII value and check if it
        # exists in set.
        val = ord(st[i])
        if char_set[val]:
            return False

        char_set[val] = True

    return True

# driver code
st = "abcc"

Wrapping Up!

So this was it! Whether you believe it or not; a nerd, a geek and a late bloomer who graduated at 26 created one of the most popular programming languages of the world.

Isn’t it amazing that a language which was created with the aim of bringing simplicity to the coding is now used by almost everyone including Google and NASA? Today, Python is used for everything from a robot to the AI algorithms. Even scientist building supercomputers are using Python.

Meanwhile, if you are keen to learn Python along with Data Science, another growing field then you can take Python + Data Science: Practical Guide online tutorial. It includes 15 sections having more than 12 hours of video for your in-depth understanding.

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