Python is an easy-to-use, comprehensive and powerful language. Since Python is easy to use, many experts recommend it as an excellent first language for beginners. Do I consider Python to be an ideal language for first-time programmers?
Yes, I consider Python to be an excellent language for learning to code first time. However, there are general suggestions, and there are always more sophisticated suggestions. A more elegant suggestion might be to learn Python programming language as a second programming language.
In this article, I explain when to learn Python as the first programming language, when to choose it as the second, and why one should even consider learning to code in Python.
- 1 When to learn Python as the first programming language?
- 2 When to learn Python as the second programming language?
- 3 Why should anyone prefer Python programming language?
- 4 Conclusion
When to learn Python as the first programming language?
If you are planning to gain programming expertise in addition to your major skills (such as engineering, scientific, social scientific, or business skills), then I would suggest that you learn Python as your first programming language.
Why am I recommending you to learn Python as your first programming language but not other languages like Java or C++?
Since you plan to learn a programming language for some of your projects or to advance your career in your field, you might not have ample time to learn multiple programming languages. Python is a versatile programming language that uses English language-like syntax in many cases. As a result, learning Python programming language is easier and less time consuming than learning to code in Java or C++.
If there are some errors at the end of your program, Python will keep running your code till it hits the error and cannot run anymore. In languages like Java or C++, the program will not run (nor even compile) if there is a syntax error in your code. That means Python is an interpreter, or it directly executes your code line by line. Java and C++ are compiler-based languages. You have to compile your Java code, generate a program, and you will need to run that program. With any error, the compiler will not create the program from your code. Therefore, running a program partially before hitting the error is not an option in Java and C++.
Since Python is an interpreter, it is easy to be handled by first-time programmers.
Before you learn your first programming language, it is also essential to know that you will learn invaluable skills whatever language you choose. Since Python is easy to learn, it is a great programming language to advance your career. Python can be very useful if you are working in the scientific, business, analytics, or engineering fields.
When to learn Python as the second programming language?
Some situations when you might want to consider Python as your second programming language are as follows.
- If computer science is your major,
- If you are at college but not majoring in computer science, and two programming language courses count toward your degree,
- If you want to go for software development jobs in the future,
- Last but absolutely not least, if you already know a programming language and the programming language you know is not Python, then definitely you need to learn Python to check out what you are missing.
Programming languages like Java and C++ will give you a life-long skill in learning any programming language. You can learn Python pretty quickly if you know Java or C++. Since you know Java, you know the object-oriented paradigm. You are familiar with tons of data structures. You are familiar with general errors and exceptions that appear in a compiler-based programming language. All these experiences will build a strong foundation. Learning any new programming language will be easy peasy after learning Java or C++.
A software engineer should know about operating systems and object-oriented languages like Java, C++, or Python. In short, you can choose Java as your first programming language and, when you are familiar with it, you can switch to Python. If you feel comfortable, try learning more programming languages like Ruby and Scala. Then, learn as many of them as possible.
Why should anyone prefer Python programming language?
Whether it is the first programming language or the second or third, you should start learning Python now because this language allows you to do quick prototyping. You can build complex software in days, while with Java or C++, you could spend weeks.
A wide variety of tools and packages are available with Python to do a gazillion amount of work — from programming robots to interfacing to breadboards (circuits) to web-scraping to natural language processing to machine learning and whatnot. With the advent of Django and Angular, Python has become more popular than ever, combined with web-based systems.
Any programming language you learn will give you the fundamental programming concepts you need. The best programming languages to learn first are the popular ones, where you can find support and many resources. Python is tremendously popular now.
Python is a great first programming language for people with any background and any degree. If you’re interested in data science, doing a pet project, or just playing around, Python is the only major programming language that makes it easy for you. Moreover, Python is the go-to language if you are looking for a fun and straightforward programming language to learn first.