Why Python is the best coding language to learn right now

Coding is one of the most important skills for current and future generations to learn. A major reason is that our economy is increasingly tech-driven, and new industries are emerging in the future for advanced technologies such as in robotics, driverless cars, virtual reality, and cybersecurity. In 2018, there were over 587,000 computing jobs available but only 38,000 computer science students who graduated into the workforce to fill up these jobs. In just 10 years, over 80% of future jobs will require computing skills, where coding is an integral part.

There are over 256 text-based languages in the world today, with new languages being developed constantly. You may recognize the names of some of the most popular ones: C++, Ruby, Java, JavaScript, and Python to name a few. The computing world can get quite complex - there are so many different coding languages and applications of code. So how does one get started in learning to code?

While each programming language have their own unique strengths for different applications, here's why we believe Python is the best programming language to learn today, especially if you're a beginner.

1. Simple Syntax

"Syntax" refers to to a concept in writing code dealing with a very specific set of words and a very specific order to those words when we give the computer instructions. To demonstrate why Python has relatively simpler syntax, we will compare it to a couple of other languages. Here is the simple Hello World program in C:

For those of you who are new to coding, Hello World is the first program that programmers typically write when starting off their coding journey. Here's the Hello World program in Java:

As you can see, it takes a lot of lines of code just to do one simple thing. Lastly, here's the Hello World program in Python:

Above is just one simple line of print "Hello World". All three of these examples are achieving the same objective: instructing your computer to print "Hello World". However, Python's simplistic english-like syntax helps lower the barrier to get started with coding, making this an easy language to pick up out of the get-go.

2. Versatile

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of Python - it actually has a wide variety of applications, some with very high complexity. You can use it to build games, websites, mobile apps, and fully functional robots. It also has applications in cybersecurity, analyzing astronomical data, and AI and machine learning, which we'll explore more about in a bit.

3. High in-demand

Python is an incredibly marketable skill, due to its wide applications in industry. In 2020, according to Indeed, Python is the most in-demand programming language in the USA job market with the highest 74,000 job postings in January 2020. Most people have heard of Python at this point due to its recent huge surge in popularity. In fact, in 2018, Americans have searched for Python on Google more often than for Kim Kardashian, the famous reality-TV star. The number of search queries for Python has tripled over the past decade, while those for other major programming languages have been flat or declining. 

4. Used in the leading edge of tech (i.e. Machine Learning)

Machine learning is essentially crunching large quantities of data to detect patterns and trends that would otherwise be imperceptible, and use them to make predictions and decisions. Python really excels in this application specifically because it is designed with many built-in modules and functions to handle large amounts of data and fit and find these patterns. We interact with machine learning algorithms everyday - for example, when we're searching for something on Google, you probably noticed a lot of auto-populated suggestions that pop up as it tries to predict what we're searching for. These suggestions are based on all the other entries that people have made so far in Google search. Another example is Amazon, which can predict the products we want to buy or may be interested in depending on the type of products we have put in our cart, have purchased in the past, or have searched for before. Netflix has reported that over 80% of the members on Netflix watch whatever come up in their recommendations, which again, are also driven by machine learning algorithms.

There are many reasons why Python is awesome, but these are the top reasons why we believe Python is the best coding language to learn today. If you think we missed anything, please share in the comments below! We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Luckily, there are many resources available for learning Python today. If you're more of a hands-on and visual learner, check out How to Make a Robot, which is a beginner course where you learn Python by building your own robot from scratch!

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