On python

I will start this post by stating that I am used to write computer programs in C++. It’s the language I have learned at college, and I am quite comfortable with C++. Hence it is unlikely that I will abandon this language anytime soon.

Personally, I think there too many different programming languages out there. In my humble opinion, only a few programming languages are necessary to do the programming work the world needs. Learning multiple languages does not seem to make sense to me, as most stuff can be done in C++.

Nevertheless, I am curious about the other languages. Today I have installed a python 3 IDLE, and I wrote three small programs in python. Save for a few struggles with syntactic issues, I really like the language.

Python is a neat and relatively simple language, and for that reason I think it is a good language to learn computer programming. Because programming in python is quite straight forward, it is quite suitable to teach fundamental concepts to high school students.

Unlike C++ or Java, a program in python needs as little as one line of code to be functional. For instance:

print(“Hello World!”)

is a complete, albeit a little simple, program in python. While the corresponding program in C++ would be:

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

int main(){

cout<<“Hello World!”;

return 0;

}

There are several ways to write this program in C++, but this one is among the shorter ones. Personally I have no problem with the C++ format, as I generally use a template when writing a program. Nevertheless, the amount of stuff one need to include in a C++ program are cumbersome to young and inexperienced programmers.

In python you can easily demonstrate an if-statement, a while loop and the like, just by writing these thing and run the program. Since python does include the most basic concepts of programming languages, it is my conviction that people who have learned programming python would learn other languages such as C++ more easily.

Though I like python quite well, I am not planning to switch from C++ to python (entirely). I see no reason for that, not in the least since I have a sound understanding of C++.

What are my current programming projects? Well, as refreshing I am working on a simple program which can manipulate complex numbers. But more exciting is that I am working on a video game. Though that will take some time, I intend to have a simple text version of one part of the game by the end of next month.

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7 responses

  1. Though I like python quite well, I am planning to switch from C++ to python (entirely). I see no reason for that, not in the least since I have a sound understanding of C++.

    I think you need to edit this paragraph. To read you’re not planning to switch…

    1. Thanks for your sharp debugging, I will correct it.

  2. I did read an online tutorial about python some time ago. Not to go past the first lesson or so, but just to see what it was. Wrote a couple of things…that’s all. I do enjoy writing my own little web site pages. Just fun little things. I also did a couple of PHP pages. Just to see what it was. Didn’t go any further. No need to. Forgot everything I knew and deleted it all. lol
    Will stick to silly poems. đŸ™‚

    1. “Silly” poems are fun too.

  3. I would strongly recommend you add Python to your repertoire for the following reasons:

    1. Diversity. This is one of the best ways to impress the less-informed (read: HR), because they don’t know how easy it is to pick up and sling code in most common languages.
    2. Prototyping. Python’s best purpose is testing a solution before coding it in a “harder” language like C/C++. Java also works for this purpose, but I find it more cumbersome.
    3. Scripting. Python is fundamentally a scripting language, and it is a pretty good one. I believe it will serve you better in the long haul than something like TCL.

    That said, I find most people can keep several languages in functional memory. I can comfortably switch between C, Java, and Python in moments. I can also put together bash scripts in the same work session. And I’ve only been at this for a few years.

    Take every opportunity to build your tool set, my friend.

    1. 1. I fully agree on the diversity issue. Technically Java has been the first programming language I have learned, though it has been a long time ago since I used it for the last time. Also I had to learn to use MatLab at college (and I have used Octave at home).

      2. I have written some programs in python myself and I could hardly disagree with you on this. The straightforwardness of python is one of the reasons why I like python.

      3. I am not well into scripting, though I have read that python is used for this purpose. Given that I have installed a python IDLE, I would probably use python when I need to write a script.

      Thanks for following.

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