Trial Run #1: My Python Journey

They say if you want to be good at something, teach it and so whatever will be written in this article is for me as much as the next person.

I’m currently learning Python and, in a bid to better understand the language, I am going to be writing short articles on what I already do know. I’d try to make it as simple and as broken down as possible.

Wish me luck!

I know I’m rooting for you.

So, anybody who has been in any form of tech space or tech-related conversation is sure to have stumbled upon the topic of programming languages. There’s a lot of them, but in this space, I’ll be talking about python.

I like python because it is that one language that can fit into a variety of tasks or computer applications and still deliver. It is a very flexible and versatile programming language, cross-platform if you will.

It can be used for both web applications, data science, artificial intelligence, image processing, hardware manipulations, games etc.

And the best part is that compared to most other programming languages, it is somewhat simpler to start with and understand its syntax.

Personally, I like python because once you are proficient enough in the core, you can transition to almost any other branch that it can be applied to, which is just really cool.

Anyways enough chit chat, let’s start some action!

We will just do the installation process so our next article fully dives in.

Step1:

Go to www.python.org, which is the official website for python and where we would download the current version of the language so we can start using it to write commands on our systems.

Scroll down after clicking on the download link until you see this:

Click on the file format that suites your Operating system and it should download.

For now, if you type the python –version on your command line when you haven’t installed it, it will throw the error below:

Unless you are using a MacBook, which has python 2.7 automatically installed. But this tutorial is on python 3, so you’d still have to go to the site to download it.

Did you follow the steps?

Are you done?

Now type the python –version on your command line to see what it will give you.

If it gives you something like this:

Then you’re correct. Good job!

At the time of this writing, python 3.9.6 is the latest version.

Now, to whet your appetite a little bit so you anticipate our next learning session, just type python on your command prompt. Like this:

When you click enter, the following lines should be what will show.

You see those three forward-pointing arrows (>>>) they indicate the python interpreter is active and ready to receive commands.

Python is an interpreted language, which means it executes its instructions line by line. A compiled programming language executes its own instructions once.

To open the command prompt in a windows operating system, you click on the windows icon and then type the command prompt. Or as a shortcut, press your windows key + R, type cmd into the dialogue box that comes out and then click ok. Your command prompt will pop out.

Now, back to whetting your appetite.

In your open command prompt, type python so it brings out the python interpreter, like this:

And then type 2+2.

What you see gives you a good feeling right? Lol.

It gave me a good feeling when I did it the first time.

Now, check out what other arithmetic operations you can perform in that interpreter. It could be your makeshift calculator.

Feel free to google and then ask questions in the comment box below where necessary.

Until the next article, ciao!

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