Whether you're totally unfamiliar with coding or a seasoned software developer, you've heard of Python. It's a high-level, versatile language that can be used to solve a wide range of problems.
We'll be taking a look at what Python programmers do and how they can help your team.
“Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another's code; too little and expressiveness is endangered." - Guido van Rossum, the Creator of Python
What Is It?
Python is a programming language used for a variety of tasks:
Building Web Applications
...and much more. We'll go into these in a moment :)
Software developers write code in the Python language to create programs. These programs can automate tasks, manipulate data, and interact with users or other software.
Here are some of Python's most useful qualities:
High-Level Language: Python's designed to be easy for humans to read and write. It has simple and consistent syntax that is easy to learn, making it a popular choice for new coders.
Interpreted Language: Python does not need to be compiled before running, and is instead executed directly by an interpreter. Essentially, this makes it easier to quickly write and test code.
Large Library: Python provides a set of modules and tools. These save the programmer time designing tasks such as working with files, connecting to databases, and handling network communications.
Large & Active Community: Developers are constantly creating and sharing third-party libraries and tools that can be used to extend Python's capabilities even further.
Software consultancies like BearPeak Technology Group have experts who can work on projects in Python. Now that we have a surface-level understanding of what Python programmers do, let's dive into the specifics of their role:
1. Application Development
Instagram, Spotify, Dropbox, and Netflix's websites were all created using Python. It provides several frameworks (reusable components and libraries) that make it easy for developers to build and maintain.
You may find Python programmers working on...
Backend Development: Code that handles frontend requests, interacts with the databases, then returns the responses back to the frontend.
Web Scraping: Data extraction from websites to use in web applications.
Deployment: Publishing web applications to production environments. Programmers may also use cloud services to host their web applications.
2. Analysis & Computing
Python is a popular language for Data Analysis because it provides an easy-to-use environment for visualization. This helps organizations make informed decisions by turning large amounts of data into actionable insights, then displaying or integrated them into web applications.
Scientific Computing is also often performed with Python. Since this language provides powerful tools for performing complex calculations, Python programmers help organizations in areas like physics, engineering, and biology solve complex problems.
3. Automation, AI, & Machine Learning
Python is also commonly used in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Python programmers in this field help organizations automate and optimize tasks, making their operations more efficient. These tasks can be anything from simple scripts to complex workflows.
Automation saves time and effort for organizations, allowing them to focus on other important tasks. Python programmers can help organizations streamline their operations and make their work more efficient.
So how does it work?
To follow best practices, every developer needs to write clean, maintainable, and efficient code. But what makes good or bad code?
Here's an example of clean and efficient Python code:
pythonCopy code def sum_even_numbers(numbers): return sum(x for x in numbers if x % 2 == 0)
This code defines a function sum_even_numbers that takes a list of numbers as input and returns the sum of all even numbers in the list.
It uses a generator expression to filter and sum the even numbers in a single line, making it clean and efficient.
In comparison, here's an example of messy & disorganized code:
pythonCopy code def messy_code(x,y,z): a=x+y+z b=x*y*z c=x/y/z if x > y: if x > z: max_value = x else: max_value = z else: if y > z: max_value = y else: max_value = z return a,b,c,max_value
This code defines a function messy_code that takes three arguments and calculates the sum, product, and division of them, as well as the maximum value.
This code is hard to read and understand because it lacks proper indentation, naming conventions, and has a lot of nested if-else statements, making it difficult to follow the logic.
Python coders spend a lot of time writing, but also a lot revising, or debugging. Have you ever wondered what debugging really looks like? Here's a basic example:
Suppose the programmer has the following Python code that's meant to take in two numbers and print their sum:
pythonCopy code def add_numbers(a, b): sum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "hello")
The first two function calls should work correctly and print the expected output, but the third function call will cause an error because we're trying to add a string to a number.
To debug this code, the programmer can use Python's built-in 'pdb' module. 'pdb' stands for "Python Debugger" and allows them to step through the code and inspect its state at each step. The programmer can use it to locate the source of the error and fix the code.
Here's how they can use 'pdb' to debug the code:
pythonCopy code import pdb def add_numbers(a, b): pdb.set_trace() # This sets a breakpoint where the debugger will stopsum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "hello")
When the code is run, it will pause execution at the pdb.set_trace() line and launch the 'pdb' debugger. The programmer can then use the following commands to inspect the code:
n or next: This executes the next line of code.
s or step: This steps into a function call.
c or continue: This continues execution until the next breakpoint or the end of the program.
p or print: This prints the value of a variable.
q or quit: This quits the debugger and ends the program.
Using the 'pdb' debugger, the programmer can step through the code and see that the error occurs on the third function call, where they're trying to add a string to a number. They can then fix the code by converting the string to a number before adding it:
pythonCopy code def add_numbers(a, b): if isinstance(b, str): b = int(b) # Convert the string to a number if it's a stringsum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "5")
Now the code should work correctly and print the expected output for all three function calls.
That's what Python programmers do! They play a crucial role in various industries, from web development to scientific computing. With their expertise, organizations can make informed decisions, automate tasks, and solve complex problems. The versatility and power of Python make it an essential tool for organizations, and Python programmers are the people who bring it to life.
Need a Python Specialist?
Hire someone who can guide you! BearPeak Technology Group has experts for hire. Check us out!
We're a Colorado-based team of engineers who help you hire remote software developers efficiently and reliably. We offer free consultations & are dedicated to your startup's success:
It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak.
"OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"