Coding or programming is the language that is used to design functions and allows communication between computers through networking. Just as there are multiple languages used by humans, there are multiple programming languages too. This article will focus on Python but will also make comparisons of other programming languages and will list the benefits of Python as a primary programming language for children.
An object-oriented programming language is one that uses “objects” or modules to store data and methods to operate functions on a computer. The user of the language manipulates, reuses or shares the information within these modules/objects to produce a desired outcome. An alternative type of programming language is “procedural” which tells the computer to follow certain procedures. Python is a high-level object-oriented and procedural language, giving the user the best of both worlds. Google, YouTube, Instagram, and Quora are popular websites built using Python.
History of Python programming
In 1989, Guido van Rossum built Python, his own programming language after encountering the limitations of other programming languages at the time. The limitations he faced were primarily from the ABC language and were (i) growing the code from the original code base – commonly known as extensibility, and (ii) exception handling – anomalies of the normal functional flow of a program or instruction. Since the release of Python 1.0 in 1994, this programming language is still amongst the top three programming languages in the world. It has been undergoing continuous growth and development and has led to the formation of newer programming languages. Its applicability and dynamism can be seen in the latest release of Python 3.8.
Current applications of Python programming
Did you know? Facebook’s official blog confirms 21% of Facebook’s codebase is built using Python. Instagram which was also acquired by Facebook was built using a Python framework called Django – an opensource web application framework. Analytics India Magazine writes, “Today, Python is still the most popular, dynamic, versatile, interactive and remains one of the most relevant languages for the year”.
Benefits of learning python programming for children
1. An opensource language means free access
Python is an opensource programming language which makes access to learning and applying it free. There is a whole network of developers available to collaborate and communicate with all types of abilities and will give you or your child entry to a different clique. From an entrepreneurial perspective, it means that there are low costs to be associated with program maintenance, and means that it’s simple enough for children to continue practice at their own leisure.
2. Real-life application of academic skills
Using Python develops skills and improves academic learning with real-life applications of problem-solving. The codes generated are in simple English, making Python an intuitive and easy language to pick up for beginners. Not only will their language skills improve but also their logical and critical thinking. Children will also be required to apply math to generate code for the animations, games, websites or applications they want to create.
3. Integration with multi-purpose applications
It adopts a modular approach and integrates with other applications. This means that Python can be used in conjunction with other programming languages, stimulating and challenging your child further. There are multiple uses of these applications, namely robotics, artificial intelligence, face detection, 3D CAD applications, machine learning, and data analysis, etc. For this reason, Python is also known as the “glue code”. Hence, opening a plethora of opportunities for your child to grow and develop in any avenue of their choice with on-screen tangible results. “Python is fast enough for our site and allows us to produce maintainable features in record times, with a minimum of developers,” said Cuong Do, Software Architect, YouTube.com
3. Faster debugging process
According to this blog, “Python even makes it easier for you to perform coding and testing simultaneously by adopting a test-driven development (TDD) approach. You can easily write the required tests before writing code and use the tests to assess the application code continuously. The tests can also be used for checking if the application meets predefined requirements based on its source code”. Hence, making the process of trial and error short along with increasing productivity and highlighting erroneous lines of code. 5. Quick progression
Python enables children to follow thinking patterns of programmers rather quickly. It is ideal for building prototypes and testing out ideas faster. This is because there is a vast library of functions that children could plug into their own code from Python’s core library.
Limitations of programming with Python
1. Weak in Mobile Computing
Although Python is secure on desktop applications and websites, it needs to be developed further to be more conducive to mobile computing. Java is better suited for creating mobile applications.
2. High Memory Consumption
As Python is a dynamic language, this means that it can allocate multiple values to the data while the programs are running, it requires a large memory capacity.
3. Primitive Database Infrastructure
It is suitable for simple retrieval of data and cannot be applied to heavy multi-relational legacy systems.
Comparison of Python with other programming languages
Python has built-in commands and a dictionary that can be used to construct fast runtime data structures (a specialized format for organizing, processing, retrieving and storing data). Further, Python also provides the option of dynamic high-level data typing – it only allocates the values when the program is run as opposed to while it’s being coded. This reduces the length of support code that is needed.
2. Worldwide Knowledge Base
Python’s community of developers sprawls all over the world, through the internet, giving your child access to communicating and collaborating with users and developers of varied perspectives and abilities.
3. Productivity and speed
Python incorporates a minimalistic trait in its execution. It possesses strong integration, text processing capabilities and its own unit testing framework, all of which contribute to the increase in its speed and productivity. Hence, it is considered to be the most viable option for building complex applications.
The future of python programming
According to the Tiobe Index, Python ranked as the third most popular language in the world. It is all set to overtake Java and C in the years to come. Regardless of these dynamic rankings, large corporates rely on Python programming and programmers to maintain the code. Indeed.co.in calculates 1493 Python developer salaries to produce an average salary of Rs 4,90,945 per year. The average tenure of a Python developer is a year.
According to a study that took place in the UK, six out of ten parents chose for their children to learn Python over learning French. As computer coding has become the need of the hour in the 21st century, why not go for the simplest and yet the most effective programming language, Python? It will benefit your child to interact with people across the globe through the shared interest of Python programming to build their dreams and pursue their passions. Python is a great way to unlock your child’s hidden potential. And who knows? Perhaps you are encouraging the next great invention of our time, just like Reddit, Facebook, Quora, Instagram etc.