The Pros and Cons of Learning Python Explained

When it comes to popular and modern programming languages, Python is often the first name that comes to mind, especially for web development work. This is mainly because other programming languages, such as PHP, C++, and Java, are more challenging and trickier to learn. 

Python is also among the fastest-growing programming languages in the world. The programming language is flexible, versatile, extremely effective, and simple to use and develop.

While Python is simple to learn and is an excellent choice for many beginners, it does not mean that Python development does not have any flaws. You may have even heard some people calling it to be a bit old-fashion for the modern and dynamic programming needs of the current time.

If you are considering learning Python, this may confuse you. To determine whether you should learn this programming language and pursue Python development as a career, it is vital to see both sides of the coin. You should weigh its benefits and drawbacks and decide if you should learn Python or not.

What is Python?

Python is a popular general-purpose, interpreted, and high-level programming language. Did you know that its design structure focuses on code readability and its meaningful and frequent use of significant indentation? 

Python is also currently the most widely used and popular multi-purpose and high-level programming language. Keep in mind that the language allows programming in both Object-Oriented and Procedural paradigms.

You will be happy to know that compared to Java and other languages, fewer steps are required for this programming language. Python’s object-intended approach is valuable as it helps programmers write clear and logical codes for small and large-scale projects. Experts believe that Python has all the characteristics and features to become the lingua franca of computer coding and programming soon.

Why Python is so Popular

Did you know that Python has been around and remained popular for 30 years? So, why learn this language now? There are several reasons. 

You probably know that another technology revolution is imminent in the form of machine learning and data science. And Python is among the premier programming languages for machine learning and data science. As a result, there is an increase in demand for professionals with Python programming skills.

In 2016, Python finally replaced Java as the most popular programming language in universities and colleges. As you can see, Python is growing big time. More recently, TIOBE declared Python the best programming language of the year in 2021

Python has many excellent features that attract new and seasoned programmers. Some of its most notable features are its dynamic typing and simple syntax, which allow web developers and professionals to spend considerably less time and energy writing code than they would in most other languages. 

And this makes Python a convenient language for a majority of programming tasks, which is why so many people are learning this language.

Benefits of Learning Python

We have considered why learning Python is so popular and important, and there are many benefits to learning this language. Some programmers prefer low-level languages, which are vital for developing specific low-level computer applications like OS kernels and maintaining large mainframe computers.

However, high-level languages like Python are worth learning if you would like to pursue a career in data science, modern software app development, or machine learning. 

If you’re thinking about learning Python to advance your career but are having second thoughts, here are some top reasons highlighting the benefits of learning this programming language in 2022.

Simple to Use and Learn

Python is easy to use and learn, especially for beginners. Python is an excellent high-level programming language, and its simple syntax is similar to the English language. This is one of the main reasons for beginners to learn Python. 

As a beginner, when you start with coding and programming, you do not want to begin with a language that has weird rules and robust syntax. Compared to other languages, Python is simple and readable and is also simpler to set up. The best thing is that you do not have to deal with compiler issues and classpath problems that affect other languages like Java. 

Because of the ease of learning, you can execute the principles in Python much faster compared to other programming languages. These are some reasons that make the language simpler to learn, use and adapt to, which is convenient. 

Python Helps You Learn Other Codes

If you are a beginner, you have much to gain by learning Python. People with no adequate coding knowledge can quickly learn Python by simply watching a tutorial. 

Also, after truly understanding the ins and outs of this language and mastering Python web development, you will find it easy to grasp other, more complicated languages too. These programming languages include JavaScript, Perl, C#, and Ruby.

Scope in Machine Learning

This is another important reason so many programmers prefer learning Python in 2022. You probably know that the growth of machine learning has been impressive in the last few years. Machine learning is also rapidly changing almost everything around us. Python is among the commonly used languages in machine learning applications. 

While you will find machine learning libraries in Java, there is more content that supports Python. This is because the developer community prefers Python over other languages. So, considering the growth of machine learning, you should give Python a try.

Flexibility

 Python is very flexible. As a result, it allows you to try new things. For example, you can develop new applications using Python. On the other hand, other programming languages often don’t provide this type of freedom and flexibility, which is why Python is preferred.

Readable and Clear Syntax

Another benefit of learning Python is that it stresses the significance of code readability. This simply means that you need to write less code than you usually would in other languages, such as C++. 

In most cases, Python code resembles plain everyday English. It is easily readable and clean, which makes it simple to grasp even for beginners. 

Use in Data Science

Yet another reason to learn Python is data science. Data scientists are in demand, are well paid, and work in super exciting jobs. You will be happy to know that data scientists prefer Python over other programming languages because of various reasons. 

One is the availability of several powerful and valuable machine learning libraries for the most robust machine learning algorithms. 

Did you know data scientists can develop suitable neural networks with these robust frameworks? And Google, Dropbox, YouTube, Instagram, and many other applications are built on Python. It helps automate multiple tasks and the use of those apps in different languages with simple code and comprehensive documentation.

As data scientists are required for effective and efficient data management, Python is the preferred choice when working with massive volumes of complex real-time data through several data mining tools.

Ideal for Scripting

Python is more than just a programming language – you can use it for scripting as well! Note that the feature that makes scripting languages different from programming languages is that scripting languages do not require any compilation. 

This is because they are interpreted directly. The best thing about Python is that you can easily write code in script form and then execute it directly.

You should know that the machine will read as well as interpret your code while performing error checking during runtime, which is convenient. Once your code is free of error, it is possible to use it multiple times. And the Linux Journal also hails Python as the best scripting and programming language.

Impressive Salaries

Python developers and engineers are among the highest-paid developers, especially in machine learning, data science, and web development. 

Daxx’s research revealed that Python engineers, programmers, and developers fetch some of the highest annual salaries in the US. For instance, the average salary of a Python developer in the country is about $110,021.

Big and Diverse Community

You need a helpful community or friends to learn any new technology, and a programming language is no different. Friends and community members are your biggest asset when learning a new programming language. 

You may get stuck with a few issues, and at that time, you certainly need a helping hand. Python is extremely popular because it has a massive community of experienced developers to support you whenever you get into trouble.

For example, if you have any query or technical issue while building projects with Python, you may get help from thousands of Python community members on various forums, such as Twitter, Q&A sites, and Facebook. A strong and responsive community comes in handy when learning a new language or developing projects with it. 

Drawbacks of Learning Python  

No programming language is perfect, and the same applies to Python. It has some limitations and drawbacks.

Adopting Other Programming Languages can Become Difficult

It is easy for most people to get accustomed to simple things. And once you are used to simple things, complicated things may seem unachievable. Python is a straightforward programming language, which can also be its disadvantage. 

Developers and engineers who get used to Python often find its extensive and helpful library a sanctuary. And Python users get so accustomed to its simple syntax and extensive library features that they tend to face issues while learning other languages. For instance, adding curly braces can seem like a laborious or challenging task to a Python programmer.

Not Ideal for Mobile Development 

This is another reason you may want to reconsider learning Python. While the language is strong in desktops and server platforms and is an excellent server-side language, it is unsuitable for mobile development. 

It is considered a weak language for mobile computing and development. As Python is not memory efficient, Python doesn’t have many built-in mobile apps. 

Speed Issues

Compared to Java or other languages, Python is relatively slow. You should know that Python is an interpreted language and is typed dynamically. For code execution, you have to explicitly order each line of the code as the language is interpreted. 

This means that the code is interpreted at runtime. After that, it is converted into native system code. This is time-consuming and slows the execution process. 

In the case of compiled languages like Java and C++, the application code is often compiled to a native system code before it can run. This is why the resulting application is faster and more optimized. 

As the dynamic structure of Python slows its speed, in cases where rapid acceleration is essential, Python is not usually used.

Rigid Coding Requirements

We discussed that one advantage of Python for many professional developers is that it enforces clean coding habits. While it is ideal if you are just starting as a coder, this is a significant disadvantage as it makes Python coding pretty inflexible. You’ve to adhere to rigid syntactical rules, and it is challenging to develop a personal coding style. 

Runtime Errors

Python has several design restrictions because it is dynamically typed. Dynamic typing means evaluating different variable types at run time rather than compilation time. 

While text coding looks simpler, it raises runtime errors. The simplicity and ease of web development with Python are also massive drawbacks for web developers. 

Also, you need more time in order to test most applications written or coded in Python. Sometimes, these errors appear at the end when your application is nearly complete, and you don’t want that when you are in the learning phase.

Difficult to Scale

While this issue is debatable,  as a whole, Python can be hard to scale up for extremely large coding projects. There is no doubt that Python is ideal if you’re writing a relatively small application. It can fit all your code into one script without making it thousands of lines long. 

On the other hand, if you are developing a complex application that needs a large codebase, Python can often become unwieldy.

Languages, such as Java, which have a simpler object-oriented paradigm, are usually a better choice in these cases.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, like any other programming language, such as Java, Python has pros and cons. Whether these drawbacks are worth it or not depends on how beneficial you think the benefits are for you. Despite its shortcomings, there are many reasons why Python has been popular for over thirty years. 

Understandably, your reason for learning Python or any other language will be unique to you. However, regardless of your motivation, you will soon realize that you are in great company with a prospering and growing worldwide community of developers and engineers who share a common language: Python.

Learning Python is a good idea if you are a beginner programmer, do not like to compile code, and are not too worried regarding your code’s performance. The language is simple and has an excellent scope in many fields, such as machine learning. 

However, Python is less ideal for advanced or seasoned developers who work with large or complex codebases, need to optimize performance, and know and understand how to write clean code without having a programming language impose various clean coding practices and rules on them.

Overall, Python is a successful and popular modern language, and it may continue to grow even more. Python will likely remain a dominant programming and scripting language for a very long time. This is why learning Python Basic will be valuable even if you decide to work with other technology.

Sources

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-1-4842-3207-1.pdf

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8701341/

https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ep.12786

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40192-017-0089-0

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