Python Programming Language

The Python programming language is one of the world’s most popular coding languages. As of 2020, the only programming language more popular than Python was JavaScript.

Python is a very versatile language, being used for a spectrum of different purposes, including:

  • Website and Internet Application Development
  • Scientific and Numeric Computing
  • Education: teaching new students how to code
  • Creating Desktop GUIs
  • Software Development Tools
  • Business Applications such as ERP and Ecommerce Platforms

History of the Python Language

Python was first used in 1991 after being invented by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch software developer. Python was originally designed to interface with the Amoeba operating system, a distributed operating system allowing a network of computers to act as a single machine. Python was built as a successor to the ABC programming language, with Python being more capable of doing exception handling tasks.

The original Python language supported creating classes that allowed for inheritance and exception handling. It also had support for functions and modules.

Python version 2.0 was released in 2000, adding support for Unicode along with list comprehension and garbage collection (removing wasted memory) features.

More recent versions of Python since version 2.0 was released in 2000 have added more functionality to keep up with the development of the advancing technologies used on the web and in other technical areas where Python is used.

For a complete list of Python releases and their purposes, refer to the Tutorials Teacher’s version history page.

Python Use Examples

As one of the world’s top programming languages and a general purpose language, Python is clearly used extensively in projects that vary in their purpose and intent. Here are a few examples of Python used in real-world, everyday applications.

Instagram

Instagram’s backend system is built using Django, which is a Python-based programming framework.

Google

Google’s top engineers are fans of Python, so they naturally use it in the world’s largest search engine, along with C++. There is a saying among Google engineers in the early 2000’s, when Google started taking off.

Python was used at Google to handle parts of the solution that required rapid delivery and agile maintenance.

Python where we can, C++ where we must

Google engineers in 2004

Spotify

The Spotify app is built on Python. The interdependent backend services that make up much of the Spotify ecosystem are built using Python, which naturally interconnects disparate systems.

Dropbox

Python’s founder, Guido van Rossum, was hired by Dropbox in 2012 to build its technical stack. Of course, van Rossum knew the capabilities of Python intimately, having stayed closely associated with the language for decades, and he made Python an integral part of Dropbox development.