Welcome to The Python Book, over the following pages you will be given an insight into the Python language. The genesis of this book has come from my experience of using and more importantly teaching Python over the last 10 years. With my background as a Data Scientist, I have used a number of different programming languages over the course of my career and Python being the one that has stuck with me. Why Python? For me I enjoy Python because its fast to develop with and covers many different application allowing me to use Python for pretty much everything. However for you the reader, Python is a great choice of language to learn as its easy to pick up and fast to get going with which means that for the novice programmers they can feel like they are making progress. This book is not just for complete novices, if you have some experience with Python, then this book is a great reference. The fact that you can pick up Python quickly means that many users skip the basics. This book looks to cover all the basics giving you the building blocks to do great things with the language. What this book is not intended to do is over complicating anything. Python is beautiful in its simplicity and this book looks to stick to that approach. Concepts will be explained in simple terms and examples will be used to show how to practically use the introduced concepts.
Now having discussed what this book is intended to do, what is Python? Simply put Python is a programming language, its general purpose meaning that it can do lots of things. In this book, we will specialise in applying Python to data‐driven applications, however Python can be used for many other applications including AI, machine learning, web development, to name just a few. The language itself is of high level and also interpreted meaning that code need not be compiled before running. One of the big attractions to the language is the simplicity of its syntax, which makes it great to learn and even better to write code. Aside from the clear, easy to understand syntax, the language makes use of indentation as an important tool to distinguish different elements of the code. Python is an object‐orientated language and we will demonstrate this in more detail throughout this book. However, you can write Python code how you prefer be it object orientated, functional or interactively. The best way to demonstrate Python is by doing, so let's get started but to do so we need to get Python installed.