Python: utilitarian language for everyday life

Programming languages like Python are powerful, yet simple for side projects, professional work

Hey guys, I hope your summers are going well! It’s always great to write a notebook for The Poly, but I have to say that this one is particularly special. First because I have writer’s block and second because I’ve really learned a lot this summer.

The greatest thing I would like to share that I wish I knew earlier is that Python is really frickin’ awesome. Hands down, it’s made my life so much easier in my current internship and allowed me to do some great work. Rather than using PHP for developing networking solutions, I used Django. Need to make a new database management client for client information? If design doesn’t really matter, EasyGUI or Tkinter are pretty good, leaving more wiggle room to work on more complex tools with greater value.

I find that Python is one of my favorite languages. It isn’t always the language of choice, but for simple, light-weight solutions and web-based projects Python does a great job of combining ease of use with readability, portability, and powerful libraries made and maintained by a massive open-source driven community.

Many tools available in Python are also surprisingly powerful if used correctly. A great example is Pygame. It is one of the most contributed to Python modules and a great library for developing traditional 2D games. In a pretty short period of time, you could probably even make simple game-clones of popular releases like Starbound and Terraria.

If you’re interested in 2D game development and haven’t already looked at it, I’d recommend checking it out. I’ve had a great time working on personal projects this summer in Pygame, and it’s really helped me better understand render buffers, interpolation, and other topics which I previously only half understood.

Django, which I mentioned above, is also really amazing. I learned about it originally from a recent alumni from my fraternity who came back to visit. He spoke very fondly of Django’s ability to replace many of PHP’s uses and how it’s already being adopted in industry. Django, just like Python, is very easy to use, has great documentation online, and has a pretty easy learning curve.

And the best feature of all about Python—you don’t have to configure libraries! This is probably what I love the most and what has saved me the most time. Using Visual Studio and C++, especially with projects that require many libraries like games, it’s always a hassle to configure every individual project for the libraries you need. In Python, no matter what computer you’re using or what you’re doing work on, you can go to the computer terminal and type “pip install” followed by the name of the module to access virtually any Python module.

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