What’s one thing that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Karlie Kloss, and I, a data science instructor at General Assembly, all have in common? We all think you should learn how to code.
There are countless reasons to learn how to code, even if you don’t want to become a full-time programmer:
- Programming teaches you amazing problem-solving skills.
- You’ll be better able to collaborate with engineers and developers if you can “speak their language.”
- It enables you to help build the technologies of the future, including web applications, machine learning models, chatbots, and anything else you can imagine.
To most people, learning to program — or even choosing what language to learn — seems daunting. I’ll make it simple: Python is an excellent place to start.
Python is an immensely popular programming language commonly used by data analysts, data scientists, and software engineers. In addition to being one of the most popular — it’s used by companies like Google, SpaceX, and Instagram to do a huge variety different things including data cleaning, build AI models, building web apps, and more — Python stands out for being very simple to read and write, while offering extreme flexibility and having an active community.
Here’s a cool example of just how simple Python is: Here is code that tells the computer to print the words “Hello World”:
Yup, that’s really all it takes! For context, let’s compare that to another popular programming language, Java, which has a steeper learning curve (though is still a highly desirable skill set in the job market).
Clearly, Python requires much less code.