Why Python?

In this class, we teach students how to code in Python. I never cease to be amazed by the passion with which geeks can debate the relative merits of different programming languages (and the underlying programming approaches they represent). I’m not here to swear fealty to the House of Python and claim that we made the only logical choice. But I think Python works amazingly well for us, and I don’t regret the choice for a minute. Here are the pros and cons.


Widespread adoption

Easy to learn

Tons of online resources

Great library support


Dynamic typing might spur bad habits

Horrible regular expression syntax

The Version 3 and 2 mess

The competitors


Nothing else, really. Maybe R?

Don’t learn a language-a-week when you’re just starting out.

My “third language” theory.