For someone new to programming, the question usually is what programming language to learn. There are hosts of them; Java, C++, Csharp, Python, Ruby, and the list could go on and on almost infinitely. For python newbies, this same question is a bit tweaked to be what python version do I learn.
In this article, I will offer advice on what version of Python to use. But first what is Python?
What is Python
Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. It is one of the general purpose languages. This implies that this powerful language can be used to develop just about anything given the right tools and libraries.
Having programmed for a couple of years, it remains my professional choice for back-end development. But its capabilities are not limited to this. it has been utilized to great effect in data analysis, scientific computations, AI and even in the development of games, mobile apps, desktop apps, and varied types of tools.
What is the Best python version?
I have come across this question a lot on the internet. My simple answer is that there is not the best version. There are simply earlier versions and later versions. Nothing like a right version for you.
With programming and generally with technology, there are always upgrades. I buy a new car does not mean I totally discard the old one. I could use both. Well with python it is more or less the same. There are ways to run different versions of python on one operating system.
There are two major versions of Python. Python version 2 and version 3. Version 2 was first released in the year 2000, while version 3 was released in 2008. Also in 2008 a version 2.6 was released.
One may debate if code written in one version of python is fine in another version. Well, Python 3 is incompatible with code written in 2.
Version 2 is still widely used, however, as many legacy projects have not been updated to 3. Python 2 will continue to be officially supported until 2020.
What python version am I running
It is important to know what python version you are running. An unfortunate occurrence when we want to start learning python is that we just go online and download it. We really never verify or care about what versions we are running.
To verify what python you are running take these steps:
Open your command prompt and type “python”. If you have python installed on the computer, you should get a message with your python version similar to the image below.
If you do not have python installed on the system, it displays a “cannot recognize” message similar to the image below.
On Mac OS
Open up the Terminal application on Mac. It is located in the “Utilities” folder in your Applications folder. Once opened, type in the following command: “python -V”
I will end by saying Python will be my advice for a programming language to any new programming newbie. It is easy and efficient.
That said, for many people who started python using version 2, I recommend they start a gradual migration to version 3 so that they do not feel left behind when official support for version 2 is no longer available.