Python is a widely-used programming language with interpreted, object-oriented, with dynamic semantics. It has existed since the late 1980’s and has grown rapidly with the rise of data analysis and machine learning libraries such as Pandas, Scikit-Learn, Statsmodels and other supporting open source libraries that enable its usage. All of these important features come despite Python’s relative slowness compared to high-performance languages such as C and Java.
It is widely available for use on the main operating systems such as Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. The library is supported by a large base of users with Python 2.7, which will be sunsetting in the years to come, for Python 3. Its primary support through ongoing maintenance and enhancements comes from the Python Software Foundation (PSF). The PSF’s mission is highly beneficial to Python as they commit to:
“The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.” – PSF Mission Statement
For beginners getting started with the language, and hopefully on their path to data analysis using Python, there are great materials to start writing available on its main website. One very important resource to Python developers and analysis is the Python Package Index, which contains a listing of the massive amount of projects created to support the Python language (over 100k!).
Python is supported on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and other cloud technologies for application and analytical tool development.