Chapter 1

Wrapping Your Head around Python


check Understanding Python principles and style

check Practicing Python code, such as assigning variables and using if statements

check Producing a simple Python project

“I chose Python as a working title for the project, being in a slightly irreverent mood and a big fan of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”


Python is a server-side language created by Guido van Rossum, a developer who was bored during the winter of 1989 and looking for a project to do. At the time, van Rossum had already helped create one language, called ABC, and the experience had given him many ideas that he thought would appeal to programmers. He executed these ideas when he created Python. Although ABC never achieved popularity with programmers, Python was a runaway success. Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages, used by beginners just starting out and professionals building heavy-duty applications.

In this chapter, you deal with Python basics, including the design philosophy behind Python, how to write Python code to perform basic tasks, and steps to create your first Python program.

What Does Python Do?

Python is a general-purpose ...

Get Coding All-in-One For Dummies now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.