New To Python

I recently started teaching myself Python and decided that documenting some of my experiences and discoveries would be a good way to revitalise my blog.

This first post is simply a brief overview of why I picked Python over any of the other myriad of languages available these days.

The first exposure I really had to Python was via the Raspberry Pi. I discovered these little wonders a couple of years ago and I use a couple of them for work projects and I have a couple around my house doing various bits and pieces. They are a huge amount of fun to play with and the development language that most people seem to use on them is Python.

A long-standing interest of mine has been automation and scripting and I recently helped someone with some data migration and cleansing. This mainly involved creating simple scripts to compare locally stored data with data in a remote database and after originally using Node.js for it (there was some existing code I could base the scripts on) I decided to try using Python for it. It worked brilliantly and I ended up with some scripts which were, to me at least, clearer, more concise, and easier to understand.

A third contributor to me becoming interested in Python is a project taking place in the village I live in. The church is undergoing restoration and as part of the overall project there is a plan to computerise the large amount of historical information a small but dedicated group of people has collated. This includes parish records, photographs, brief biographies of village residents and grave locations. The parish records are extensive and spread across numerous spreadsheets, in various formats and in varying degrees of completeness. As I’ve recently discovered Python has some great data processing libraries which might well make the task of sorting it all out a little bit easier.

Finally, the first proper projects I’m going to be working on are two REST APIs I need for two different projects. In the past I’d have created Node.js systems using Express which I know reasonably well but this time I’m going to use Flask, a Python microframework with a collection of great extensions.

I think that it’s going to be a fun and interesting journey and it will hopefully get me writing more regularly again.