Programming languages work by telling your computer to perform specific tasks. Python is a highly human-readable programming language and it requires software to “translate” commands so that they can be understood and carried out by a computer (making them machine-readable, or machine code). For Python, this “translation” software is called an interpreter.
Interpreters and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Software:
Web-Based Python Interpreters:
If you are unable to install or access Python on your computer’s operating system, use web-based Python interpreters for many basic operations instead.
Python's capabilities are extended to meet the needs of myriad users with third-party supplemental modules, libraries, packages, and frameworks. Some examples:
Python is a popular general-purpose, object-oriented, open-source programming language. It has numerous applications across a number of fields, and is commonly used for web development, scientific computing, statistics and data science, software development, education, and business. It can also be a powerful tool to facilitate scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.
Python is often described as relatively easy to learn, particularly for people who do not have any prior experience with programming languages. Many resources are available to help you get started, practice your skills, figure out solutions to any problems you encounter, and find help and guidance when you need it.
Penn Libraries has negotiated a campus-wide premium license for Dataquest, the scaffolded online learning platform with a full catalog of interactive courses; skill paths such as data visualization, machine learning, and data scraping and career paths using Python, R, PowerBI, and Tableau. You learn by doing, completing exercises and getting immediate feedback directly in the browser. To activate your premium account, please complete the form below.
Find more recent Python resources and publications in Franklin.
PUG@Penn (Python User Group) is presented by the Research Data & Digital Scholarship team at Penn Libraries. Drop by this monthly informal, collaborative space to experiment and explore uses for Python across academic disciplines and industries. All are welcome - no prior experience with Python required!
PUG@Penn meets monthly on the first Thursday from 12:00pm - 1:00pm in the Goldstein Electronic Classroom (Room 114) in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.
Appointments are available with our statistics software consultant for R, Stata, SPSS, and Python. Make an appointment via the Penn Libraries Technology Consultation Appointment page : select "Stata, R and Other Statistical Software" for available appointments.
Interested in learning more about Python? Check out our upcoming workshops and events!