Despite its age and a period of stagnation, Python is again one of the most popular programming languages to get into. It fuels machine learning, AI, web development, and countless other pursuits. Adopting the right tools early on will help you create better, more complex, and more useful Python projects in no time.
Why Are Software Tools Important for Python Development?
Like any other job, Python programming is smoother, faster, and more enjoyable if you use the right tools. These software tools help streamline and automate various aspects of code creation and refinement during all stages of development. They make a programmer’s job easier by helping to write, debug, test, and document code. The right tools may speed up individual development or help with collaborative efforts.
They also let one gain insight into the workings of running programs. This lets programmers make sense of a program’s behavior, which they can then correct or enhance. The resulting program can make it to market faster and ship in a more stable form than it would have otherwise.
Some software tools are free and open-source. Others require a one-time license payment or exist as a subscription service. That might be off-putting, especially if you're a beginner or aren't sure a tool does what you need it to. However, the time such software can save on development and debugging translates into more savings down the line.
What Python Tools Should You Be Using?
Python has a vibrant community that’s constantly creating new tools and refining old favorites. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is the backbone of optimized Python code writing. IDEs range in complexity from enhanced text editors to comprehensive solutions that automate tasks like compiling, testing, debugging, and package creation.
An IDE's core benefits are proper formatting and automatic completion based on established rules. They can intelligently recognize what operations you are trying to accomplish. They'll format the source code and highlight its syntax so others can easily examine your work.
Modern Python development implies the use of many tools like GIT repositories, cloud storage, or online versions of testing frameworks. Each requires a complex password you'll likely reuse and unlikely to remember.
Password managers automate the creation of complex passwords for any account that requires one. Using them greatly lowers the risk of compromised accounts and helps keep sensitive information about your code secure.
Test automation framework
Python's versatility lets you write programs compatible with different operating systems or browsers in the case of web-based applications. Test automation frameworks are specialized tools for creating, automating, and running tests that ensure your code performs consistently in all scenarios.
Conducting tests based on user guidelines helps identify and eliminate problems early on. Using such a framework enhances testing efficiency and uncovers how reusable parts of your code are.
Project management tools
You'll likely develop Python programs as part of a team. Various project management solutions can help, from coordinating development milestones to effectively managing the office, like the Flanco app.
They might seem superfluous at first, but effective coordination and time management will let you reach your development goals faster.
Python excels at executing complex mathematical calculations, handling & visualizing data, and website development. It uses highly specialized sets of commands to do this. You wouldn't want to write such code from scratch whenever needed. That's where packages come in.
A package is a folder containing related modules and code snippets used to execute specific tasks. Package managers simplify their installation and maintain databases of useful packages for different purposes. A manager will also let you choose different package versions and install any dependencies to eliminate errors. PIP comes standard with newer Python versions but isn’t the only one.
At some point, you'll want to create a Python program with specific requirements. These may differ from your system-wide Python setup. For example, you might want to use an older version of a dependency in your project.
Virtual environments isolate such projects, allowing for independent development and testing. Others may want to reproduce a virtual environment’s exact conditions. That’s why you’ll want to include a file listing all the requirements.
You’ll want to have reminders of what specific code does and a way for others to grasp how your program works quickly. That’s where documentation generators come in. They’re handy for creating standardized explanations and version updates. Automated documentation updates let you focus on actual code development while improving collaboration potential.
A mix of approachability and power makes Python an excellent programming language for beginners and coding vets. Arm yourself with the abovementioned tools and get your Python journey off to a running start!