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1.1. Python

What is Python?

Python is a dynamic, high-level programming language known for its ease of learning and readability, making it a favorite among developers across various disciplines, including web development, automation, data science, and machine learning. It stands out for its simplicity and the vast ecosystem of third-party packages, allowing developers to build applications quickly and efficiently. Given its popularity, reflected in rankings such as the Tiobe Index and IEEE Spectrum Annual Ranking, Python is a staple in the programming world. For beginners and seasoned developers alike, Python offers a balance of readability and power, supported by a rich standard library and an extensive array of packages for diverse application needs.


Why is Python preferred for AI/ML projects?

Python's preeminence in AI and machine learning is attributed to its comprehensive selection of libraries and frameworks tailored for these fields, such as Pandas for data handling, Scikit-Learn for machine learning algorithms, and PyTorch and TensorFlow for advanced deep learning projects. Its user-friendly syntax supports rapid prototyping and iterative development, essential in the AI/ML workflow. Additionally, Python's interoperability with high-performance languages like C and C++ enables developers to optimize computational efficiency without sacrificing development speed or ease of use, making it the go-to language for AI/ML endeavors.

Is Python a good language for MLOps?

Python excels in the MLOps domain, offering a blend of simplicity for algorithm development and the robustness required for operational workflows. The key to maximizing Python's benefits in MLOps lies in adopting best practices for code quality and maintainability. This course covers strategies for effective Python code structuring and validation, ensuring that Python's flexibility and extensive toolkit can be leveraged effectively within MLOps pipelines.

Can you use other languages for AI/ML?

While Python dominates the AI/ML landscape, other languages like R or Julia also provide capabilities for statistical analysis and machine learning. Each of these languages brings unique strengths, whether in performance, syntax, or domain specificity. Transitioning to or incorporating these languages in AI/ML projects is possible but requires careful consideration of their ecosystems and how they fit into the broader project goals.

Which Python version should you use?

For new projects, the latest Python version is recommended to take advantage of current features and improvements. However, the choice may be influenced by the compatibility needs of significant libraries or production environment constraints. It's vital to avoid unsupported Python versions to ensure your projects remain secure and efficient. Regularly checking the official Python website for version updates and support status is a good practice.

How to install Python for this course?

pyenv is recommended for managing Python installations during development, offering the flexibility to switch between Python versions on a per-project basis. This approach is preferable to using system package managers or Anaconda, which may limit version flexibility. In production, using the system's default Python version can help avoid compatibility issues. For containerized deployments, you have the freedom to specify any Python version, aligning your development and production environments closely.

Python additional resources