Blog of The Day: 5 Best Python Books For Beginners

If you are thinking to learn Python programming and searching for some best python books for beginners then you are surely at the right place. In this article I am sharing 5 best python books that will help you learn fundamental as well as advance topics and become a good python programmer. These books are for both new programmers and professional developers.

Learning Python, 5th Edition is written by Mark Lutz which is one of the most popular python programming book. By reading this book you will get a comprehensive, in-depth introduction to the Python language. This updated fifth edition will help you quickly write efficient, high-quality code with Python. It is an ideal book for both new programmers and professional developers versed in other languages.

Python for Data Analysis is written by Wes McKinney which guides readers about the ways in which Python can be used to analyze large sets of data. It also provides an introduction to practical data related problems and how Python language can manipulate, crunch, clean and process that data. This book uses number of case studies to make the explanations easy to understand.

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science is written by John Zelle. This book is designed to be used as the primary textbook in a college-level first course in computing.

Python Cookbook is written by Brian Jones. If you need help writing programs in Python 3 or want to update older Python 2 code then this book is a good choice. Inside this book you’ll find a dozen topics covering the core Python language as well as tasks common to a wide variety of application domains.

Head First Python is written by Paul Barry. This book is a complete learning experience for Python that helps you learn the language and become a great Python programmer.

Blog of the day: Women In Tech – Margaret Hamilton: The Mind Behind Software Engineering

Margaret Heafield Hamilton is an American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner. She is credited with coining the term “software engineering”.

It might come as a surprise to most of today’s software engineers to learn that the founder of their discipline is a woman.  Indeed, Margaret Hamilton, renowned mathematician and computer science pioneer, is credited with having coined the term software engineering while developing the guidance and navigation system for the Apollo spacecraft as head of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory.

Hamilton explains why she chose to call it software engineering:

“I fought to bring the software legitimacy so that it—and those building it—would be given its due respect and thus I began to use the term ‘software engineering’ to distinguish it from hardware and other kinds of engineering, yet treat each type of engineering as part of the overall systems engineering process. When I first started using this phrase, it was considered to be quite amusing. It was an ongoing joke for a long time. They liked to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline,” she said in a recent interview in a Spanish magazine.

While software was not an important part of the Apollo program in the beginning, it became clear by 1965—when Hamilton came on board—that software was going to be integral in putting a man on the moon.

From her fledgling days with NASA to her current standing as a software engineering legend and luminary, Margaret Hamilton helped pave the way for an industry—now worth well over a trillion dollars—to change the world forever.

While working at NASA, during her time sending a man to the moon, Hamilton was tougher on herself than any bureaucrat could be.

“The space mission software had to be man-rated. Not only did it have to work, it had to work the first time. Not only did the software itself have to be ultra-reliable, it needed to be able to perform error detection and recovery in real time. Our languages dared us to make the most subtle of errors. We were on our own to come up with rules for building software. What we learned from the errors was full of surprises,” Hamilton said.

Right before Apollo 11 was about to land on the moon, the software program overrode normal operations to let the astronauts know something was wrong.

Problems began when the computer was overloaded with commands from the rendezvous radar and the landing system, requiring more processing power than the computer could handle. With the radar running at 13% and the landing system at 90%, something had to give. Fortunately, Hamilton had programmed the computer to prioritize tasks according to importance not sequence. When the priority displays posed a go/no-go decision to the astronauts—to land or not land on the moon—the astronauts said “Go.”

And the rest is history.

Hamilton continued to work on NASA’s remaining Apollo missions as well as SkyLab, America’s first space station. Her rigorously specified design methods have become the foundation of many modern software engineering techniques today.

She later received the NASA Exceptional Space Act Award (2003) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama (2016).

Margaret Hamilton in an Apollo Command Module. Photo credit: NASA Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, stands next to a huge stack of code written by her and her team, in 1969.

  1. Margaret Hamilton in an Apollo Command Module. Photo credit: NASA
  2. Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, stands next to a huge stack of code written by her and her team, in 1969.

 

Blog of the day: Women In Tech: Bissan Al-Lazikan

Did you know that almost 40% of the world’s population will develop cancer during their lifetime? While this number is daunting, the cancer research community has faith in the intersection of cancer biology, mathematics, machine learning, and data analytics to find treatments and eventually a cure for this stubborn disease.

Dr. Bissan Al-Lazikani heads the Institute of Cancer Research as the lead Data Scientist. She collects data from patients undergoing cancer diagnosis and recovery and manipulates the data sets to discover patterns. As a result of her efforts, her team has the world’s largest cancer disease information database.

In the video below, Dr. Al-Lazikani discusses the importance of computer science and data collection for the discovery of new medical treatments, especially for cancer.

Blog Of The Day: Getting Creative with Raspberry Pi – LightShowPi

We are also suckers for a good Christmas son et lumiere. If you’re looking to make something yourself, LightShow Pi has been around for some years now, and goes from strength to strength. It’s still in active development from what we can see, with new features for this Christmas like the ability to address individual RGB pixels. Most of the sound and music displays you’ll see using a Raspberry Pi are running LightShow Pi; it’s got a huge user base.

This display from the USA must have taken forever to set up: you’re looking at 4,000 lights and 7,800 channels.  Here’s something more domestically proportioned from YouTube user Ken B, showing off LightShow Pi’s microweb user interface, which is perfect for use on your phone. All of this is set up and working through Raspberry Pi. Who thought that little of  a device can do such big things as this.

Check out The video for the LightShow Pi:

Blog of the Day: Women In Tech – Fei-Fei Li

Can you imagine a robot that can hold a conversation or identify pictures just like a human? Ever wonder what technology empowers Siri, video games, and music and movie recommendations? Artificial Intelligence, or AI, can be used to build remarkable technologies like these.

In this exciting time, Dr. Fei-Fei Li wants to democratize AI, since she believes that AI technology should benefit everyone and not just the privileged. Currently, Dr. Li works as an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, and directs the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Vision Lab. She also co-founded AI4ALL, a nonprofit working to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence.

Watch the video below to hear more about Dr. Li’s discovery of computer science and artificial intelligence as a student. Later in the video, she talks more about her current image recognition research and the importance for diversity in artificial intelligence.

Blog Of The Day: The Advantages of using Scratch as your language!

In the past week blogs, we discussed why is it important to use python as your programming language. However not everyone likes using the same language, but lucky for us there is a major variety of languages that we can choose from. From which one is Scratch. Scratch is a programming language and an online community where we can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As we create with Scratch, we learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Its a really easy language to learn even if you don’t know anything about programming.

The advantages of using scratch are listed below:

1) Scratch allows for young people to integrate creativity in storytelling, games, and animation. Kids can collaborate on projects through the use of Scratch, and share their projects online.

2) Scratch allows students to develop 21st century skills through the use of technology.

3) Scratch can be used by people of all ages including students from elementary- high school ages, and adults in a variety of settings.

4) Scratch is used in over 150 counties and available in over 40 languages. This is great for teachers that are working with bilingual or ESL students.

5) Scratch can be used across curricula and students and teachers can create and share resources via scratch.

6) A major advantage of scratch is that it is a free program so people can access and utilize scratch for both personal and academic use.

Blog Of The Day: 5 Ways Women in Tech Can Beat the Odds

These are tough times for women in technology. Female workers are flooding out of tech company jobs, a phenomenon blamed in part on the industry’s patterns of sexism.

A recent Center for Talent Innovation study found that women in science, engineering, and technology are 45% more likely than male peers to leave their industries. Many cite a feeling of being stalled in their careers and excluded from their workplace’s culture; a whopping half say their coworkers believe men have a genetic advantage in math and science. And 44% agreed with the statement, “A female at my company would never get a top position no matter how able or high-performing.”

Despite the odds against women in technology, both research and anecdotal evidence suggest there are approaches female techies can use to rise up. Here are five of them:

1. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive

The researchers found that when a “masculine” woman also exhibits social grace and self-awareness, she gets more promotions than other women and men. So while both men and women should of course keep it classy when they stand up for themselves, women have even more to gain by doing so.

2. Dream BiG

A common mistake that female entrepreneurs make, says Women Who CodeCEO Alaina Percival, is getting too hung up on the plausibility of their ideas.

3. Don’t Promise—Surprise

The solution, according to study authors Ayelet Gneezy of U.C. San Diego and Nicholas Epley of University of Chicago: When you really want to impress, hold back on making any promises and just surprise people with your finished product.

4. Brag Better

It is often said that women in technology need to be better at “selling themselves” to compete with male peers, who typically find it easier to trumpet accomplishments. Women are culturally expected to still come off as especially humble.That makes it hard to overcome the embarrassment associated with bragging.” We stay quiet and hope that if we work hard and have lots of output, we will get promoted.

The problem is that staying silent about your accomplishments often means you’ll get passed over, as others are rewarded with more responsibility and higher salaries. One way to overcome your discomfort with bragging is to do it in writing. You could send your boss an email, for example, documenting your team’s successes for the year, making it clear that you played a leading role.

5. Find Sponsors, Allies, and Resources

Many accomplished women in tech cite mentors and “women-helping-women” channels as key factors in their success. But getting ahead takes more than a little networking or advice. Having good relationships with your colleagues in general and garnering support from higher-ups makes a huge difference.

 

Blog Of The Day: 10 Famous Websites Built With Python

Owing to its user-friendliness, Python has been used to create some of the most popular websites in the world of internet such as:

1. Google

One of the most popular search engines in the world has been built using Python. Python allows Google to switch the traffic and figure out the requirements of search.

2. YouTube

Python has been the driving force behind YouTube, a website used by millions for downloading and uploading videos of all hues and sizes.  The website has been coded in a way which makes it easier and extremely interactive for the user.

3. Quora

It’s a portal where you get your answers. You can post a question and you can get an answer from any part of the world.  Quora’s language programming has been developed using Python’s framework.

4. Dropbox

Many of our choices to store our data are going online. We create a document, we save it, and we share it. All of this is done online using Dropbox. It is an ideal way to preserve your documents online. This file hosting service has also been created using Python.

5. Yahoo!

Google’s biggest competitor in the search engine criteria. Yahoo and many of its subsidiaries, including Yahoo Maps, have been designed using Python.

6. Reddit

Reddit, popularly called internet’s front page has also been developed using Python. It is a place where you can find a lot of information and entertainment across thousands of categories. The website focuses on user-generated content. Many of the website’s features are dependent on Python for their functionality.

7. Instagram

Uploading and sharing photos has never been this exciting. Instagram has revolutionized the way pictures and videos are shared. The popular picture sharing website also relies heavily on Python for many of its functionalities, including the video sharing service.

8.  Spotify

Stream countless songs and music videos with Spotify. You just can’t get enough of your favorite musicians, singers, and composers. This popular website has also been created using Python. Spotify focuses on speed and Python complements that mindset really well.

9. Survey Monkey

When you think of conducting online surveys, Survey Monkey is the first name that comes to your mind. The cloud-based Software as a Service company founded by Ryan Finley in 1999 has also been created using Python.  The website, in its entirety, has been created using Python. It is easy to use and extremely interactive, all because of the Python.

10. Bitly

Bitly, the popular link management platform created by Peter Stern in 2008 shortens close to 600 million links annually. This website also owes greatly to Python as it came into existence because of Python.

Looking at the websites that have been developed using Python, it certainly won’t be an overstatement to say that Python is the driving force behind some of the biggest and the most popular websites across the globe. Looking at the success of Python as an ideal way of creating websites, aspiring programmers and web developers across the world, are giving themselves a chance to join the bandwagon of web developers by getting to learn this user-friendly programming language.

Blog Of The Day: Why Choose Python as your Programming Language?

A Little Overview:

The global programming landscape is growing by leaps and bounds. With skilled programmers and web developers making six figures yearly, it certainly won’t be a hyperbole to say that web development is an evergreen line of work. People need websites, and if you know how to make them, you will never be out of work. In this blog post, we will focus on Python.

Python, since coming into existence in 1991, has taken giant strides in the world of programming. Built by a Dutch programmer named Guido Van Rossum, Python is an advanced programming language that emphasizes immensely on the concept of code readability. It follows a syntax that allows programmers to build a framework using fewer lines of code.

A striking feature that makes Python a preferred language for programmers to build websites is the language’s dynamic type system and automatic memory management. The fact that it also supports multiple paradigms of programming, including Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), functional, imperative, and procedural, makes it a highly versatile programming language.

So why not make Python our main language to learn?

Advantages Of Choosing Python Over Any Other Programming Language

  • Extensible in C and C++
  • Dynamic
  • Ease of learning and support
  • Data structures are user-friendly
  • Third party operating modules are present

Blog of the Day: 5 Reasons Why Learning Coding is Important

Technology is everywhere in today’s society. With a push to integrate technology into both our personal and professional lives, a need for software that fulfills all of the many requirements has been created. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that you have to be good at math to be able to learn to build software.

1. Improving your digital literacy is important

Digital literacy is your ability to manage information successfully, using technology. Learning to code means that you are automatically going to become more in tune with your computer. You will explore more tools and applications than you would use on a daily basis as an average home user, and that will translate to an improvement in your digital literacy. This not only will improve your own usage of your day to day technology, but it means that when you are exposed to new tech, you will be more eager to adopt it and experiment with it.

2. If you can learn another language, you can learn to code

Scientific studies have been done in both Germany and the United States which have proven that the same areas of the brain that we use to process other written and spoken languages, such as Spanish or Korean, are the same parts of the brain which we use for understanding coding. The term ‘programming languages’ makes sense, in this context. These are languages that we use to communicate, however instead of communicating between two people, we are communicating between a person and a device. The programming language that we use is our way of telling the computer what it is that we want it to do.

3. It is a skill that will always be relevant

Understanding the intricacies of how software works means that the ever-increasing demand in every industry can be served by the knowledge acquired. There will always be a need for developers, because our need for apps and software is steadily growing. Regardless of what background you have, the ability to contribute to software means that you are always employable, always able to create and advance technology and always able to be on the cutting edge of innovation.

4. It makes you a creator of the Internet, not just a consumer

If you have ever felt that you were at the mercy of the software on your computer, then learning to code is the easiest and quickest way to rid yourself of that negative perception. Not only does knowing how to code mean that you are able to solve your own problems and craft solutions to your standards and needs, but it also means that you now have the ability to craft solutions for other people.

5. It opens up a world of possibilities

Whether it is for personal growth and development, career advancement, career change, or just a desire to improve digital literacy, knowledge of how software works and the ability to contribute to developing new software means that there is no limit to the impact that you can have