Pythonic Language – Huh?

In short, “pythonic” describes a coding style that leverages Python’s unique features to write code that is readable and beautiful. … Since its first release in 1991, Python has become the most popular general-purpose programming language. Thanks to its transparency and readability, it is suitable for beginners.Sep 30, 2020

Sometimes it is the simplest of reminders that resonant. In the hunt for a speck of code to properly update a time-series data file – the way I want it updated – I came across a youtube video by Karolina Sowinska entitled “Don’t ever write Python code like this”. What a reminder to be ever vigilant in code speak and proper communication.

One Single Word

According to scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, there is only one word in existence that’s the same in every language, and that word is ‘huh’. By recording segments of informal language from across five continents, the scientists have revealed that the world ‘huh’ is the same in 31 different languages, making it the most universally understood term in the world.

A programmer’s confession.

Egad. I’ve lapsed with programs of a personal nature more than once. Technical documentation is the backbone of troubleshooting and the improvement of code. Often in the rush to get code into testing, there is a fury of localized debugging and testing without regard to being “pythonic”. It is then proofread with contextualized comments and syntax. Just as there are linguistic elements of words that are multilingual/cross-cultural, coding and functions of different programming languages are common as well. In the immortal words of Max Planck Institute scientist – “Huh?” So what’s the big deal.

Pythonista is someone who uses the python programming language to do his work. They are programmers who are loyal fans of the Python language. Pythonistas are the ones that always think of new ideas and create new things using Python, they seem to be the ones who are likely the leaders talking about Python programming.

Well, it comes down to utility in some cases. Python in particular was developed to overcome some other the redundancies and limitations of other programming languages making programming “simpler” and in turn more accessible to everyone. … right? While this goal may be true, there are arguments that simpler does not always equate to understanding. We’ll save this for a future frustration that is certain to unfold (do you really know the difference between RSMD and RSME? … or how to sample and test data?). There is, however, a decorum that programmers should seek out in having presentable code so that others can read, edit and debug what you’ve composed (too much bad code floating around on the internet). As ever aspiring IT professionals we can all use a reminder of such – even when it is for our personal use.

Without re-inventing the wheel, be sure to document, document, and document some more, along with reviewing the standards for documentation in the language you are coding. Enjoy Sowinska’s video of well-intended reminders and call for python coders to review the PEP 8 — Style Guide for Python Code . … and a reminder to all, just as proper professional coding is an expectation – professionalism includes proper, professional English. Some things are simply inappropriate in a public setting, especially harboring educational/professional intent.

Karolina makes some excellent points on clean coding practices. If only this particular video met with less verbal passion. Really Karolina? “WTF”? Really? Thank you for *bleeping* out the unnecessary words. Maybe chew on a piece of Orbits before the next video. Maybe a rebuttal video “Don’t ever use language like this when telling others not to write Python code like this”? Naa … title is too long.

Image attributions:
“Computer Keyboard – stock photo” by espensorvik is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Blood python” by Tambako the Jaguar is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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