On the other, each language has its own strengths, weaknesses, and important points that you should consider before diving into either one.
As a brief primer, Python is known for its readability and flexibility. If you want to frame it in a way your child might better understand, Python is really good at helping tell computers what to do, but in a way that's easy for humans to understand as well. It's a great language for creating fun games, building cool websites, and even teaching robots how to move (learn more about coding and robotics).
As you can see, both languages can be used for various applications, but depending on your child's goals and experience level, one may be better suited for your child than the other.
Before Diving In
First, though, let's rewind to something mentioned earlier.
And, let's also state an important note: while we can go through the different ins and outs of each language, the answer will ultimately depend on your child's goals, skill level, and more. We will do our best to paint the picture, but it will be on you and your child to frame it up and make it your own.
Python is a powerful programming language that is relatively easy to learn and understand. It's popular among beginners because of its readability and flexibility; its code is similar to English, making it easier to read and debug.
Python's extensive library of modules also provides pre-written code that can save time while developing projects. (Popular libraries such as Django, Flask, and others make it easy to develop web applications.)
Despite its many benefits, there are some challenges you should be aware of when learning Python.
Python tends to run slower than other programming languages due to its interpreted nature, which can cause longer development cycles. This means that, when Python code is written, it is first interpreted and converted into machine code. Thus, more time might need to be spent optimizing code to improve performance.
With this point above, it's the tradeoff—its a language with simple syntax, but might be slower because of it. Either way, while Python may be slower than some other programming languages in certain situations, it is often fast enough for most applications.
Python is used for various applications, including web development, automation, scripting, data analysis and visualization, and machine learning models. Modules such as NumPy and Pandas make data analysis and visualization simpler. Additionally, Python's flexibility makes it well-suited for artificial intelligence and machine learning projects.
Also, its extensive library makes it easy to integrate with other applications. For instance, React and Angular make it easy to develop interactive web applications. Frameworks such as Node.js allow developers to create full-stack applications.
Debugging code can be complex for beginners due to dynamic typing (and variable types), asynchronous programming , and browser compatibility issues (getting everything to work everywhere).
Making Your Decision
Whew. A lot to take in, right?
If this does nothing for you, here are some guiding points and questions:
What is your child's experience level with programming?
Which leads us to...
What are your child's interests?
What is your child's learning style?
Same goes for auditory learners, who can find recordings or podcasts to help them, kinesthetic learners who can find hands-on activities, and social learners, who might benefit from coding classes, coding camps, and more.
In the end, there might not be a wrong choice, and/or the best choice for your child will be different from their friend, neighbor, classmate, etc.