How does Python Differ from Other Languages Like PHP or Ruby?

Learn Python > How Does Python Differ From Other Languages?

Python stands out because it is easy to learn and easy to understand. Many consider Ruby a great place to start, like Python, yet the latter has a four-year head start. This means that it has a big foothold in the enterprise world, and it's much more popular with C developers. This is because it's easy to crossover between the two languages.

Both Ruby and Python share a significant amount of growth in the job market, so choosing either language would be beneficial in terms of a career. PHP is also used often though the application is different.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you will be developing, as each language has its niche.

What are the Languages Used for?

PHP is a server scripting language that is primarily used to create dynamic and interactive websites. It is the best language for creating HTML content, and can be used to build anything from a simple blog to a huge, corporate style website.

Python is a high-level, object-oriented general-purpose language, that is versatile and can be used for nearly anything. It is commonly used to develop web and mobile applications, website crawlers, indexers, daemons, and desktop GUI apps.

Ruby is a high-level, object-oriented language that is used to work with web application and data entities; it exists to take the focus away from query tasks. Ruby is most famous for its dynamic type system which performs type checking during runtime. It also features automatic memory management.

TIP: When a language is referred to as "high-level" it is because the syntax and commands it recognizes are closer to human language instead of that of a computer. The term high-level was initially used to describe languages that are not locked down to a particular type of computer.

Out of the three languages, Python is the best for absolute beginners and is often recommended by programmers because it uses a syntax that emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. Whereas, Ruby is better used by programmers that have experience with other languages. PHP, on the other hand, is best suited for developers who are used to working with C languages.

They all have specific purposes and use-cases as you can see from the descriptions. To provide a better understanding, we'll offer some examples of who uses these languages.

Who Uses PHP?

In short, PHP was designed for web development and the creation of dynamic web pages. Brands that use PHP to power their products include:
  • Udemy
  • Wikipedia
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • NASA

Who Uses Python?

In short, Python was designed to emphasize productivity, readability, and ease of use. Brands that use Python to power their products include: 
  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Yahoo! Map
  • Shopzilla
  • Ultraseek

Who Uses Ruby? 

In short, Ruby was designed specifically for programmers to make the development process more fun and flexible. Brands that use Ruby to power their products include:
  • Twitter
  • Hulu
  • Groupon
  • IndieGoGo
  • GitHub

So, Which is the Best Language to Learn?

It doesn't matter who you ask, the answer to this question will always be the same. There is no "best" in the world of programming because each language serves a purpose. To make it even more confusing, with the three languages discussed here, you can do just about anything as they're all general purpose languages.

There is no right or wrong answer.

Also, there are frameworks available for each one of these languages, and those make development easier. PHP has several content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Python has Django and CherryPy. Finally, Ruby has Rails or Ruby on Rails.

You can't go wrong with any of them. Of course, we recommend starting with Python.


> Next Up: 6 Python Programming Projects for Beginners

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