One College Tradition Dismantled This Year: Java

by / 0 Comments / 312 View / September 18, 2014

For the first time in history, Python is the most popular introductory college course nationwide. For years in the past, Java reigned as the main language taught to undergraduates at the introductory level.  But according to the Association of Computer Machinary, Python is used as an introductory language now in 8 out of 10 colleges, which is an astounding transformation from years past. python Python has been a language on the rise, and its amicability is understandable.  The syntax is simpler by far.  For instance, to print “Hello World,” one must use the following Java snippet:

public class HelloWorld {

    public static void main(String[] args){
        System.out.println("Hello, World");


Complicated?  For a beginner, sure.   Meanwhile, let’s print “Hello World” in Python:

print "Hello, World"

The ease to get started has made Python more accessible to new students, which has its own benefit of encouraging more individuals to get into programming.  When Java and C++ replaced Pascal, it was because of their universal usability.  While C++ remains a critical and useful language, both C++ and Java suffer steep learning curves for new programmers, and for an introductory class at a college where many students didn’t have access to or chose not to take an AP course in Java, Python is more appealing to pick up. Other languages such as Scala, Objective-C, Matlab, and web applicable languages like Javascript are taught on a curriculum by curriculum basis, often scoped as electives.  But for the next class of college graduates, the main general understanding of programming will be done through Guido Rossum’s Python project in the late 80’s, that eventually accelerated to being extraordinarily popular.  And for introductory Comp-Sci 100X, the most popular.