A Brief History Of Python

Posted by Afsal on 22-Aug-2021

Why Python was developed:

The story of Python starts with the failure of a project called ABC. ABC was a general-purpose programming language developed by Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). Guido van Rossum was a developer for that project. After the failure of the project CWI, they started working on Amoeba, a distributed operating system. Guido was also part of that project. During the Amoeba project, Guido thinks that any programming language that lies between BASH and C will be great and will improve the efficiency of the entire project. That is the beginning of Python.

 Birth of Python:

In 1989, during Christmas Guido was working on a hobby project which later turned into Python. 

Guido had a good idea of how a Programming language should be from his prior experiences from the ABC project and from other programming languages of that time like c, pascal, algol 60, etc. He has taken the good things from the ABC and avoided the things he didn’t like in ABC. A snake comes into everyone’s mind when they hear the name Python. But the Python is actually not named after the snake but it is named after a comedy series called Monty Python.

The idea of indentation, List, Dictionary, Immutable string, etc. is taken from the ABC. And he avoided uppercase keywords, sorted lists, no import mechanism, etc.

Early Stages:

The first release of Python 0.9.0 was released in February 1990. The first release of Python includes most of the basic data types like string, number, list, dictionary, and class inheritance, exception handling, functions, and modules.

The first logo was released in 1992.

Python first logo

Python 1.0 was released in January 1994. This release includes functional programming tools (like lambda, map, reduce and filter), complex number support, keyword argument support in functions, etc.

Python’s official website was started in 1996.


Python starts gaining popularity among the open-source community. Python 2.0 was released in October 2000. This release includes features like list comprehension, garbage collection, etc. The Python community was growing and Guido became the BDFL for the language. In 2004, the zen of Python was written by Tim Peters.

Until 2005, Python was used as a scripting language. Ruby on Rails was ruling the web development. In 2005, Django released its first version. As Django gained popularity very fastly, companies started using Django as it is very easy and has good support.

In 2005, Guido joined google and a year later Google adopted Python. They use Python heavily on the backend for google app engine, youtube, code.google.com, etc. This helped Python gain popularity. In 2006, a new logo for python was launched.

Python new logo

In 2008, Python3.0 was released. This removes so many unwanted things. This was done to meet the 13th line of zen of python which was “There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.”. 

In 2011 Python become the most taught programming language in the world

AI/ML/DL Explosion:

Around 2014 there was an AI/ML/DL explosion. Most big companies like Google, Facebook, IBM, etc. were after AI/ML. This resulted in the sudden growth of Python. Python became the first choice of developers for this type of computing. Most of the popular libraries were written in Python like NumPy, pandas, Tensorflow, PyTorch, etc. And the list goes on.


In July 2018, Guido resigned from his position as BDFL. Now Python is controlled by the steering council. In January 2020 Python 2 was discontinued. Python 3.10 will be releasing soon.

Who uses Python:

google logo

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