1.2. Why Python

The reasons to use Python as a first language to learn programming are manyfold. First, there are studies that show that Python is well designed for beginners [Wang2002] and the language has been explicitely designed by its author to be easier to learn [Rossum99]. Next, it is more and more often used in bioinformatics as a general-purpose programming language, to both build components and applications [Mangalam2002]. Another very important reason is the object-orientation, that is necessary not just for aesthetics but to scale to modern large-scale programming [Booch94][Meyer97]. Finally, a rich library of modules for scripting and network programming are essential for bioinformatics which very often relies on the integration of existing tools.