Book Image

Getting Started with Python

By : Fabrizio Romano, Benjamin Baka, Dusty Phillips
Book Image

Getting Started with Python

By: Fabrizio Romano, Benjamin Baka, Dusty Phillips

Overview of this book

This Learning Path helps you get comfortable with the world of Python. It starts with a thorough and practical introduction to Python. You’ll quickly start writing programs, building websites, and working with data by harnessing Python's renowned data science libraries. With the power of linked lists, binary searches, and sorting algorithms, you'll easily create complex data structures, such as graphs, stacks, and queues. After understanding cooperative inheritance, you'll expertly raise, handle, and manipulate exceptions. You will effortlessly integrate the object-oriented and not-so-object-oriented aspects of Python, and create maintainable applications using higher level design patterns. Once you’ve covered core topics, you’ll understand the joy of unit testing and just how easy it is to create unit tests. By the end of this Learning Path, you will have built components that are easy to understand, debug, and can be used across different applications. This Learning Path includes content from the following Packt products: • Learn Python Programming - Second Edition by Fabrizio Romano • Python Data Structures and Algorithms by Benjamin Baka • Python 3 Object-Oriented Programming by Dusty Phillips
Table of Contents (31 chapters)
Title Page
Copyright and Credits
About Packt
Stacks and Queues
Hashing and Symbol Tables

Chapter 4. Functions, the Building Blocks of Code

To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Functions and objects."

 – Le Corbusier

In the previous chapters, we have seen that everything is an object in Python, and functions are no exception. But, what exactly is a function? A function is a sequence of instructions that perform a task, bundled as a unit. This unit can then be imported and used wherever it's needed. There are many advantages to using functions in your code, as we'll see shortly.

In this chapter, we are going to cover the following:

  • Functions—what they are and why we should use them
  • Scopes and name resolution
  • Function signatures—input parameters and return values
  • Recursive and anonymous functions
  • Importing objects for code reuse

I believe the saying, a picture is worth one thousand words, is particularly true when explaining functions to someone who is new to this concept, so please take a look at the following diagram:

As you can see, a function is a block of instructions...