Should A Beginner Learn Python 2 Or 3

Python Programming

As a beginner in the world of programming, one of the first questions you may encounter is whether to learn Python 2 or Python 3. This is a topic of much debate among developers, and there are valid arguments for both sides. In this article, I will provide my personal insights and delve into the details to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction to Python 2 and Python 3

Python is a versatile and powerful programming language that has gained popularity for its simplicity and readability. Python 2 was released first in 2000, followed by Python 3 in 2008. While Python 2 and Python 3 share many similarities, there are also some key differences that have led to the divide among developers.

The Case for Python 2

Python 2 has been around for a long time and has a vast library ecosystem that provides a wide range of tools and packages. Many existing projects, especially legacy systems, still use Python 2. If you plan to work on these projects or collaborate with developers who use Python 2, learning Python 2 may be beneficial. Additionally, some popular frameworks and libraries, such as Django, were initially developed for Python 2 and may have better support and documentation in that version.

The Advantages of Python 3

Python 3, on the other hand, is the future of the language. It introduced various improvements, such as better Unicode support, enhanced syntax, and more efficient memory management. Python 3 is actively maintained and receives regular updates, bug fixes, and security patches. Furthermore, the Python community has been gradually shifting towards Python 3, with many libraries and frameworks dropping support for Python 2.

In terms of learning resources and tutorials, Python 3 has become the standard. Most online courses and books focus on Python 3, and the majority of new projects are being developed in Python 3. By choosing to learn Python 3, you are aligning yourself with the current trends and ensuring that you will have access to the latest features and improvements.

My Personal Recommendation

As someone who has worked extensively with both Python 2 and Python 3, I would highly recommend starting with Python 3 if you are a beginner. While Python 2 still has its merits, learning Python 3 will set you up for future success and make it easier to transition to newer projects and developments in the Python ecosystem.

Python 3 offers a more modern and streamlined syntax, improved performance, and a more consistent approach to handling strings and Unicode. Additionally, by starting with Python 3, you will have access to an extensive community of developers and learning resources that are centered around Python 3.


In conclusion, the choice between learning Python 2 or Python 3 ultimately depends on your specific circumstances and goals. If you have a specific project or need to work with legacy code, Python 2 may be the right choice. However, for beginners looking to start their programming journey and build a solid foundation, Python 3 is the way to go. Its continued development, widespread adoption, and extensive support make it the future of Python programming.