Behind every technology there is a developer responsible for its emergence. For example, the payment system you used to pay for your purchase was also created by some programmer. Developers use computers to solve problems. Often they do this in teams when the problems are too complex. Programming languages are used to create programs. Python is one of the most popular today, a general-purpose language used in a wide variety of scenarios. Knowing how to program with Python is an extremely useful skill. In this guide, let’s look at tips on how to learn Python and what to emphasize in the process.
Why learn Python?
Python is used for a wide variety of scenarios, from creating web applications to analyzing data and solving math problems. Both experienced programmers and beginners love it. And there are plenty of reasons to start learning this language. Knowing Python will keep you in demand. Knowing how to program will help you “stay afloat” as the world evolves. Jobs in software development alone should grow by 21% over the next 10 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates this figure to be “well above average.” Given the number of developers using Python, knowledge of the language will help lay the foundation in this direction. Python is similar to English. Many developers point out that Python is easy to learn because it’s similar to English. And that’s true, because the language was designed to be concise. If you’re just learning to program, Python is a great choice to start with. Python is widely used. Organizations like Quora, YouTube, Dropbox, and IBM seriously rely on Python for their business because it’s flexible, powerful, and simple. You can also use the language to solve complex problems.
How long does it take to learn Python?
How fast you can learn Python depends on your schedule and what you mean by “learn.” There aren’t many people who could be said to know Python wholeheartedly. The amount of knowledge depends a lot on what you need it for. If you want to become a machine learning specialist, you have a pretty long way to go. But let’s start with how long it takes to become familiar with a basic understanding of the language. On average, it takes six to eight weeks to learn the basics. This will allow you to understand most of the strings written with this language. But if you have data science or any other specialized field in mind, it’s better to lay months or even years right away. You can schedule a training plan for about 5-6 months. This is suitable primarily for those who work full-time and can spend 2-3 hours at the computer. Today you learn something, and tomorrow you practice. However, it is important to practice every day to make sure you manage to get the knowledge you need in a certain amount of time. Either way, it’s easy to tweak this regimen by sacrificing time you spend watching TV shows, for example.
What is Python for?
Python is a general-purpose programming language, which means it is used in a wide variety of industries. The most common uses for it are:
- in web development,
- in data analysis,
- machine learning and neural networks,
- for parsing/collecting data,
- software testing,
- less often in other areas.
There is an impressive set of libraries for Python that extend the language. This implies that there are a huge number of communities that use Python for a variety of purposes. matplotlib, for example, is for data science, and Click is for scripting.
How long does it take to learn the basics?
Learning the basics of Python will take at least three months. Assuming you devote at least 10 hours of study per week. But three is not a specific number. If you want to dive into any of the libraries, you’ll quickly find that the total time increases. Matplotlib alone can take several weeks to learn, and it’s only one library. The more time you devote to learning, the faster you will learn. Basic stuff can be figured out in a few days, too. But if you want to write complex and long programs, aim for three months right away.
The best way to learn Python for free
So, you’ve decided to learn Python. Now let’s figure out how to do it quickly. Given the number of developers using this language, there is no shortage of tutorials. However, resources are not the most important thing. Here’s what else you’ll need.
Step 1: determine your motivation
Before you start learning Python programming, determine your motivation. It may not seem that important, but it’s worth understanding what your purpose is for learning. Even though Python is a relatively easy language, the learning process itself takes time and energy. And being motivated will help you stay focused. Are you looking to start a career as a developer? Or aspire to understand modern technology? These are good reasons to get started.
Step 2: Learn the basics of Python
You may be tempted to start developing a website right away, but that approach doesn’t work. You will spend hours fixing bugs, and you may get frustrated with programming. Decide “this isn’t my thing.” It is better to learn the basics first. And there will always be time for your own projects. Let’s look at a plan for learning Python from scratch:
- How Python programs are created.
- Data types.
- Outputting instructions to the console.
- Arithmetic (basic math).
- Conditional constructions. They help control the flow of a program. You can use them to tell a program to execute one or another task if the condition is met. For example, to carry out some action after the authorization of a user.
- Loops. When developing a program, you may need to execute the same logic several times. For example, when creating a quiz, you want to give the user 5 tries. A loop is a Python structure that allows you to run a specific code a specified number of times.
- Functions. An important Python structure. They can be used to avoid repetition. Using functions, programmers can create code that is easier to reuse. For example, they can create a function that adds up two numbers. And the next time you need to perform an addition operation, all you have to do is call it. Here’s what you need to know about functions in Python:
- How they work.
- Formal and real parameters.
- System and user functions.
- Import libraries.
- Fundamentals of object-oriented programming.
- Lists and Dictionaries. After learning about functions, you can learn about data types for sequences. 1. Lists store collections of similar data in a single variable. For example, a list in Python might store a list of shoes sold in a particular store. Another might have companies delivering food to restaurants. With lists, you can store similar information in one place. This also makes it easier to manage such data later. 2. Dictionaries are similar to lists. With them, data can be stored in a key-value format. The key acts as a label for the stored value. Here’s what you need to know about lists:
- Basics of lists.
- How they are indexed.
- Basics of dictionaries.
- Comparing lists and dictionaries.
- Data structures in Python.
- How to retrieve parts of a list.
- How to enumerate the elements of a list.
- Objects and classes.
- Python is an object-oriented language. Classes are “blueprints” of objects. They define exactly how objects will be structured and what they will be able to store. Developers use classes to avoid repetition and increase code efficiency.
- Objects are instances of a class. For example, a class might define the structure of a player. The object will be the player itself. This object will store the player’s name and the date he registered to participate.
- Working with files. Files are ubiquitous in Python programs to store and retrieve information.
- Other subtopics. These are just a few of the Python topics, but by mastering them, you will already be developing as a professional developer. You’ll encounter more and more complex and advanced topics further along the way.
Online Python Courses
- Python Basics,
- Web layout for beginners,
- Game developer in Unity from scratch,
- and more than 30 more IT courses for everyone.
Skillbox Online University is opening 7 days of free access to courses and intensives. I always recommend trying to start programming for free. You will be sure that you really like it: it works, the language fits, and you want to write code for life.
- A complete guide to Python 3: from beginner to expert.
- Data Science and Machine Learning in Python 3 from scratch.
- Telegram bot development in Python.
- Complete course on web development from scratch in Python + Django.
- Parsing and analyzing data in Python: from basics to automation.
Udemy is a global online learning and teaching platform where millions of students get access to the knowledge they need to succeed. There are nearly 2,000 courses available for beginners on “python” alone.
Reference sites and youtubes
PythonRu.com We have over 300 articles and tutorials on python programming on our site. You can learn something specific or take a series of lessons. For example:
- Python lessons for beginners.
- Shooting with Pygame.
- 19 lessons on Flask.
- Django blogging – 35 lessons.
- Introduction to the pandas library.
- SQLite database in python.
Russian-language Youtube channels YouTube is one of the best ways to learn programming. Don’t rush to learn python “in an hour”, better watch these channels:
- Python programming / Lessons for beginners (3 million views),
- PYTHON programming language for beginners (1.2 million views),
- Basic Python 3 (185 thousand views),
- Fundamentals of Python (105 thousand views).
The purely video format is not accepted by everyone. If you can’t make it on YouTube, don’t give up, try text materials. Python on Habra Lots of “from developers to developers” articles. Here you’ll find the latest news, reviews, and research that deals with Python. In addition, there are several translations of courses by foreign authors on Habra.
Learning Python. Game programming, data visualization, web applications This book covers the basics of Python: if instructions, tuples, and so on. It also teaches you how to use third-party libraries. Python. The recipe book This book contains a set of recipes for the Python programmer. From it you will learn how to use the language in different scenarios. It also includes code to help you learn syntax. Automating Routine Tasks with Python This book is for those who want to expand their knowledge of Python and are already familiar with the basics. It will help you learn how to write simple but powerful scripts that automate boring routines. After learning the basics, you can move on to machine learning and data science. Most of today’s tutorials focus on Python 3, because Python 2 is now outdated.
Step 3: create projects
The best way to learn how to program is to develop your own projects. This helps you apply what you’ve learned and learn by trying new things. The more you write in Python, the more you learn. You set a goal, follow it, and learn new skills at the same time. And even that’s not all. It also helps you develop your portfolio. And with it, you can offer your services to employers. But before you start creating something large-scale, try with something simpler. The key is to create something that develops your skills.
Tips for creating your first projects
The only thing that limits you on your own project is your imagination. You can create anything: a website to talk about your favorite movies, an algorithm to predict the price of avocados, or anything else. But if you can’t think of anything, here are some tips:
- See what other developers are creating.
- Look for open source code that you could participate in developing. GitHub even has a guide on the subject.
- Volunteer your skills to a local nonprofit.
- Add new features to an existing app.
- Join a community of developers on slack or telegram so you know what they’re doing.
The key is to start small. For example, you can create a habit tracker. Here are some more ideas for a project:
- A tool that predicts stock prices.
- A website to show movie ratings.
- An app to share your favorite books with friends.
- Telegram bot for a to-do list.
- An app to track habits.
- A racing game.
- Console poker or blackjack.
- A website to shorten links.
- A tool that aggregates content that interests you.
Step 4: Evolve to create more complex projects
Once you’ve created a few simple projects, you’re ready to move on to more complex ones. This can include functional extensions of existing projects. Let’s say your first project was a movie listings site. The next step might be to add the ability for users to create their own lists. Here are questions to ask yourself as you consider ideas for projects:
- Is there anything you can improve on an existing program?
- Add new features to the project?
- Add a payment system to allow users to buy access?
- Use external data to improve the program?
- Use third-party libraries?
You should always have fun working on projects. If you encounter an obstacle, ask for help. You just need to practice to improve your skills.
At the beginning of your journey, learn the basics of the language. Familiarize yourself with syntax, conditional constructs, loops, and lists. After that, move on to creating simple projects. This will help you develop skills in practice and add results to your portfolio. Learning Python takes persistence, effort, and time. However, you will be able to use this skill in many different areas of your life.