Table of Contents
- 1 Step 1: Learn Python Basics & Use Cases
- 2 Step 2: Identify Why You Want To Learn Python
- 3 Step 3: Choose An Online Course
- 4 Step 4: Download A Code Editor
- 5 Step 5: Get Familiar With Other Resources
- 6 Step 6: Join An Online Community
- 7 Step 7: Connect With Other Coders In Your Area
- 8 Step 8: Practice, Practice & Practice Some More
- 9 Conclusion
Step 1: Learn Python Basics & Use CasesLearning about the Python programming language, what it is, and what it is used for is the best place to start your programming journey. If you really know nothing about programming and coding in general, then doing some research about Python will really open your eyes and make you realize that coding is everywhere – in fact, it’s really the driving force that makes the modern world turn. To begin, let’s start with Python for dummies. Python is an extremely versatile general purpose programming language which is used for a wide range of applications. It is a high-level language which is relatively easy to code with – especially when compared with something like C# or C++ – and most of its syntax reads similar to English.
Step 2: Identify Why You Want To Learn PythonNow that you’ve done some research and have a fair idea about what Python is and why it is used, it’s time for you to have a good long think about why you want to learn Python basics and what you hope to get out of it. Ask yourself the following questions, and note the answers carefully:
What do you hope to do with your new programming knowledge?The answer to this question is extremely important, as it will help you identify your main reasons for learning Python for beginners. If you wish to have a career in programming, then you should start with Python, and then quickly branch out to start learning other languages. However, if you are an academic who simply wants to be able to write their own data analysis programs, then you will need to learn Python basics in a whole different way. Everyone is different, and everyone’s reasons for learning Python are different.
How much time do you have to commit to programming?The amount of time that you have to commit to learning Python for dummies will largely dictate the type of course you take. For example, if you have quit your job and want to learn Python basics in the shortest amount of time possible, you should probably start with an intensive course or a Python bootcamp. However, your approach will be completely different if you only have a few hours per week for programming. The best thing to do in this case would be to enroll in a self-paced online Python course. These courses usually let you work through things at your own pace, allowing you to spend a few hours learning after work or on the weekend when you get some spare time.
Do you hope to get a job with your new knowledge?For some people, learning the basics of a programming language like Python is nothing more than a hobby that lets them spend time doing the things that they enjoy. However, for others programming is the ticket to a new career and, in a way, to a new life. If you are hoping to get a promotion or a new career with your new programming knowledge, then you need to make sure that you are doing everything right from the start. Make sure that you enroll in a reputable course – such as those offered on the BitDegree platform – and make sure that you take comprehensive notes and follow coding best practices from the start.
Step 3: Choose An Online CourseLearning Python From Scratch course – will give you a basic introduction to the language, its syntax, and what it can be used for. However, if you fall into the more common category of trying to learn Python basics in your spare time, then you need to choose a course which applies to your situation. If you want to get a general overview of the language before you start to specialize, then have a look at the Interactive Python Tutorial. This course will teach you everything you need to know to get started on your journey to master programmer, including Python syntax, how to use dictionaries, and what functions and loops are. Alternatively, have a look at the Learn Python Basics course if you prefer to learn by watching videos. This course teaches much the same things as the Interactive Python Tutorial but in a much different way. If you already know what field you want to specialize in, then you can choose a course which is relevant to this. For example, if you are an academic or anyone else who wants to use Python for rapid, straightforward data analysis, then I would recommend looking at Learn To Make Python Data Structures and the Python Image Recognition: Hands-on Data Science Course. It is important to remember that, no matter what course you choose, you are going to have to do a lot of external practice and revision if you want to become more than a novice coder. Practice makes perfect!
Step 4: Download A Code EditorAlthough many interactive online courses allow you to write code directly in your internet browser, this isn’t how it works in the real world. In reality, most coding is done using either a simple text editor – such as notepad – or a specially designed code editor. There is a whole range of code editors out there. Choosing the right one can be hard, especially as a novice programmer. However, the good news is that, as a beginner, you will find that pretty much all editors have similar functions. You will probably need to choose a new editor as you start to specialize, but any general purpose program will be fine to start with.
Step 5: Get Familiar With Other ResourcesLearning Python basics through an online course is well and good, but what do you do when your course finishes? Well, the answer to this is simple – you find more resources that will allow you to continue learning and practicing your code! Luckily for you, there are a wide variety of different resources that you can draw on to help you learn Python for beginners. These include:
Reference guidesReference guides are among a developer’s most important tools. They outline everything you need to know about a programming language, including its syntax, conventions, and best practices. Some people like to have a physical reference guide in the form of a book, but I have always found online guides to be the best. The official Python Language Reference Guide is a good place to start.
Video tutorialsWhen you get stuck on a concept or idea – and you will trust me – short video tutorials can help you understand things in a different way. Although they shouldn’t replace a structured, well-designed online course, video tutorials are a great resource that you should definitely draw on. Simply head over to YouTube and search for the topic that you’re stuck on!
Step 6: Join An Online CommunityNow that you’ve started to work through your online course and have an idea about Python for dummies, it’s time for you to connect with your fellow coders. One of the best ways to do this is to join an online community or forum. You will be able to ask questions, talk about coding with other interested people, and ask for help when you need it after you have joined an online community. Python is an extremely popular, very widespread language, so the choice of online communities is huge. Try and choose one which is tailored for beginners. Look for a forum or group which is friendly, which encourages questions, and which welcomes new members with open arms. By all means, join communities like the Python subreddit, but look for a smaller, more personal group as well. It can be a good idea to find a Facebook or Meetup group which allows you to meet face to face with coders near you. This brings us to the next step in our ultimate guide to learning Python basics:
Step 7: Connect With Other Coders In Your AreaConnecting and networking with other people who are interested in learning how to code with Python is a great idea. It’s very easy to get bored and lose motivation if you try and undertake the journey from Python novice to programming master on your own. However, you will find that it’s much easier to stay motivated and keep moving forward when you have the support of other people with similar goals to you.
Step 8: Practice, Practice & Practice Some MoreReally, once you’ve got a pretty good grasp on the Python basics, the best thing that you can do to keep learning is practice. Practice writing code. Go over your notes and practice with any syntax that you aren’t completely comfortable with or that you have trouble using. Go to GitHub, download someone else’s code, and work through it line by line until you understand what every line is meant to do and how they work together to create the desired program. However, it is extremely important to remember one crucial thing, even when you are practicing the simplest of Python basics:
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice does.”That’s right, there’s no point practicing coding with Python or any other language unless you’re doing things the right way. Make sure that you aren’t being lazy, that you really understand every single line of code that you write, and that you are following any language best practices. If you don’t then you’re really wasting your time, and you will probably end up with all sorts of bad habits.