Python 101: How to Learn Python from Scratch

Even though Python isn’t a young language, in 2021 the world still keeps talking about it. Initially, Python was released decades ago (in 1991) but till this day remains incredibly popular. Why is the popularity of Python so huge? Well, programmers like Python for its vast amount of available libraries like NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, Scikit-learn, etc. And for its effectiveness in maintaining such important IT areas like machine learning, scientific computing, game and web development, analytics, robotics, and many others. 

Whenever somebody decides to dive deep into programming, he discovers that the first great language to learn is Python. With so many online sources out there on the Internet, learning Python is easy today. And with so many online tutorials available, you can effectively develop Python skills fast. However, lots of people wonder: “Is it possible to crack Python with no prior knowledge and experience in programming?”

Okay, if you’ve been thinking about getting into programming but the word “Python” sounds intimidating to you, read this blog post about some effective strategies for learning Python. If you’re a newbie, this information should help you to start your transition from zero to hero!  

Good Reasons Why To Spend Time Learning Python

Many experienced programmers say that Python is incredibly trustworthy and it is definitely not a one-hit-wonder. So, all the time and effort you spend learning Python can turn into the best investment you ever made. Before you start learning Python, learn why Python is so appreciated by programmers:

  • A great choice for beginners to get into the professional field;
  • Mastering Python is highly recommended by most data scientists and machine learning experts;
  • Since Python is an interpreted programming language, it allows running the same code on multiple platforms;
  • Comprised of a wide set of standard libraries;
  • Python is a very intuitive language, so it is really easy to pick it up; 
  • Even to this very day, Python is able to beat its major competitors because it’s just as powerful;
  • Python’s design consists of enhanced features;
  • Makes it easy to code!

Okay, after you got the idea of what Python is, you have about three common options for learning Python:

#1. Get a good Python book or two (for example, such as “Learn Python the Hard Way”) and go through the chapters doing the exercises and codes;

#2. Enroll in online courses on e-learning platforms (such as Grinfer), so you’ll actually practice with well-written assignments and hands-on practical exercises (this tends to increase productivity).

#3. Do self-studies with free online tutorials available on a vast number of online sources.

As a beginner, one can start learning Python with no prior knowledge of any other programming languages due to its less complexity in writing code in a minimal number of lines (compared to other programming languages). Basic concepts of the Python language remain the same for different technologies. However, focusing on some of the concepts such as lists, tuples, sets, dictionaries, loops, operators, exception handling, etc., is very important because those will require a better understanding.

What Is A Good Place For A Newbie To Start Learning Python?

Python is an easy-to-pick-up independent language that you can learn without any prior knowledge of programming. But through consistent practice! Don’t have much time to spend on it every day? Well, lots of folks are in the same boat as you with so many things to do and get done. Before you actually start doing anything, brainstorm and think for a good five minutes what path you want to take to learn Python faster. Here are some questions that should help you define your goal:

  • Am I going to become a Python developer?
  • Am I just after additional knowledge that would help me expand the programming skills that I’ll proudly add to my CV?
  • Do I need to learn Python for my college/company prerequisites?

Yes, the total number of learning sources available online for mastering Python is huge. Lots of them are available to learners for free. However, free resources often don’t have mentors who can guide you and suggest improvements that can significantly enhance your learning. Mentors also help you to connect theory with real-life problems. Another thing that free courses often lack is practical exposure that tests your practical skills. Since just learning theory won’t help you much, coding is something that you should do on a regular basis.  

If you’re learning Python for data science, consider the following resources:

  • Python for Data Science (Grinfer)
  • Learn Python for Data Science (datacamp)
  • Applied Data Science with Python (Coursera)
  • Python for Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp (Udemy)

For sources to learn Python for web development:

If you’re more looking for general Python tutorials:

Get Some Useful Tips That Should Help You To Learn Python Faster!

Okay, so you’ve selected a nice range of tutorials/guides to get you started with Python.  Well done! Now you need to set your scheduler with the amount of time you can spend on learning Python. For example, set 45 minutes to 1 hour a day to study Python and work on some exercises. Focus more on practical work rather than watching tutorials only. 

Also, another really important thing is to set specific goals that will define your knowledge about Python. These study goals can be based on the project goals that you want to work on in the future, such as: learning how the conditional structure works, understanding how dictionaries and their related, most frequently used, functions work. Whenever you accomplish any of your study goals, be happy and reward yourself! And then move forward!

After you’ve done enough practice, start developing some projects like building a digital calculator, for example. Put more focus into the logic building with Python! Learning logic-building skills doesn’t require much technical baggage, so you can do it for sure. Otherwise, your progress might not be the best in this case.

More tips for learning Python, if you’re a newbie:

  • Learn the basics of Python including data types, variables, lists, tuples, dictionaries, strings, sets, and built-in numerical, and string functions;
  • Learn how to use conditional statements and loops (if, if-else, for, while, break, continue);
  • Learn the procedure to write user-defined functions, regular expression, file handling, iterators, generators, decorators, and modules;
  • Learn about installation, types supported (Integer, Float, Boolean), declaration of variables;
  • Learn different kinds of variables (global, local, static, constant). And what will be the scope of each kind of variable depending on the place it was declared;
  • Learn how to use the interpreter;
  • Learn how to write conditionals;
  • Learn how to write loops;
  • Learn how to write functions;
  • Learn about various data structures available – lists, strings, sets, hash maps, etc.;
  • Learn about list comprehension, lambda functions, and other advanced concepts;
  • Understand how to connect different databases and build APIs in Python;
  • Get hands-on experience with the different data analysis libraries such as NumPy, SciPy, and Scikit Learn.

Whenever you get bored, try to explore additional stuff in your spare time. These resources are awesome for sharpening Python skills:

  • Pandas
  • Jupyter Notebook
  • Django/Flask
  • Git/Github

Being smart and strategic in learning any programming language is very important, especially in the beginning. If a beginner learns how to be strategic, odds are he’ll learn the subject in less time. Otherwise, learners tend to take the hard route to learn and eventually lose patience. In the very beginning, it’s crucial to maintain the level of patience, especially while mastering logic-building skills.  

For a newbie or unconfident programmer, developing good logic-building skills is a must since it builds confidence and further interest in coding. So, keep the level of your encouragement up in order to transition into advanced programming!  

How To Transition From The Beginner To Advanced

After learning the basics of Python and exploring the main tools and libraries along with useful visualizations, it’s time to go ahead and master this language. This will take a fair amount of time, so don’t procrastinate!

Recommended online courses and sources for Python projects:

  • Digital Vidya – Python course.
  • Data Management and Processing: Python for Everybody by the University of Michigan.
  • Data Analysis: Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization.
  • Data Science Fundamentals: Intro to Data Science on Udacity.
  • Kaggle сompetitions.
  • NumPy tutorial – this course, especially NumPy arrays, provides a great foundation.
  • Check out DataCamp’s course on Pandas Foundations.

Some useful coding sites for the intermediate level:

In 2021, the world is running behind artificial intelligence and machine learning where Python is the basic language for it. Therefore, Python is the future and you should learn Python if you want to survive in the IT field. So, take e-learning courses as they are really helpful for learning all kinds of new things in Python programming.

Bottom-line

Learning Python is very much similar to the process of learning another language.  And this always requires more effort and time. So, understand that it will take time and be consistent in your regular practice of Python skills. After you complete enough projects you’ll build confidence in yourself. And don’t let these complex terms, errors, and issues bring you down feeling like you want to give up!  

The top Python tutorials will help you to learn Python from the beginning level to the expert level. Or with the help of online courses on the Grinfer platform, you can easily learn and polish your Python coding skills. Learn Python skills with Grinfer and become an expert in Python!

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