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Looking to learn Python! Complete beginner

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by Rossuk89, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Rossuk89

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2011

    Posts: 1,847

    What would be a good starting point for someone with no programming experience but who wants to learn Python and hopefully make something of it?

    Are there any official courses (Udemy etc), YouTube video's or bootcamps that are worth completing that will teach me what I need to know to hopefully land some sort of job relating to programming in the future?

    I understand learning a language takes time and it's not as simple as watching some video's and then getting job offers! But I have no idea what learning material to use to start off.

    I would appreciate any help, thank you
  2. btph


    Joined: Feb 10, 2004

    Posts: 193

    Get yourself over to learn python 3 the hard way. Do the first set of exercises, up till you have to pay for them. This shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 evenings, and will get you up and running with a python install, some understanding of the processes involved, and a bit of experience. After that, when you reach the paid for bit, ditch it, and download a free book called dive into python 3. Read that, do the exercises etc, cover to cover. Do it twice for it all to sink in. You'll be a mildly experienced junior programmer at this point and the whole world will be your oyster.

    A couple of other comments. There are an infinite number of other ways to learn python. The trouble is you won't really know if they are a good or bad way. The approach above is one of the good ways.

    Going from "mildly experienced junior programmer" to desirably employable candidate is always hard, whichever route you take. But here is one really good way to improve your chances. Contribute to some open source software. So follow the above advice, then pick an open source project or two that you're interested in, and learn them inside out. Don't even think of contributing untilll you know them like the back of your hand, the pick some minor bug and fix it. Or even better, improve the (almost always bad) documentation for the project. Just take baby steps at first. Once you have a few contributions they can start to form a "show reel" of your work. Job done, easy! ;-)

    Good luck.
  3. AHarvey


    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 9,216

    Location: Stoke area

    Facebook : Python Programming Society (PPS) I'm a mod on there, we get lots of noob questions and when people get better we suggest they also join Python Programming Language (PPL) which is our other group.

    As btph says, Learn Python the Hard Way is a good start if you prefer reading. Lynda/LinkedIn learning has some great courses but it's expensive. EDX has some great courses as well covering a lot of aspects of the language https://www.edx.org/course?search_query=python

    Learning the basics can be done in a couple of weeks, lots of places will cover it, the issue then becomes "what next?" Finding intermediate material is the harder part but it depends on what you want to do.

    For me, I picked it up in order to scrape data from the public XML feeds for bingo sites, it was part of my job at the time and saved my team 17 hours a day. I still enjoy scraping but I do it all manually, i need to learn to use a framework to do it.

    I've built word jumbles, crypto software that does things like the caesar cipher with my daughter who's 6, now she wants to build a game so I am looking at Arcade and also at building websites.
  4. balanceballs


    Joined: Aug 26, 2011

    Posts: 90

  5. warren_1979

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2005

    Posts: 2,473

    I'm in the same boat as the OP.

    I'm interested in learning to program and Python seems to be the language that everyone recommends if you haven't got any programming experience. But I also want to learn C++ as a lot of Linux stuff uses this language. At the moment I have just completed the Linux Foundation's 'Introduction to Linux' certificate on Edx, which was great as there was lots of learning (55 hrs) and it touched on a little programming with bash scripting (strings, loops, case statements etc). Like other posters have stated here there are many different paths to take when it comes to coding and it's a case of what suits you best. Some people like learning watching videos, some like reading.

    What I think I am going to do is audit edx's 'Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner', and then pay for 'Introduction to Python: Fundamentals' so I can get a verified certificate and supplement this with some Code Academy / Udemy courses. If I can get my head around Python I will then try some C++ courses. After all this I will see where I am and where I go next. I also want to carry on doing Linux and I've seen a decent Linux Admin course from the Linux Foundation but it is £500 but I think my Linux skills will need to be sharpened up more if I was to take this course as the end exam is pretty tough.

    Like @btph said go and volunteer on a project your interested in. For me I am looking into volunteering for KDE, but not coding or anything, just basic stuff for the time being. Hopefully in the future after plenty of study I might be able to help coding but that is a long way off with a lot of work ahead!

    Please update this thread and let us know how you are getting on and I will do the same.
  6. warren_1979

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2005

    Posts: 2,473

    I tried to give 'Dive into Python 3' a go but I just didn't like to format of the book at all. It was way too much way too soon. Also, the first script didn't work even though it was 100% correct. I am going to carry one with 'Learn Python the Hard Way' and purchase it.
  7. Bobie8


    Joined: Jul 6, 2009

    Posts: 255

    Bit late here but "Dive into Python 3" is pretty old unless there is a new version out so personally I'd avoid it. Also I know a lot of people recommend staying away from "Learn Python the Hard Way" cant remember all the complaints but its generally pretty poorly received and I think the author ended up throwing a tantrum on reddit and put a lot of the content behind a paywall.

    Here's the learn python wiki from reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/learnpython/wiki/index lots of resources there, personally I recommend Automate the Boring Stuff and Python Crash Course.
    On YouTube theres sentdex and Corey Schafer