Python programming language: guides, tutorials, and downloads
Python is a robust programming language widely used by many large organizations who value its versatility. It is used on Netflix, Dropbox and Google; it’s big in finance; and it consistently sits near the top of rankings for programming languages ââsuch as the TIOBE index.
So it’s no exaggeration to say that Python (which is free and open source) is one of the most popular programming languages ââin the world. It’s also clear and easy to read, so it’s great for beginners. And it’s lucrative too: According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes data from millions of job postings, the median salary for Python development is $ 100,999 per year.
Whether you’re planning to learn Python for core web development, data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) applications, or something else, here are some tips to get you started.
First things first: if you don’t already have Python on your computer (which you can verify by entering “python” in the command line window), download the most recent stable version from the Python downloads page. Can’t decide between versions 2 and 3? This page will help you choose (spoiler alert, you are encouraged to adopt Python 3, as Python 2 has officially reached end of life).
Beginners can start with the book “Think Python” by Allen B. Downey, which was created as a textbook and does not require a lot of computer or math knowledge to be understood. Information security engineer Kevin Tyers, an instructor for the SANS Institute, said he used the book to teach himself Python.
âThink Pythonâ begins with an overview of basic programming concepts before moving on to functions, recursion, data structures, and object-oriented design. âIt focuses on the basic concepts of Python without getting too much into the more esoteric aspects of the language,â Tyers said. The book is free to read online (and available in two versions for Python 2 and 3).
Automate boring things
Jessica Garson, who teaches an Into to Python class at NYU, maintains a list of resources for aspiring programmers on her website. Among the list of beginner resources is the book “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for the Total Beginner” by Al Sweigert, which can be read for free online. The book teaches readers how to write programs that fill out online forms, update and format data in spreadsheets, search and download content online, and more.
âPython Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming,â written by math teacher Eric Matthes, introduces the basics in an easy way, developing skills that can be used for bigger challenges. The book begins with lists, dictionaries, classes, and loops, and ends with projects involving data visualizations, a web app, and an arcade game. The book also provides tools for solving your own errors and programming errors.
Python is beginning to eclipse the R programming language for data analysis. The DataCamp data science e-learning platform offers several in-depth and engaging interactive courses and skill tracks, including machine learning, data manipulation with pandas open source library, Python programming (which has a data science component) and data import and cleansing. . DataCamp costs a plan of $ 29 per month for individuals (or $ 25 / month if you sign up for a year).
IT Engineer Ian Lee started his Python learning journey with Django, his web framework, through the main documentation / tutorial and the Django Girls tutorial. He also started watching videos on YouTube, many of them from the PyCon conference, the community’s largest annual gathering (Pyvideo.org provides an index of many conference videos).
Meetups, lists and IRCs
There are many groups for Python language enthusiasts that meet regularly. This includes PyLadies, an international mentoring group aimed at helping women become active participants in the community.
Additionally, Python has a wide variety of mailing lists and discussion groups, including a high volume Usenet group, a tutor mailing list for asking questions, a conference mailing list, and more. Information on these lists is available on the PSF website.
There are also several language-related Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels, including #python, where you can ask questions and get immediate programming or troubleshooting assistance.