Python, in my personal opinion, is one of the best languages to learn hands down for a variety of reasons. Not only is Python an ideal first language for new developers, but its powerful enough build web apps and entire businesses. In this article, I’ll discuss is the best way to learn python online and how to position yourself to earn more income either in business or in your career.
What Makes Python so Great?
Some benefits of Python are:
- Easy to use
- Useful and creates real applications
- Used for Web Development
- In demand with high salaries
A great deal of what makes Python easy to code with is its ease of reading. Python code makes sense as you read through it which can be a huge obstacle when there’s hundreds of lines of code. With proper white space and indents, suddenly your Python code is a breeze to understand.
As you may know, most basic websites use WordPress and PHP, but did you know that Python and the frame work are excellent for creating real web application. Even Instagram was designed with Python and Django!
If you’re more interested in finding a career, then not to worry. Demands is very high for Python and thus pay out very high salaries. Per Indeed.com, the average salary for Python programmers is $115,676.
Here is a chart from Glassdoor on the average Python developer salary:
Also, a recent poll at Lifehacker showed Python beating out all other languages as the best programming languages to start with as a new developer. Python was preferred for its; support, short learning curve, wide deployment and ease of reading the code.
Let’s say that you have now decided to add Python to your programming to your resume, what’s the best way to learn how to code with Python? What is the best boot camp or complete zero to hero training available?
Where Can I Best Learn Python?
There are a number of free online resources and sites to guide you in your Python journey. You first want to become familiar with the material in The Python Tutorial at Python.org if you’re a self learner. No better place to start than straight from the source. The tutorial there start you right at the beginning and walks you through each step of the install and the first lines of working code.
There are podcasts, beginner’s guides, developer’s guides, documentation, book collections and even Python essays and presentations. I suggest you bookmark Python.org as you will visit here often. Other online Python communities include Googles Python Class. Python, C++ and JAVA are the official languages at Google. Their Python course is aimed at the novice, but not brand new programmers. The videos and exercises are particularly useful. Finally, there is Codecademy, which does a fair job of teaching basic syntax.
There is nothing like having an experienced teacher to accelerate your learning and understand. This is where online and university courses come in handy. Self taught Python is great, but for someone with little time, a full time job, and little self discipline, having an experienced teacher give you the most strategic assignments to save you time is invaluable. Also having someone there to personally answer your questions is how you’ll start to wire your brain around the concepts needed to be a Python pro.
Learn Python the Hard Way
A well-known book and training course is Learn Python the Hard Way. This is courseware by author Zed Shaw that is included in his book. It is a collection of HD Video and pdf documents that take you from a beginner to being able to read and write Python code. It also includes email support if you get stuck. If you prefer a book to refer to, this would be a great choice. It is not developed as a course like those at Udemy or dedicated education platforms.
Udemy is a great place to get inexpensive training. Typically there are sales from $9.95 to $19.95 for all courses. Great for the highly self-motivated coders who want to be able to skip around from section to section as needed. I would recommend The Modern Python 3 Bootcamp is an all-encompassing course that has a heavy focus on exercises and quizzes. Many learn best with these types of practice and reinforcement techniques.
The Complete Python Bootcamp is also highly rated and has had 270,000+ students enrolled. It covers both Python 2 & 3; from beginning to advanced Python features like timestamps and collections.
Udemy has some strong training offerings and is a great value. However, for top-notch training developed by leading university, Coursera is a step above the rest.
Coursera is a platform that allows Universities and other training content creators deploy their courses. In this case, the Python for Everybody series is created by the University of Michigan. It is a great certificate granting course to get you up to speed quickly. The five-course series start at the very beginning with a 7-week Getting Started with Python Course. The Getting Started course covers everything from Installing Python to loops and conditional logic.
Week 1: Why we program – Introduction and course guide.
Week 2: Installing and using Python – Creating your own Python environment.
Week 3: Why we program (continued) – the art of coding,
Week 4: Variables and expressions – store and retrieve data for operations.
Week 5: Conditional code – your code flow.
Week 6: Functions – logic building blocks.
Week 7: Loops and iteration – if then else and other code sequences.
The course is offered on a regular but scheduled basis. The series is developed for beginning programmers and each course requires a 2-4 hour per week commitment. The video instructor was Charles Severance. He had perfect delivery and really kept you engaged in the course.
I took this course over the period of 2 months, and found it very entertaining as well as thorough. Every time I ran into an issue, there were teacher’s assistance available in the forums to answer my questions. Although they sometimes left me to my own devices in order to solve a problem which turned out to be a great way to teach me the basics of Googling 😅
The complete Python for Everyone five-course series includes:
- Getting Started with Python – Basic setup and functions
- Python Data Structures – Lists, dictionaries and other core data structures
- Using Python to Access Web Data – Using HTML, XML, and JSON to scrape, parse and access API’s
- Using Databases in Python – SQL and basic database design
- Capstone – Retrieve, process and visualize data with Python
The five-course series is certificate granting and highly rated by participants. There is a 7-day free trial so no risk at all to get started. After the trial period, there is a $49 per month fee. You can go at any pace that you like.
There certainly are many options available to learn coding, specifically with Python. It is overwhelming and distracting, and can even be counter-productive. In my experience, its best to just choose one path and jump in. I would personally suggest taking the Coursera course since I had such a good experience with it, but there is no wrong way to learn. Just look through all your options and stick with one. Then start building a project to keep you motivated and further develop your skills. Python will really make you stand out amongst employers and will give you the upper hand in many situations. Good luck and keep learning!