To learn the Python programming language productively, you need to go from one step to the next, without skipping a single one and carefully completing the assignments. There are four steps to learning the language:
Stage 1: Learning the very basics of programming
For someone who hasn’t written code at all, you need to get the basics down first. Read articles about basic programming, use help with python assignment, and take free courses, for example, on special channels on YouTube.
Step 2: Choose a code editor
Now that you understand some of the basics of programming, it’s time to choose and install the tool that you are going to use to write your code. This is the easiest step.
The integrated development environment with which you write program code is called an IDE.
In simple terms, the term IDE refers to an editor designed specifically for writing code. Although you can write Python programs in Notepad, doing it in a specialized IDE is much more convenient: it will prompt you for a variable name, auto-complete the code, close parentheses, format it, and so on. All of these features will help the Python developer a lot, especially the beginner.
PyCharm by JetBrains has a special place among code editors. It’s recommended for anyone who writes in the Python programming language – and it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced coder or just getting started with your first “hello world”.
Pros of PyCharm:
- the program is free (in the Community version);
- installation is no problem;
- There are many useful “chips” to simplify coding.
- With autocomplete, instructions input is accelerated many times.
- Created code can be edited in just a couple of clicks.
- There is a graphical code debugger.
- Django is supported.
- You can automatically refactor the code.
The performance of PyCharm is amazing and the IDE interface is intuitive even for newcomers. The functionality of this editor is so handy and comfortable that you will get used to it very quickly.
Curiously enough, even NASA writes code with PyCharm.
However, if you’re a Python programmer, there are other IDEs to choose from as well:
- VS Code (Visual Studio Code);
- Sublime text 3;
Step 3: Read books on Python programming
The foundation of learning programming languages is reading specialized literature. Even children can master Python programming if they read the relevant books carefully and diligently enough – it’s a proven way to learn.
You can find dozens of good tutorials online to help you learn basic Python programming quickly, easily, and conveniently. However, no book, not even the most brilliant one, can compare to the Python Bite tutorial. This excellent tutorial is free and is great for those new to programming.
There is one important point about reading books like this. If you like to read fast and swallow your favorite texts in one sitting, it makes sense for you to slow down. Of course, you can read a textbook on “python” in an evening, but the effect will be much greater if you act like this:
- Read the theory until you get a snippet of code;
- close the book;
- try to reproduce the code from memory;
- open the book, compare, read on.
Millions of novice programmers (some of whom may soon become senior Python developers) practice this way. This approach to learning – where reading is interspersed with practice – is most effective. Keep it in mind.
The vast majority of beginners perceive only the text in the book and skip all the code. This approach doesn’t work because:
- No code, no practice, and since there is no practice, where will the programming skill come from?
- There are no extra pieces of code in the book, they all illustrate what is explained in the text.
By “scrolling through” the code snippets, you lose the most important thing in the training material and deprive yourself of clear examples.
Step 4: Practice
It’s time to start writing code. This is what the process of developing any software consists of. The first thing you need to do is memorize Python syntax and typical Python constructions to write scripts correctly, and then you can sharpen your skills with video tutorials and live-coding sessions, during which the tutor writes code online and explains it. Just repeat after him!
So why copy code written by a YouTube blogger, you might ask?
- To systematize your knowledge. If you honestly repeat the whole way of creating an application from scratch to the finished product, it will give you at least an understanding of every stage of development.
- To learn how to use the Python programming language intelligently. Bloggers usually comment on their choice of these or those solutions, tell you which constructions are better to use, share “tricks”, explain the nuances, show the best practices.
- It is much easier to write code in small blocks than, for instance, to analyze huge “sheets” of code given in articles.
Another wonderful way to learn how to program is to make your pet-projects, at least the tiniest ones.
Bloggers usually comment on their choice of these or those solutions, suggest which constructions are better to use, share “tricks”, explain the nuances, show the best practices.
It is much easier to write code in small blocks than, for instance, to analyze huge “sheets” of code given in articles.
Another wonderful way to learn how to program is to make your pet-projects, even the tiniest and simplest ones. Take a topic that matters to you, and try to make at least a minimally viable product.
Step 5: Study other people’s code
In addition to writing your scripts, browse the Python libraries.
Even a couple of hours of daily study of Python will give you a basic understanding of this programming language in a month: you will start writing your rudimentary scripts in it. However, much depends on your motivation and learnability.
The main advice – practice what you read or listen to. Ideally, you should start by solving real-world problems using Python from the very beginning.