If you want to know how to learn Python, you’ve come to the right place. Programmers across the globe rely on this popular programming language to develop web and mobile apps, game development and so much more.
Many aspiring programmers want to know “Is it hard to learn Python?” and “How long does it take to learn Python?”. The good news is that it doesn’t take much time to learn Python programming and it’s the best coding language for beginners.
This detailed guide will give you a complete rundown of how to learn Python, common Python applications, and where to find resources to master this programming language.
Should You Learn Python in 2022?
Yes, you should learn Python in 2022. This coding language is the best for beginners and you’ll be able to complete a range of programming tasks. With Python, coding professionals can stay ahead of the game and develop basic and advanced programs.
“Should I learn Python?” is a question met with a resounding “Yes,” and here are some key reasons why you should learn Python programming in 2022.
Learning Python will keep you relevant
Learning how to code will keep you in demand as the workforce evolves. Jobs in software development alone are expected to grow much faster than average, at 22 percent over the next decade in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Given how many developers use it, learning more than just basic programming skills for Python will help you in tech.
Python is similar to English
Many developers describe Python as easy to learn because it resembles the English language in many ways. The basic syntax and code readability makes it a possible learning goal for tech newbies.
Python is popular
Python is a widely used programming language. Organizations like Quora, YouTube, Dropbox, and IBM rely on Python because it is versatile, simple, and powerful. Python powers tonnes of data science projects, and it’s an excellent option if you don’t know much code. Most tech employees look for this skill.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?
Learning Python takes three months if you study 10 hours per week when you enroll in one of the best online Python courses. For the first six to eight weeks, you’ll cover the basics like popular libraries, basic operators (such as converting a string to an integer), and Python’s elegant syntax. If you work full time, you could spend two to three hours learning Python over five months.
How long it takes to learn Python depends on factors such as how much time you can dedicate to studying, the mediums in which you choose to learn it, and the coding experience you already have.
For someone with no coding experience that asks “how long does it take to learn Python?” the answer might be three months of intensive learning or up to a year if studying part-time or infrequently. For someone with a coding background asking, “How long does Python take to learn?” the answer for them would be three to six months.
There are many options available to help you learn Python quickly. You can find coding courses and hundreds of tutorials online. There are also lots of courses that can help you advance to additional topics like data science and machine learning.
What Is Python Used For?
Python is used for a wide variety of coding projects as it’s a general-purpose programming language. What Python is used for most notably is as the language for data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and web development. These areas are enormous parts of the technology field and are a testament to what you can do with Python thanks to its versatility.
The Python community of professional developers uses the popular language for:
- Data analysis
- Backend web development
- Scientific computing
- System scripting
Python 2 vs Python 3 – What’s The Difference?
When it comes to learning Python, the difference between Python 2 vs Python 3 is an important distinction. This is because one has become more outdated than the other, and more cumbersome to code with, especially for beginners. This is Python 2, which was released in 2000.
Python 3, released in 2008, was a complete overhaul of the Python coding language for the better. The overhaul included making it more of a “one way to do things” language, simplifying coding for beginner programmers, and making typing code more organized and fluid.
One major change was the syntax between the two languages, with Python 3’s syntax now integrating built-in commands into its code, side-stepping the need to create functions as required in Python 2. There were many further alterations to the language, which can be summarized by saying the difference is increased accuracy, reliability, and usability of Python code.
If you’re wondering whether you should learn Python 2 or 3, you should definitely go with learning Python 3. It is the most popular and widely used version and will make learning Python much easier for beginners. Learning Python 3 will give you the skills to join the industry as a Python developer.
Is Python Hard to Learn?
No, it’s not hard to learn Python. This is a beginner-friendly programming language that was upgraded in 2008 to be more user-friendly, especially for beginners. Plus, with it being one of the most popular professional languages today, there are a ton of resources available for learning Python programming, even for free.
Ultimately, how hard it is to learn Python comes down to how much time you can dedicate to studying it, how disciplined you are to study in a remote environment, or how much programming knowledge you already have. It could be hard to learn Python if you struggle to stay motivated during self-learning, or have other important time commitments that pull you away.
How to Learn Python
Programmers frequently ask, “Is Python hard to learn?” The answer is no. Today, there are so many online, free resources to help you learn Python programming. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to learn Python.
Step 1: Have a Goal in Mind
Before you start learning how to code in Python, determine your motivation. Why do you want to learn how to code in Python? It’s best to understand this so you know what projects you’d like to work on. Once you have a learning goal in mind for Python it will be easy to brainstorm portfolio project ideas.
There are a few reasons why people learn Python:
- Kick-off their career
- Progress as a programmer
- Expand their skillset
Step 2: Master Programming in Python Fundamentals
You may want to dive into the deep end and create structured projects with intricate code. While there’s no harm in that, Python has a wide range of elements like logical operators and control statements. You’re better off learning the basic concepts first.
These are the basics of Python for beginners:
- Lists and dictionaries
- Object and classes
Step 3: Build Basic Python Projects
The best way to learn how to code is by developing a hands-on project. Building your projects allows you to apply your knowledge and learn through exploration. Before you decide to create an advanced project involving deep learning and artificial intelligence start small.
Working on open-ended and open source projects will help you build a portfolio. You can use your portfolio to showcase your skills to prospective employers. Having a portfolio proves you know more than just the theoretical concepts of Python.
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It may also be a great idea to integrate pair programming. You and a fellow programmer can team up and develop an impressive program.
Ways to develop Python projects
- Research other programmers’ side projects online for inspiration.
- Look for open source software to which you can contribute. GitHub offers a great tutorial on how to contribute to open source.
- Volunteer your skills to help a local nonprofit.
- Add new features to projects you already built.
- Join an online community like Dev.to, Indie Hackers, or Product Hunt to see what other makers and developers are building or have built.
Best Python Project Ideas
- A tool that predicts the price of a stock
- A website that showcases a list of top movies
- An app that lets you share your favorite books with friends
- An app that displays election campaign contributions
- A website that allows you to track your habits
- A website for note-taking
- An interactive poker game
- A tool for shortening URLs
- A tool that aggregates content based on interests
Step 4: Progress to Advanced Python Projects
Once you’ve finished working on your first project, you can start to take on more difficult projects. As we mentioned previously, you can also add new features to your existing projects to make them more technically complex and exciting. Suppose your first Python project was a movie list site. Your next project could be to build a site that allows others to add to your movie lists.
Here are a few questions worth considering as you undertake more advanced projects:
- Can you improve the efficiency of your program?
- Could you add a new feature to your program to make it more functional?
- Can you add a payments feature to your app to allow people to purchase access?
- Is there a way to use an external data source to improve your app’s functionality?
- Can you use a Python library to make your code more efficient?
Ultimately, the projects you work on should be things you want to work on. As soon as you determine an interesting project you think you can build, give it a go. If you encounter a roadblock, go back to Python basics and reach out to developer communities.
Step 5: Join a Python Community
Joining a Python community can help you figure out how to learn Python in the best way for you. The experienced programmers in Python communities have been beginners before as well, and have likely advised numerous beginners of Python coding before. Their wisdom, encouragement, and advice could be a huge benefit as you learn Python programming.
- Sentdex. This public Discord server is home to a Python community of over 19,000 users, with the sole focus on Python programming.
- Python.org. Python’s official website offers a vast Python community with resources such as forums, conferences, and special interest groups.
- PySlackers. This online Python community is hosted on Slack with contributors from all around the world. They welcome Python newbies and experts.
Python Basics: Master Python Fundamentals
How to learn Python in the best way starts with knowing what fundamental basics you need to master. Below is a list of the key fundamentals to focus on when you begin to learn Python. Learning the basics first will help make your learning experience easier as a beginner programmer.
The syntax is a core part of learning Python as it defines the structure of this programming language. You can understand syntax as the rules that define how grammar and spelling are relevant in Python. The syntax for Python is notable for being similar to English.
When it comes to Python, syntax involves the following topics:
- How a Python program is created
- Data types
- Printing statements to the console
- Arithmetic (basic math)
Conditionals help control the flow of a program. They tell a program that it should run a certain code when a specific condition is met. For example, a conditional statement may tell a program to run a block of code when a user logs in.
When programming, you may want to execute the same block of code multiple times. For example, if you’re building a guessing game, you may want to allow a user five guesses. A loop is a Python feature that lets you run a block of code a certain number of times.
Functions are an essential aspect of Python. They help reduce repetition. By using functions, developers can write code that can be easily reused.
For example, a Python developer could create a function that adds two numbers. Instead of repeating the same block of code every time she needs to add two numbers, she could simply use the function she created.
The main function subtopics in Python to learn are:
- How a function works
- Formal and actual parameters
- User-built functions vs. system functions
- Importing libraries
- The basics of object-oriented programming
5. Lists and Dictionaries
After you’ve learned about functions, you’re ready to start exploring the list data type. Lists store collections of similar pieces of information as a single variable. For example, a Python list could store a list of shoes sold at a department store. Another Python list could store a list of companies that supply food to a restaurant.
Lists make it easy to store similar information in one place. They allow for easier manipulation of that information later. Dictionaries are similar to lists. Dictionaries give programmers a way to store data with keys and values. Keys act as a label for the values that they store.
The main topics you should cover in these areas are:
- The basics of lists
- How lists are indexed
- The basics of dictionaries
- A comparison of lists and dictionaries
- Python data structures
- How to slice a list and a string
- How to iterate over a list
6. Objects and Classes
Python is an object-oriented programming language. Classes are blueprints for objects. Classes define how an object should be structured and what data it can store. Developers use classes to reduce repetition and increase efficiency in code.
Objects are individual instances of a class. For instance, a class may define the structure of a Player for a game. An object would be an individual player. This object would store values such as the name of that particular player and the date on which they registered to the service.
Files are used throughout Python programs. Developers use files to store and retrieve information. Read our guide on reading from Python files for more information on how to work with files.
8. Other Subtopics
These are only some components of the Python programming language. If you master the topics discussed above, you’ll be on your way to becoming a Python expert.
As you continue your journey to learning Python, you’ll encounter more advanced topics. All the more advanced topics are built on the principles we mentioned above. So, once you master the fundamentals, you’ll have no trouble tackling new and complicated aspects of Python.
The Best Way to Learn Python Online
The Python developer community prides itself on its stewardship of one of the most popular programming languages in the world. They have managed to keep Python easy to use by creating lecture videos, hands-on video courses, and so much more for beginners and advanced learners.
Below is a long list of resources to become more familiar with how to learn Python. You’ll find the best way to learn Python for various student needs, as well as the best way to learn Python online.
Online Python Courses
- Cost: Codecademy membership (varies)
- Audience: Beginners
Codeacademy’s Learn Python 3 course for beginners is ideal to get started. Course attendees learn logical operators, boolean variables, and data structure in Python. To put your practice into play, there is an opportunity to develop a portfolio project.
This online Python course consists of 11 core classes. There is an optional class to complete Python challenges. It takes around 25 hours to complete this course, and you’ll earn a certificate of completion.
- Cost: $60.00
- Audience: Beginners
This is an excellent resource to learn Python 2 and 3. Over 23 course sections, you’ll understand comparison operators, Python statements, and web scraping with Python. Udemy includes two milestone projects to hone your skills.
Besides learning the basics of programming with Python, you’ll develop games like Blackjack and Tic Tac Toe. Concluding this course, students complete a capstone project. The course content comprises 22 hours, and it’s self-paced learning.
- Cost: Pluralsight membership (varies)
- Level: Intermediate
If you’re looking for a concise Python course online that teaches you basic programming skills with Python, look no further. The course content makes up five hours, and students learn Python 3 techniques. You’ll also work on real-world projects, and your first 10 days of membership are free.
While this course is quick, there is a certificate of completion available and additional learning material.
Websites to Learn Python Online
Whether you know everything about Python’s key topics or not, this site has valuable resources. There are basic tutorials available, teaching functions, loops, classes, and objects and lists. You can also find advanced learning material on closures, partial functions, and lambda functions.
CareerKarma offers optimal support to learn Python and connect with like-minded programmers. This opens the opportunity to find the best Python bootcamps, courses, and universities that offer degrees in programming. You can also connect with other developers and do some pair programming.
If you want to rely on this site for all your Python skills, that’s possible too. CareerKarma has a long list of resources to understand Python terminology and learn the difference between its components and applications.
Flask is a web framework that’s essential to know for Python programming. This website offers a step-by-step video tutorial on how to use Flask for Python. There are 23 chapters of this comprehensive guide and a few of the topics include error handling, Ajax, and application programming interfaces (APIs).
This is one of the best websites for learning Python for those with programming experience. This online resource is highly valuable, but not for beginners. You should first understand Python fundamentals before watching this guide.
Best Python Tutorials for Beginners
This YouTube tutorial is for beginners and covers crucial topics of Python programming, such as variables, loops, controls, functions, strings, and more. The videos provide straightforward and easy-to-follow instructions, making the series ideal for people without any programming experience.
This Python tutorial for beginners is six hours long, with portfolio projects afterward. Before watching this tutorial, you should understand the basics of Python components.
This six-hour, official Python tutorial for beginners explores all of the fundamental aspects of Python. Part tutorial and part online course, this tutorial starts with basic key topics in Python and progresses into advanced practices. There are also several real-world projects at the end of this tutorial.
The YouTube content creator who provides this video tutorial also offers other tutorial options for beginners. There are one-hour Python beginners tutorials, tutorials for functional programming with Python, tutorials explaining how to use Python for loops, and more.
Looking to learn the basics of programming with Python in an hour? This tutorial is what you need and covers crucial topics like variables, how to set up and run VS Code, and troubleshooting code. Plus, you’ll know how to get an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to optimize your programming tasks.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any further tutorials on this YouTube channel. However, Kevin Stravert has worked for Microsoft for 14 years, so there’s a lot to gain from this beginner tutorial.
This five-hour YouTube tutorial is a detailed introduction to Python for the absolute beginner. The first part of the tutorial introduces you to Python and how to install PyCharm, an integrated development environment (IDE). The video explains the benefits of using PyCharm compared to a simple code editor and then moves on to key aspects of the Python programming language.
This online tutorial covers Python topics such as Python strings, variables, functions and logic, loops, and sets. Some of the Python projects that you will work on in this tutorial are a countdown app and a data automation exercise.
Over 11 hours, this tutorial and Python course for beginners explores key Python programming skills, such as variables, tokens, functions, loops, Python arrays, and modules. There is no prior Python experience needed for this tutorial, and there are hands-on projects available.
Not only will you learn Python basics but the content also covers machine learning in Python. Intellipaat guides Python interviews and job trends for this programming language.
Best Advanced Python Tutorials
Experienced programmers looking to improve their craft can try Real Python’s advanced tutorials, which go beyond the fundamentals of programming with Python. There are several tutorial videos on this online platform, each focusing on a unique subset of advanced concepts.
The tutorials can teach you how to use Python to create speech recognition functions, grade books, and text classifications for natural language processing. There are also online books about Python accessible on the site. As a bonus, everything on this excellent platform is free.
Extern Code, together with the University of Michigan, created this comprehensive Python tutorial for experienced programmers who wish to move beyond the absolute basics of Python. The entire video runs for 13 hours and covers key programming concepts. It starts with a nice refresher of the fundamentals before mostly focusing on advanced Python programming concepts.
The different sections of this tutorial cover databases, data visualization, web development, web services, and application programming interfaces (APIs). This Python advanced tutorial is ideal for programmers looking to shift their career path in the direction of data science or data analytics.
NeuralNine provides a YouTube playlist of 11 intermediate Python tutorials, each focusing on a different aspect of Python, including magic methods, decorators, and generators. These video tutorials are only for learners of an advanced skill level, as there is no foundational recap.
Later in the tutorials, you will learn Python design patterns, such as the factory method, proxy, singleton, and composite. These design patterns are really important for experienced developers looking for better career opportunities in software engineering. The design patterns help professional programmers provide a structure to the programs that they build.
Python Engineer offers a series of 21 YouTube videos to learn advanced Python skills. You’ll cover topics like threading vs multiprocessing, how to do multiprocessing in Python, and decorators in Python. Users can also learn the difference between shallow and deep copying in Python and context managers.
This Python tutorial for experienced programmers is also available as a written tutorial for the advanced Python series if you prefer. You can also get a free NumPy Handbook, and Python Engineer has many more tutorial series for this programming language.
This online tutorial is about 33 minutes long and covers advanced topics. It begins with an introduction to advanced Python, as well as some of its key concepts, eventually providing coding exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned.
As this Python advanced tutorial uses a practical approach, you will be working on real-time data and completing hands-on projects on your own. Some of the main coding skills you’ll learn here include how to use Python for machine learning and predictive modeling.
Best Free Python Tutorials
If you are interested in creating a messaging app, you can find a free Python tutorial in the form of a YouTube video that contains comprehensive instructional material on this very topic. This tutorial by NeuralNine will help you get your feet wet with Python by building a chat app of your own. This particular chat app is compatible with the Android operating system.
Other than building the app itself, this tutorial will help you build a strong server that will help it run smoothly online. The first part of the tutorial teaches you how to establish the server for the app and build lines of code for the server and web client. Additionally, the tutorial will also guide you on how to achieve a good user interface (UI) for the chat app.
The elearning platform Guru99 offers this free Python course as a tutorial in text form, which is ideal for people who prefer to learn by reading. The entire tutorial can be downloaded in PDF form, and it even has a guide that will help you install Python properly on your computer.
This tutorial starts with programming basics, eventually progressing to specific elements of Python, such as loops, strings, functions, and simple and complex data structures. There is a section dedicated to data science as well, which is free, along with other bonus content.
This is another beginner tutorial for aspiring Python developers. Within a little over two hours, you will learn the basics of programming with Python. This free Python video tutorial thoroughly explores how to navigate elements like variables, conditions, and loops.
One of the more notable topics covered in this tutorial is debugging, which is one of the most essential programming skills. The last topics cover object-oriented programming with Python and how to use it as a scripting language.
This YouTube playlist of video lectures by Tech with Tim is ideal for professional developers. The tutorial is composed of a discussion on how these key topics should be understood on a theoretical level. The latter part is a demonstration of how to use these features to achieve your developer and career goals.
The first video is an overview of Python and how it works. This is followed by a thorough discussion on magic and dunder methods. This tutorial series also covers classes, decorators, generators, and context managers.
Get into Python is another text tutorial made for Python learners. Its difficulty levels range from beginner to advanced, as it documents all of the important components of Python. The Python packages and libraries it covers include how to learn NumPy, pandas, and SciPy.
This free Python tutorial is accessible online with all of the important information laid out according to category. The structure of this tutorial starts by covering the basic concepts of Python, eventually advancing to more complicated concepts and applications. There is also a dedicated section on how to use Python for data science.
Online Python Books
A top contender for the best book for learning Python, this online book is a best-seller amongst aspiring programmers and developers. You can expect to learn all the key topics and advanced applications of Python programming. Some of the libraries you’ll work through include Django, Pygame, Matplotlib, and Plotly.
Before getting into the juicy stuff, the first half of this book covers fundamentals. You’ll learn skills like classes, lists, loops, and variables.
Focusing on Python 3, this book provides expert tips and techniques to use Python and adapt to technology trends. It’s ideal for intermediate or advanced Python programmers to read this book, and the key topics require fundamental Python skills.
From this Python book, you can learn how to solve data manipulation, functional programming idioms, and practices for I/O handling.
“Practical programming for total beginners” is the angle of this book on our list of best Python books. AI Sweigart writes about how to learn Python in a matter of minutes and begin writing your first program. After reading this book, you’ll have the skills to automate all Python tasks and create an efficient workflow.
This author also offers another book, The Big Book of Small Python Projects. Python newbies can gain valuable knowledge and techniques from both online books.
Other Python Resources
There is a wide range of Python resources available to learn Python best practices and fundamentals. Below, we share some of the best resources to learn Python, including the top Python certifications. You’ll also find the best online resource to learn Python.
- PCPP1 – Certified Professional in Python Programming 1. This certification course is one of the best Python certifications available today. It is offered by the OpenEDG Python Institute and costs $195. It is designed for programming professionals to gain an industry-approved credential for their advanced knowledge in Python programming.
- GIAC Python Coder (GPYC) certification. This certification exam is 75 questions long, lasts two hours, and costs $949. Professionals working as Python developers, network defenders, and penetration testers are the target professionals for the credentials bestowed upon those who pass the exam with a score of 67 percent or higher.
- ArcGIS API for Python 20-001. This technical certification focuses on testing a Python developer’s ability to automate content management tasks. They are also graded on their ability to use APIs to create data science workflows and analyses. The exam lasts one hour and costs $150.
Python YouTube Channels
- Anaconda, Inc. One of the best Python YouTube channels is run by data science platform, Anaconda, Inc., which reaches over 4.5 million users with its informative Python content. This company is home to open source projects like Anaconda, NumPy, and SciPy.
- CS Dojo. This channel, run by former Google software developer YK Sugi out of Vancouver, Canada, has over 1.85 million subscribers. It offers Python tutorials and how to build a start-up using Python.
- Clever Programmer. Rounding out our top three best Python YouTube channels is Clever Programmer with over 1.2 million subscribers. It provides programming tips and tricks for writing expert code.
Is Python Worth Learning?
Yes, Python is worth learning. Python remains a crucial programming language to learn in 2022. Many people learn Python because it’s versatile, easy to use, and doesn’t require years to understand. If you want to master Python, it’s best to start with a goal, learn the basics, develop entry-level projects, and then test yourself with advanced programs.
You can find a long list of online resources available on how to learn Python. Some of these resources are free, require no experience and you can study at your desired pace. To stay ahead of technology trends and succeed in the job market, learn Python in 2022.
How to Learn Python FAQ
The fastest way to learn Python is by studying an online course at your own pace. This strategy for how to learn Python fast means that you can complete a course in the most efficient way, on your own time and at your own speed. If you can dedicate yourself to full-time studies, you can learn Python fast in as little as three months.
Can I learn Python on my own?
Yes, you can learn Python on your own. You can teach yourself Python through online courses and tutorials that can be found on online learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, or edX. You can also find a wide range of Python courses and tutorials from various programming experts and teachers on YouTube.
There are many online resources where you can learn Python in 2022. Many of these resources are free, and you can study at your desired pace. Make use of online books, tutorials, and courses to start learning Python programming. The best place to learn Python depends on the learner. It could be reading, visualizing, or building projects.
Yes, you can learn Python from scratch. The best courses and teachers consider that many of their students are learning Python from scratch and make an effort to teach Python coding in an approachable way. Being able to learn Python with no programming experience opens you up to learning future coding languages and other development concepts.
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