You’re a born programmer. You’re a whiz with languages, you enjoy working with computers, and you get a thrill out of taking things apart to see what makes them tick. Coding is right up your alley and you’re ready to start your education. You’ve chosen the right path—the beauty of computer programming is that you can teach it to yourself, and learning Python is a fantastic first step. Learning to code in Python is your gateway to the programming world, my computery friend, and we’re here to make sure you succeed in your studies.
In this guide, we provide tips and tricks designed to get you used to the coding world. We offer suggestions on how to get the most out of your studies, how to make programming a daily habit, how to push yourself to continue developing as a coder, and how to engage in productive collaboration with other programmers. We’ll help you take your first baby steps as a developer and send you on your way to coding greatness!
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One of the toughest parts of taking up any new discipline is knowing how to begin. It can sometimes feel like there’s a secret final boss level to weed out people who don’t have real dedication and drive, but there are lots of dedicated coders on forums and message boards who want to help you learn Python and other languages. There are also plenty of free Python courses available online, and you’re sure to find one that fits your study style.
If you want to start by building a broad foundation like the ones offered by traditional four-year colleges, consider enrolling in a Python course series on edX. Or, maybe you prefer your studies to be a bit more focused on coding without extraneous topics thrown in. For you, there are Python lessons available at sites such as Codecademy’s. Take advantage of these free options for a solid coding start that doesn’t drain your wallet.
Make Note-Taking a Habit
The notion of writing code by hand might appear counterintuitive from the outside, but getting into the handwriting habit is a big part toward ensuring your success as a programmer and will give you a leg up when you start looking for work later on. When you walk through a professional developer’s office, one of the first things that will usually catch your eye is the blizzard of Post-Its that cover every available vertical surface– and some horizontal ones as well.
Get used to writing down on paper the Python code you plan to program into the computer. You’re making synaptic connections when you handwrite, which makes you a more efficient coder. Once you’ve made handwriting a habit, you’ll discover that you’re better able to organize your planned work. Start writing your work on whiteboards, as well—you’ll be doing a lot of scribbling code on whiteboards in your professional life after you become a coder.
And there you have it. Starting to learn to code in Python might seem daunting, but it’s easy if you approach it with our tips in mind. Python is a beautiful entry programming language with a generous learning curve, so take advantage of its slow, comfortable onramp to get up to speed and enter the programming superhighway. You’ll be a Python hotrod before you know it, and your career will take off in a hurry.