Learn to Python

So you want to learn to program, to write code. Perhaps you’re just curious, or perhaps you have a problem to solve. It doesn’t matter. There’s a lot more to say about it, and perhaps one day I’ll come back and write some more sentences that do that, but what you really want to know is where to start. There’s a couple of good places to start: and I think it’s important to remember that you can start anywhere and you should probably start several places and find the presentation that matches your way of learning best. (That’s the brilliance of the web, isn’t it? It’s multi-modal and you just need to find the mode, and the style within that mode, that serves you best.)

  • The gold standard for interactive Python tutorials is Learn Python.
  • Automate the Boring Stuff with Python is both a website and a book. Start with the website. Both are well-organized and useful not only as tutorials but also as references. The author also maintains the Invent with Python blog. It’s worth reading.
  • Learn Python the Hard Way is another website/book combination, but it also has videos to go with it. (You have to buy the videos, sorry.)
  • Speaking of videos, sentdex has an amazing collection of Youtube videos that address basics, data analysis, working with the NLTK, robotics, and more.
  • Visualize promises to let you write Python (or Javascript, Java, Typescript, Ruby, C, or C++) in your web browser and it will visualize for you what the computer is doing step-by-step as it executes your code. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds very interesting. (As some will know, I use iPython Jupyter notebook to do something similar.)
  • Erica Sadun has a nice post at Ars Technica on six different online tutorials.

Hey, who knew Python was part of filmmaking? It is.

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