Learning Python Programming is one of the best steps you can take in moving forward in your career in an increasingly digital world.
Python can provide an enormous amount of opportunities. It’s fast becoming the most in-demand programming language for companies looking to hire across many disparate fields, from data science to web design.
This is because Python is dynamic, intuitive, user friendly (intentionally developed to be easily learned) and comes with a host of libraries.
Python’s ubiquitous nature means that for all its applications, there’s plenty of documentation. This documentation is invaluable for newcomers to the script. Especially for those coming from non-technical backgrounds who now must learn the language.
If you’re a beginner, you’ve probably already downloaded Python and an IDE (integrated development environment). So, we’ll move past these initial steps and focus on how you can make your learning Python programming experience efficient and rewarding.
These seven awesome tips will help you get ahead in your learning journey.
1. Make Learning Python Programming A Part of Your Daily Schedule
Practice might not make perfect, but it sure does make things easier.
Practicing daily makes writing, understanding, and problem solving in the language easier. Think of any other language. If you’re reading, writing and communicating in it every day, it quickly becomes second nature.
Because Python was designed to resemble human language, treating it as such will make the learning-process easier. Using the language in this intuitive manner will also enhance your problem solving ability and develop your computational thinking skills.
2. Find a Good Learning Source And Stick With It
There are many amazing places to learn Python for free on the internet. A range of free online coding institutions include Python in their available languages. There are also hundreds of videos on YouTube.
Paying for a coding course in 2021 might seem like a waste of time, but good teachers cost money. Udemy is an amazing place to start if you’re looking to get serious.
3. Develop Your Computational Thinking Skills
Another reason to practice coding daily is that coding develops your computational thinking abilities.
Understanding computational thinking is tricky. It’s something you develop through coding that in turn allows you to become a better coder.
Computational thinking is an approach to problem solving that both a human and a computer can understand.
You start by breaking a problem down into manageable pieces, and then find a solution by identifying patterns, similarities and differences in your data. Once you have a solution, you create a step-by-step guide to solving the problem called an algorithm.
4. Develop an Understanding of Data Structures And Algorithms
Computational thinking allows you to better understand how algorithms rely on data structures.
Data structures are ways in which data is arranged. A simple example of a data structure would be a list or ‘array’. A simple example of an algorithm would be a sorting algorithm, which, for example, can reshuffle an array so that it reads from lowest to highest value.
Using computational thinking helps you write efficient algorithms. Although Python comes with basic algorithms in place, it’s important to understand the logic behind what you’re doing if you want to master the basics.
You may even find that data becomes something you’re passionate about, and you want to study it further. In the long run, this will benefit your Python skills too.
5. Keep A Record Of Your Development
Keeping a record of your progress in the form of a blog or personal document is a good foundation for building a portfolio. It also allows you to apply new knowledge to previous problems, keeping all your projects at a similar level.
A new problem might force you to refine an algorithm used in an old project.
If you still have access to the old project, you can use this as an opportunity to rethink and refine your old code.
Keeping a record is also a vital aspect of computational thinking as it allows you to compare solutions, looking for similarities or differences across different projects. This practice could help you find better solutions from across your body of work rather than from a single project.
6. Get To Grips With Git and GitHub
Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to learn about Git.
Git is a tool used for collaborative projects that allows multiple people to share files and make changes to code. Once you’re working on larger projects Git will be an invaluable tool. When you’re using Git, you and your fellow developers will be making changes to a remote repository.
Think of this like a text file on Google Drive that anyone can access and edit.
Your personal saved files are called a local repository. Git compares the local and remote repositories and shows you what changes have been made.
Git also uses commits. Commits are points at which the developer knows the project is working. The developer can return to these points if something is amiss.
Think of commits as the quicksave function in a video game. If you die it’s no problem, you can start again from your last quicksave.
GitHub is a website that gives Git a user-friendly interface, and keeps track of these commits. GitHub has other functions as well. For example it allows users to construct a CV and keeps track of the projects you’re working on for when you’re seeking a new job.
7. Start Your Own Projects
This is a key stage in learning how to code, so don’t stick to the basics for too long.
In this sort of logic-driven work, learning from your own mistakes is the best and most efficient way to learn.
So, start today.
Whatever you do on your laptop, there are systems that need improving and that can be automated using Python. Start creating solutions that help you in your daily work and you might end up stumbling onto something that others could use.
The sooner you start working through your problems, the sooner the basics will become second nature.
I hope you’re inspired to keep progressing in your learning Python programming journey. Python has never been as popular as it is now, so get on it. NOW is the best time to start!