Python is a versatile programming language used to create powerful applications and websites with serious wow factor. Most programmers agree that Python is more productive than other languages like Java and C++. It has a huge number of possible applications, which can be quite a lot to absorb. It can be used to build just about anything, as long as you use the right tools and libraries.
If you’re looking to pursue a career in data science or data analysis, you’ll need to master Python, since it has become the default programming language in this field. As the demand for data analysts and data scientists continues to climb, there’s never been a better time to get started in Python.
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Is Python Hard to Learn?
Like any skill worth mastering, Python will take some time to get familiar with. But if you’re disciplined and have the drive and curiosity to learn, you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of opportunities in the job market. When you’re right at the beginning, it’s normal to feel intimidated or overwhelmed. But you’ll be surprised at how soon you can pick up a workable knowledge of Python.
It’s important to keep in mind that your Python skills can be leveraged to open new avenues for your career, or land new job opportunities as a freelancer, or contractor. There are many expertise areas within the field of data science that require Python programming skills. This includes for industries like medical research, artificial intelligence, engineering, machine learning, and the automotive industry.
A Brief Introduction to Python
Python was created in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum as a successor to the ABC programming language. Van Rossum began work on creating the framework for Python in 1989, and he retained sole responsibility as lead designer right up until July 2018.
Python's core philosophy emphasizes the readability of its code and has become a standout due to its use of significant whitespace. The simplicity of its language and object-oriented approach has helped programmers write clear, clean, and logical code for projects of all sizes.
Why Should I learn Python?
Learning Python is going to be a worthwhile investment of your time—you’ll be reaping the benefits of your hard work for years to come. But with so many different learning pathways available to you, it’s a good idea to think about your motivations before you take the plunge. Python will require a sizable chunk of your time, as the language is vast. So, keep in mind the following while you’re investing all that time and energy:
- Python is a relatively easy to learn language. Although it can get complex, with a broad range of libraries to master, Python’s basic syntax is relatively simple and its foundational concepts are easy to wrap your head around.
- It’s an intuitive programming language. Its elementary syntax allows for quick learning and contributes to an effective coding experience. This makes it easier to progress to larger and more complex projects.
- It’s been proven time and again to by a highly versatile tool. Python has been used in a diverse range projects and has been mined by industry giants like Amazon, Google, NASA, and Netflix.
- The language has built up a huge user base. It’s become so widely accepted that you’d be hard-pressed to find a tech job that doesn’t present a heap of opportunities to apply your Python know-how.
- Python also has a huge range of libraries. This can help you streamline your coding process—all you have to do is input action from the library into your code.
- Because Python is open source, its list of libraries and available resources are constantly mushrooming. As Python gets more and more popular, you can find additional libraries that will help you write more efficiently, save time, and tweak your content.
How Long Will It Take Me To Learn Python?
How long you take to achieve your learning goals will really depend on how much time you can dedicate to them. Some people claim that you can pick up a workable knowledge of Python within just two months, if you're completely focused on it. Others claim that it should only take you a month of concentrated effort to nail the basics. That being said, mastering Python is no cakewalk.
Some online courses expect you to study for nine hours a day for two months. But learning at this sort of pace is not going to be possible for everyone. You might have other significant commitments—like work or family—or you might not be ready to commit to such an intense coding schedule.
Master Python in Six Months
Another good option is to pace yourself out over six months. This sort of schedule makes it achievable if you’re already employed full-time, or have other commitments to work around. The idea is pretty simple: invest one to three hours a day learning Python. Spend one day learning theory, and the next day practicing the concept until you have down pat. If you can commit to doing a little each day, you’ll cover a lot of ground at a decent pace.
Mastering Python absolutely requires dedication, and you'll have to muster all the mental energy you have during your study sessions. But if you can dig down and learn as much as you can during your allocated learning times—you could be programming like a champ six months from now.
How Should I Approach Learning Python?
We live in a great time for autonomous learning, thanks to the internet and the wealth of resources available online. You can access a vast repository of free resources, including ebooks, courses, videos, and tutorials, all of which can help you build your knowledge. A straight self-learning regime may be enough for some, but if you’re like most people, you’ll struggle to stick to a study plan that’s completely self-imposed.
Another wise move would be to enroll an online coding course, as the material will be more structured than self-learning. You’ll still need self-discipline to keep up with the course work, but most online courses now offer the added benefit of allowing you to progress at your own pace. So you’re less at risk of being left behind.
Once you have the fundamentals in place, you’ll be able to review and revise which areas you need further practice in. You’ll no doubt run into roadblocks and pain points that will take a little more time to sort through. This is when the free resources available can be used effectively. Because you’ll be further down your learning path, you’ll be better equipped to select focus areas and structure your self-learning appropriately.
The First Step to Learning Python
If you’re ready to get started, schedule a call with our admissions reps to go through your options at a time that works for you.
For more inspiration, check out our into to Python tutorial and learn the fundamentals by creating a tamagotchi style "Pypet" (or python-pet… you’ll see what we mean). Or find a bootcamp that works for you and get programming.
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