How to learn Python ?

Over period of time few people have asked me in meetups, online I want to learn python. Suggest me few ways to learn. Everyone who asked me had differentbackground and different intentions. Before answering the question I try to collectmore information about their interest and their previous approaches. Some learnt basicsfrom codecademy, some attended beginners session in Bangpypers meetup. In this postI will cover general questions asked and my suggested approach.

Q: Suggest some online resources and books to learn python ?

A: I suggest three resources, How to think like computer scientist, Learn Python The Hardway, CS101 from Udacity. This is highly subjective because it depends on previous programming experience etc … I have a blog post with lot of python snippet without explanation (I know it is like sea without waves).

Q: It takes too much time to complete the book. I want to learn it soon.

A: I have been programming in python over 3 years now, still I don’t know in depth python. You may learn it in six months or in a week. It is the journey which is interesting more than destination.

Q: How long will it take to learn python ?

A: It depends what you want to learn in python. I learnt python in 3 hours while commuting to college. You should be able to grasp basic concepts in few hours. Practice will make you feel confident.

Q: I learnt basics of Python, can you give me some problems to solve and I will get back with solutions ?

A: No. I would be glad to help you if you are stuck. Learning to solve your problem is great way to learn. My first usable python program was to download Tamil songs. I still use the code :-). So find the small problem or project to work on. I would be happy to review the code and give suggestions to it.

Q: I want to contribute to open source python projects can you suggest ?

A: Don’t contribute to project because you want to, rather find a library or project which is interesting to you and see if things can be made better. Your contribution can be small like fixing spelling mistake (I have contributed with single character change). Linux kernel accepts patch which fixes spelling mistake. Every contribution has its own effect. So contribute if it adds value.

In case you are reading this blog post and want to learn python or need help I would be glad to help.

See also

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