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Learn Python: an essential starter guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Python! In this article, I'll delve into the wonderful world of Python, addressing common questions and providing valuable insights to kickstart your Python journey. Whether you're looking to understand what is Python or what are the best ways to learn this programming language, there will be something for everyone.

What is Python and why is it Important?

Python is a high-level, versatile programming language known for its simplicity and readability. It plays a vital role in various domains, including web development, data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, and more. Its importance lies in its widespread use, making it a valuable skill for aspiring programmers.

Basic Prerequisites for Starting Python

Before diving head first into Python, having an understanding of programming fundamentals can be helpful. Knowledge of basic concepts like variables, data types, and control flow will give you a great head start. One of the best free ways to learn Python is through 8Billionminds. On this platform, you can find hundreds of Python experts, fanatics and teachers who can help you via one-to-one virtual lessons at any stage of your Python journey and even offer a Python bootcamp. 

Setting up a Python Development Environment

To start coding in Python, you'll need a development environment, which is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities for software development. Popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) include PyCharm, Visual Studio Code, and Jupyter Notebook. These tools provide a user-friendly interface and various features to enhance your coding experience.

"Hello, World!" Example

So, now that you’re here, let's start with a simple "Hello, World!" example to demonstrate Python's ease of use:

python coding

print(): print is a built-in Python function used to display messages or values to the console, allowing the program to communicate with the user or developer.

"Hello, World!": This is a string literal, enclosed within double quotes. In Python, strings are sequences of characters, and they can be enclosed in either single quotes (') or double quotes ("). Here, we are printing the message "Hello, World!" to the console.


Learning Duration and Stages

The time it takes to learn Python varies based on factors such as your prior programming experience and dedication to learning. For beginners, a few weeks to grasp the basics, a few months for proficiency, and six months to a year for advanced skills. Those with prior programming knowledge may achieve proficiency in a few weeks to a few months, and advanced skills in three to six months or more. From experience, breaking down the learning process into stages, consistent practice and setting achievable milestones is your best way to expedite the learning process. This is again something that the 8Billiominds platform can help you with. If you struggle for consistent periods of time in your schedule but need to keep on top of your learning, this platform lets you choose lessons based on your availability, adding an element of convenience in your Python learning journey. Ultimately, learning a coding language is an ongoing journey with continuous opportunities for growth and mastery.


Quality Learning Resources

Utilizing quality learning resources like books is crucial. Here are a few recommended Python books for beginners:

• "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python" by Al Sweigart

• "Python Crash Course" by Eric Matthes

• "Learn Python the Hard Way" by Zed A. Shaw


How difficult is Python

Choosing the "easiest" programming language largely depends on individual preferences, learning style, and the specific context of usage. However, Python is often considered one of the easiest programming languages for several reasons. Python's simplicity lies in its consistent, clean and readable syntax. Its code resembles plain English, making it beginner-friendly and easy to understand. The lack of complex symbols and intricate structure reduces the learning curve, allowing newcomers to focus on programming concepts rather than syntax intricacies. Furthermore, Python's strong community support contributes to its ease of learning. Online communities, tutorials, and forums are abundant, providing assistance and resources for beginners and advanced programmers alike. Python is used in web development, data analysis, machine learning, automation, artificial intelligence, scientific computing, and more due to its versatility, ease of use, and rich ecosystem of libraries.

Key Differences and Use Cases (Python vs C++ vs Java)

Python and other programming languages differ primarily in their design philosophies and use cases. C++ prioritizes performance, allowing low-level memory manipulation and offering fine-grained control, making it suitable for system-level programming, game development, and performance-critical applications. Python's high-level abstractions make it accessible for beginners, while C++ requires a deeper understanding of memory management and syntax, making it better suited for experienced developers needing optimal performance. Java, on the other hand, emphasizes portability, performance, and strong typing, making it ideal for enterprise-level applications, Android development, and large-scale systems. Choosing between programming languages depends as much on your personal reasons for wanting to learn coding languages, as your experience. Generally though, Python is widely considered the simplest languages to grasp by beginners and would be the best place to start.


Demand and Career Growth

The demand for Python developers is high across various industries. It is almost 100% guaranteed that across job titles like Python Developer, Data Scientist, and Web Developer Python skills are required. In this regard, learning Python can significantly broaden your career prospects, boost your employability and increase your salary expectation.


Is Python a good first programming language?

Python's beginner-friendly syntax and gentle learning curve make it an excellent first programming language.

Is Python free to use?

Yes, Python is open-source and free to download and use for both personal and commercial projects.

What can you do with Python?

Python's versatility allows you to work on web development, data analysis, machine learning, automation, and much more.

Do I need to know math to learn Python?

Basic math skills are sufficient for learning Python, while more advanced math may be needed for specific applications like data science.

How do I install Python on my computer?

Step-by-step installation instructions for different operating systems can be found on the official Python website.

Get started and learn Python with 8Billionminds

In conclusion, Python is a valuable programming language with a wide range of applications and a beginner-friendly learning curve. Learning Python opens doors to exciting career opportunities and empowers you to create amazing projects. 

Step 1) Sign up to 8Billionminds for free.

Step 2) Complete your profile - make sure you add both the subjects you want to learn (Python) and the subjects you could teach or share. This will make the platform stronger :)

Step 3) Browse through your matches and find teachers who can help you start your Python learning journey.

Step 4) Schedule your live session! Make sure you include what level of Python you consider yourself to be - an absolute beginner or perhaps more intermediate.

Step 5) Enjoy your learning experience on 8BM platform. Take and give as many lessons as you like!

Happy Coding!