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Old 05-19-2015, 09:57 PM   #1
vento
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learning Python

I have done some html, javascript a bit of c# and little game with xna by watching videos, searching forums and reading bits and pieces from some books. The way I have been learning has not been very structured.

I would like to learn Python next but do it properly and learn best practices as I go along. Hence I would want to avoid websites e-books starting you off with bad advise. I am looking at the moment some good free online recources. ( not against buying an ebook if that's the best way). Obviously I have found some recources like codeacademy but there are many opinions if these sites are teaching you the best practices which is one of my priorities. I want to learn but do it the right way.

what resources would you guys recommend?

Last edited by vento; 05-19-2015 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:05 PM   #2
vento
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Re: learning Python

Anyone tried the following?
https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython1
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:30 PM   #3
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

Try MIT's open Course initiative. Intro to programming was in Python I think (only skimmed 1 class).

Keep in mind many programming resources can be language independent as the underlying concepts are largely the same. In the end implementation is sometimes a matter of taste and use cases for language developers.

Edit: I have also heard good things about Learn Python the Hard way.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
Low Key
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Re: learning Python

Everything I've learned in school so far wrt programming has been, "we have to teach this to you wrong so you can understand it, and then we'll correct it later"
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:08 PM   #5
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Re: learning Python

learn python the hard way is supposed to be good.

Peter Norvig, who is the man, has a couple of Python courses on Udacity. I have watched some of them and they are quite good with plenty of interactivity.

the MIT OCW course is very good but it's really for those who are trying to get into CS for the first time, rather than those just trying to pick up python.

python can do so many things, so my recommendation is to start using it by automating some everyday tasks, even if it's a bit slower for you at first. these little things are pretty easy to get started with and making these little tools is one of the places python really shines. it's always good to learn by doing.

if you do any spreadsheet work, try pandas. I'm not exaggerating when I say pandas as changed my life. it's another way to get familiar with python functions without having to learn so much right away. search youtube for the Wes McKinney's (pandas creator) video "data analysis in python with pandas" if this interests you. doing this got me from beginner to intermediate pretty quickly because it is so useful that I found myself using it nearly every day.

I love python

Last edited by sthief09; 05-19-2015 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by Low Key View Post
Everything I've learned in school so far wrt programming has been, "we have to teach this to you wrong so you can understand it, and then we'll correct it later"
Huge +1 to that and most but not all of some of the more cost effective learning materials out there. It's really freaking annoying at times.

I only recommended OCW bc from some of the lectures I've seen it is definitely worth the price of admission (admittedly my focus has been mathematics so far).
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by vento View Post
It was fair, IMO. They could be better teachers.

This one is getting raves on reddit: https://www.coursera.org/course/pythonlearn. I don't know if it's too basic for you though.

Udacity's CS101 is highly regarded. The MIT 6.00x previously mentioned also gets some positive mentions.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:46 PM   #8
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Re: learning Python

https://www.python.org/about/gettingstarted/

This is the best place to get started on how to get started.
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Old 05-21-2015, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by vento View Post
I did it and it was decent. Id recommend the MIT 6.01 (I think thats it) course on OCW, thats what I watched to learn python. I disagree with thief that its more for people learning CS than how to program in python, while thats technically true, the concepts they are teaching you are very important to understanding programming and not sucking at it. So look at it as learning python AND how to program.

really once you get the basics down, the best way to learn is to start doing ****. So just find some site with code challenges like projecteuler or one of the dozens out there and start doing them, and using stackoverflow.com when you get stuck. Or tackle a project of your own, and just stick to it. I programmed a blackjack game when I first started.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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Re: learning Python

Related question as i am also going to learn programming via python (hopefully it is ok to post this here):

I am using windows 8.1. Should i install something like virtualbox and run another OS if i want to spend a few hours per day learning programming, or is that just unnecessary and something i should do down the line?
If you recommend it, what type of OS (and if linux, which package do you recommend?)

I understand that i can program just fine on windows, I'm just wondering if you feel it is worth it for a beginner to use a different OS.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:32 PM   #11
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by kingofcool View Post
Related question as i am also going to learn programming via python (hopefully it is ok to post this here):

I am using windows 8.1. Should i install something like virtualbox and run another OS if i want to spend a few hours per day learning programming, or is that just unnecessary and something i should do down the line?
If you recommend it, what type of OS (and if linux, which package do you recommend?)

I understand that i can program just fine on windows, I'm just wondering if you feel it is worth it for a beginner to use a different OS.
If you want to jump right in to programming just find an interpreter for Python that works with Windows 8.1. Switching OSes could drastically increase the learning curve and slow your progress in actually programming.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:04 PM   #12
vento
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Re: learning Python

Started to look for a download for win 8.1 and it looks like there are different opinions of beginner should learn python 2 or 3 based on existing documentation, tutorias, libraries etc
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:15 AM   #13
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by Alobar View Post
I did it and it was decent. Id recommend the MIT 6.01 (I think thats it) course on OCW, thats what I watched to learn python. I disagree with thief that its more for people learning CS than how to program in python, while thats technically true, the concepts they are teaching you are very important to understanding programming and not sucking at it. So look at it as learning python AND how to program.

really once you get the basics down, the best way to learn is to start doing ****. So just find some site with code challenges like projecteuler or one of the dozens out there and start doing them, and using stackoverflow.com when you get stuck. Or tackle a project of your own, and just stick to it. I programmed a blackjack game when I first started.
I think we agree overall
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:17 AM   #14
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Re: learning Python

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofcool View Post
Related question as i am also going to learn programming via python (hopefully it is ok to post this here):

I am using windows 8.1. Should i install something like virtualbox and run another OS if i want to spend a few hours per day learning programming, or is that just unnecessary and something i should do down the line?
If you recommend it, what type of OS (and if linux, which package do you recommend?)

I understand that i can program just fine on windows, I'm just wondering if you feel it is worth it for a beginner to use a different OS.
for your programming workflow I would ditch windows. knowing how to work from the command line is critically important.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:12 AM   #15
vento
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Re: learning Python

Just came across website trinket.io which let's you to write the code on browser, save the code and share easily. Just found it 30 min ago. Just needs to figure out which version of Python is used.

Comes really handy since I don't have access to my own computer 2-3 days a week and don't want to install anything on someones else computer or try to remotely access mine.

Last edited by vento; 05-22-2015 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:13 AM   #16
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by sthief09 View Post
for your programming workflow I would ditch windows. knowing how to work from the command line is critically important.
Windows has a command line interface and most Linux distros have GUIs so it doesn't really matter much which OS you use in that regard.

OP I was assuming you already had a Windows 8 pc and were familiar with it. My statement still holds true to some extent but if you have to download and install an OS then Linux and other free OSes are definitely still an option.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:04 PM   #17
Absurdas
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Re: learning Python

Quote:
Originally Posted by vento View Post
Just came across website trinket.io which let's you to write the code on browser, save the code and share easily. Just found it 30 min ago. Just needs to figure out which version of Python is used.

Comes really handy since I don't have access to my own computer 2-3 days a week and don't want to install anything on someones else computer or try to remotely access mine.
From my limited experience with online IDE's c9.io left me the best impression. Python 2.7.6 as default I think, but you can install whatever version you'd like. Dunno if you'll like it but might be worth to take a look.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:08 PM   #18
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by just_grindin View Post
Windows has a command line interface...
I thought it used different commands than Linux and Mac.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:40 PM   #19
Aces123123
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Re: learning Python

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofcool View Post
Related question as i am also going to learn programming via python (hopefully it is ok to post this here):

I am using windows 8.1. Should i install something like virtualbox and run another OS if i want to spend a few hours per day learning programming, or is that just unnecessary and something i should do down the line?
If you recommend it, what type of OS (and if linux, which package do you recommend?)

I understand that i can program just fine on windows, I'm just wondering if you feel it is worth it for a beginner to use a different OS.
I am also learning to program at the moment. Compared to learning a new programming language learning a new os is rather trivial, so I wouldn't bother with it. If a potential employer asks for experience with another os you can always tell them that you have it and learn the basics before the interview.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:55 PM   #20
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

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I thought it used different commands than Linux and Mac.
Not sure what you mean. If you're saying mac is *nix like and windows isn't then I would agree from my limited experience of using Terminal on Mac. Not sure how it's relevant though.

All I'm saying is that you can become familiar with the command line or use a GUI in either environment. Linux will likely force you to use and familiarize yourself with the command line much more quickly than Windows will, but the option is there in both.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #21
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Re: learning Python

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I thought it used different commands than Linux and Mac.
I think powershell uses unix commands....im not sure tho because ive never used a linux or mac
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:29 PM   #22
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Re: learning Python

if you've never used the command line before, this appendix from learn python the hard way is a decent tutorial

http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/appendixa.html

following the first few chapters there will also show you how to install python and run the python interpreter and your own python programs from the command line
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:53 PM   #23
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

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Originally Posted by Alobar View Post
I think powershell uses unix commands....im not sure tho because ive never used a linux or mac
It does not. In fact a lot of the cmdlets are all written specifically for Windows. Powershell seems to have been created to mimick what are imho more powerful commandline interfaces in *nix environments, but it's all written in .NET.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:05 PM   #24
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Re: learning Python

virtualBox + ubuntu ldo
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:09 PM   #25
just_grindin
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Re: learning Python

It's been awhile since I've used or looked into Python, can it also be compiled? I want to say the last video tutoriala I saw described it as somewhere between an interpreted and a compiles language.
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