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Beginner resources to learn Python
#1
Hi everyone!

It's always nice to share learning resources. For beginners, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to start their learning process and even the more advanced devs can always learn something new.

Note: Python 2 and 3 do have certain differences that might (probably will) cause code written for one not to be able to run on the other. They each have their benefits, the most important difference being that not all libraries written for Python 2 are available for Python 3 and vice versa. It's important to know which version you're working in, but I would argue that when you start to learn Python it doesn't matter that much which version you use. It's relatively easy to look up the syntax differences between them, so that if your use case means the other version is easier you shouldn't have much difficulty switching.
Each resource is version-specific in that they use one version or the other, but the principles they explain are applicable to both.
  • https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-python
    My first encounter with Python was through Codecademy. The main problem I have with this resource is that it doesn't challenge you to come up with creative solutions nearly as much as an actual programming problem or a real-life project would. That being said it is a good start for those who are absolute beginners and looking to get to know the basic syntax without being thrown in the deep end right away.
  • https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8341...e-hard-way
    Learn Python The Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw is a pretty good book for those looking to learn the basics of the problem-solving side of Python. Although it's not quite the same as looking up project ideas and getting to work all on your own, this book offers a nice insight into the basics of how to tackle a programming problem. It'll definitely prepare you for the real world better than Codecademy, for example.
Honestly, once you've gone through those two resources, I'd recommend doing some basic programming projects.

https://docs.python.org/3/
In order to be able to do this, you will often need the Python documentation. You can select which version you're using at the top of the page.
Apart from that, at this point Google is your best friend. This will often lead you to StackOverflow questions, which deserve a special mention because they can be an amazing community-driven resource whenever you hit a snag.

Personally, I decided to take the route of learning how Python can be used to make websites. I did this using Django.
https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/3.0/intro/tutorial01/
Django is nice in that you use a lot of the programming principles you just learned from the other resources, while getting to know new libraries and very quickly creating a real-life project that you might then even release to the public. Once you've gotten familiar with Django, all you need is some HTML, CSS and JavaScript and you can create websites by yourself at a very fast pace. I've found a good place to start for that is Bootstrap.

Another great exercise is to write some scrapers using requests, and maybe send automated emails using Python. Something I made at one point, for example, is a script that grabs the prices of a few of the more well-known cryptocurrencies off the internet, formats this information into some nice HTML and sends me an email of the current price and how much of an increase or decrease that is compared to the previous day.
Make a free PythonAnywhere account, put that script on there to run every day and you've got yourself a nice little bot that gives you a notification of crypto prices every morning. This should be a very achievable little project for beginners.

If you guys have other interesting resources, be sure to share with the group
#2
I'm glad you mention web frameworks such as Django and so forth. Python is highly underrated for web development. PHP gets a bad wrap for being an inconsistent language, and although it's very understandable how it became this way, Python is overall underrated in comparison.


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