7 Beginner Tips for Learning Python Programming
Python is a simple, construed, and advanced dynamic programming language that focuses on code readability. Python Programming has topped the charts in recent years over other programming languages such as Java and C++ and is widely popular amongst the programmers. The syntax of Python helps coders perform coding in fewer steps. This is the reason why it has already been used in some of the biggest tech companies, along with some less likely but equally impressive users.
This makes Python programming a language to learn. If you are a beginner and have chosen Python as your field of programming, this article will offer you several learning strategies to help jump-start your career as a Python programmer.
Pro Tip: One thing you should know about Python is that it is an evolving programming language; hence, new libraries are created and tools are upgraded. To become a successful programmer, you must know how to learn and keep up with the changes.
#1 Code Every day
One thing about Python programming is that it is easy to learn; the syntax is incredibly straightforward; it is like the English language. However, nothing seems easy unless you are consistent. Consistency is the key in mastering Python language. Expert coders and programmers recommend making an obligation to code every day. For programmers, muscle memory plays a significant role in programming. When you code every day, it will be easier for you to remember the syntax and develop muscle memory. As Python isn’t as complex as other programming languages, it will be easier and tolerable for you to do a daily practice.
#2 Write it Out
Making notes is the key to becoming a master Python programmer, as you progress with your learning, you should make notes of all the things that you feel are complex or difficult to remember. In fact, research suggests hand-written notes are the most beneficial when learning a programming language. Making notes is an extremely important part of your learning phase because when you go for interviews, most of them involve solving a query or error by writing code on a whiteboard. Work on small programs, and before you move to the computer to perform the code, a hand-written code will help you save a lot of time. Moreover, making notes is the best way to boost your muscle memory. With the likes of difficult functions and classes in the Python library, hand-written notes will definitely help you in times of difficulties.
#3 Go Interactive
Whether you are debugging a Python application or learning about Python data structures like dictionaries, lists, and strings among others, the Python shell will be your friend in making learning and understanding easier. In order to use the Python shell, confirm that the programming language is installed on your PC or laptop. Next, to activate the Python shell, open the terminal and run python3 or python depending on your installation. Once you have activated the shell, you can learn what operations can be performed.
#4 Take Breaks
Learning and consistency is the key, but you should give it time to absorb and completely understand the concepts before moving on to the next topic. This is the reason why most programmers follow the ‘Pomodoro Technique.’ The Pomodoro Technique requires you to work for 25 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and then repeat what you have learned. Breaks are a critical part of learning Python programming language because you will be processing new information every once a while. On the other hand, when you are debugging, you must take breaks in between. Debugging can really become complex when you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the program. At this moment, instead of running down programs and codes, you should take a small break, gulp some snacks or go for a walk to keep your mind fresh. In Python, you need to follow the logic and rules exactly, and if you aren’t thinking with a straight mind, even the smallest bug can take a toll out of your Python learning session. Fresh eyes can make a big difference!
#5 Try Looking for Bugs
When you start writing complex codes and programs, bugs become inevitable to avoid. It happens all the time, but you don’t need to get worried or frustrated. These are the moments that will determine whether you will become a good Python developer or not. Debugging is a critical part of computer programming, and it is imperative that you follow a methodological approach to find where things are breaking down. Go through the executed code and ensure that each section works in a great way. Once you find the part that’s creating the problem in the code, insert the code (import pdb; pdb.set_trace()) in your script and run it. It will take you to the interactive mode. This is the Python Debugger used by many programmers.
#6 Pair Program
This is one of the best techniques to learn Python programming. Pair programming is a way of working with another programmer at one workstation. In Pair programming, the two programmers switch between the jobs – a driver and a navigator. The driver is responsible for writing the codes, whereas the navigator ensures that the written code is adept in solving the problem. You can switch the jobs frequently to avail benefits of both sides. This technique gives you a chance of someone reviewing your written code, and you will also get to know what he/she thinks of it – is there is room for improvement, or it is perfect?
The best way to learn Python programming is to teach whatever you know about. It will help polish your memory of what you have learned so far. There are plenty of ways to teach Python to other Python lovers. You can simply use a whiteboard to teach your colleagues or friends, or you can write a blog about Python programming, explaining the concepts and better way to write codes or you can record your teaching videos and post on social media sites, or you can simply teach yourself. Ensure that whomever you are teaching is asking frequent questions. This will help solidify your Python understanding.
Getting coached is one way to learn Python. There are plenty of sites offering free and paid tutorials that you can avail.