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🔗 Quick Answer: Python is one of the easiest coding languages to learn
Python is arguably the easiest programming language for beginners to learn. If you’re interested in writing code, Python is a fantastic place to start. Aside from just being easy to learn, it’s also widely used by industry professionals so you really can’t go wrong.
🔗 Longer Answer: What makes Python ideal for newbies?
One of the difficulties with learning to program is first being able to read code. The great thing about Python is that it was designed with readability in mind. If you’re wondering how hard Python is to learn, I’ll set out four strategies for you so that you can learn Python fast, no matter what your skill level is. Since Python was designed to be easy to read, this makes it ideal for learning to program. Understanding code that’s been written by others is a key stepping stone to being able to program yourself.
For me, Python is the most comfortable programming language to read. I have had a lot of success in showing snippets of Python code to non-programming friends and family, and they’ve been able to understand significant portions suggesting it’s fairly easy to learn Python no matter how much of a beginner you may be. The answer to those wondering how hard is Python to learn is that since it’s very beginner-friendly, as long as you follow the strategies below, it’ll be simple.
If you’re looking to learn how to program, Python is one of the best languages to start with. If you’ve got an interest in data science, machine learning, or more backend-centered technologies, Python is the best language for you to learn programming with. Python is a true powerhouse and is the leading language in all of these fields.
Because it’s a scripting language, there’s a lot less overhead involved in getting a piece of code to successfully run. A scripting language is one that you can easily use to write a short snippet of code to run without compilation. When you are first learning to program, it’s important that you can see progress in your learning, and Python makes it easy to do that. For anyone wondering, “How hard is Python to learn?” you’ll be relieved to hear that all these factors make Python an easy language to get started with.
🔗 How long does it take to learn Python?
If you invest time, are highly motivated, and use the right tools, you will be able to produce working Python code within just a few seconds! For example, you can head over to this online Python Playground and have a “hello world” program running immediately.
Within just a few days of studying Python you’ll be able to write simple scripts that can find the average of a list of numbers or combine a few snippets of words. Speaking from my experience, it will most likely take you closer to several weeks before you can handle input from the command line, use some Python libraries, or work across multiple files (all of which are skills necessary for advanced Python development).
I’ve found that getting a great local development environment for Python configured is a common sticking point for new coders. If that’s something you struggle with, check out our full tutorial on how to build a local dev environment with VS Code, Pyenv, Git, and GitHub.
How hard is Python to learn if you already have coding knowledge? Learning to program with Python can be even easier than what I outlined, depending on your background. If you already have knowledge of discrete mathematics or simple programming concepts like variables, functions, and classes, you’re several days worth of work ahead of others. Alternatively, if you already know how to program using another language, learning to program with your second, third or even fourth language is significantly faster. Once you know how to program, or to think computationally, it’s just a matter of learning the syntax of a language.
How hard is Python to learn if you don’t already know how to code? It’s trickier, but I’ll walk you through the best way to use Python to learn to code. Learning to program isn’t just about learning a programming language, but it’s also about developing your ability to think computationally. Learning how to write code can be done in a relatively short amount of time, probably just a few weeks if you apply yourself. If you want to get to the point where you can develop models or complex systems, it will take closer to several months, probably six, to train your brain to think in patterns of software architecture and systems.
🔗 Finding the best way for you to learn Python
How hard Python is to learn is mainly dependent on how much energy and focused time you want to invest. I find it helpful to think about why it is important to me. Do you want to automate a boring part of your job? Do you want to earn more money? Do you want to increase your job security? Maybe you want to create beautiful digital art from fractals.
Whatever your reason is, keep it in mind. It’s a lot easier to remain focused and motivated to learn Python fast if you’ve reflected on why you want to learn to program with Python. Because learning to program properly will likely take you several months, it is crucial that you can overcome the hurdle of waning motivation and dedication. You’ll learn the fastest if you practice your coding daily, so try to focus on keeping your coding streak and participate in awesome Python coding communities. Find a way to remind yourself of your inspiration. Maybe a sticky note on your monitor or a full-blown dream board. Figure out what works for you. How hard is Python to learn if you lose steam or motivation? It’ll be a lot tougher, that’s for sure. Motivation is key to learning any new skill.
Another great use for your muse is it can be used as your single project idea to focus on. Let’s say you want a way to track your habits. You can, for example, create an app that lets you add or remove the habits that are important to you, pick colors for certain categories, and display a calendar that shows you your streaks. You could start by creating and saving a list of important habits. Your first script could be counting how many habits are in the list and printing them out.
Develop a small project that fits the theme of your motivation. First, you’ll need a small, simple task, like creating a list to store the habits and then counting how many there are. Think of the concepts of the system that you are most familiar with, like basic math, and combine that with what you would consider to be the basic building blocks of your application.
🔗 Understanding core coding concepts makes learning Python faster
How hard is Python to learn compared with other programming languages? Python is actually a lot easier because the syntax and vocabulary are intuitive even to non-coders.
To learn Python fast, the first thing to do is learn the language. Figure out what the
& symbols mean in Python. It’s crucial that you are able to understand the vocabulary, or “syntax”, of Python. The first step for learning how to code is being able to read code.
To properly program, you’ll need to be familiar with some of the basic concepts of computer programming. There are several ways to architect programming applications, but the best way for beginners to learn how to do this is through object-oriented programming (OOP). Python can also be used for functional programming, but it is important when you first learn to program that you become acquainted with OOP. You’ll need to get an idea for what a class is, how it organizes information, and what a generic implementation for one would look like. A class, or object, is a fundamental computer science concept that will appear again and again.
Find simple examples of code online and read through them. Lots of them are accompanied by summaries or documentation, so you can inform yourself of what the function is meant to do and then try to understand how the code accomplishes that. One of the greatest advantages of Python is that it’s easy to pick up the syntax. The answer to how hard is Python to learn will rapidly change if you throw away that advantage.
🔗 Building real projects will speed up your learning process
The most critical part of learning to code is actually coding. How hard is Python to learn if you never code? It’s impossible, like any other coding language. Sitting through lectures or watching Youtube video series on programming in Python will only get you so far, and it’s actually one of the slowest ways to learn Python. Although it is necessary to understand basic concepts before implementing complex systems, it is important to apply your knowledge to start actually grasping key concepts and learning them fast.
Just how when you handwrite information, your brain is better able to retain it, the same holds true for actively typing versus just reading. Handwriting is even better than typing though, so if you really want to speed up your learning process, try writing your code out by hand first before typing it into an IDE or coding website.
Interactive learning is about digging in and interacting with the content. Find small coding exercises that allow you to use what you know and slowly expose yourself to new challenges. This will allow you to solidify your current knowledge while getting to know new concepts too. Websites like Leetcode and Hackerrank are great tools for practicing your skills. Others like StrataScratch offer real interview coding questions, which can be a great way to practice both code and the practical skills needed to get a job. They have small coding activities that are labeled by difficulty. Start out with the simpler stuff, and if you get stuck, they do have the solutions.
If you’re learning to program outside of a classic education setting, it could be a good idea to find a way to structure your learning. Options like Boot.dev’s Learn Python course are best if you do better in a more structured setting with clear goals and feedback.
It’s important to manage the rate at which you increase the difficulty of coding exercises. How hard is Python to learn if you just throw yourself at the toughest challenge? Well, since you don’t know what you don’t know, it can be frustrating to sift through different challenges on the internet to find those that are doable for you but are also a good use of your time. Burnout can easily become a huge slowdown in your path to learn to code, so be a good caretaker of tool number one of learning to code fast with Python – your motivation!
Make sure you spend enough time at this stage. This is when you’ll see significant improvement in your ability to think computationally. It’s important that you figure out how to take the ideas you have in your head for how to solve a problem, such as sorting a deck of cards, and turn them into executable code that accomplishes the same goal. As long as you pick coding tasks that are appropriately difficult, you’ll be able to fuel your motivation through solving these challenges.
🔗 Apply your passions to learn Python even faster
Remember what you thought of at the start of this post? Your reason for learning to program? Whatever it is, there’s a coding project out there for you. If you’re in it for the money, create a web scraper that calculates the average salary for different job titles in your city. Maybe you want to summarize the data from a bunch of different tables into one spreadsheet. There is certainly some problem out there that you want to solve with your newfound programming knowledge. That’s how I learned to code with Python pretty fast – I just had a project I was really keen to do, and Python was the only way to do it. My desire to do the cool thing drove me to pick up Python pretty quickly even when I ran into issues. How hard is Python to learn if you chase money or external accolades instead of your own desires and passions? It’s much trickier.
Python is an incredibly versatile language. You can use it to develop machine learning models, write simple scripts, implement a server, analyze data, or create a graphical user interface (GUI). Whatever you want to do, you can use Python to implement most or all of the applications. Though it isn’t the best language for every aspect of a project, it can do almost anything. That’s why it is one of the best programming languages to start out with.
Find a project or idea that you feel passionate about. Continue your interactive learning by working on a real-world application. Don’t worry if your idea seems complex and difficult. There are always smaller tasks that you can complete now, even with your beginner’s knowledge. This passion will be the most effective fuel for you to learn Python quickly.
You can use your project to expose yourself to many different areas of computer science and figure out which one you like best. For your own sake, figure out what is most interesting to you. One of the beautiful aspects of computer science is that it intersects with almost every other industry. There exists software in education (Quizlet, Duolingo), healthcare (Brainlab, surgical robots, Covid-19 tracker), transportation (Google Maps), manufacturing, and many more. Depending on your interests, look at job descriptions that would fit them and figure out what programming languages, technologies, or areas of computer science you need to be familiar with. Whatever it is, there’s a way to use Python to learn those concepts. A lot of folks wondering “How hard is Python to learn?” don’t understand the wide range of project possibilities with Python.
Python has a lot of packages and libraries. Think of packages and libraries like extension packs to your favorite game, or mods you can install. They allow you to do a bunch of diverse and cool things with the language without having to implement every detail yourself, like building blocks. There are packages to use Python for web development, like Django and Flask, for machine learning, like TensorFlow or PyTorch, mobile apps, and more. Try to use a few in the development of your project. All proficient Python developers use them for a reason, because they keep you from re-inventing the wheel in terms of coding.
Make sure that you continue to work on your project (and through that, your coding skills) as frequently as possible. Ideally, you should be programming every day at this stage. How hard Python is to learn depends a lot on your coding frequency. You will need to practice everything about coding, from the syntax to designing intricate systems. Slow down and think about how each part of the system will accomplish its tasks and how all of the individual components will combine to become the finished product. Consider how efficient your code is and how you will store the data (like which habits you completed on a certain day).
Don’t worry if you mess up. The first design you come up with and implement probably won’t be the best one, but it’s a start. Software is almost never perfect, no matter how fast or slow you learn it. Even Microsoft continues to improve on Word every year. You will iteratively improve your software and learn better ways of doing things as your programming skills improve.
🔗 With the right strategy, learning Python is quite easy
If you already know how to program, but not with Python, the fastest way for you to learn Python is to re-implement something you’ve already coded in Python. Take the project a piece at a time. Pick a single method or class at first before trying to rewrite the entire system. This way you can pick out the similarities and differences between Python and the programming language you already know. Try to determine what Python is better for as well as its weaknesses for your application. When you know multiple programming languages, it is very advantageous to know which one is best for a certain task.
How hard is Python to learn if you’re entirely new to coding? The four strategies that I outlined above will be the best way for you to learn how to code with Python. It will take you several months before you can properly program, but remember to keep applying the concepts you’ve just learned to solidify your understanding. Keep in mind that once you can program in Python, learning additional programming languages will be a lot faster!
Harness your passions or your life goals into motivation. Remember why you want to learn to code, and pick mini-tasks or whole programming projects that fit this theme. This will help remind you of your why, keeping you motivated and energized.
Python is one of the easiest languages to learn, one of the most universally popular programming languages, and has so many different uses. If your interests lie closer to algorithms, networking, data science, or machine learning, Python should undoubtedly be the programming language you learn to program with.
In summary, here’s my answer to both beginners and experienced coders wondering how hard Python is to learn: Python one of the easiest languages to pick up or add to your coding repertoire, and its flexibility and range make it a great option for any coder.