Over the past decade, the Python programming language has exploded in popularity amongst programmers in all areas of coding. From web developers to video game designers to in-house tool creators, many people have fallen in love with the language. Why? Because it’s easy to learn, easy to use, and very powerful.
If you’re looking to pick up Python, you’re in luck. There are lots of web resources to learn python, and many of them are entirely free. Here are some of the best ones. For optimal results, we recommend that you utilize ALL of these websites as they each have their own great aspects.
The most notable aspect of this web Python tutorial series is that not only does it teach you how to use the Python programming language, but it teaches you how to think like programmers think. If this is the first time you’ve ever touched code, then How to Think Like a Computer Scientist will be an invaluable resource for you.
Keep in mind, however, that learning how to think like a computer scientist will require a complete shift in your mental paradigm. Grasping this shift will be easy for some and difficult for others, but as long as you persevere, it will eventually click. And once you’ve learned how to think like a computer scientist, you’ll be able to learn languages other than Python with ease!
#2 – Dive Into Python
The Dive Into Python web tutorial series is awesome for those that want to learn python who have little or no experience with programming. The very first part of the tutorial walks you through the steps necessary to set up a Python interpreter on your computer, which can be very difficult for first timers.
There is one drawback to this website: it may try to dive in too quickly. As someone with Python experience under my belt, I can see how newbies might be intimidated by how quickly the author moves through the language. If you can keep up, then Dive Into Python will be a fantastic resource. If you can’t keep up, then visit some of the other websites in this list until you have a better grasp of the language, then come back and try this one again.
What better place to learn Python than on the official Python website? The creators of the language itself have devised a large and helpful guide that will walk you through the basics of the language.
The best part of this web tutorial is that it moves slowly, drilling specific concepts into your head in more than one way to make sure that you understand them. The website formatting is simple and pleasing to the eye, which just makes the whole experience that much easier.
If you have a background in programming, the official Python tutorial may be too slow and boring for you. If you’re a brand newbie, you’ll likely find it to be an invaluable resource in your journey.
#4 – TryPython
Unlike the previously listed Python tutorial sites, TryPython is great in that the website itself has a built-in Python interpreter. This means you can play around with Python coding right on the website, eliminating the need for you to muck around and install interpreters on your system.
Of course, you’ll need to install an interpreter eventually if you plan on getting serious with the language, but TryPython lets you try python before investing too much time in a language that you might end up not using. TryPython’s tutorial series incorporates the interpreter, allowing you to play around with the code in real-time, making changes and experimenting as you learn. This is the most hands-on Python tutorial you will find outside of a real life classroom.
TryPython requires Microsoft Silverlight to be installed for your browser.
#5 – LearnPython
Like TryPython, Learn Python has a built-in interpreter right on the website as well as a tutorial series to go alongside of it. So what’s the difference between the two? Not a whole lot.
LearnPython is a little more basic, which means newbies will be able to keep up with the lessons and feel less intimidated by the material. And unlike TryPython, LearnPython includes programming exercises at the end of each lesson. These lessons serve to solidify the knowledge you gain and make sure that you truly understand what you’ve learned.
BONUS – PyGame
For those of you who that want to learn python to eventually create video games, this bonus resource will be extremely helpful to you. PyGame is a set of Python libraries that allows you to create graphical applications. Regular Python runs in a console window, which limits you to ASCII text. PyGame provides functionality for displaying images to the screen in a non-console window.
The best part? It’s just as easy to learn and easy to use as the Python language.
Though it has a relatively low learning curve, Python is a powerful language that can be utilized in multiple applications. Its popularity has been growing consistently over the past few years and there is no indication that the language will soon disappear. If you want to learn a highly versatile and powerful language, it’s never too late to give Python a shot.
Let us know in the comments what Python resources you use.
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