In 2021, Python dethroned Java as the most popular language, and the trend indicates that its use will continue to increase. Maybe this is one of the reasons why you are thinking about learning Python. Now I will tell you all the details you need to know in order to become an expert in one of the most powerful programming languages of the moment.
What is Python and how does it work?
Python is an object-oriented programming language that stands out for the simplicity of its syntax, which is very similar to human language. This feature makes it ideal for those just starting their career as programmers. In addition, it seeks to automate processes, which allows you to optimize time and avoid complications.
Among the possible uses of Python, we have big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, video games, and data science. That is, in addition to being able to create websites and apps, it allows you to work in fields that are constantly growing.
More and more technology companies are using Python to develop their platforms. For example, Google, NASA, Instagram, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, and Reddit.
What do you need to learn Python?
1. The computer
If you haven’t worked on programming yet, you may think that you need a supercomputer to be able to do it, but the truth is that you don’t need something too advanced. A laptop or notebook with good ram memory and a modern processor is enough to get started.
Of course, if you can have an extra monitor to see everything on two screens, it will be better, since you will often have to see more than one thing at a time and to be able to see it on different screens makes it less confusing.
To make it better understood, you usually have several windows open, at least one of which is the result of your program (your website, your video game, among others) and another one which is the code you are developing. You will want to see how the code you are modifying affects your web page in real-time.
While it is possible to modify and then see or see everything on the same screen, that generates a little confusion, but nothing serious. So if you can’t have two screens, try to have at least a 15-inch screen.
2. The latest version of Python
The latest version of Python is 3.10, and it has been available since March 2022; that is, since very recently. Having the latest version is vital because the previous ones stopped offering support and maintenance.
3. Know the basic Python tools
This programming language comes with different tools that will help you use it.
Python interpreter: an interpreter is a program that allows us to execute a code without compiling it. Basically, it is the mechanism that executes the programs.
Python libraries: we could define libraries as subprograms, which by having some prewritten code help simplify coding. There are thousands of libraries, and each one has a particular functionality and purpose. So, as you learn Python and define what kind of industry you want to specialize in, you will know which libraries you will need.
PIP Package Installer: PIP stands for Package Installer for Python; it is used to install other modules and libraries that are not included with Python.
4. Install a text editor
Just as anyone who wants to write a story needs Word or Google Docs, programmers need a text editor where they can write their code. There are hundreds of them. The important thing is to identify the different parts of the syntax with different colors. It helps make the code not confusing and more readable at first glance.
Python comes with a built-in IDE. An IDE is an integrated development environment that allows you to develop software and test it. In addition to functioning as a text editor, it also serves to automate local builds and debug programs.
Another recommended is VS Code, one of the most used by programmers. Through suggestions, it facilitates the detection of errors and allows the installation of plugins that help in your work. Also highly recommended is Atom, which has intelligent autocompletion, facilitating and speeding up code writing.
And if you search the internet, you will find many more recommended IDEs, but with these 3 suggestions, I think it is enough for you to choose without getting dizzy.
5. Read the documentation
All programs include documentation that will help you understand how to install them and how it works. Here you will find the official Python documentation. You may not be able to learn how to program just by looking at the documentation, but it is a good frame of reference to consult when in doubt.
Nowadays, there are many options for studying or getting ready-made assignments by googling, for example, “write my essay for me cheap.” For learning Python, however, there are different ways to learn, and you will have to find the one that suits you best or that you like the most. You can learn Python in a self-taught way, through YouTube videos or by taking online courses with recorded classes.
You can look for online courses with live teachers or learn Python with in-person courses. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that it is an investment that will impact your future.
7. Create a network
Even if you are alone while programming, having a network to support you will make things easier. That is why it is essential to look for groups on Facebook, Discord, or forums where you can consult your doubts when something gets complicated. Often in programming, a small mistake can get in the way and lead to frustration, and someone who knows more will realize what is wrong in a few minutes. The programming community is large, and you will always find someone willing to help.