Learning How to Use Python Without Any Programming Experience

You’re not a programmer and you haven’t tried coding at all. You can even say you’re not a technical person, but you saw that there are careers in Python. So how can you learn how to use Python if you don’t have any programming experience?

You’re in luck! Python is one of the easiest programming languages for beginners, so much so that even kids can learn it as their first programming language. With that said, if you’re looking to learn Python and you have zero background with it, here are some tips that can help.

Understand Your Goals for Learning Python

So, you’re starting to learn Python? Great! Learning Python does not start with opening Python and learning it on the fly. You need to start by creating goals for yourself. Creating a learning goal can keep you motivated, as well as help you keep track of your progress.

Whether it’s for a company hiring new employees or you’re looking to start Python as a hobby, you can only succeed if you have the right motivation. In addition, you want to know where to apply the language. Finally, you need to learn the type of use cases you want once you start your journey.

Are you looking to build data science skills? Are you planning on programming games or robots? Are you simply trying to expand your knowledge? Knowing how to apply Python for something you want to do can help you master it.

Understand Python’s Fundamental Concepts

You need to know about a few concepts before you start learning Python, especially if you have zero technical background. New coders better understand what Python is, mainly because these concepts are fresh on their minds.

Without trying to understand these fundamentals, Python, or any other programming language for that matter, can be a challenge. These fundamental concepts include:

  • Data structures
  • Variables
  • Syntax
  • Functions
  • Control structures
  • Conditions
  • Loops
  • Classes/objects

Several websites teach these concepts, including the Google Developer page and the official Python documentation. Textbooks can break these concepts down, but it’s best to reference websites instead, especially with Python. In addition, there are many resources online that will help explain these concepts far better than a textbook.

Use Python Programming Resources Available

As we said, there’s an almost limitless supply of resources that you can find about Python. However, it can sometimes be confusing to find what’s the most effective resource for you. Nevertheless, there are a few that work nicely for those who have zero knowledge of the language.

Many swear by titles like “Learn Python the Hard Way” and “Automate the Boring Stuff,” which offer two differing paths for would-be Python developers.

“Learn Python the Hard Way,” for example, teaches readers an old-fashioned but disciplined way through Python. It is meticulous and makes sure that you set everything up for a successful learning path.

On the other hand, “Automate the Boring Stuff” is an excellent tutorial that walks total beginners through the basics, including common programming concepts. It then teaches what kinds of essential applications amateurs can play with, especially things that can simplify daily living.

The LearnPython subreddit and Github community are also great resources for beginners. They are more than happy to answer questions when you get stuck on a project and even provide source codes for most smaller projects.

You can also find video resources online, both free and paid. YouTube can be hit or miss for lessons, but it can work well for more visual learners. Some university websites also provide free courses and a syllabus that can help guide you on the right path towards learning Python.

Depending on how much time you have, it’s best to start with a written tutorial or a textbook. Then, use video resources to help you resolve common problems you experience along the way.

Train Yourself on How to Use Python’s Official Documentation

Making liberal use of the official documentation is an integral part of progressing through Python. Unfortunately, the official Python documentation can look daunting for complete newbies, which is why many resources rarely recommend it. Then again, part of becoming a programmer is knowing when to consult the documentation.

Learning how to read documentation is crucial because it teaches you to deal with potential technical issues that may come up during your project. The documentation itself is not a good learning resource because it doesn’t simplify details and other technical specifics. However, it is an excellent reference manual to give you an idea of what a module does.

Python’s official documentation tells you what specific modules can do. In addition, it introduces the Python language as a whole, with technical details and examples. While you can skip the official documentation, reading it can teach you how to navigate the language and improve your understanding.

Rather than give you a cursory knowledge of how Python works, the documentation can help build an intuitive knowledge of the language. In addition, it enables you to be cleaner and more efficient with your source code, which is a solid foundation for every beginner.

Download and Install An IDE

For Python, would-be programmers have to choose in which environment they will code. The barest way to do it is through a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++. These are useful if you’re looking to start on the get-go. You can also download and install an integrated development environment (IDE) to help you.

An IDE helps you script, test, run, and even debug your source code in Python. There are several options for IDE that you can use, and there’s no right or wrong one. It’s best to use an IDE that you enjoy the most and can help you work on your code much faster.

Python’s most popular IDEs and text editors include PyCharm, Visual Code, Atom, Sublime, and Jupyter Notebook. These are free, and some are better suited for different fields of expertise like development, data science, or integration.

The Bottom Line

Learning Python, even without programming experience, is not as hard as you think. The learning process is a matter of good preparation and using the resources available to you.

On top of the tips we provided above, you need practice. Set aside a few hours a day to slowly learn the language. As you understand the concepts and create small projects, you’ll be on your way towards your first full-fledged program.

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