Is Python hard to learn? Top best learning resources

is python hard to learn

Is python hard to learn? How long to learn python? Is python easy to learn? there are many similar questions that come to one’s mind while starting to learn python. This article will clear your all the doubts related to the language.

Is python hard to learn? Short answer- If you want to make it hard then there are books titled “LEARN PYTHON THE HARD WAY“. Although that is also a good book for python programmers. But I hope you understand the point here. The basic syntax is really easy to learn while there are certain strict rules that become annoying sometime, but overall it is one of the simplest languages to learn having huge user base.

python programming meme
A meme showing how some python programmers brag about the indentation rules in python. 😀

How hard is it to learn python without programming experience?

You’re here because you want to learn python, so it is evident that you won’t mind giving 7-8 hours/week to python once you start. Python is easier to learn than most programming languages and it doesn’t matter whether you’re from programming background or not. And to make the learning process even better, I’ve posted the beginner friendly learning resources at the end.

Don’t buy too many books or courses in the beginning, Just believe in the power of those resources and of course, in yourself.

Why so many companies and individuals use Python?

Do you know python is slower than languages like C, C++ and Java? But despite being pretty slow, why Python is such a famous programming language?

Point : There is no good or bad programming language at all. This is a bold statement, right?
Yes, it is. And saying that some specific programming language is the best programming language in the market is like imposing the ridiculous idea of ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ in programming. Having a multipurpose programming language doesn’t really mean that it’ll do all the tasks with same ease.

What are the main reasons behind the popularity of Python?

We have different programming languages for doing different tasks efficiently but Python is considered to be the “Second best programming language for everything” or “general purpose programming language” and the factors behind the popularity of Python seem to be:

  • Clean syntax, which makes the code more readable, hence it makes the code reusable and also helps in maintaining the code.

  • Easy to learn. Yes, Python is one of the easiest language to learn among all other powerful programming languages out there as we’ve already told in the short answer above. In fact, due to its simplicity, schools have started teaching python to 6th grade students and they’re successfully learning it with ease.

  • Portable. PORT–able, means that most of the python programs run on all major platforms so you need not to modify the code before copying it to other machines.

  • Short program size. It is said that Python code is nearly one-third the size of equivalent C, C++ or Java code. This increases the developer productivity.

  • Large number of libraries. Libraries and third party tool integration is one of the biggest factor behind the popularity of Python. As this has made Python an extremely popular and powerful language for trending technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and IOT(Internet of Things).
    **Libraries are the collection of predefined functions or methods that are used for doing specific tasks. For example, if you want to calculate the square root of a number, you won’t have to write a procedure that calculates the square root of a number, instead, you’ll have to invoke(call) a function (‘sqrt()’ of the math module) and Python will calculate it for you and Python has a wide number of in-built functions like this for many simple and complicated tasks as well.

  • Integration with other programming languages. This simply means that a Python program can easily invoke libraries from other programming languages like C, C++ and Java using various integration techniques. So communication with other parts of an application becomes way much easier for Python.

    Interesting, no?

What is python used for? Who uses python?

Companies using python as main or side language

The only significant downside of Python is the slower execution speed issue of some of the Python programs as compared to other compiled languages. But the brilliant features of Python compensate the downsides and this is evident from the fact that big companies and platforms like Google, YouTube, Intel, Pixar, HP, IBM, NASA and many more are using Python as the main or side language in their systems for various tasks.

Short story from the book Learning Python :

You can do everything in Python that you can in Perl, but you can read your code after you do it.”


Where and how to learn python programming?

Many people want to learn programming but their biggest challenge is where and how to start learning Computer programming?


Here is the answer – The most basic knowledge of computer system is sufficient enough to understand how a computer program is created. I suppose that you know about the basic functions that a computer system performs, i.e., input, processing and output and I wonder what makes people believe that programming does something else than these three. Let’s understand what a typical computer application does and along with that, we’ll know the things that we need to learn to become a successful computer programmer.



Most of the input and output actions do not vary much in nature so we’ll just make an easy and generalized conclusion that to become a good programmer, you must learn how to feed and extract data to and from the system.
Now, the most important part of a computer system is to process data and output the result according to instructions and a computer program does exactly the same thing.


Therefore to become a good programmer

programmer meme
All programmers take help from the internet.
  • Learn about the types of data to work on i.e. the data types in a programming language, because without knowing how a text file works, you and the text file would probably get in trouble at some point LOL.
    For example you can perform only the operations to a particular data that are valid for its type(this is what strongly typed programming language means), and the interesting part is that, most of the programming languages have similar name and functions/operations for data types so you don’t have to spend much time in this part when you learn other languages.


  • Learn about variables and files: To store the data in your program which could be used more than once, and this happens most of the time. Another big importance of variables is that they provide flexibility to the program, so that data and instructions do not get mixed and when the program is executed, variable names are replaced by the data they contain.
    Therefore you need to give some name to the data so that it works as a reference to access that data from memory. This is just an introduction to how a computer program is created. In order to become a good programmer, you’ll have to learn to implement these terms in a broader sense, like, you’ll come to know that ‘variable’ and ‘variable name’ have different meaning.


  • Most importantly, the operations to be performed. When I’m saying ‘operations’, it means that you need to learn the techniques to perform actions on the data because this is about using the data, otherwise, the data is just garbage and junk memory for your program. Now, it is important to know that you cannot perform any action on all types of data.
    So you need to learn about data types, and operations that could be performed with that type of data. But one thing that experienced programmer will notice that the procedure or appearance of any operation on any type of data might be different but what actually happens in the background, is almost similar for all. You’d definitely notice that most of the time you’d be working with the basic arithmetical operations, i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and modulus(remainder).


  • Control Flow: It basically refers to the elements in a program which regulate the flow of the program. We’ll introduce the conditional statements to understand this.
    Conditional statements as the term ‘conditional’ itself suggests, let the program perform certain actions if the given conditions are satisfied otherwise some other actions are performed or no action is performed at all. So the control flow becomes one of the most important topic to understand in programming world.

  • Data structures and algorithms are also very important part of any programming language and cannot be explained here in brief easily. Therefore I’m recommending you only two must have books for python right now at the bottom. Increase the number as you grow.

Resources to learn python programming

Before going through the resources, make sure you don’t waste too much time on the syntax, that is important but giving too much time to that is not worth it in my opinion. Just learn about them once, and keep practising, it’ll get better with time.

Here are the top useful resources/courses to learn python faster and better.

Resources to learn basics of python programming

Video Course

Udemy python course: This course has more than 300 thousand subscribers and has an amazing rating of 4.6/5. You’ll be able to learn the basics as well as the intermediate python, create games and small projects and many more things. This is a really good python course for a beginner as well as those who want to learn python as fast as can be possible.

Books

There are a lot of good books for python, but you shouldn’t dive into all of them in the beginning. Keep reading and keep learning as you grow. Two must have books for a python programmer are: Learning python by Mark Lutz and Programming python by Mark Lutz.

Learning python is for the in-depth understanding of basic concepts in the python programming language and as you learn the basics, the other book, Programming python will show you how to actually use python for doing various things, like: System programming, GUI programming and internet programming. Both have the same writer so this makes the connection and flow better.

Even if you’re learning the basics from the video course mentioned above, you must have the second book of this series if you really want to create something using python.

In case you want to choose between investing money in books or that course, I’d go for books. But what about the video reference? The solution is here for you.

YouTube: There are many video courses available on YouTube for free, however there are some differences in paid and free video courses, but it is okay if you’re reading the books that I’ve mentioned above. Without creating confusion, I’d recommend python course by “Navin Reddy“. There can be other courses too if you know them, but I’ll go with Navin Reddy/Telusko. Link:

Python course by Navin Reddy

Official documentation and Google. Yes, whether you’re learning to code or you’re working on a project, you’ll always use internet for reference and I’m hoping most of you guys use Google as the search engine. Official documentation is available at python.org. Learning from the official documentation can be a bit boring in the beginning, but once you start, you’ll understand it better.

How long does it take to learn python?

Practice is the key. In terms of hours, it takes roughly at least 500+ hours of programming practice to reach a good level of understanding of any programming language and Python is no exception of course. Above mentioned books will definitely make you a confident programmer once you go through them and practice regularly.

There’s this very short video on “is python hard to learn” –

I’ll add the best way to learn python or the learning path in this article soon. Until then, go through the book and the video lecture, these are the first important steps.

About ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ

Linux and Python enthusiast, in love with open source since 2014, Writer at programming-articles.com, India.

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