Levelling Up #2 – Getting started with Python

· Iqbal Abdullah

Getting started with Python

Our next item in the Levelling Up series starts from a question that I received the other day from an old friend of mine.

Good morning bro. I have this passion to get involved in programming again after many years. I wanted to start on Python and I know a lot of resources out there. But to get good advice from an expert and friend will be very useful. Appreciate it you could let me know how and where to start. 🙏

Python is a versatile language that you can use on the backend, frontend, and even full stack of a web application. It’s pretty common now to see people getting started back into programming and wanting to learn Python.

But as someone who has been away for sometime or who is just about to get started, with all the resources that is available to you, you’ll definitely get overwhelmed at the beginning.

I asked the LaLoka Labs team on what kind of advice they would give if they were approached with this question.

Find intermediate resources (which is hard to find)

Fathur, our UI/UX expert had this to say:

As someone that is new to Python (or Django) but have experience with other languages, I think Python is quite easy to pickup. However the challenge is that most tutorials aim only for beginners. They allow you to get your feet wet, but there are little resources for you to go beyond just printing out “Hello World” on the screen.

I would recommend this article and other similar type of articles to give you a jump start from beginner to something else. That would give you more “meat” to meet your level of understanding in programming.

Have an interest and a matching target

Kamal, LaLoka Labs CTO has a slightly different view:

Maybe the first question is to know what his interests are – web development, ML, IoT or just casual hacking like automating random things at home. If the later, then the book Automate the Boring Stuff with Python can be a good start.

This is also shared by Bryan Copeland although he wasn’t specifying Python per se.

I also subscribe to this way of keeping oneself motivated to learn something. To have a target which you want to hit and figure out a way of getting there. So this was my advice:

Personally I think your question is too broad and difficult to answer in a specific way.
But like any other things, in order for you to be better at something we need to spend time and be consistent with working with it. So is programming. And having a target or a project which you want to do is a great help to keep motivating yourself to learn.

Anyway, I suggest you find something you want to do, something that might help you with your current work. Then learn to also use Django (the framework) which would benefit you when you want to do something larger and with databases.

We have an open source project that we use when we want to start a new project (like an app or something else) here: https://github.com/lalokalabs/labzero
It might be useful for you when you want to start something new on your own too. Take a look!

What others say

I also posed this question to Reuven Lerner (Twitter, LinkedIn) who has been teaching Python around the world since 1995. And this is what he had to say:

I would suggest taking a look at my free, 15-hour course, Python for non-programmers, at https://PythonForNonProgrammers.com/. There are lots of other resources as well, but I’m obviously partial to this one. 🙂

While Khalil Nooh (Twitter, LinkedIn), who uses Python for AI-related work adds his experience when he picked up Python.

As someone who has a programming background, I picked up Python last as a new language.

0️⃣ got the basics done over at CodeAcademy
1️⃣ daily practices/quizzes just to make those basic stick
2️⃣ build prototypes in Python
3️⃣ explore Python libraries and clients when interacting with other systems

Luckily for me it’s a hobby/interest. So, I leave the heavy duty Python stuff to my co-founder & CTO. It does help with our communication.

In summary

Like Python, there are many ways of picking up the language, but there might be only one way that is right for you.

Once you have something that you want to try, there are many resources to get you started, but might not be enough if you want to move up doing intermediate work and beyond.

So, getting connected to the community to build your own network where you can ask questions and give back answers more tailored to the individual (and your) needs is important.

Find out about Python event near you from the Python Events Calendar.