If you’re just starting out on your Python journey, or are thinking about beginning, this one is for you! Here are 7 tips for learning Python that you’ll want to check out to help you reduce your obstacles and make your journey a smoother one.
1. Identify Your Motivation(s)
Are you learning Python because you want to get into data science, FinTech or machine learning? Are you doing it because you want to build a product of your own? Or are you simply doing it because it seems fun?
Identifying your motivation(s) for learning Python can help you structure your learning and set goals to spur you along the way. Want to get into data science? Make sure you learn Python with a course directed to that purpose! Want to build a product? You’ll need to make sure that your learning is tailored towards product development then.
2. Understand The Fundamentals
If you’re an absolute beginner at Python, rather than skimming through the easy parts, make sure you pay extra attention to them. These are the fundamentals that you’ll be building the rest of your programming knowledge on later, so do make sure that you learn them well and clear any misconceptions or doubts up early on.
Here’s where it helps to have a teacher whom you can clarify your doubts with. While there are certainly benefits to self-learning, being able to turn to someone more knowledgeable to guide you on your journey is priceless.
3. Learn By Writing
This point is especially relevant to those who are self-learning or learning through online courses, where there is often no requirement that students hand up homework or practise their skills by solving problems or even typing out the code themselves.
Instead of running through page after page of writing or several hours of video on 2x the speed, make sure you type out the code as you learn. This should be the case even for topics that seem painfully simple, like if/else statements. Writing out the code will help you remember the syntax and will allow you to see, first-hand, the result of the code you write.
4. Learn Through Gameplay
If you’ve been brought up with the Singaporean education system, you might be under the impression that learning always has to be boring and/or painful — this is incorrect.
Consider learning how to code and practising your skills via gameplay. Aside from bright and colourful graphics making the learning process less dull, healthy competition and friendly collaboration can serve to spur you on in your journey.
5. Ask For Help Where Necessary
Don’t be afraid of looking stupid in front of others. As it is, anyone with a coding problem they cannot solve can approach other programmers on sites like Stack Overflow.
The Python community in particular is full of active users who are happy and willing to assist. Check out Python-specific forums like Python-forum.io, hang out with other Singaporean learners in local group meetups (click here to see the Singapore Python User Group) and meet international programmers at regional conferences.
Learning a new skill can seem both daunting and frustrating — lessen some of this frustration by sharing it with others in the community.
6. Build Something
One of the best ways of improving your skills is to create something of your own. In the same way that non-programming languages are best learnt by practising within context, programming languages are similarly best learnt by application within the context of an actual project.
If you’re ready to get on board, check out some of these ideas to get started!
7. Teach Someone Else
Want to make sure you know your concepts well? Consider teaching Python to someone else. This person could be a friend, a younger sibling or even a parent.
How confidently are you able to explain the concepts? Can you find the errors in your students’ work? Are you able to answer all of their questions and doubts satisfactorily?
If you think you’ve made it past beginner level, it’s time to test your knowledge and understanding by teaching others.
Starting out on your Python journey? Come join us for a Python Development course at UpCode Academy now!