The first three are almost universally used as web development languages and are often picked up along the programming way, but Python’s versatility in web development, data science, and even cybersecurity sets it apart as one of the most beneficial — and popular — languages a programmer can learn.
But how do you learn Python? We’ll show you how you can learn to code Python for free today with one of our introductory lessons — and where to go from there.
What is Python?
On their official page, Python’s developers define it as “an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics.”
That might leave you scratching your head if you’re new to programming languages, so without all the jargon, here’s what makes Python programming language such a powerful tool.
It’s popular. With over 7.1 million web development users worldwide and 69% of data scientists and machine learning experts using Python, this language has an extensive library for programmers to consult. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has written the code you need for your project? Such resources are tremendous assets in developing your project more efficiently, and few languages have a more comprehensive library than Python.
It offers many tools. Python offers a suite of tools to empower all of its users. Those interested in data science will likely use NumPy to carry out efficient numerical computations, Pandas to clean and analyze their data, StatsModels to conduct basic statistical analysis, and TensorFlow to build neural networks for deep learning and AI application. To tie these tools together, most Python users rely on the Jupyter Notebook, which allows users to record and share their work thanks to its system of document creation and data visualization.
Is Python easy to learn for beginners?
For a tool so powerful, Python is a relatively simple language to learn. Python is a high-level programming language, meaning that it is not only easier to understand than low-level languages like machine code, but it is also easier to debug and is able to run on multiple platforms. These factors make Python much more user-friendly than other first language options — though it helps if you have someone to guide you along the way.
What will I learn in a free Python lesson?
If you think you’d like to try your hand at programming but would like to get your feet wet first, try our free Python lesson.
The free lesson will cover a real-life scenario of plotting out travel destinations on a list — something airlines must do each day. Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn to do:
Identify Python data types. By learning how to identify string and float data types, integers, booleans, and type() methods, you’ll become versed in the basic data categories of Python.
Understand the list data type. Accessing elements of a list and assigning a single list element to a variable will familiarize you with how these basic data types work.
Assign a list to a variable. Discover how a list functions and how to access its components — and then create one of your own.
Use the index of the items in a list. Python tags each element in a list with a number. This is called indexing, and you’ll learn how to manipulate it.
Add and remove items on a list. Need to add or subtract elements from your list? No problem. Learn to use .append() and .pop() to revise your list elements.
Change and compare items in a list. In some cases, you may need to compare or edit your list — and the len() length and set() set functions will let you do just that.
These are the basic Python concepts you need to know for a career in data science or computer science. If you’d like to dive even deeper into Python, we have two more online workshops where you can learn to code for free.
Python & word clouds
A combination of data analysis and data visualization, word clouds create randomized clusters of search-related words and vary their size according to their frequency. Doing that manually would take a lot of work, but a little knowledge of Python enables you to create a compelling data visual.
In our lesson, we’ll take The Beach Boys’ classic hit, “Barbara Ann” and convert it to a word cloud. As we do, you’ll learn about:
- String data types
- String methods
- Sets vs. lists
- Graphing frequencies
By the time we’re done, you’ll have enough knowledge to use Python to make a word cloud of your own.
The binomial distribution
It may sound intimidating, but the binomial distribution is simply the probability of a certain event in a series of experiments where only two outcomes can occur — and it’s extremely powerful in real-life settings. The hotel industry relies on it to maximize its profits in the event of a cancellation. We’ll show you how it works in our free binomial distribution lesson.
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Design a Bernoulli experiment
- Visualize a Bernoulli experiment
- Analyze results with Python
There are many uses in data science for the binomial distribution, and this lesson will give you the knowledge to wield this effective statistical tool.
Can I teach myself Python?
Python is a relatively user-friendly language to learn, so it’s possible for you to learn it on your own. It takes self-motivation to do it, though, and you need to make sure you’re learning from legitimate resources. Flatiron School is here to help. With our Python tutorial, you can learn to code Python for free, even if you have little programming experience.
If you’re serious about diving into data science, web development, cybersecurity, or any other tech field that requires programming, Python is an excellent place to start. That’s why at Flatiron School, Python is one of the major programming languages our instructors focus on. Our courses will take you much deeper, but this free lesson will give you the foundation you need to begin learning the language today.