New to Python

Jan 9, 2020
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Hi their , Im new to the world of coding, I have choose python as my first language to learn.
My first question would be ,, Where is the best place to start ?

Any info would be great thanks
Mar 31, 2020
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Hi Billy,

First of all: Welcome! The world of coding is wonderful and the sky is truly the limit.

Second, a question of where to start is hard to answer. I would ask:
  • What are your preferences? What would you like to be able to code?
  • What are your goals? Do you have specific things in mind?
  • Are you going to pursue coding as a job / are you going to study it at a college/university?
My general answer to the question, where to start, would be:

Just do the simple things first. Do some text processing. Get the program to recognise your input and create different responses based on it. Try to break your code (meaning, try to input things you might not have anticipated, like a string of text where it would have expected an integer (number))! Breaking your code will teach you a lot about how any language, or computer for that matter, really needs you to specify your desired behavior down to the comma. Also it will teach you how users might be able to get very unexpected results out of your piece of code, you will want to prevent that at all times.

When people get into coding, they often think the computer will generally understand what they are trying to do and thus do not have to be absolutely precise and very specific.

My second advice would be: do not let yourself be put off when something really simple doesn't work. Even coding simple things can be hard, sometimes it is even harder than the 'difficult stuff' because you do not force yourself to put as much effort into thinking about something perceived as 'simple'. It might make you think that you cannot do it, or never will understand it. This is absolutely not the case, coding is only learned by making mistake after mistake, spending days on StackOverflow or forums like these to figure out the problem! But once you fix that problem, you will feel a massive accomplishment, be proud of your code, and never forget how to do it again!

Fixing mistakes like that will teach you so much about your mistake, about how you thought the computer would interpret your code, but how it actually really did. The inner-workings of code, languages and computers will become more clear to you over time.

Only with practice, dedication and many many many hours of debugging, making mistakes and doubting your coding career will get you there.

If you consider persuing coding as a job or studying it at a university or college: (More advanced, for when you already are at a certain level of understanding)
Try working towards understanding design patterns. Why certain designs of code work differently and might have benefits. Work with standards like SQL, JSON etc. etc. Start with the simple ones!

Try to work towards understanding Procedural Programming, Functional Programming and Object-Oriented Programming paradigms. Why do these differ, how do these differ and what would be more your kind of style? This will help you a lot when you start studying coding at a school!

Hope I helped you a bit. I have been coding since I was 11, started in Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) and worked my way through the languages. Never had a natural talent for coding, a buddy of mine did. Now I am graduating my Master's degree in Computer Science. Do not worry if for the first few weeks, months, years you will only have limited skills in coding compared to others. You might find yourself outgrowing them in the long term. Coding can be learned, with enough dedication!

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