Python is an easy-to-read and open source programming language, that has some powerful features. An interpreted language, Python does not need a compiler to run. An interpreter program can run Python on any system. It becomes faster for programmers to change the code and see the effect, but it makes it slower as well, because Python does not directly run machine code.
Python is a good programming language to learn, especially if you are a beginner. You can enroll in a Python course, but as you learn, you should have your own strategy as well to grasp the concepts. Let us discuss five strategies to learn Python here-
Tip #1: Practice Every day
There is that old saying “Practice makes perfect”, and this holds true for Python as well. Being consistent is very important when you are learning a new programming language. You should set a goal of coding something every day. Even if you find it difficult to believe, muscle memory plays an important role in programming. If you practice coding every day, it will really help develop your muscle memory. Even if it seems like a tough ask, try and code for at least half an hour each day and build up from there.
Tip #2: Writing Helps
As you start learning the basics and details of Python, a good idea is to keep taking notes. Research says that writing really helps in retaining things you learn for a long period. If you are trying to become a full-time developer, the practice of writing code will be especially beneficial.
This is because many job interviews may require you to write code on a whiteboard.
Start by working on small programs and projects. Write by hand instead of typing, because it will help you to plan how you want to code before you use the computer. You can save a lot of time if you write down first on paper, which functions and classes you will be using, and how they will interact with each other.
Tip #3: Use Interactive Python Shell
You may be learning about fundamental Python data structures ( for example, lists, strings, dictionaries) for the first time, or you may be debugging an application – either way, the interactive Python shell will be one of your best friends while you learn.
After installing Python, you can use the interactive Python shell (also referred to as a “Python REPL”). Activate the interactive Python shell by opening the command terminal and run python or python3 depending on the version you installed. You can also opt for a Python training to learn more about using Shell.
Tip #4: Enjoy Some Breaks
When you are learning, do not try to learn at a stretch without breaks. Breaks can help you to understand and assimilate mentally what you learn. According to the Pomodoro Technique, it is helpful to work for 25 minutes, take a small break, and then repeat the process. When you are learning new concepts, taking breaks is an essential part of it.
They are also important when you are trying to debug your program. If you find a bug and have no idea what you are doing wrong, just chill for a few minutes Get up, have a cup of coffee, or go for a walk, or catch up with a friend. A programming language is very exacting, and you must follow the syntax strictly, so even a missing bracket can mess up everything. Returning with fresh eyes after your break will help you to spot those tiny misses.
Tip #5: Hunt those pesky bugs
Talking about bugs, it is unavoidable that once you start writing advanced programs in Python, that you will have bugs in your code. It happens to everyone who programs. Don’t let that discourage you. Instead, give it a positive spin and think of yourself as a hunter who must hunt down those elusive bugs.
When debugging, try and have a methodological approach so that you can find where things are going south. Review your code line by line in the sequence in which it is executed and ensure that each part works.
Once you have an idea of where things might be incorrect, enter the following line of code into your script and run it:
import pdb; pdb.set_trace()
This code is the Python debugger, and it transfers you to the interactive mode. You can also go to the command line prompt and run it:
python -m pdb <my_file.py>
There are many good training courses available. Find the right one for you and begin your learning journey to become a Python programmer!