Sep 24, 2012

How difficult is it to learn Python?

Jason Hihn

Python programming is no harder than learning programming in general. Python for its part has a very simple syntax with a few rules, and the code as a result if generally very easy to read. You will spend far more time learning libraries than thr language itself.


Python is also a state of mind. They coined the term "pythonic" to represent lines of code that solve problems in a way that resembles python's "mentality". The mentality of python is simple: simplicity. If you find yourself doing a lot of convoluted operations, this is generally al sign that "you're doing it wrong" and there is a more efficient way in python. For instance:


for (int i=0;i<10, i++)


 printf("%d\n", i);



Whereas in python (intro level):

for i in range(10):

   print i


Some I feature I really love, that simplfies programming immensely, are list comprehensions:

real_items = [x for x in some_list if x is not None]

processed_items_result = [process(item) for item in real_items]

(I'll leave you to figure out what these mean)


In short, if you're just starting its a great language because it is probably the easiest.


Here's an article with info about learning Python for free. You might find it useful.

Learn Python Programming for Free!

"It was brought to my recent attention that our friends over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have a site dedicated to offering free lecture notes, exams, and videos – yes, free – without any registration. You can check it out here.

Pythons is one of the more popular programming languages, with a huge support base. A very effective tool for technical artists looking to maximize what they can get out of Maya (now supported), rather than just using MEL, and also be able to transition to other areas of expertise. Python is a relatively easy program to learn, especially for those with a scripting/programming background (for me on the other hand, just a little while longer)."
Christopher Nerney



Your question probably is best answered by a programmer familiar with Python as well as other languages. "Difficulty" is both subjective and relative, however, so I'd say the only real way to find out difficult Python is for you to learn is to try learning it. There are many places online where you could start. Here are four:


The Python Tutorial -- From the official Python site


TryPython -- A website that features an interactive tutorial, so you can actually try coding in Python on the site without installing an interpreter. Requires Microsoft Silverlight.


LearnPython -- Another website with an interpreter, allowing you to practice coding on the site. Includes tutorials and programming assignments for putting your knowledge to the test.


Learn Python the Hard Way -- An online book (with a less-than-inviting title). You also can buy a paper version.





It can be challenging, especially for people coming from a MS programing environment, but it certainly isn't impossible.  Check this website out to find out more about learning Python.  Hope you find it helpful.  



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