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How to Learn to Program using Python

Updated on February 20, 2013

Learn Python

If you're new to programming and want to learn, Python is a good language to start with. Python is easy to learn and the syntax is easy to read and to understand. It is cross-platform so you can begin coding and your apps should run the same on Windows, Linux or even OSX. There are many web frameworks including Django, Flask, and Cherrypy so you can create web apps to run in your browser.

There are many resources available for free on the internet to get you started learning Python and creating your next awesome app.

Learn Python the Hard Way

Learn Python the Hard Way is a good introduction into programming using Python as the language. It's one of the best books for learning Python and is available in an ebook form but you can read it all online for free. It gives you examples and gets you coding right at the beginning. You will learn Python by actually writing Python code.

If you would rather hear someone explain it to you rather than reading online you can download the videos for the course at Udemy.

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist is an introduction to computer science and programming using Python. For the beginner, this will cover the basics and important concepts of computer programming.

Dive Into Python

If you have experience in another programming language and want to learn Python, Dive Into Python might be a good book to go through. This book, also available for free online, is directed more at people with some programming knowledge. But it will teach you the basic concepts of the Python programming language.

Code Academy

If you want a more interactive experience, Codeacademy is an online course with interactive lessons. You can test your code right in the browser and even earn badges as you progress in your course. Codeacademy offers Python courses as well as courses in other languages like JavScript and Ruby.


CheckIO is a game where you solve tasks using Python to program functions. It claims to be for beginners as well as experts in Python programming. Practicing your skills and learn new ones while playing a game sounds like a really neat idea.


Google uses Python for YouTube and many other of their web apps. They've also released a free online course for anyone wanting to learn Python. The course has lots of written material, exercises and video lectures to guide you through the basics of learning the language.

Go Learn Now!

After following through one of the above courses, browse through some open source Python apps on Github and see how real world code is written. You'll learn a lot from reading other people's code too.

With so many ways to learn for free on the internet you really have no reason that you can't learn Python. Just get to coding. If you have already learned Python, how did you learn? Did you go through an online book or course? Or did you just start reading other people's code and fiddling with your own code?

What do you think is the best way to learn Python?

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