Python is an awesome language, simple, explicit, readable and powerful.
I spent a lot of time wondering about how to start learning Python, which resources use and what books I should buy.
After this and some money spent on books I want to share my experience:
First of all there’s a lot of free resources so I think it is not useful to invest too much money on books or other things.
There’s a lot of interesting Python online courses, they don’t talk about every aspect of Python but they are a good starting point.
Remember to start with Python 3 !
- Codecademy Python Track – Very useful, with a few hours of practice you can begin mastering the Python basics.
- Learnpython.org – Another interesting online course
- Learn Python the hardway – If you prefer the “hardway” both course/book.
So pick up one of this course and start learning Python.
If you prefer some good books I think this is the best to start.
- Learning Python – Awesome book, it talks deeply about every aspect of Python and sometimes it’s a little “boring”. But, personally, I can call it the Python Bible. This book costs a lot of money and it’s worth it, but often you’ll find interesting offer (50 % discount) on O’Reilly site.
- Pyvideo – A collection of PyCon talks
- Officiale Python Docs – save it in your bookmarks, it’s your reference about Python.
- Python for Data Analysis – Awesome book about Numpy and Scipy is in my to-read-list.
- Mining the Social Web – Great book about data mining, another must read book.
- Building Machine Learning Systems with Python – If you want to start with ML this is the right book for you.
- Python Pocket Reference -It’s a good pocket reference, if you can get it for 5 bucks it’s a best buy.
- Test-Driven Development with Python – I’ve read some pages, interesting but I recommend from an intermediate level.
Same as for “Learning Python”, these books cost a lot of money, but you can get them with some good discount on O’Really site.
Events and Conferences
Go to meetup.com and look for a Python meetup in your city and most of all take a ticket for the next PyCon in your country. This is my first year that I’ve participated in PyCon Italy and DjangoVillage and it was a great experience which left me wondering why I have not gone before.
Mistakes to avoid
Don’t make my mistake to buy a lot of interesting long books about Python when you’re not started to code yet.
Remember, reading docs and books is important but code is much more important ! So after studying function, generators, class and others remember to write some code to see if you understood what you have studied.
It’s time to code now !