Python is a programming language that’s widely favored by beginners. It’s no wonder, really. Python has a simple syntax which many people say resembles English, so it’s easy to read and write. In addition, Python is used for a wide array of purposes, from data science to web development.
Once you master the fundamentals, you’ll be in a good position to explore a range of different topics. However, before you go on to build a large-scale data analysis project or a complex web server with Python, you’ll need to master the basics of the language.
Thanks to Python’s simple syntax, learning the basics is not difficult, if you invest the right amount of time and energy. All you need is a guide to help you get started. To help you out on your journey to learning Python, we’ve prepared a list of tutorials on beginner Python concepts. Let’s dive into a few of the main Python topics you should learn.
Working with Strings
Strings allow you to represent text-based data in your code. Because humans mainly use text to communicate, strings are an essential part of coding.
In this guide, we’ve prepared a list of string methods you can use to work with strings. We cover using the uppercase() and lowercase() methods, the len() method, and checking the cases in which the characters in a string appear.
When you’re working with a string, you may want to split it up into different parts. In this tutorial, we discuss how to split up a string using indexing.
In addition to splitting up a string into different parts, you may want to change part of a string. For instance, you may want to replace part of a string with the value stored in a variable. You can do so using str.format(), percentage formatting, or f strings.
Program Flow and Loops
In programming, “flow” refers to the order in which your code is executed. There are several ways in which you can control the flow of a program which helps you choose what lines of code should be run, and when.
“if” statements allow you to run a block of code only when a specific condition is met. You can use an “elif” statement to check for multiple conditions, and an “else” statement to run a specific block of code if no specified condition is met.
Loops allow you to automate repetitive operations in your code. In Python, you can use a “for” loop to run a block of code for a set number of times.
In this guide, we discuss how to use the try/except block to debug your code. This block of code allows you to test lines of code to ensure it functions correctly and raise a customized error message if there is a problem in your code.
Lists and Dictionaries
Lists allow you to store multiple similar values in the same variable, and dictionaries help you store similar values in a unique key-value structure. These data structures are crucial to working with data in Python.
Lists allow you to store many different values in a variable, even if those values have different data types. Lists allow you to store pieces of data that belong together and makes it easy for you to perform operations on multiple values at the same time with a loop.
The append(), insert(), and extend() functions allow you to add items to a list in Python. append() adds an item to the end of a list, insert() adds an item to a list at a specific point in the list, and extend() adds an entire list to the end of another list.
When you’re working with dictionaries, you may want to perform an action on all the keys or values in that dictionary. For instance, you may want to print out a list of keys in a dictionary. To do so, you can use a for loop alongside the keys(), values(), and items() methods.
All of these beginner tutorials include interactive Repl.its that you can use to experiment with these Python concepts.
Have you already mastered most of the concepts above? That’s great -- you’re one step closer to becoming a Python master. Here are a few more advanced tutorials to help you along your journey:
- Create a queue and deque
- Print without a new line
- Read a file
- Break and continue statements
- Remove duplicate items from a list
As you master more Python concepts, you’ll be able to build more and more impressive applications. From analyzing and cleaning datasets to building games, the sky's the limit. But, of course, your learning will never really be over. That’s the fun part about programming: there’s always more you can do and learn.
We’ve only covered a few Python concepts in this article. If you’re looking to learn more about Python, check out the full beginner’s guide to learning Python on the Career Karma blog.
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