What if I told you that you can learn Python for free? Here are some websites for learning Python that I can recommend.
Python rocks! This programming language will allow you to do a lot. If you learn it, you can create applications, build websites, work with databases, and process data collected by you or your company. Sound cool? It is! And if you can learn Python for free, well, why not give it a try?
What Is Python?
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It was established in the early 1990s by Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum. He is still one of the most important people in the global Python community and participates in strategic decisions regarding the development of this language.
Python is developed as an open-source project that’s managed by the nonprofit Python Software Foundation. This means you can use Python for free. Thousands of programmers around the world work on new Python libraries and extensions every day. Thanks to this, the language is alive, growing, expanding and certainly will not go anywhere.
Want to know more about Python libraries? My friend Dorota wrote a great article in which she lists the top 13 Python libraries. Check it out!
Fun fact: Python wasn’t named after a snake. Rossum was a huge fan of the British comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus. First aired in the 1970s, this show’s abstract humor, five crazy guys, and loads of gags and jokes have lost nothing of their genius. If you like British humor, you should check this show out. But anyways, back to the programming language.
Who Uses Python?
I could just distill this whole paragraph into one sentence: You can find Python everywhere. Most of the world's tech giants – including Google, YouTube, and Microsoft – use Python for their apps or websites. Even NASA uses it!
One of the reasons Python is so popular is that it runs on multiple platforms. You can easily use it on Windows, Linux, or macOS.
As we mentioned earlier, Python has a lot of libraries and frameworks. If you’re into web development, you can use Django or Flask for your pages. But before you use the frameworks, you should learn the basics of the underlying language. And that brings us to our look at how to learn Python for free.
4 Free Python Courses
There are tons of free Python courses. Most of them are useless. Why do I say that if they’re free? Because if you learn from a subpar course, you will develop bad habits. You will likely also become discouraged from learning Python and lose the opportunity to build a new skill.
To prevent this from happening, I’ve selected four interesting Python courses that are both free and worth your time. My selection was purely subjective, based on my opinion and experience. So, without further ado, here they are.
1. Python Basics (LearnPython.com)
I’m starting with LearnPython.com because I can really recommend them with a clear conscience. This is not a marketing trick. Python Basics is a learning track for beginners. You don't need to know anything beforehand; you'll learn everything you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of this language. We designed this track for complete newbies – people without any background in IT, who have never written a line of code in their lives.
The three courses in this track should be done in order. They contain 232 interactive exercises that build on each other. It should take you approximately 40 hours to complete the entire thing. When you do, you’ll get a certificate that you can add to your LinkedIn profile or show on Facebook.
What makes these courses different from the dozens offered on the web? Above all, they’re interactive. These aren't boring pages of text or over-the-top video clips. They are all carefully and thoughtfully developed. The online console lets you immediately try out the presented theory; you’ll learn something and then write real code using that new thing. In my opinion, there is no better way to learn. Practice makes Python perfect.
What's more, you don't need to install or configure anything. Everything is done online, so all you need is your favorite browser and an Internet connection.
This set of Python courses will not only teach you Python but will also teach you how to think like a programmer. You’ll find out if coding is for you. You will learn the basic concepts of code structure, instructions, commands, and loops. Still not convinced? See how coding skills can be applied in any industry.
- The basics of programming using Python 3.
- What variables are and how to use them in your programs.
- Control flow statements: if, if-elif, and if-elif-else.
- How to repeat statements using for and while loops.
- What Python functions are.
- How to call built-in Python functions.
- How, why, and when to write your own functions.
- Basic data structures like lists, dictionaries, and sets.
- How to work with files using Python.
Best of all, for a limited time these courses are absolutely free! All you have to do is log in and start learning. You won't pay a cent. What's more, the other courses on the LearnPython.com platform are also free. So if you master the basics of Python, you can continue learning. Maybe you’ll go into data science or learn how to work with JSON and CSV files. Again – it is all for FREE!
2. Introduction To Python Programming (Udemy.com)
Udemy offers a whole host of free Python courses. I chose this particular one, Introduction To Python Programming, for several reasons. First, it is quite logically designed. The basics are well presented. As with all the Udemy courses I know of, this one is based on watching video tutorials and lectures. If that's something for you, you’ll probably like this course. But if you get bored quickly and need something more, I recommend a more interactive approach like we discussed above.
One main reason I liked this course is the creator, Avinash Jain. He started teaching others programming in high school! It's been a few years since then; now he’s an engineering student at Berkeley. I love stories of young geniuses and, if I can, I support their development (like by recommending their courses). Avinash is interesting and has a voice and teaching style that’s nice to listen to. This is important, considering you’ll spend several hours with him.
After you complete this course, you’ll understand the main concepts of Python programming. You’ll probably still be hungry for knowledge and want to start learning more advanced commands and functions. And that’s a good thing.
- Strings, variables
- Data types
- Loops and conditions in Python
- File manipulation and functions
3. Programming for Everybody (Coursera.org)
Coursera needs no introduction. It is a brilliant platform that offers courses from many well-known universities. Programming for Everybody was created by the University of Michigan and takes a more academic approach. You’ll learn the basics of Python, but you’ll also learn more about its theory and programming philosophy. This is very interesting, as long as you have time for it.
There is a catch though. The course is free for a week – you can do it if you find the approximately 19 hours to complete it. After the free trial, it costs $49 a month. (Financial aid is available for those who qualify.) If you don’t complete the course in seven days, cancel the course before your week is up and you won’t be charged anything.
You will learn:
- How to install and use Python.
- What variables and expressions are.
- Basic Python functions.
- Loops and iteration.
This is a very good Python course; if you doubt me, maybe the 2 million people that signed up for it will convince you. Coursera offers lots of worthy Python courses; it's worth your while to find the best one for you.
Google’s Python Class (Google.com)
In the first words of the course description, it’s clear that this is something for those who already have some programming experience. And so it is. If you are an absolute beginner, you’d probably better choose another course. But if you’ve done some programming, I recommend this one.
Google's Python Class is what Google employees themselves use to learn Python. It is based on a large amount of text and YouTube video tutorials – lectures really, not a few minutes of shortcuts and exercises.
First off, you will learn how to install and set up the Python environment on your computer; you’ll need this to work on the course assignments later. Then it's time to read and listen. The materials are really good, although they require focus and attention. It's like going back to college. The entire course takes two days. You can do it!
I really like the fact that I don't have to log in anywhere or enter passwords. Everything on Google’s course is intuitive and simple. There are no special graphics or embellishments; it’s text and links to YouTube. The exercises, or rather mini-projects, are interesting and require a bit of work – and that's the point. You can't do them online; as we just mentioned, you need to have your own environment on your computer. It's nice that they show you step by step how to set it up.
- How to set up a Python environment.
- Basic Python concepts.
- Working with strings.
- Lists, sorting and tuples.
- Python’s regular expressions.
- Python utilities
I recommend Google's Python Class to everyone who has a little programming experience (a bit of Java or C will do) and wants to learn Python.
Free Python Courses. What Are You Waiting For?
I can recommend these free Python courses. I tested them myself. Of course, there are others available; the key thing is to find what works for you and start learning.
Learning Python is really worth it. If you need more convincing, see Why Learn Python in 2021? by Rebecca McKeown. You will learn why Python is chosen by professionals and why employers are looking for people with Python in their portfolio. Plus, you’ll see how much you could earn as a Python developer. You might also want to find out what people use Python for. It might surprise you.
Most of all, start learning Python today! See you in class!
Congratulations to @NASAJPL on the successful landing of the Perserverance Mars Rover.
We're excited to see that Python could play a part in the flight software for the first ever Mars drone. https://t.co/R2IxiYCAjV
— Python Software Foundation (@ThePSF) February 18, 2021