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How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?

What is Python?

How long does it take to learn Python? This question is often asked by IT non-programmers, students, and novice programmers who do not know Python programming but want to learn the language. Let’s first discuss what it’s all about.

Python is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted programming language with dynamic semantics. It was developed in the late 1980s by Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum while he was working at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Python’s implementation began in December 1989 and its version 0.9.0 was first published in February 1991. Version 1.0 was released in January 1994, and the latest version 3.7.3 was released on March 25, 2019.

From its conception in the 80s up to this day, Python went through updates and is used by a lot of software programmers. But how long does it take to learn Python programming? In education, the easy-to-read syntax of Python is the answer to the question that many college students ask themselves on their first learning experience of the language. Python has become the top programming language that introduced college students to computer science. It is also used as one of the primary languages for teaching programming to non-computer science majors and working professionals with no programming experience.

The simple, readable, and easy-to-learn syntax of Python that reduces the cost of program maintenance is the main reason why it consistently ranks in the top five popular programming languages in the software development industry.

IEEE Spectrum gave Python a 100% ranking in its fifth annual ranking of the top programming languages in the world in July 2018. The TIOBE Index for April 2019 rated Python with an 8.166% rating and a number four position for the most popular programming language. Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey shows that Python placed fourth with 41.7% as the most popular programming and scripting language.

What is Python used for?
Aside from asking, “how long does it take to learn Python?,” the people who want to learn this language also ask themselves, “what is Python used for?”. The major uses of Python are in:

  • Software development.
  • Web development including web frameworks, and Internet development.
  • Data science including machine learning, data analysis, and data visualization.
  • Scientific and numeric applications.
  • Education.
  • Desktop GUIs.
  • Business applications.

How long does it take to learn Python?

When you ask yourself, “how long does it take to learn Python?”, the answer will depend on your learning comprehension pace which refers to your progression rate on absorbing all the information you will learn and apply in practice. Python is not difficult to learn because it has a steady learning curve compared to other programming languages with a steep learning curve. The steady learning curve of Python is based on its coherent and understandable syntax so that beginners are able to maintain concentration in learning the concepts and paradigms of basic programming.

The learning curve process is also based on other factors such as if you have taken computer science or related courses, or no IT-related courses at all, a knowledge of basic programming concepts or no knowledge, an inclination for technical information, etc.

For example, if you’re a neophyte programmer with Python as the first language you’re learning, devoting several hours a day for at least one month will give you an effective grasp of the language and will give you the ability to use it for basic programming tasks. But if you have previous programming language knowledge such as in C++, then the learning process will be much faster for you.

For some people, the learning duration for Python, including its application in practice, can take several days or weeks, while for others it can take several months. It really all depends on your comprehension and how dedicated you are in devoting time and effort to learn the language. However, there are several tips and online resources that you can use to help make it easier and faster for you to learn Python.

The basic tips on how to learn Python:

  • Devote time for learning – Make sure to allot a specific schedule for learning and stay committed to that schedule whether you’re a full-time student or a working professional. If you have limited time due to studies or work, take an online tutorial course that allows you to pace your learning so you can focus on doing the assignments, tests, and projects for the course without sacrificing time off your work or studies.
  • Choose a learning medium – You can take a course in a formal classroom setting or through online tutorials formatted in several modules. The latest trends suggest that interactive learning is recommended for learning Python. The benefits of an interactive course are: (a) the chance to directly write code in your browser based on specific instructions; (b) you’ll receive regular feedback from your instructor about your written code; and (c) interactive courses build your knowledge in a streamlined method because they start simple and then transition to advance concepts.
  • Take down notes – You should take down notes as you work through your learning course. Taking down notes enables you to pause and understand every syntax and allow you to backtrack to any line of code that could be important in error tracking and in successfully compiling your program. Note taking will also help you in long-term knowledge retention and give you an important resource you can refer to when you encounter errors or bugs.
  • Connect with other beginnersNetworking with other novice programmers enables you to share tips and tricks as you learn from each other. There are several ways you can connect with other learners: (a) online networking by joining chat boards and community forums; (b) join online developer groups and attend their scheduled physical meet-ups; and (c) once you have joined a forum or group, ask questions from them about any issues or problems in your code and other information that will help you.
  • Start writing your programsPractice your programming skills by writing your own program. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because this is part of your learning process; you learn from your mistakes and prevent them the next time you create another program. Once you fully comprehend the syntax and language features of Python, you will be capable of writing simple blocks of code that are functional.

Some of the best online learning resources:

  • The Python Tutorial – This includes all the tutorial basics and is recommended for beginners who need a quick start guide.
  • Real Python – A repository of free and comprehensive Python tutorials that range from the basics up to advanced topics like web development and data visualization.
  • Python for Beginners – The PythonGuru.com tutorial is concentrated for beginners and covers many in-depth concepts.
  • Python Basics – An introductory tutorial that includes exercises and also included lessons about object-oriented programming.
  • LearnPython.org – This is an interactive tutorial and the site allows you to go through your lessons online without installing Python in your computer.

A comprehensive list of the leading online resources for beginners is available at Python-Guide.org and at Stackify Learn Python Tutorials.

Conclusion
As we previously mentioned, the duration on how long does it take to learn Python programming will really depend on you regardless if you have prior or no knowledge of programming. It all boils down with your level of commitment, time, and patience you can give to the learning process, and how you can effectively apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in practical work.

Since we mentioned about practical work in Python, did you know that you can hire and build a remote team of software developers by offshoring them from Full Scale? Contact us to know more about how an offshoring partnership with us can fulfill your plans to have your own software development team.