Learning Python Programming
So you’ve decided to study Python programming and turn it into a career, huh? Do you know what to expect when learning Python programming? Are you up for the challenges? Do you know what Python programmers do beyond coding? Do you want to build a snowman? In this article, we’re going to try to help you answer those questions in the affirmative.
Don’t worry. We won’t be too technical about it. Or too jargon-ish. There’s a lot of that waiting for you once you kick off your learning and eventual career.
But wait, do you even know what Python is?
What the heck is Python? It’s a snake, no?
No, it’s not a snake. It’s definitely not going to bite you.
The Python language is a computer programming language to design programs for…well, computers. The Python language is an open-source programming language—a high level one at that—serving as a general purpose language.
In other words, the Python computer programming language is a powerful language.
The Python Program
You can use the Python program if you want to:
- Develop prototypes
- Code websites and apps
- Process images, scientific data, and others
- Get rich and conquer the world…or maybe just get rich
If you can’t believe a single programming language can do all that, just look at Google, Disney, Pinterest, and NASA. Yes, there’s Python in NASA as they study Uranus.
These companies use Python because the language is speedy and less complex that other Object-Oriented languages. And since it’s an open-source program, it’s also very popular among programmers and developers.
You can download the Python software for free, along with a massive standard library. The library will make programming tasks like file reading and editing and connecting to web servers easier.
Another good thing about the Python language is that it’s easier to debug using it. There are also advanced features that streamline your programming process.
We can’t stress enough how popular Python is nowadays. If you have a Python certification, you’re in for one helluva deal.
That’s because learning and becoming a master of Python programming opens up the door for a plethora of career opportunities.
For instance, an independent survey showed that Python is the most in-demand language for Data Scientists worldwide. Then, an IEEE study showed that Python is the number 1 popular programming language for the year 2018.
With the popularity come the various domains the language has reached. These domains include:
- Web Development and Frameworks
- Game Development
- Web Testing
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data Science
- Big Data
- Smart Devices
Jobs and Figures
Of course, as the language is dominating in many domains, more jobs and careers are available for Python programmers.
If you’re lucky and you can already add Python programming to your resume as your skill, congratulations. Here are the careers waiting for you:
- Software Engineer
- Software Developer
- Data Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Research Analyst
- Python Developer
And you’ll probably ask: HOW MUCH?
We’ll tell you this: a recent survey showed that there are at least 55,000 Python jobs in the USA that pay exponential figures.
For instance, in the US, a software developer earns around $71,557. A Senior Software Developer earns around $110,919, while a DevOps Engineer rakes in around $63,645. Being a Data Scientist will bring you around $96,674.
That’s a lot of moolah.
Future Career Outlook
But maybe you’re thinking: what if it’s just hot now? What if tomorrow isn’t so good as today? Should you pursue it?
You’re thinking for the long term—and that’s good. That’s also exactly the reason why you should learn Python programming now. The future looks bright for Python.
Based on the TIOBE Programming Community Index, Python has jumped four places during the last year. It’s at number 4 in the index now, just right behind C++. And by the way, TIOBE isn’t just another group. They’re a H U G E community that tracks the popularity of programming languages.
If that’s still not convincing, bear in mind the Stack Overflow data from 2011 to 2017.
Oh, you didn’t know? Well, they collected data from 2011 to 2017 (6 years). Data showed a firm upward move for Python’s appeal among pros. Their forecast?
PYTHON’S GONNA BE LIT.
So, maybe it’s time to learn the language. Don’t you think so?
Before Becoming a Python Developer
The things we have provided above are just to get your paws wet. However, you should decide if you really want to learn this language. There are 20 other key programming languages out there. And every one of them offers various benefits. Just like Python.
Before you kick off your journey to learning Python you have to know that your commitment has more weight than the simplicity or complexity of a language. You have to have the guts and motivation to make it big.
If you’re still thinking about another language aside from Python, you may exit this tab now. It’s not wrong to choose another one. But you can’t be half-hearted when studying a language.
But if you’ve made up your mind and still choose Python, read on.
What Programmers Do: Start with Tutorials
Well, the best place to start is education. Choose a tutorial. Finish it.
But don’t expect that a single video or online course will turn you into a monster programmer. What’s better than these tutorials is exposure to continual coding. You might want to make friends with old discipline and tag along with your buddies Patience, Commitment, and Persistence. They’re the most helpful guys (or girls, not sure) in this field.
Okay, so how do you do that? Here’s a simple guide. Your version may be a bit different, depending on your personal taste and situation.
- Read books to build your knowledge
- Do tasks that open up the way for useful packages and libraries for Python developers
- Build small apps using libraries.
- Read documentations
- Learn in-depth knowledge of the language and tools. Ask experts!
- Go to the source.
Apart from these things, there are also other general skills you need to learn. Go on.
Learn About Python Frameworks
We’ll keep it simple and short: YOU MUST LEARN PYTHON FRAMEWORKS.
But you don’t necessarily have to learn them all. You can try to learn Django, CherryPy, or Flask, depending on the project you may have to work on. These are the main ones that Python programmers use.
Aside from the frameworks, you also have to be familiar with object relational mapper (ORM) libraries. Some examples of ORM libraries are SQLAlchemy and Django ORM. They are more efficient and faster than if you wrote in SQL. If you have it in your skillset, teams will more likely choose you.
Understanding Front-End Tech
Most of the time, if you want to be a Python Developer, you have to communicate with the front-end guys. It’s important to match the server-side and the client-side. This means you have to study how front-end works, what you can and cannot do with it, how the application will look like, and more.
This isn’t really a huge requirement for aspiring Python developers. That’s because there are houses where UX teams, project/product managers, and SCRUM masters coordinate workflow. However, it’s still a huge advantage, especially for some kinds of projects.
Always Check for Changes
Another part of learning Python for a career is keeping track of all changes. You will have to do that to source the code later on.
The good thing is it’s not difficult to do it once you’re already coding for quite a while. You probably already have your GitHub and you understand the jargon. Oh, and by the way, this is usually a requirement for job offers.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Well, what did you expect? The basics of fishing and soul-searching? Hell naw. When you aspire to be a Python programmer, you need to learn about AI, machine learning, and deep learning. These fields are growing at stellar heights!
And, as we indicated above, the Python language is the best language for these fields. Just ask Google.
You will need better Communication Skills
Ah, this is a given. When you’re a programmer, you’re not going to talk only to a computer. You will have to talk to breathing, living human beings! Yikes!
In most major software development companies, programmers work together to finish projects. They create new apps, games, or systems for different clients. And they do it as a team. So you really need to communicate well.
What Python Programmers Do Beyond Coding
Okay. So now you know what Python is, why it’s popular, what jobs are in for it, and what it takes to learn it. It’s time for you to know what to expect when and after learning it.
You are not just going to sit down and write endless lines of codes all day. That’s for sure.
Planning the Project
Before you write any code, your first task is to plan the project. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the only programmer in the team or you’re part of a bigger one. It’s always the first step in any programming task.
What to expect: you will have to work with the executive team, UX designers, product managers, and the sales team. You do this because you want to ensure that you understand the parameters of the task to provide the solutions.
What to expect: Remember those libraries we talked about? You will have to use libraries of basic codes that you can modify or customize for certain purposes. These are necessary to streamline the coding process.
This way, you can achieve better and more consistent programs while also ditching some routine steps. You also increase your productivity.
Testing, Maintaining, and Debugging the Project
Writing the software is extremely important and so is checking, testing, and debugging it. This is the more tedious and sometimes frustrating part of the job. You have to ensure that the code is working correctly.
What to expect: you will have to work with teammates to see if your code doesn’t conflict with others. That sounds simple enough. But remember: it may consist of hundreds or thousands of units and tests. Programmers do unit tests to make sure that each line of code in the program works the way they want.
If you’re going to be a junior engineer, you may have to spend the better part of the day just updating programs and running tests. You’ll have to find all bugs and, well, debug.
Developing New Features
After the debugging part, you will have to update the program and develop new features. Software engineers and developers design the program updates, while programmers tinker and tweak these updates.
What to expect: a lot of meetings, planning, coding, testing, and debugging.
Working with one or more Teams
As we have said, you will often have to communicate with other people before, during, and after your coding.
What to expect: you will have to deal with people and other teams for you to reach a common goal. Most software companies use frameworks to streamline and manage the workflow. Such frameworks help the programmers break the work up into actions, which you will have to finish within “sprints”.
You will also have to attend various meetings and conferences to collaborate with other teammates. Here’s the challenge: you may have to work long hours (like, 40 hours a week) and more to meet deadlines. Sometimes it takes that long just to fix a single issue in the program, even if Python is simple and easy.
Overall, learning the Python language is a challenging nut to crack. But using it in your career is an even tougher one. The things we have said above will help you find that path towards programming success. As long as you keep your wits with you, and you have the passion for programming, Python will be fun.