Learning Python.. (I just dont get it)

+1 Michael Marshall · January 1, 2015
Hi all,

Very new to Programming. thought i would give Python a go. really wanted to learn how to program my own apps/small games but i think im living in dream land.

i started to go through the tutorials on this site, which has been the best so far, but i just dont understand it.
to me it just feels like im using another text editor like word.

an example of my confusion is:

Varibles.  Tuna = anything                   a=b             Bread = Butter

Why not just type "Anything" or "B" or "Butter"???

and how does all this make a program once learned?  i no im jumping the gun abit as ive only just started the tutorials but im starting to forget all this stuff is teaching me already but i dont see how its important.

PLEASE dont get me wrong, i no its very important and i admire you guys that have taken it in. but should i just give up now?

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0 Snoopy_ Dog · January 11, 2015

   Relax, learning to program is difficult for most people.  I am trying to learn Python too, and I am having a hard time of it too, and I have used other languages, so I am not new to programming.

   When I want to learn something technical I use multiple resources.  Videos whet my appetite, but books are usually where I gain the most insight.  Asking questions fill in the gaps.  You have to write code, use code, in order to learn programming.  It's like math, you have to use it to learn it.  At least it is that way for me.   Also, I have to work on specific problems and solutions.  At the end of each chapter in good books, usually there are a set of exercises with solutions, that help you gain a better understanding of the chapter you just read.

   There are a lot of resources on the internet that can help you, here are some of what I am using:

   1.  I personally am sticking with Python 2, I can later learn 3 if I need it or determine it's better.

   2.  Here is a free book online that I find very useful:  http://www.diveintopython.net/

   3.  Here is a a few reference/cheat-sheets that may help you:

    4.  I would also look around for some exercises and solutions.  These will help you have a desire, and sense of accomplishment to actually write a program.

   5.  These forums and python.org can help answer you questions.

   6.  Lastly, if your goal is to become a programmer, find an opensource project that uses python.  You can read through bug reports, see how they are patched, see questions and answers, etc...  join in and write patches and contribute.  Use https://openhatch.org/ to locate python specific projects.

   I have a feeling, after a few weeks, this will look easier to you.  And you will be glad you persisted.

   I hope to see you at PyCon 2015 Montreal in April!  

Good luck,

0 Patricia Ghann · January 9, 2015
Please don't give up. I also just got started with python. 
You can create a variable by naming the variable  and assigning it values or  elements if you want
For  example
>>> tuna = [1,2,3,4]
When you press enter tuna is created and contains the numbers 1 to 4
>>>tuna [1] will give you the value 2
>>> tuna.append(5)
Will  add the element 5 to your tuna elements so you tuna now contains the element 1 to 5
tuna[:] and press enter will give you all the elements in tuna.

Please, please don't give.
0 Chris Nelson · January 8, 2015
Hey you are right on track!

However I might start a new thread for any more questions after this!

I would continue with Python 3. Although 2.7 is widely used. They are already talking about Python 4. Mean if you learn 2.7 you would be nearly 2 releases behind. Use some other video sources if you want to. But most of the Python 2 videos, should work with Python 3 as well.

As for the modules. I would suggest getting PyCharm. In PyCharm when you import a module, it will try to help you with things you get do with that module for example..

from tkinter import *
root = Tk()
root.title("My Window")
root.##PyCharm will try to give me a list of options I can use on root ##

What you are referring to is the dot notation. My example above is the same thing. However, it all depends on what module you are importing and using. For example if you import the time module

import time
##Time, is the module, sleep is a command to stop the program on that line for 2 seconds.

You can only learn these by using them. And even then I am sure some people still need to look up exactly what you can call with them.

Hope that helps!
0 Michael Marshall · January 8, 2015
Sooo, ive got up to about the "Web Crawler" videos.
As usual i understand most of it but cant remember half of it haha.

Im thinking maybe i should download Python2?
Seems to me im going to be missing out on basic things thats in the Python2 section like 'Input' and stuff like that.

Also is it ok to ask a few question about the Python videos insted of making a new thread?

A few things i dont understand, like when you call a MODULE is it (Example: buckys favourite 'beautifulsoup4' Excuse my terminology, im not very good at remembering yet lol)

How do you no what codes come with it?

And when bucky does things like:

"Tuna.Something" How does he no 'Something' exists? Im guessing Tuna is a Varible and something is an operation of some sort but im not sure where the operation is comeing from.

I think he started useing these in the videos where you get text from internet or images/links and stuff.
0 Chris Nelson · January 3, 2015
Glad to hear that.

I wouldn't worry if you can't memorize everything.. I think most programmers, have to go back and look up syntax from time to time. I think with anything in life, if you can gain an UNDERSTANDING of how it actually works, the vocabulary becomes much less important.
0 Michael Marshall · January 3, 2015
A week.... Dang, you learn fast haha.
I started again yesterday from scratch (With dedication this time). Watch the videos + tried it out for about an hour... Only got up to "installing pycharm" then i stopped. Il give it a good old bash tonight though as i have no work tomorrow :)
But this time i understood everything as i was typeing the code into a program on my android and running it. Think its a little emulator or something but still it allows me to try the code while watching bucky on my computer. Nothing difficult at the moment just trying to remember the codes lol.
0 Chris Nelson · January 2, 2015
Hey Michael,
I am in the same boat. I tried to learn python when I was a teenager.. I got about as far as print 'hello world!' But I have been revisiting it because I made a commitment to not just sit on the computer and accomplish nothing, but actually learn something of use.

I find Bucky's tutorials really good. Also, codeacademy.com has helped, but some of those lessons are taught with syntax prior to python 3, and it has changed a little bit.

Another gentlemen on YouTube, Richard White.. He is a computer science teacher and he only has about 4 or 5 python videos. However they were immensely helpful for me early on.

The best way is to just watch the videos and try to code at the same time. You really need to be writing the code to understand it. Also for me personally, when I am trying to code something and I can't get it to work the way I want, I sit and talk it out loud in the most logical way possible.

 i.e, I say.. Hey .. 'If my score is less than 10, I want the computer to give me 1 point for every correct answer. I also want it to display my new score if I answer correct.. When my score is more than 10, then I  want the game to be over. Which in python would look something like..

my_score = 0
while my_score < 10:
  if user_answer == correct_answer:
       my_score += 1
       print ('Your new score is {}' .format(my_score))
       print ('Sorry that is not the correct answer!')


I have only been learning for just over a week, and it will all come together if you stick with it! 

Good luck and happy New Year!
0 Michael Marshall · January 2, 2015
Yeah, i installed Python 3 something. Didnt no if i had to learn the first python section first or not, then the second section.

il go back to the Python3 section right now then haha. cheers for your replies everyone. im going to give another bash at these videos right now!
0 Ryan Xu · January 2, 2015
If you installed python 3. something, use python 3, otherwise, use python
0 Michael Marshall · January 2, 2015
I have a habit of starting something and never finishing it. I REALLY want python to be something i can stick to and enjoy.

I totally agree, Buckys tutorials are by far the best ive followed. Ive started ready a few books and they went straight over the top of my head but with these tutorials ive managed to take the information in (even if i do quickly forget it)
Just need to stick with the videos and hope i start to understand how programs are formed with them.

Quick question.... What videos should i start watching for python.
Python or python 3? I think i started with python3 then when back to the original python section. (Another reason i may not be getting it haha)
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