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Should I Learn Python?

Should I Learn Python?

This is my (Samuel Focht's) story, the path of a middle-aged man finding python from data analysis to trading stocks to YouTuber to Course Creator.

I started learning python at 36 years old.  I’m an example that anyone can learn python.  I was in the middle of my life.  I knew there was more out there for me to do.  I was reading an article and was introduced to Big Data. The most interesting part of the article was this programming language that I had never heard of called “Python”.  It sounded so funny. I started to look into python and I was hooked.

After doing some tutorials and learning some basics, I found out that python has these programs that other programmers have written called modules.  These modules are like specialty tools with pre-written code built so you can use them for more specific tasks.  I have always loved patterns and ratios.  When I found that I could analyze data and research stock data it was like a dream coming true.

Let’s talk more about modules for a second.  

What do the modules represent?  

They represent community.  The python modules are building blocks that other programmers have written for you to use to save time and build upon or make bigger blocks.  That is what I think makes Python stand out is its community.  There are global conferences and even a process to change Python if you have a suggestion to make python better.  At Python’s inception it was created by its creator Guido van Rossum. It was an open project to get input from others to make it better.  This is what I want to create here at codedamn.  An open community for support and creativity.

You can find plenty of content to learn to program online.  The only problem is you are alone. I was alone.  I would get stuck on a problem, sometimes for weeks. So, this course takes everything I have learned and worked through all the pitfalls that I experienced in order to protect you from them and have the best experience possible.

I tried to learn another programming language 26 years ago.  I loved the idea but I just couldn’t grasp the concept. Python is a different type of language. You can create a variable and do something with it on just 2 lines of code.  I remember when I printed my first output to the screen I was mesmerized.  The first course that I created is for a complete beginner with zero programming experience. It was created out of my 7 years of teaching python.  This course is the culmination of all of those things in one place.  This is what I have found to be the best way for a student to learn, understand and then be able to replicate.

What is python?  

Python is a high level interpreted object-oriented general purpose programming language.  Now I’m going to tell you what all that means. Python was created to fill gaps that other languages in the 1980’s had. Python is 30 years old this year.  Python took the best parts from other languages. High level means that it is many layers from the machine language that is running the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Interpreted means that python runs line by line and only pauses if it is told to so or crashes.  Object-oriented just means the stuff (variables and functions) created are designed to be easily used and manipulated.

General purpose is straight forward.  The first programming languages were designed to do specific tasks.  This is what sets python apart.  Like I mentioned earlier about the modules.  The modules are used for specific types of tasks.  I already told you that I use python for the stock market and data analysis.  Python users have created a vast number of modules for a wide variety of disciplines. Here are just a few of the discipline’s python can be used:

  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Web Development
  • Data Visualization
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Game Development
  • Web Scraping
  • Image Recognition

These are just to name a few. This is where python begins to separate itself from the other languages.  The amount of sharing that happens is unreal.  Most of these modules in connection with these disciplines started out as a passion project then turned into something huge with countless people using them every day.

Now that I have shared some of the areas of the technology universe that python touches, let’s talk about some fear or reluctance to learn to program in python.  I mentioned earlier about the trouble and the reason why I started teaching python.  My goal is to destroy any and all of your fears about learning to program.  I will teach you python.  I have been doing this a long time.  I have been teaching for 30 years.  You are likely to hit a wall in the process. I will get you over, around, or under the wall.

Should I learn python?

YES. When I started to learn programming, I began to find that I was becoming a better problem solver.  Not just in programming.  It was overflowing into my personal life because I was flexing these muscles and I couldn’t just contain them to programming.  I also found that my level of creativity increased.  At first you think programming is technical, cold, and methodical.  I couldn’t disagree more.  You are taking these very basic instructions and sometimes creating some of the most extravagant creations on the planet.  That is the definition of creativity.  First you have to dream and then envision it.  This couldn’t be farther from technical, cold, and methodical.  I am so excited when I learn something new or find a better way to perform a process.

Conclusion

I truly hope I have been able to convince you into taking a look at python.  Python touches every part of technology.  I hope to see you in my python accelerator/cohort program I'm running. And even more important, I hope you will partake in your own python journey. All the best!

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