How Long Does It Really Take to Learn Python?

avcontentteam 20 Apr, 2023 • 8 min read

Introduction

One of the most widely used programming languages today, Python’s popularity is rising for all good reasons. It is a beginner-friendly yet highly potential programming language used for various tasks across numerous industries, such as web development, data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In fact, as per a recent Stack Overflow survey, over 40% of developers flagged Python as their preferred language. Evidently, all budding developers are expected to be familiar with Python. If you are planning to dive into the programming language domain, Python for beginners is a great place to start. But how long does it take to learn Python, though?

Don’t worry! This blog is all about your queries. We will walk you through the history and the basics of Python programming and guide you through all the necessary steps you need to follow to learn Python. Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Python Basics

Python, a high-level programming language, was first released in 1991 by Guido van Rossum. It is an interpreted language, meaning it does not need to be compiled before execution. It is known for its comprehensible syntax, and the learning curve for Python for beginners is also relatively flatter.

History of Python

After being developed in 1991, the language was named after Monty Python, a British comedy group, as a nod to Guido van Rossum’s sense of humor. Its simplicity and readability quickly made it a favorite among programmers. Its syntax emphasizes code readability, making it an ideal choice for beginners. On the other hand, it is a well-constructed language suitable for complex software development projects, making it a highly-demanded language for experienced programmers as well.

It was designed as a collection of libraries comprising countless modules, making it easier for developers to learn Python.

Image highlighting the history of Python pointers
Source: Python Land

Over the years, Python has received numerous updates to better the existing versions, and a lot more is to come as the language has an active community of developers. Each update comes with new features and improvements. For instance, Python 2.0, launched in 2000, received added list comprehensions, a new garbage collector, and support for Unicode.

Released in 2008, Python 3.0 was another significant upgrade to the language. This version eliminated numerous features thought to be excessive or harmful and added several breaking changes, such as a new print() function.

Today, Python is one of the world’s most widely used programming languages, with a large and active community of developers.

Basic Syntax and Concepts of Python

On learning the basics of Python programming, you will observe that it has an easy-to-learn syntax similar to the English language. It uses indentation to define blocks of code. It has numerous variables (entities to which values are assigned) and a rich set of data types, including lists, tuples, dictionaries, and sets. The language also supports object-oriented, functional, and imperative programming paradigms.

How to Learn Python – Steps to Follow

Learning Python can be exciting if you do it correctly through an appropriate Python course. Here are a few steps to help you start with Python basics. Read on and follow through the steps to begin coding.

Setting Up the Development Environment

  1. To learn Python, you need to set up your development environment. First, you will need to install the Python interpreter on your computer. You can download it from here.
  2. Install a code editor that allows you to write and edit code. Some examples of code editors include Visual Studio, PyCharm, etc. You can also use an online environment like Google Colab or Jupyter Notebook.
  3. Install all necessary packages and libraries like Pandas (for data analysis), NumPy (for computing and numeric operations), and many more.
  4. Test your installations. After installing all necessary dependencies, create a redundant Python code to see if it works correctly. For example, you can use the print(“Hello World”) command and see if it gets executed.

Resources to Learn Python

If you are still wondering how to learn Python before starting the practical part of the process, you can start with the basics of Python programming via various resources, such as books, online courses, tutorials, and coding boot camps. “Python Crash Course” by Eric Matthes and “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python” by Al Sweigart are two well-known Python books. You can also refer to our article here with the best-curated list of books for data science enthusiasts. Comprehensive Python classes are available online on platforms like Analytics Vidhya. These courses cover everything from the fundamentals to more complex ideas.

Strategies to Learn Python

After gaining Python basics and syntax knowledge, you must practice and gain hands-on experience. One effective way is to work on real-world projects, such as building a web application or a Python machine learning model. You can also practice coding exercises and challenges on HackerRank and LeetCode. Joining online communities and forums such as Reddit and Stack Overflow can also help you learn Python.

Factors Affecting the Learning Duration

Learning a new programming language requires a significant investment of time and effort. Talking about Python, how long does it take to learn Python basics, and moving on to coding can vary depending on several factors.

These include previous coding experience, time and effort invested, etc. We will now explore these factors in more detail and discuss how they can affect the time it takes to learn Python.

Learner’s Background and Previous Coding Experience

Your background and previous coding experience can affect the time it takes to learn Python. If you have experience with other programming languages, such as Java or C++, you may find it easier to learn Python. On the other hand, if you have no coding experience, it may take longer to learn Python for beginners.

Time and Effort Invested in Learning Python

Your time and effort in learning Python can also affect the duration. Those who spend more time practicing coding and working on projects will likely learn Python faster than those who only study the theory. If you dedicate a few hours daily to learning Python and practicing coding, you can learn it faster than someone who only invests a few hours weekly.

Learner’s Learning Style

Everyone has a different learning style, which can affect the time it takes to learn Python. Some people learn better through hands-on experience, while others prefer reading books or watching videos. Identifying your learning style and adopting the appropriate resources and strategies can significantly affect how long it takes to learn Python.

Availability of Learning Resources

The availability of learning resources can also affect the learning duration. You can learn Python faster if you have access to high-quality resources such as books, a Python course, and tutorials. On the other hand, if you have limited resources, it may take longer to learn Python.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?

How long it takes to learn Python is something a lot of you may have wondered about. While learning the fundamentals of Python can be accomplished in a matter of weeks, it can take months or even years of consistent practice to become an expert in the language. We’ll look at the various Python skill levels and how long it typically takes to master them.

Basic Understanding of Python: 1-2 Weeks

With dedication and focus, you can achieve a basic understanding of Python in just 1-2 weeks. This includes learning Python’s basic syntax, data types, and control structures. This knowledge lets you write simple, logic-based Python programs and solve fundamental coding problems. If you are a beginner, you can enroll in a beginner Python course to see how the syntax works.

Intermediate Level: 2-6 Months

You need to invest more time and effort to reach an intermediate level in Python. This includes learning advanced topics like object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, and libraries like NumPy, Sklearn, and Pandas. With this knowledge, you can build more complex applications involving more significant volumes of data, and data visualization and solve more advanced coding problems.

Advanced Level: 6 Months to 2 Years

To become an expert in Python, you must invest at least six months to 2 years of dedicated effort. Python has several advanced data structures you should master, such as lists, tuples, dictionaries, and sets. Learn how to manipulate and iterate through these data structures. This also includes mastering advanced topics such as web development, Python machine learning, data analysis, and artificial intelligence. With this knowledge, you can build sophisticated applications for commercial use. You can also enroll in a more advanced Python course or courses catering to specific Python packages and libraries like Pandas.

Factors that May Shorten or Lengthen the Duration

Several factors can affect how long it takes to learn Python. Depending on their background, learning style, and effort invested, some learners may find it easier to learn Python than others. Additionally, the availability of resources and the learner’s access to quality education and mentorship can also play a role in the learning duration. Finally, the project’s or application’s complexity can also affect the duration.

Tips to Learn Python Faster

There are various suggestions and methods to learn Python quickly and successfully. In this section, you will get some helpful advice on how to learn Python more quickly.

Practice Coding Regularly

The best way to learn Python is by practicing coding regularly. This includes solving coding challenges, working on real-world projects, and experimenting with new libraries and frameworks daily. Even if it is only 20-25 minutes, make it a habit to work on code daily. Regular coding practice helps reinforce concepts and develop a coding mindset.

Join Online Communities or Forums

Participating in online forums or communities like Reddit and Stack Overflow can be beneficial for learning Python. Learners can communicate with seasoned Python programmers in these forums, ask them questions, and receive comments on their work. Additionally, it can support students’ continued engagement and motivation in their educational endeavors.

Attend Coding Boot Camps or Workshops

Attending coding boot camps, seminars, and workshops is an excellent way to learn and practice Python. They provide an immersive learning environment that blends academic study with practical application. Additionally, they often offer career guidance and mentoring, which is helpful for students who want to pursue a profession in Python programming.

Learn from Mistakes

Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of being discouraged by mistakes, learners should embrace them as opportunities to learn and improve. By analyzing their mistakes and figuring out what went wrong, learners can develop a deeper understanding of Python and improve their coding skills.

Career Opportunities for Python Programmers

Python programmers are required in various domains, including web development: data analytics, Python machine learning automation, and many more.

As a result, developers who are proficient in Python programming have a wide range of job options. Many industries hire Python programmers, including technology, finance, healthcare, etc.

Moreover, with machine learning and artificial intelligence growing, the demand for Python developers has only increased. Some of the job roles available for Python developers include-

  1. Python Developer
  2. Data Scientist
  3. Python Machine Learning Engineer
  4. Web Developer
  5. Software Engineer

Not just in terms of opportunities, Python programming is also highly lucrative when it comes to salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Python developer in the United States is $112,000 annually. On the other hand, a Python developer in India earns over INR 8,00,000 annually. The salaries may vary based on the job role, location, and experience.

Conclusion

Python is an essential programming language in today’s tech world, and learning it can open up several career opportunities. We hope this blog helped you traverse all the basic concepts and syntax you need to know before starting with Python programming. It also discussed a realistic timeline and answered your questions about how long it takes to learn Python.

Analytics Vidhya (AV) is an excellent platform if you want to learn more about Python programming. AV is an all-in-one platform for those who seek knowledge and career guidance in Python, machine learning, artificial intelligence, programming, and data science. With an agile community of developers and industry experts, AV offers easy-to-comprehend learning materials, blogs, video tutorials, and courses. The platform is designed to equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a data and tech-related career.

avcontentteam 20 Apr 2023

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