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First time installing/running Python? Be sure to check out the Start Here guide:

In here are code snippets, examples, and other ways to help teach some of the concepts and tricks in Python.

Slides are available to download here:

Suggested Learning Progression

If you're new to Python you may wonder what you should learn and when you should learn it. I recommend this order seen below. Each section below has its own folder above; each bullet point has its own file within that folder.

So if you wanted to learn more about variable assignment, go to the folder section01(basics) and open up

Section 1: General Programming Basics

  • Simple Math
  • Variable Assignment
  • Basic Syntax and Logic
  • Data Types: int, float, bool, str

Section 2: Strings

  • Identifying and using strings
  • String slicing
  • String formatting
  • String methods
  • - str.replace()
  • - str.find()
  • - str.count()
  • - str.lower()

Section 3: Conditionals

  • Logical control; changing the behavior of your programs
  • and keyword, or keyword
  • if / else structure
  • if / elif ... / else structure
  • Nesting conditionals

Section 4: Lists

  • Containers for data types
  • First In, Last Out (Stack)
  • Accessing specific list items through index (slice notation)
  • List methods
  • - list.append()
  • - list.insert()
  • - list.pop()
  • - list.extend()
  • Finding items in list (in keyword)
  • Deduplicating a list using list(set(listtodeduplicate))

Section 5: Loops

  • for loop (for each item in a list: ...)
  • enumerate()
  • zip()
  • range()
  • while loop (ask each time: is this still true?)

Section 6: Strings to Lists and Vice-Versa

  • str.join() (create a string from a list)
  • str.split() (create a list from a string)

Section 7: File handling

  • with open(filename) as textfile: ...
  • Reading text files
  • Reading CSV files
  • File handling flags (r, w, b, +)
  • Writing to files

Section 8: Python's Most Commonly Used Built-in Functions

  • - Types (used primarily for converting one type to another)
  • int()
  • float()
  • str()
  • bool()
  • list()
  • set()
  • dict()
  • - Comparison and Calculation
  • abs()
  • len()
  • max()
  • min()
  • round()
  • sum()
  • - Loop (Sequence) Control
  • enumerate()
  • range() / xrange()
  • reversed()
  • sorted()
  • zip()

Section 9: Functions

  • def keyword
  • arguments
  • default arguments
  • *args
  • **kwargs
  • return keyword
  • sequence unpacking (return and receive multiple values)
  • namespaces

Section 10: Dictionaries

  • Accessing specific dictionary items through key (looks like a slice)
  • Accessing all keys as a list using .keys()
  • Faking a sorted dictionary by using sorted() on the .keys()
  • Accessing all values as a list using .values()
  • Accessing all key, value pairs as a list using .items()
  • Adding new items through .fromkeys()
  • Checking for whether a key exists with .has_key
  • Using .get() to safely get a key's value if it exists without getting an error if not
  • Adding new items with direct assignment and .update()

Section 11: Dictionaries and Lists, together

  • Accessing specific items in a nested list
  • Accessing specific items in a nested dictionary
  • Accessing specific items in a nested list within a dictionary
  • Accessing specific items in a nested dictionary within a list
  • If you can do those four above, you can handle receiving JSON API returns

Section 12: Standard Library

  • import keyword
  • from ... import ... as ... structure
  • time
  • random
  • math
  • re (regular expressions)
  • os
  • sys
  • json

Section 13: External Libraries (Not necessarily in order; keep these in mind)

  • Installing external libraries with easy_install
  • Using easy_install to install pip (an easier / better way to install external libraries)
  • requests (web crawling made easy)
  • BeautifulSoup (parsing HTML)
  • xlrd (Read Excel .xls files)
  • xlwt (Write to Excel .xls files)
  • xlsxwriter (Write to Excel .xls and .xlsx files, with additional functionality beyond xlwt)
  • cherrypy (Simple, lightweight framework for serving web pages)
  • psycopg2 (Connect to and issue SQL commands to your postgresql database)

Section 14: Exception Handling

  • try / except syntax
  • Using multiple excepts
  • Recognizing the different error types
  • Exception, the generic exception type (use sparingly)
  • Nesting exception handling
  • try / except / else syntax

Section 15: Intermediate Concepts

  • List Comprehensions
  • Inline Conditionals
  • Generators

Section 16: Classes

  • Classes
  • Magic Methods

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