Python Learning Path

Authors: @Trent_Barlow, @Kyle_nilsen, @Millie_K_B

Introduction
Python is an extremely versatile programming language that is used to create, automate, and perform different processes. These processes can range from simple tasks, such as displaying a message, to complex projects, like a workflow full of functions that will update hundreds of thousands of records. It can add two numbers together and store the result, or scrape the occurrences of a phrase on all social media platforms and perform an analysis on what context the phrase most frequently appears. Because it is so versatile, all groups of people can find meaningful use of Python.

How This Page Works
The purpose of this Learning Path is to train you to a level sufficient to begin solving the beginner-level challenges on the TechHub main.

  • First, follow the instructions under Technology Access to download Python and Visual Studio Code, which is what you will use to write your code.
  • Then, take some time to look through the resources provided under Background Learning. These modules will teach you the basic skills you’ll need to code in Python.
  • Next, work through the Intro Challenges section by following the provided links to Code Academy and completing the associated challenges to test your skills.
  • After completing these steps, you’ll be ready to tackle the Additional Challenges found on the TechHub website! We’ve listed them under Continue the Learning Journey in difficulty order to help you develop your skills.
  • If you need help along the way, refer to the Background Learning links or the Additional Resources links for some direction. Good luck!

Background Learning
Click here for instructions to download Python for PC. Once you have the followed the instructions in the doc above, download this Python file and run it in Visual Studio Code, which you now have downloaded! It will download useful packages you will be using throughout your Python journey.

Click here for iInstructions to download Python for Mac. Once you have the followed the instructions in the doc above, download this Python file and run it in Visual Studio Code, which you now have downloaded! It will download useful packages you will be using throughout your Python journey.

The following four links will direct you to the Code Academy resources needed to learn basic Python skills and be prepared to complete the Intro Challenges. These links are also helpful to have open in a separate tab as you are working on challenges as a resource.

If you would like to complete all four of the modules before moving on to the Intro Challenges, you may. However, we recommend working through the Intro Challenges alongside the Code Academy modules so that you can practice each skill as you learn it.

Intro Challenges
These challenges are meant to teach and train you, readying you for challenges that require multiple skills to solve. We recommend completing them in order, as occasionally a later challenge may borrow from an earlier one. The challenges are listed alongside links to Code Academy that walk you through the skills needed to complete each challenge.

Basics, Lists, Dictionaries
Logic, Control Flow, Loops, Filtering
Functions, NumPy
Packages
Pandas
Matplotlib

TechHub Challenges
This section contains the rest of the Python challenges on the TechHub website, organized by anticipated difficulty, from easiest to hardest. We recommend completing challenges in order, but if you see a challenge listed that focuses on specific skills you want to develop more, try it out!

Beginner

These challenges will help you practice the skills you learned from the Intro Challenges. We’ll use data frames with the pandas package, practice logic and control flow (both in and out of functions), and learn about other Python packages, such as random and tkinter. Challenge 88 is the most complex of these challenges. If you’re feeling confident after the intro challenges, try that challenge first.

112|PYTHON – Time Value of Money with Numpy - casting variables, fstrings, numpy, simple math
84|PYTHON – First Quarter Crisis - pandas, simple math, if/else
65|PYTHON – Investment Investigator - pandas, for loops, f strings, simple math, if/else, loc & iloc
137|PYTHON – Sooper Looper - pandas, numpy, functions, if/else, simple math
88|PYTHON – Mad Libs Help - pandas, random, list comprehensions, functions, while loops, if/else

Intermediate

This is where the fun begins! These challenges focus on more complex functions and control flows, along with a basic introduction to web scraping, statistical analysis, RegEx, and data visualization.

37|PYTHON – Move Those Files - functions, while loops, for loops, if/else
29|PYTHON – Functional Taxation - functions, if/else, indexing
64|PYTHON – Bitcoin vs. S&P 500 with Matplotlib Basics - pandas, matplot
128|PYTHON – Paycheck Power - web scraping, pandas, matplotlib, for loops
66|PYTHON – Data Drifters - pandas, dictionaries, for loops, if/else, regex

Additional Learning

Certifications

Once you’ve built your skills up, try out the Python Institute’s various certifications at this link. More information about Python certifications coming soon!

Additional External Resources

Here are some resources you might want to reference while completing challenges:

PyPI - Python Package Index for exploring other Python packages
RegExOne - Introduction to RegEx guide to RegEx
Real Python - answers to Python questions from real people
Decoding Web - Python - answers to Python questions from real people
Stack Overflow - answers to Python questions from real people