best online resources for learning python

Introduction

Python is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages today. It is free, open source and used across many industries for tasks like data science, machine learning, web development, automation and more. With its simple yet powerful syntax, Python has a very low barrier to entry and is great for beginners looking to learn programming.

Given its popularity and widespread use, there are countless online resources available for learning Python. However, choosing the right ones can be overwhelming given the variety and number of options. In this article, we will explore some of the best online resources for learning Python across different formats like tutorials, courses, books, documentation and more. By the end, you should have a solid understanding of high quality, trusted sites to use to start and continue your Python learning journey.

Tutorial Sites

Tutorial sites are great for getting started with Python as they break down concepts into bite-sized lessons that you can learn at your own pace. Here are some of the top tutorial sites for learning Python:

Python Tutorial by W3Schools – W3Schools is one of the most popular websites for learning web technologies. Their Python tutorial is a great introductory resource that covers the basics of Python syntax, data types, loops, functions, modules and more through easy to follow examples. It also has good explanations and interactive exercises to practice what you learn.

Python Tutorial by Programiz – Programiz has a very detailed Python tutorial that goes more in-depth than most introductory tutorials. It covers topics like Python IDEs, data types, variables, operators, strings, lists, tuples, sets, dictionaries, control flow statements like if/else, for/while loops, functions, classes/objects, inheritance, exceptions, files input/output and more. Each section has ample code examples along with explanations.

Learn Python Tutorial by GeeksforGeeks – GeeksforGeeks is known for its high quality articles and tutorials on a variety of domains. Their Python tutorial is no different, covering the basics very well through clear explanations and examples. It is detailed yet easy to follow for beginners. Some topics covered include variables and data types, operators, control flow, functions, classes and objects, file handling, more on data structures like lists, dictionaries etc.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Tutorial – This popular Python tutorial is based on the bestselling book ‘Automate the Boring Stuff with Python’ by Al Sweigart. It aims to teach Python for automation and helps you learn to automate tasks like file renaming, downloading files from the web, filling out online forms etc. Each chapter is explained clearly with code examples for practical real-world automation tasks.

Python For Everybody Specialization on Coursera – This free online course on Coursera by the University of Michigan is one of the top rated introductory Python tutorials on the internet. It is designed for absolute beginners and covers Python basics as well as more advanced topics like data structures, networked programming, databases and more. Each section has video lectures, reading material and quizzes to reinforce concepts.

Online Courses

While tutorials are great for learning concepts, online courses provide a more structured learning experience through video lessons, assignments and projects. Here are some top options for Python online courses:

Python Programming Course by Udemy – Udemy has several in-depth Python courses taught by expert instructors. This particular course by Jose Portilla is one of the most popular and highest rated ones. It starts from the very basics and covers advanced topics like data visualization, databases and more in over 35 hours of content. Assignments help apply concepts.

Complete Python Bootcamp by Jose Portilla on Udemy – This is an intensive 35+ hour course by the same instructor designed to take students from beginner to industry-ready Python developers. It focuses on real-world applications and tools used in data science, web development and more through hands-on projects. Great for those looking to become proficient with Python quickly.

Python Crash Course by Eric Matthes on Udemy – Based on the bestselling book of the same name, this course is ideal for beginners looking to learn Python programming basics to build small applications and scripts through a hands-on, project-based approach. It covers syntax, functions, file manipulation, exceptions handling and more.

Introduction to Python Programming Specialization on Coursera – This comprehensive Coursera specialization from the University of Michigan is one of the most exhaustive Python courses online spanning 4 courses over 60 hours of content. It teaches everything from programming fundamentals to data visualization, databases, GUIs, encryption and more through hands-on assignments.

Python for Beginners Courses by Codecademy – Codecademy is renowned for its interactive coding courses. Their free Python for Beginners course introduces key Python concepts and syntax through interactive lessons, coding challenges and projects. It covers basics well to get started with Python programming.

Books

Books are still one of the best ways to systematically learn Python deeply. Here are some top classic Python books, both online and offline:

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python by Al Sweigart – Widely regarded as the best book for beginners to learn Python for automation, this free online book covers modules for working with Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, sending email, web scraping, image recognition and more. Real-world projects apply skills.

Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming by Eric Matthes – This beginner-friendly hands-on book teaches Python programming and problem-solving skills through building small games and applications. Focuses on practical concepts for learning programming logic and Python syntax.

Learning Python by Mark Lutz – Known as the definitive tutorial style reference for both Python 2 and 3, this comprehensive tome covers concepts in great depth right from Python syntax to network programming. Best for intermediate and advanced users looking for a detailed language manual.

Fluent Python by Luciano Ramalho – An insightful guide to mastering Python’s advanced features through real world examples. It discusses topics like decorators, descriptors, metaclasses, asynchronous I/O and more and how to leverage them. Great for going deeper into Python.

Python Machine Learning by Sebastian Raschka – A practical book on machine learning with Python using Scikit-Learn and Tensorflow. Covers essential ML concepts, techniques like classification, regression, clustering and neural networks for text, image and predictive analytics.

Documentation

Python’s official documentation is a treasure trove of knowledge and a must-have reference for any Python programmer. However, navigating it can be difficult initially. Here are some top documentation resources:

Python Official Documentation – Covers the Python language, core libraries and C API thoroughly written by core developers and the community. Can be overwhelming but has everything about the language. Great once you learn to navigate it.

Python Tutorial Docs – A gentle introductory Python tutorial included in Python’s docs that’s ideal for beginners looking for the official take on syntax and fundamentals. Clear to follow with runnable code samples.

Python HOWTOs – The HOWTOs contained in Python’s docs are mini-tutorials for common tasks and modules. For example, the CGI HOWTO explains using Python for web apps, Database HOWTO for databases and more.

Django Documentation – If you’re learning Django web framework, its documentation is highly comprehensive and well-organized. Covers all aspects of building Django apps and projects.

Python Library Documentation – Documentation for third party Python libraries is freely available online as well. For example, NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas, Selenium and other popular packages have great docs on their features.

YouTube Channels

Learning from expert Python instructors through online video courses is one thing, but YouTube channels provide another supplementary layer of tutorials and knowledge. Here are top YouTube channels for Python learning:

FreeCodeCamp.org – Has several multilingual coding playlists including a very thorough “Python for Beginners” series covering syntax, data structures, functions, web development and more with clearly explained examples and code along videos.

Corey Schafer – Corey Schafer has deep Python experience and his video tutorials are detailed and project-focused. Covers everything from the basics to advanced topics like data structures,algorithms and databases in an easy to follow style.

Sentdex – Great channel for learning Python for data science, machine learning and other num