Tips and Tricks

How to Learn Python From Scratch in 2023

Python is one of the most versatile and popular programming languages today. This guide provides an in-depth look at each step you’ll need to take to learn Python from scratch, supplemented with a FAQ section for all your queries and expert insights to guide your learning journey.

The Basics: Why Python?

Python has risen to prominence due to its simplicity and readability, coupled with its robust functionality. Its applications span web development, data analytics, scientific research, AI, and more. Python is a high-level language, which means it’s designed to be easy to read and write. The syntax (words and structure) is straightforward, making it an excellent choice for those new to programming.

How to Learn Python: 3 Steps for Success

Step 1: Setting Up Your Python Environment

Download and Install Python

The first step is to download Python from its official website. Depending on your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux), different installation procedures apply. For Windows users, downloading the executable (.exe) file and running it is typically sufficient. For macOS and Linux, you may use package managers like Homebrew or apt to install Python.

Choose a Text Editor or an IDE

Text editors and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are platforms where you can write and test your code. Here are some options:

  • Visual Studio Code
    This free, open-source editor has robust support for Python and a plethora of extensions for added functionalities.
  • PyCharm
    Created by JetBrains, PyCharm is an IDE specifically tailored for Python development. It offers features like code completion and an integrated debugger.
  • Jupyter Notebook
    This web-based application is ideal for data scientists who want to write code, equations, and visualizations in the same document.

Step 2: Learn Python Syntax and Basic Programming Concepts

Understanding the syntax and basic programming concepts is the cornerstone of any programming language, and Python is no different. Let’s break down these foundational elements to make your learning path smoother.

Variables and Data Types

A variable in Python is like a container that holds data. Python is dynamically typed, meaning you don’t have to explicitly declare the type of a variable when you create it.

Integers and Floats: These are numerical data types. Integers are whole numbers without decimal points (3, -4, 1000), while floats have decimal points (3.14, -0.001, 2.22).

Strings: Text data is stored in strings. Strings are defined either with a single quote (‘hello’) or a double quote (“hello”).

Booleans: Represent true or false values and are often used for conditional testing.

# Examples
x = 10          # Integer
y = 20.5        # Float
name = 'John'   # String
is_true = True  # Boolean

Control Flow: Conditionals

Control flow allows you to execute different code based on conditions. The most common constructs for control flow are ‘if’, ‘elif’, and ‘else’ statements.

# Example

age = 25

if age >= 21:

    print("You are allowed to enter.")

elif age >= 18:

    print("You are allowed but with restrictions.")


    print("You are not allowed.")


Loops are used to repeatedly execute a block of code as long as a condition is met.

  • For Loop: Used for iterating over sequences like lists, tuples, or strings.
  • While Loop: Continues as long as the specified condition evaluates to True.
# For Loop Example

for i in range(5):


# While Loop Example

count = 0

while count < 5:


    count += 1


Functions are blocks of code designed to do one specific job. You can pass data, known as parameters, into a function. Functions can return data as a result. Understanding scope—where variables are accessible—is also crucial.

# Function Example

def greet(name):

    """This function greets the person passed in as a parameter."""

    return f"Hello, {name}"

print(greet("John"))  # Output: Hello, John

Data Structures: Lists, Dictionaries, Sets, and Tuples

Understanding how to organize and store data is fundamental. Python offers several built-in data structures to help you with this.

  • Lists: Ordered, mutable sequences. Items can be of mixed types.
  • Dictionaries: Unordered collections of key-value pairs.
  • Sets: Unordered collections of unique elements.
  • Tuples: Ordered, immutable sequences.
# Examples

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4]

my_dict = {'name': 'John', 'age': 30}

my_set = {1, 2, 3}

my_tuple = (1, 2, 3)

By mastering these core concepts, you’re setting up a strong foundation for advanced topics and specialization down the line. Real-world problem-solving in Python will require a solid grasp of these fundamentals, as they come into play regardless of what you’re trying to achieve with the language. Therefore, take the time to practice these concepts through small exercises and mini-projects to cement your understanding.

Step 3: Work on Projects

Theoretical knowledge is good, but applying what you’ve learned is crucial. Start with simple projects like:

  • Calculator: Learn how to perform basic arithmetic operations.
  • To-Do List App: Enhance your understanding of data storage and user interaction.
  • Web Scraper: Dive into Python’s data-gathering capabilities.

As you become more comfortable, move to advanced projects like chatbots, machine learning models, or even a full-fledged web application.

Expert Opinion 

As someone deeply involved in the Python community and the broader programming landscape, I can unequivocally state that Python is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to break into coding. Whether you’re considering a career shift or developing a new hobby, Python offers a fast learning curve and unparalleled community support.

It is also a language that scales with your skills. You can start by writing simple scripts and eventually move on to developing complex machine-learning algorithms or web applications. However, the key to mastery is consistent practice. Don’t just limit yourself to tutorials; start building. The real learning in programming comes from doing. The more you code, the more you learn.


Q: Is Python Suitable for Beginners?

A: Absolutely, Python’s readable syntax and comprehensive standard library make it one of the most beginner-friendly languages.

Q: Can I Get a Job With Python Skills?

A: Yes, Python is in high demand in fields like web development, data analysis, AI, and more.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?

A: The time frame varies depending on your prior programming experience and the area you wish to specialize in, but many learners achieve basic fluency in a few months.

Q: Are Online Courses Effective for Learning Python?

A: Online courses provide structured learning and are an excellent option for many people, especially when they include hands-on exercises.

Q: What Are Some Recommended Books for Python?

A: “Python Crash Course” by Eric Matthes and “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python” by Al Sweigart are excellent starting points.

Q: Do I Need to Be Good at Math?

A: Basic math skills are helpful, but you don’t need to be a math wizard to excel in Python programming.

Q: Should I Learn Python 2 or Python 3?

A: Python 2 is outdated, and Python 3 is the current version. Focus on learning Python 3.

Q: What Are Python Frameworks?

A: Python frameworks like Django and Flask simplify web development by providing reusable code “patterns.”

Q: Can Python Be Used for Mobile App Development?

A: While not a traditional choice for mobile development, Python can be used via frameworks like Kivy or BeeWare.

Q: How Can I Practice Python?

A: Hands-on practice is crucial. Utilize coding platforms, contribute to open-source projects, or even develop your projects to hone your skills.

Final Thoughts

Learning Python is an investment in your future. Whether you’re interested in data science, web development, AI, or even basic scripting, Python offers the versatility you’ll need to succeed. Hopefully, this guide will serve as a roadmap on your Python journey, offering the essential steps to take, resources to use, and questions to ask.

Ready to jump-start your Python learning in 2023? DE Academy offers comprehensive courses that guide you from the basics to advanced topics, making Python accessible and engaging. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your skill set — enroll in a DE Academy course today!