Python is an open-source programming language used by programmers to create web applications, games, and other common applications. Python is the most used language for back-end development.
It can be employed with both Linux and Windows operating systems. Programming in Python is also easy because the syntax has less punctuation than C++ or Java. But what about those tricky little details? What are some tips and tricks for getting started with coding in Python?
Python Coding Tips
Python code is easy to read because it is so simple. However, there are still a few tricky little things that beginners should know.
Here are some recommendations and tricks for those who desire to know how to code in Python:
- Use a console – This program can be used as a virtual terminal for entering commands and running programs. A console will let you see your program’s output as it runs.
- Read the documentation – Since Python has many different libraries, you’ll need to do some research before you use them in your coding. The documentation for these libraries will tell you everything you need to know about them, such as what they do, how they work, and any limitations they have.
- Play with the language features – Try combining different features of Python’s syntax to see what happens! For example, if you want to concatenate strings (put one after another), use ‘+’ like this: “HELLO” + “WORLD.” You can also use ‘*’ or ‘/,’ which means repeat or divide by respectively.’
How to read documentation
The first time you start coding in Python, the documentation may be the most confusing thing about it. The best way to learn how to code is by reading through the documentation that comes with Python.
Start by looking at the general overview of Python and read over some of the introductory tutorials if you’re feeling more confident. You can also lookup any specific functions or modules that interest you.
Remember: Documentation is your best friend as a new coder!
How to use IDLE
One of the challenges that many programmers have is figuring out how to use IDLE. IDLE is a program that lets you type in Python code, run it, and see the results.
IDLE comes with Python, so if you’ve installed Python, you should be able to type in some code and run it.
To get started using IDLE:
- First, press ctrl + N or cmd + N on a Mac. Open a new window for you to write code in.
- Next, type the command “help()” into the window after pressing enter. This will get up a list of commands that IDLE identifies, and one of them should be “edit”. Type “edit” into the window and either press enter or click ctrl/cmd + e on Windows or Mac, respectively. This will open an editing screen where you can modify your code before running it.
Basic syntax: the code you write
You’ll learn Python by writing code. The syntax of Python is clean and easy to remember. The syntax is the pattern of language that programmers use to describe how a command or program should be written.
Here are some basic rules of syntax:
- Write one line of code per line of your code editor (this is called “indentation”)
- Use white space and parentheses to related group lines of codes together for readability
- Put an equals sign (=) at the end of each command, and one space before it
This might look like this:
print(“Hello, Python World!”)
Variables, loops, and conditions
One of the most confusing aspects of coding for beginners is variables, loops, and conditions. You may have heard that Python is a “free-form” language that doesn’t require brackets or curly braces – but that’s not entirely true.
Variables are just containers for data. These can be text, numbers, or any other data type. Loops are employed to repeat certain sections of code over and over again. Conditionals allow programmers to make decisions in their programs based on logical statements – basically, they make your program interactive!
The easiest way to remember these three concepts is with the acronym “VLCC.” Variables are like little storage containers (V). Loops let you repeat sections of code (L). Conditions give you the power to make decisions (C).
Python has an interactive mode that can be used while writing codes to test your work. This mode is called “IDLE,” which stands for “Integrated Development Environment.” Python also includes a tool called “pylint,” which will find potential problems in your code so you can fix them before they get out into the wild.
Methods and modules
Programmers use methods to break down their coding. Methods are sets of instructions that tell Python what to do.
Methods are also used for organizing large pieces of code. With the right method, your code can be broken down into sections and sorted by functionality or type (strings, integers).
To create a method, you need to name it and include parentheses after the name. The parentheses indicate that it’s a method, not just regular text. Methods also require one or more arguments within the parentheses. These arguments help specify what your method is doing with respect to that argument (like assigning an integer the value 10).
Methods produce some kind of output when they’re executed or called on in a script or other program. To call a method, simply type its name and then add any necessary arguments in parentheses.
print(“The area of a rectangle is ” + area(5, 4))
Now that you have read our tips and tricks to get you started with Python coding, it’s time to get coding!