I get asked a lot about how people can break into Data Science and what should be the first thing they learn. And my answer always is:
Start with learning basic python!
Once you mastered basic python concepts you can build on that and move on to learn how to do some simple data analysis with python.
This article will outline what you should learn in your ‘basic python’ journey and what are the resources to learn and practice.
Some of you will ask why python and not another programming language. The reason for this is to make your life easier. Python is a very popular language with rich Data Science libraries. Additionally, its syntax is simple and intuitive for beginners and there are endless resources to learn in it online.
So let’s get started!
What python concepts you need to master?
Let me outline here what you should cover in your basic python journey.
1. What variables are and what are the basic variable types in python. You want to learn about floats, integers, strings, and booleans.
2. What are functions and how to write them in python?
3. What are collections in python? Learn about lists, sets, dictionaries, and tuples. Master them!
4. String is a special data type in python. Learn some basic string functions.
5. Learn ‘for loop’ syntax and be able to use it with lists and dictionaries.
6. Learn about conditional logic (if and else statements) and how to use it in python.
7. Learn about python objects. What are python objects, how to define them, create them, and how to use their functions and attributes?
8. Learn about imports in python and how to import some basic modules (e.g math, random, etc.)
9. Learn good styling practices and variable naming. Distinguish when to use snake case and camel case variable names. Know best practices as outlined in PEP 8.
10. Be able to run the python code you write in either PyCharm, jupyter notebook, or Google colab. Some of this option will require you to set up your local environment.
I think those are ten concepts that you need to master while learning basic python. Luckily there are plenty of resources to do so.
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Make your first step toward Data Science journey. Some of you will ask why python and not another programming language. The reason for this is to make your life easier. Python is a very popular language with rich Data Science libraries.