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How to Learn Python for Free

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Python is a general purpose, structured, high-level, open-source programming language, it was created by Guido Van Rossum in 1989; it’s named after Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy program. Python is available for all Platforms; it can run on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh & all Linux distributions with ease. This makes the programs written with it cross-platform. It can also be used with frameworks like Django to create web applications just like Instagram.

Python is used extensively for system administration; it’s also a good alternative to teach programming to novice. It’s used by Google in many components of its Web Crawler and Search Engine; Yahoo also uses it for managing its discussion groups. NASA has also used Python for its software systems and it was adopted as the standard scripting language for its Integrated Planning System.

This post is a road map for anyone willing to Python from scratch, the post will present and compare between the best free online sources where beginners can start from and follow along, the sources stated here are for full structured courses so you won’t find a link to a single video or unrelated tutorials.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Python) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Start Learning Python for Free from Scratch

Codecademy

Codecademy is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python from scratch. Joining Codecademy is pretty simple; just register using your email and you’re ready to go.

Structure: The course is an interactive course; it’s divided into sections and each section is divided into lessons. At the end of each lesson there’s a small quiz that you’ve to solve in order to proceed to the next lesson “don’t worry; there are helpful tips that will guide you”.

Interface: The user interface on Codecademy is quite simple; the page is divided into 4 sections:

  1. Lesson body section (explanation).
  2. Quiz section, you shall find the tips just under it.
  3. Body section; where you type your code.
  4. Your code output section (how your code would appear in the browser in real life).

Codecademy Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorials

You’re awarded with badges for the lessons you finish, which is really encouraging. Now to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured and organized for beginners.
  3. Badges are really encouraging.

Cons

  1. There are some bugs in some of the lessons, but you can find solutions for these bugs on Codecademy forum.

Verdict: This’s one of the best places for beginners to start learning Python online for free; it’s very suitable for those who prefer interactive courses.

Learn Street (Update: Closed)

Learn Street is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python from scratch. You need to register in order to have access to the course.

Structure: The course is an interactive course; the course is divided into sections and each section is divided into lessons. You apply what you learn in an on screen editor. The difference between this source and Codecademy is that there are videos accompanied with the lessons.

Interface: The user interface on Learn Street is very simple; the page is divided into 2 sections:

  1. Lesson body section; which is divided into the overview, exercise, contents and the glossary sections.
  2. The editor where you type your code.

Learn Street Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured and organized for beginners.
  3. The video that accompany the lessons is a real differentiator.

Cons

  1. The videos that accompany the lessons aren’t from the same instructor so the experience won’t be consistent.

Verdict: This’s one of the best places for beginners to start learning Python online for free; it’s very suitable for those who prefer interactive courses with videos.

LearnPython.org

LearnPython.org is the third free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python from scratch. You don’t need to register in order to have access to the course.

Structure: The course is an interactive course; the course is divided into lessons and each lesson covers certain topics in Python. There’s an on screen editor where you can try the code and see the result.

Interface: The user interface is very simple; the page is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Lesson body section.
  2. The editor where you type your code.
  3. The output window.

LearnPython Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The interface might be confusing for beginners.

Verdict: Though this outlet is a good source for python beginners, but “Lean Street” and “Codecademy” are better options.

University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is the fourth free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python from scratch. You don’t need to register in order to have access to the course.

Structure: The course is a text-based course with an interactive code editor; the course is divided into 18 lessons and each lesson covers a certain topic in Python.

Interface: The user interface is very simple; you just click on the lesson you’re interested in from the top menu and you’re ready to go.

University of Waterloo Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-organized for beginners.
  3. The course is available in French and German plus English of course

Cons

  1. The course is available as text only which might be a problem for some.

Verdict: The course is more of an overview about python.

After Hours Programming

After Hours Programming is the fifth free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python from scratch. You don’t need to register in order to have access to the course.

Structure: The course is a text-based course with an interactive code editor; the course is divided into lessons and each lesson covers a certain topic in Python. There’s a quiz at the end of each lesson here you use the on screen editor to solve it

Interface: The user interface is very simple; you just click on the lesson you’re interested in from the left hand side menu and you’re ready to go.

After Hours Programming Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-organized for beginners

Cons

  1. The course doesn’t have any videos and it’s not interactive, which might be a problem for some.

Verdict: The course is more of an overview about python.

Alison

Alison is the sixth online outlet where beginners can start learning Python for free; you need to register in order to have access to the course. What’s unique about Alison is that you can receive a certificate at the end of the course, if you pass the assessment of course, but I’ve to warn you that the course is free but the certificate will cost you round 10 $.

Structure: The course is divided into two modules, the first module is divided into 24 lessons, and each lesson covers certain topics in Python, while the second module is an assessment module. The course is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Interface: The interface is very simple, the lessons are arranged one after another, after you finish a lesson just click on go to the next lesson and you’ll be directed to it.

Alison Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-organized and structured for beginners.
  3. The certificate is really a unique thing about this outlet.

Cons

  1. There’s no interactive editor to write the code and see the result.

Verdict: This’s the best video only (non-interactive) source for beginners to start learning Python.

Udemy

Udemy is the seventh online outlet where beginners can start learning Python for free; you can learn literally anything on Udemy for free or for free (depending on the course provider). To join Udemy just register using your email. Go to the search bar and type what you want to learn (Python in our case), of course you should choose the free courses and at the time of writing this post the following courses were present:

Udemy Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorials

You can choose one of these courses and start it. Each course is divided into lessons (depending on the instructor). Of course if you want to proceed with more levels in Python for instance you’ll have to pay or just search for another course that’s free, but after all it’ll be inconvenient as there would be no consistency in your learning curve. The following are the pros and cons of Udemy.

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The courses are well-organized.

Cons

  1. You’ll have to pay per course to proceed with your learning journey.
  2. It’s a trial and error process for both the free and paid courses as it depends on the instructor (stars aren’t that convenient as the instructor might be new that’s why he/she has no stars).

Verdict: It’s a trial and error experience; so it’s better to try other free outlet from the sources stated in this post.

Learners TV

Learners TV is the eighth free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python through video tutorials. You don’t need to register to have access to the course, just log into the website and type what you want to learn in the search bar and you’ll be prompted by the available courses, click on the course you’re interested in and you’re ready to go. The course I’m recommending (the one you’ll be directly directed to when you click the above link) is well-structured for beginners and the explanation makes it very easy to follow along.

Structure: The course is divided into 43 video tutorials; each video tutorial covers a certain topics in Python.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the video tutorial and the explanatory video will start right away.

Learners TV Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. There’s no interactive editor to write the code and see the result.

Verdict: This is an excellent source for beginners who prefer video only tutorials.

Alan-G-Me

Alan-G-Me is the ninth free online outlet where beginners can start learning Python. This’s a text-based course; you don’t have to register in order to have access to the course.

Structure: The course is divided into 5 sections; each section is divided into lessons that cover certain topics in Python.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to its page.

Alan-G-Me Python Course, learn Python online, learn Python free, how learn Python, Python tutorialsNow, the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. The course is text-based which might be a problem for some.

Verdict: This is a good option for those who prefer text-based tutorials.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning Python:

  1. The best interactive online outlet to start from would be Codecademy.
  2. If you prefer video only tutorials then Learners TV is your way to go.
  3. If you want to get a certificate then Alison is your way to go.
  4. If you prefer books, then one of these free books is your way to go; A Byte of Python, Dive Into Python, Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, and Learn Python The Hard Way.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in Python.