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What's the Best Way to Practice Python?

Want to practice Python but don’t know the best way to go about it? We’ve come to the rescue with 10 ways you can practice Python online. All of them are useful, most are fun, and some might even make you new friends!

Just like Grandma always used to say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

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Kitties can relax – it’s Python practice we’re talking about. Luckily for all Python learners, there are many, many ways to practice Python online. And Python practice *does* make Python perfect. Without proper practice of your newfound Python skills, even the best courses won’t help you get a job in the industry.

If Python would be useful in your current role or if you are looking to make a career change into a coding role, some serious Python practice will go a long way. We’d also very much recommend that you practice Python online if you’re preparing for a job interview where your knowledge will be tested. Theory is all very well, but you won’t get that job if you haven’t thrown yourself headfirst into some real-life Python coding.

Without further ado, here’s how to practice Python online.

Make Sure You Learn Python Basics First

In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, “Python 1,2,3s are easy as A,B,C.”

What I’m saying is, you’ve gotta flap before you can fly. And in the Python world, that means you’ve got to learn a thing or two before you can actually start to practice your skills.

Just like there are many ways to practice Python there are about a million and one ways to learn Python. The easiest? This Python Basics mini track that will equip you with all the most important information for setting out on your programming journey. That means:

  • Basic data structures in Python including lists, dictionaries, tuples, and sets
  • How to structure your program using functions
  • How programs make decisions with if statements; and
  • How programs repeat instructions with ‘for’ and ‘while’ loops

That’s plenty of fundamentals to get your head around but the good news is, of all the programming languages, Python is undoubtedly the easiest for beginners to learn. Python makes use of a very simple syntax that new programmers often thank their lucky stars for. The language is easy and fast to both write and execute. It doesn’t take long to get up to speed with it. How long? We talk about this over yonder.

So, if you were planning to jump straight into some Python practice exercises before learning the basics first then Hold Your Horses, compadre. Learn the basics with a Python course, and then, and only then, will you be ready to practice Python.

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Practice Python Online

Nailed the basics? Ok, NOW it’s time to practice Python in earnest. But where do you start? Coming up with your own programming idea when you’ve only just started learning can be a bit of a stretch, but getting lots of real-world Python practice under your belt is vital to getting a proper grip on the language.

Enter, LearnPython.com. We’ve carved out a marvelous, shiny spot on the internet devoted entirely to offering you all the Python practice you need, simply, comprehensively, and in a manner that will help it all stick.

If that sounds like a bit of you, hop on over to the Python Practice Set – a Python course where you can really get your hands dirty. Figuratively, of course.

The Python Practice Set course is made up of easy, interactive exercises to take you from coding noob to programming czar. If you are a Python beginner this course is made for you. You’ll get to practice working with variables, program flow, ‘if’ statements and conditions, loops and functions, basic Python data structures, and text files.

The questions in the Python Practice Set course are not designed to trick you or catch you out on incomplete knowledge. Instead, they’re a friendly, useful accompaniment to the Python Basics mini track and provide you with plenty of help and guidance along the way.

The best part of this particular way of practicing Python is how much it is centered on real-life problem solving. The web-based platform runs your commands and verifies your solutions. You won’t even need to install anything on your computer.

And as a pretty nice bonus: You’ll have lifetime access to the exercise AND get a slick certificate of completion when you’re done. Take that potential employers. 

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Write Code Yourself

Once you’ve learned the Python basics and have a few Python practice sets behind you, you may well be wondering how else you can practice Python online.

Writing code yourself is a great way to practice Python in your own time and with a focus on the programs and ideas that interest you the most. It takes a little more work on your part, and a bit more prep and set up than the Python Practice Set course, but writing your own code will have you feeling like the King or Queen of Programming pretty quickly.

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One of the best ways to write your own code and practice Python is to play with existing code you’ve found in books or online. Modifying existing code and using it for different purposes is an easy way to start applying your Python knowledge without the hand-holding of an online course or tutorial.

Most importantly, writing your own code will help you to make a *whole heap* of mistakes. Mistakes will make you a better programmer. Mistakes are the number one way to learn Python to an advanced level and to make your Python practice really count.

Read ALL of the Things

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Python programmers are in the lucky position of having a wealth of libraries at their disposal. There are hundreds of libraries and frameworks available to Python developers and doing a deep dive into the different options could prove a big boost to your comprehension of the language.

Python’s libraries are an ultimate resource for many Python developers and while you won’t want or need to learn them all, they are a great thing to get familiar with. Whether you get into NumPy for machine learning, Pandas for data analysis, or Flask and Django for web app development, getting involved with Python libraries is an important way of starting to practice and use Python in the real world.

Make Python Practice Fun

Don’t tell the fun police, but here’s the thing.

Learning Python can actually be quite enjoyable.

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If you’re looking for coding exercises that are a little more imaginative, then look no further than these fantastic Python Practice Word Games. I’m not going to lie – I’m a little bit in love with this particular course. Not only will it teach you how to implement a simple cipher in Python, and use that cipher to code and decode words, it also helps you analyze a Sherlock Holmes novel – using Python to hunt for playful word concepts like palindromes and semordnilaps. Um, fun – right?

Python Practice Word Games even has you using functions for superior Scrabble skills – now that’s a multi-purpose course!

My clever colleagues at LearnPython.com developed these Python practice word games after noting how few beginner-friendly practice exercises were available online. You’ll still want to take the Python Basics courses first, but after that you’ll be able to jump straight into these word games and crank up the fun*

*Python-related fun should be enjoyed in moderation and in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. LearnPython.com accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained by excessive enjoyment of Python practice exercises. :)

Look for Python People

Python people are everywhere. You’ll realize that when you start looking for them. Python is the most popular programming language in the world, and its community of developers is passionate, friendly, and pretty sizable.

You’ll find them in all the usual places: Stackoverflow, GitHub, etc – but also in very specific nooks on the Net. PYLADIES, for example, is an organization for women and gender minorities who code in Python.

Ask the community for help. Get stuck into some open source projects. This is the most hands on you’ll get with Python before having a job in the field – so make the most of the willing teachers you find out there and take in as much information as you can.

Find the Source

New bedtime hobby: Reading source code.

Reading source code is NOT the new counting sheep. Reading source code is one of the best ways of practicing with Python and cementing your new knowledge. 

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Because Python is an open-source language, anyone is able to access and read Python source code. Reading and analyzing the source code of programmers who have gone before you will help you to understand the language’s capabilities and nuances. You’ll also learn new patterns and concepts and see how the theories you’ve learned in beginner Python courses actually play out in the real world.

GitHub is a great place to start if you’re looking for fresh source code to play with!

Get Intimately Acquainted With Data Structures

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To truly know Python, you’ve got to get up close and personal with basic data structures. You’ll have already learned the theory behind data structures in your beginner Python lessons. But theory and practice are very different ballgames and practicing Python data structures in the real world will take you a long way toward Python proficiency.

Where to find that kind of tangible exposure to Python data structures? Well as luck (and lots of behind-the-scenes magic) would have it, the Python Data Structures in Practice course helps you to do just that. If you already know about basic data structure concepts such as lists, dictionaries, tuples, and sets, but don’t know how to use that knowledge in a practical setting, this course is a great tool in your Python learning arsenal.

A separate part of the course is devoted to each of the four data structures and 118 interactive exercises will guide you through the entire thing. At the end, there’s a fun challenge that we find Python students unanimously enjoy – the chance to write their very own PC game!

Practice Being Beautiful

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It’s a shallow, shallow world we live in, but when it comes to Python, ugly just don’t cut it.

Indeed there’s even this ode by Tim Peters called ‘The Zen of Python’ which starts off “Beautiful is better than ugly”.

The point is, not only do you need to practice coding with Python and using the functions that you’ve learned so far – you also need to practice doing that in a way that is clear, error-free, and – well – pretty.

To practice getting your code ship-shape and fancy, make these your bibles:

Put a copy of one of these under your pillow and when you’re practicing Python in your dreams (or in any of the other places listed above) try to use that knowledge to make your practice programming slick, readable, maintainable, clean and efficient.

Practice Python Online and Triumph

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Think back over the course of your life. Of all the things you’ve done, all the things you’ve attempted. Which ones are you now best at? Did hours upon hours of trial and error on your skateboard make you great at boarding? Did week after week of piano lesson denial make you pretty bad at music? You don’t need me to tell you what the key factor is here, but I’m going to do it anyway.

A  bit of practice, little and often, is your best possible bet at improving your Python programming skills and actually building a pretty great career as a Python developer, data scientist, data engineer, or any of the other awesome jobs you can get with some Python knowledge in your head and on your CV.

There are plenty of places you can start practicing, even as a Python newbie. If I was to pick just one to get started, I’d head over to this Python practice sets course and start working my way through my first coding tasks. It’s a big world out there, but you’ve got this.

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