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Learning Python Makes You Smarter

Our brain is like a muscle; it shrinks without exercise. In this article, I will tell you what to do to tire your mind a bit and build intellectual muscles instead of mindlessly scrolling on your smartphone. Get brain-fit with Python!

Learning new things is always a good idea. But some choices are better for us than others. Take coding for example. Do you know that when you learn Python, you exercise your brain to level up?

Seriously, it's like grinding in an RPG. After doing a few exercises, you may see an improvement in your "thinking." So, start learning Python! It makes you smarter.

Don't believe me? Consider the following:

  • Learning is good for you.
  • Learning new languages is good for you.
  • Learning to code is good for you.

Do you know how you can combine these mind- and body-developing actions? By learning Python, of course!

Learning Python helps you in many ways. So, let's see how it benefits you.

Learning Python Makes You Smarter

Why Should You Learn Python?

Here are a few points to get you going:

  1. It boosts your career. If you have the skill to code in Python, you instantly level up as a professional.
  2. A lot of value, none of the cost. You get a variety of benefits from learning Python. The investment you need to make is some time and determination. But the return on the investment is a sweet percentage!
  3. Python is sought after by employers. Annual reports state employers are looking for people who know how to code in Python. It's been on top of the most sought-after skills for years now.
  4. You make more money. With great power comes a nice income. This is also shown in industry reports.

Kateryna wrote an awesome article on this topic if you want more. But this is not why you're here. You want to know how to "get smarter" by learning Python.

So, let's jump right into it.

What Do I Mean by "Smart"?

Oh boy, this one is going to be tricky.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "smart" as "having or showing a high degree of mental ability: INTELLIGENT, BRIGHT."

Mental ability? I don't want to get into semantics over here. So, taking into consideration the definition above and with a little research I was fortunate enough to find, let's try to define smart.

Last week (from the time of this article), I was listening to the Lex Friedman podcast. The guest of Episode 302 was Richard Haier, a psychologist specializing in the science of human intelligence.

There's a lot to take in from this episode. Let's focus on something called the "g factor" (general intelligence). The g factor may be summed up as:

"A broad metal capacity that influences performance on cognitive ability measures. Other terms such as intelligence, IQ, general cognitive ability, and general mental ability are also used interchangeably to mean the same thing as general intelligence. This general mental ability is what underlies specific mental skills related to areas such as spatial, numerical, mechanical, and verbal abilities. The idea is that this general intelligence influences performance on all cognitive tasks."


In other words, it's how fast you learn and how fast you can figure out how to solve a problem. In plain English, it's how smart you are.

To lay out how learning Python is going to make you smarter, I'd like to list a few components of the above-mentioned "g factor."

  • Fluid reasoning: It's how flexible your thought patterns are and how fast you can solve a problem.
  • Knowledge: Your general understanding of a wide range of topics.
  • Quantitative reasoning: It's how good you are at solving mathematical problems.
  • Visual-spatial processing: It's how well you understand and interpret visual information. Or how fast you can put a puzzle together.
  • Working memory: It's how good your short-term memory is. Or how long of a number sequence you can remember.

Now, with this out of the way, let's see how learning Python makes you smarter!

How Learning New Things Makes us Better

The brain does not press the "done" button at 25. For most of our lives, it continues to develop and grow.

What do we know about this? Well, a few people have done some research. We now know practicing a new skill increases your myelin! Now, this is some real-life midi-chlorian thing (yes, this is a reference to Star Wars!).

Normally, when we think about our brains on a physical level, we think of "gray matter." This is because of what the brain looks like on the outside. Here, however, we are talking about "white matter," or myelin.

When we practice a new skill, we exercise our brain (learn), and we increase the density of myelin in it. And myelin is responsible for improving the conductivity of electric impulses in our brains. Some may even say it makes the impulses "jump."

If this isn't physical proof that learning makes you smarter, I don't know what is!

Learning new things changes the way you think.

Second, when you learn new things, you break everyday habits. Get your mind out of the regular thought pattern. You acquire a new mindset and start to perceive things in a new light.

In 2020, since I had to stay home (go figure), I took up a new hobby: scale modeling. When I was a teenager, I always wanted to build and paint realistic models. As an adult, I started building Gunpla.

Not only did it help me to relieve stress, but by learning new things like painting, handling different types of plastic, and how to use precise tools (the list goes on and on), I started to perceive tasks from a different standpoint.

Learning Python Makes You Smarter

I acquired a new mindset for getting things done. This mindset helped me reevaluate my job efforts as a marketing manager. It was very refreshing, after 9 years of working with a "comfortable" workflow.

I didn't expect to get a lesson on how to improve my work performance from small Japanese plastic robots, but there it is. Learning new things often has unexpected but very pleasant benefits :)

See, learning is good for you.

How Learning a New Language Makes You Smarter

Learning Python is like learning a language. You write sentences, and if the sentence is coherent, it results in an action.

There is syntax and libraries from which you construct your code. The sentences you write are interpreted both by you and a machine. Keywords, indentation, and data structures – it's basic vocabulary and grammar. I dare to say, learning Python is like learning any other language. You need words for the receiver to understand and react.

Learning Python Makes You Smarter

Now, how does learning this type of information benefit you?

I can list a few perks of learning a new language. If you understand and transfer information in different languages, you open yourself up to a world of opportunities and new ways of thinking. However, since we are talking about a coding language, let's focus on the more "cognitive" aspects.

Memory booster. Studies show older people (in their 70s) who learn a second language have a better memory. This is attributed to new brain networks created while learning a new language. These new networks also contribute to better future brain health. And by that, I mean it helps prevent Alzheimer's.

Better multitasking. It turns out that if you know more than one language, you outperform monolingual speakers on certain tasks. Not only that, but bilingual people are better multi-taskers. Researchers connect this to the fact that knowing more than one language makes the brain exercise more. You screen out irrelevant information, prioritize better, and work on multiple tasks more efficiently.

If you are looking for a brain workout, be sure to get a membership at the Python Practice set gym.

How Learning Python Makes You Smarter

Ok, Marcin, that's all fine and dandy. But does it apply to learning a programming language?

Well, dear reader, it does. How? Let's take everything stated above and look at it from the perspective of learning Python.

Learning Python Makes You Smarter

Brain Health and Workout

In 2014, a group of scientists put some programmers into an fMRI scanner. Scanning their brains yielded the following results in brain activity while analyzing code:

  • Middle frontal gyrus for attention, language, and memory.
  • Middle temporal gyrus for semantics.
  • Inferior parietal lobule for memory.
  • Inferior frontal gyrus for memory.
  • Inferior frontal gyrus for language and memory.
  • The entire left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex for logic.

Long story short, learning Python is a high-demand cognitive activity. This means it increases your level of myelin. And now, we all know that's good for you! You think faster.

Second, you improve your memory and your overall brain health, now and in the future. You become smarter now and keep being sharp in the future. And better memory means a higher g factor.

Python Improves Your g Factor!

When you learn Python, you also learn math and logical thinking, it also requires you to be creative, to look at things from a different perspective, and to deep dive into not-so-obvious (or sometimes too obvious) ideas.

It makes you think in different ways. You look at the world around you from a different perspective. It makes you a better problem solver. It helps you with your memory. It improves your g factor! And you know what that means? It makes you smarter!

New Mental Models

"A mental model is an explanation of someone's thought process about how something works in the real world. It is a representation of the surrounding world, the relationships between its various parts and a person's intuitive perception about his or her own acts and their consequences."


So, you learn the "vocabulary and grammar." You learn the syntax. You reprogram your brain to construct pieces of code to get the desired result. This doesn't mean you just write commands or manage databases. This opens your mind to new ways of thinking. It helps you change the way your brain works and how you approach things.

You start thinking differently. You develop the ability to morph ephemeral thoughts into action. And that opens a world of opportunities for you.

Learn Python and Become Smarter!

Learning Python is like a good workout and a healthy meal for your brain. It keeps you healthy and makes you smarter. And that's backed up by science. I hope after reading this, you think to yourself: "I want to learn Python!"

Because if you did, here is how to start learning Python: is the best gym for your brain. It is 100% web-based. With a real coding environment. It's the most comprehensive set of 13 hands-on online Python courses for your every need and proficiency level.

What are you waiting for? Do your brain a favor and learn some Python!