Complete Learning Path to Learn Python for Data Scientists
When I started my journey as a Data Scientist — I had a very basic understanding of programming. Initially, I started coding in R — and soon realized I need to update myself in python to keep up with the industry.
Although it was very easy to get started — code a few functions —understand the syntax — but I hit a roadblock — I didn't know what to study!
So, to ensure you don't hit the same roadblock, here I share a complete guide to get started in Python.
Level 1: Understanding the basics
The best resource that I would recommend is the book by Zen Shaw — Learn Python the Hard Way. It is an amazing book — and I urge you to code all of the exercises.
Level 2: Getting fluent
After learning all of the syntaxes — get your hands dirty as much as you can on Leetcode — by starting with ‘easy’ problems — see if you can solve them — look and learn from the solutions. This is going to be one constant in your entire journey.
Level 3: DS and Algorithms
Now, we need to concentrate on building up your logic .i.e. get started with Data Structure and Algorithms. Although you might think this is not a very important topic for data scientists, I would strongly recommend that you do not skip it. It builds logical thinking for approaching problems — and has now become a major requirement for almost all of the jobs.
I would strongly recommend the course — Data Structures and Algorithms Specialization — by the University of California San Diego on Coursera. Keep doing this along with the problems on Leetcode daily — have lots of patience — you will eventually start to solve the problems on your own!
Your goal is to be able to solve the Easy and Medium problems on Leetcode.
Level 4: Learn Standard Coding Practices
So now after building a strong foundation in DS and Algo — it's time for you to learn the standard practices in the industry for coding. Again, the best resource for this is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python. There are so many invaluable pieces of advice in here — little grains of information that most CS graduates just seem to “know”.
Hopefully, after each step, you will start to gain confidence and you will be well on your way to become a ‘Pythonista’!!
But remember — the only way to learn is to actually ‘do’!