Learn Python like a Google employee

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Nick Parlante is a member of the Google developers staff and created a course for other Google employees to learn Python from the beginning. The aim was to help people with basic programming skills in other languages than Python to get into this topic within 2 days. Therefore, this universal course was created together with little coding exercises to make this aim possible. The whole 2-day-training was also recorded on video and published along the text-based course for free. The chapters of this course are set up, basic introduction, strings, lists, sorting, dicts and files, regular expressions and utilities.

I liked taking this course. Before doing it in 2016, I have only worked two times with Python before for projects in my bachelor modules and so I saw myself as a beginner. Going through the chapters I could skip sections I already knew and focus on the things I did not know and the exercises. This is especially good for people like me, who get impatient when confronted with redundant information.

The stated learning goal was to introduce people with little programming experience to python and I achieved this goal. I already had experience in other programming languages, so I knew about the concepts like variables and loops. I just wanted to learn about the python specific things and was able to do this with help of this course.

This course is used internally within Google to introduce Python to people, who have just a little experience in programming. It is created as a 2-day class for employees, but I was able to get through this course in a few hours including the exercises. So yes, the time given sufficed.

The design is kept very simple, straight and clear, which I prefer in generally every area in life. There is a main navigation menu on the left site, which separates the chapters. Next to this, in the center of the screen, there is the content of the chapter, which is scrollable through every section, but instead of scrolling all the way down, you can also use the second navigation panel on the right-hand side, which includes the chapter’s sections and is fixed in the top right corner at all times, even while scrolling. Every element in the content, including texts, pictures and code examples, use easily-readable fonts and colors, which encouraged me to focus on the content. Good job, I think.

The course starts at the total beginning of Python programming. How to install the development environment. I like this, because, if you have never had contact with Python, you need this info and if you already know about this, you can simply skip this chapter. I like it, when courses take you by the hand from the whole beginning, so do not have to search other sources to set up everything. The only negative aspect I see, is that some advanced topics are not covered, so you want to take other advanced courses after this one.

This course is not a full compendium. Reading further about Python after taking this course, I learned there is more to it. But the audience of this course are beginners, who have never heard of Python before. So, with the learning goals fulfilled, the good design and coding examples and even a video version of the whole course, I think I will rate it 9/10.

There is a bulletin board linked from the course to directly ask questions to the Google Developer staff or everyone else, who is willing to answer your Python-themed questions, which is helpful.

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