The Autodidact’s Guide to Python

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Today, I’m kicking off a new Python series that I’m really excited about. Say hello to The Autodidact’s Guide to Python, a series for beginners who want to teach themselves Python. In this article, I’ll give you quick overview of the series, why I decided to create it, how I plan to design it, and how you can help grow it.

Table of Contents

Series Overview

The Autodidact’s Guide to Python is my attempt at crafting a series of articles for people who want to learn Python on their own terms. As someone who taught myself Python in 2017, I feel like I’m in a good place to write this sort of content.

In terms of structure, this series is pretty straightforward. Initially, we’ll assume you have no programming experience, so we’ll get you started by helping you pick a version of Python as well as a development tool. Then, we’ll move into a brief history of computing, an overview of logic, and a crash course in algorithmic thinking.

After all that, we’ll finally dive into Python. Specifically, we’ll talk about core Python concepts like the interpreter and duck typing. In fact, we’ll probably spend a lot of time talking about data types before we try to write any code.

From there, we’ll talk about programming paradigms. Initially, we’ll treat Python as an imperative language. Then, we’ll talk about Python’s support for object-oriented and function programming.

At that point, we can really branch out wherever we want! Who knows what the world will bring.

Series Inspiration

Oddly enough, I am not writing this series for the fun of it. Rather, I was inspired to write this series by my friend, Robert, who grew interested in Python while watching me write the code for our PSO2 Color PickerOpens in a new tab..

On one hand, I thought it might be really cool for me to start live coding. If I could get a mechanical engineer that interested in programming, I could probably interest a lot of folks.

However, on the other hand, I don’t really have the time to commit to building up an audience. In fact, I much prefer working on content asynchronously. That way, I can work on my own terms.

As a result, I figured why not do what I’m good at and help at least one person get interested in Python? In other words, I decided to write this series to help Robert learn Python. If this series helps anyone else out, that’s cool too!

In terms of picking a name for the series, I decided on the word “autodidact” because just about everyone uses the term “self-taught”. While “self-taught” would probably rank better, I think “autodidact” allows me to set the series apart from the typical content farms.

Regardless, I’m not so worried about how this particular article ranks as long as the following design works as expected.

Series Design

If you’ve been around a long time, you know that I’ve tried to create a series like this before. In fact, when I first started blogging in 2016, I wrote a series called Java Basics.

Back then, I was interested in sharing everything I knew about Java, but I never really grew to liking that series. For one, the articles never ranked on search engines, so almost no one saw them. Likewise, the content was a bit messy, and I could never figure out how exactly I wanted it to scaffold.

Naturally, in 2020, I’ve taken what I’ve learned from that series to inform how The Autodidact’s Guide to Python will be designed. In particular, I’m looking to write each article as a standalone piece. That way, it should rank on search engines.

As a consequence of this design, each article will be self-contained. In other words, I’m going to try to write articles that don’t require context of previous articles. That way, no one has to go back and read other articles to be able to understand something I said.

Unfortunately, that means that I can’t really reference ideas or concepts in previous articles without at least providing a summary of the idea first.

That said, I think this design allows the content to be more consumable to a wider audience. For instance, I hate it when a YouTube video is broken up into parts. Nothing is more annoying than trying to hunt down part 3 in a 7 part series.

At any rate, I’m excited to kick this series off! Now, let’s talk about how you can help it grow.

Help the Series Grow

Normally, when I create a series, I usually let the archive page speak for itself. Unfortunately, since I changed themes, the series descriptions no longer show up on those pages. As a result, I decided to create this article to provide a bit of a funnel to the rest of the content.

If you’re interested in watching this series grow, I recommend heading on over to my post on how to grow the website. There, you’ll find other ways to connect with me including my Patreon, YouTube channel, and Newsletter.

Alternatively, you can drop down below to the series navigation and start reading the first post in the series. There, you’ll find on article which will help you pick out a version of Python.

Otherwise, thanks for taking the time to check out this site. Hopefully, you’ll stick around and help build out the community a bit!

Series NavigationHow to Pick a Version of Python to Learn →

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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