If you are interested in how to learn Python coding easily and for free, then read on.
Do you think learning to code has to cost you a lot of money?
We often think that anything to do with technology and that anything to do with learning can cost a lot of money.
It doesn’t have to.
What does it cost? Well, honestly, it costs time, effort and persistence. Any learning requires action and practice. And coding is no exception to that. If you’re willing to put in some time, then coding can be satisfying.
So here are my (current) three favourite *FREE* resources for learning Python programming. Undoubtedly they happen to make it easy too!
- Al Sweigart’s Website
First up, there’s Repl.it.
What is it?
Repl.it is an online code editor.
What does that mean?
This means that you can write and run your own code within the browser. No software to install. No download needed.
Repl.it also provides something called ‘intelli-sense’. Which means there is some help with getting the correct ‘syntax’ (syntax is another word for spelling). You’ll still get errors, of course! But at least there’s a little help with typing it in.
How does it help you learn Python coding?
As an online editor, it saves you the hassle of wrestling with tech to get started. Let’s work through the steps to creating your first python project on Repl.it, so you can see how easy it is to get started.
- Within your browser, go to or search for Repl.it. Link here https://repl.it
- Create an account. This will be necessary to be able to see what projects you’ve created so that you can return to them.
- Click ‘Create’ and choose the language you want to practice. In this case, we’ll choose ‘Python’. There are other Python related projects in the list, we can come back to that later.
- The window comes up in your browser. The section on the left is a menu for files and folders within your project. The middle section is where you can write your code. And the right hand side is for the output, when you run your code.
- In the middle section you’ll see a message ‘Not sure what to do? Run some examples’ where the ‘examples’ word is a link. Click on this and a list of examples will appear, one of which is called ‘Hello World!’ – this one is often found to be the very first program anyone ever writes in whatever programming language they start to learn! Clicking on one of the examples will bring that code into your project and you can run it and see the output.
- Celebrate! Congratulations you have just coded your very first project! Easy peasy. No stopping you now.
The platform is free to use, where your projects are public. It’s the privacy that you’ll have to pay for. The great thing about the platform is that it is easy and free to share projects with fellow programmers – from beginners to the more experienced. And that means lots of learning opportunities.
Easy way to learn – find some example code to run in Repl.it and then change the code to see what happens.
Secondly, there’s YouTube.
I know that you know that there is so much information, tutorials and superstars on YouTube.
As a matter of fact, you may even know that you can easily learn to code following tutorials on YouTube.
How can YouTube help you learn Python coding?
Yes, why have I listed it here, when I could have listed something else of equal or better value? Well…in this section, I intend to list or guide you to a couple of my favourite channels or tutorials, in order to reduce overwhelm with the amount of choice there is. You can, of course, go off piste here. If my suggestions don’t work for you, then YouTube suggests alternatives that may work better for you.
Tech With Tim
One of my favourite programmers has a channel called ‘Tech With Tim’. The coding walkthroughs, examples and explanations are of great quality and I have found it very useful, both for my own learning and helping my students.
This link will take you to a complete course from Tech With Tim on Python https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxTmJE4k0ho the description includes a list of the chapters making it easy to dip in and out, learn step by step, or jumping around to the topics that interest you.
Have a look around on his channel for some beginners advice, ways to start your software development career and so much more!
Another channel that pops up in my searches a lot is freeCodeCamp.org. They have many developers on the channel, so there is bound to be someone that teaches in the way that appeals to you. Maybe including this person – Mike Dane link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfscVS0vtbw&t=21s with another complete course on Python.
I hope that either of these channels provide a roadmap for your Python learning journey. Let me know how you get on and which channel is your favourite.
Sometimes I prefer to read, so that nicely brings me to my third favourite resource.
Al Sweigart’s website
The link is here Al Sweigart’s Website
A prolific writer of good quality books, Al Sweigart has his books available to read online for *free*! Along with the code to download.
This website can help you learn how to code in Python by following the tutorials in the book(s), and typing it in to a development environment, thereby getting knowledge and practice.
I have used these resources on several occasions to support my teaching and for my own learning. Including a recent whatsapp conversation with my dad! Highly recommended.
A particular favourite is specifically the ‘Making Games with Python and Pygame’ book, on this website link here https://inventwithpython.com/ Al takes you through each game code with detailed explanations and instructions. According to me, the best bit is the addition of providing code with bugs (errors) in it! Yes, on purpose. Consequently you can practice finding and fixing them. Great way to learn and for it to stick.
Final thoughts on how to learn Python coding
At the beginning of my coding journey, I taught myself to code in Visual Basic through reading books and completing the exercises. My advice, therefore, is to do the same for how to learn Python coding – read and practice. Additionally with YouTube you can watch and practice.
Through practice you’ll be exposed to more programs, consequently the easier it becomes to write your own code.
So that’s it, my current 3 favourite free resources for easily learning to code in Python!
- To help you write and run the code.
- For video tutorials and ideas on what code to write.
- Al Sweigart’s website
- With book links for written tutorials on functional programming and games to practice your coding skills, it really is a great resource.
Where will you start?
Regardless, please let me know how you get on, and what resources you’ve found on how to code in Python! In particular I’d welcome you to comment or contact me with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer them.
If you’d like help with how to learn Python coding, check out my shop to buy a workbook, join one of my group courses or book some one to one sessions with me.