Resources for Learning Python

This guide will help you learn about Python, the larger Python community, and our local Python community.

Lots of free learning material can be found online, but there are also local Python users who can give guidance as well.

Online guides

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to Python - one of the best guides out there. It covers everything from installation to common modules and writing great code. It is highly recommended for novices as well as advanced Pythonistas.
  • Official Python documentation - this is the official documentation from It is recommended that you keep a copy under your pillow.
  • Learn Python the Hard Way - a free online guide for people who want step by step tutorials for learning Python. There are over 50 exercises here.
  • Automate the Boring Stuff with Python - In Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, you'll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand-no prior programming experience required. Practical programming for total beginners.

The Python guide has a whole section on learning Python as well.

Online classes

  • Learn Python the Hard Way - this is the course (videos and PDF) that goes along with the online guide. Take a look at the guide and if you feel you would like a bit more then the course may be for you. The course is $29.
  • Codeacademy - Codeacademy has a number of online courses available for learning Python.
  • Coursera - Coursera also has a number of courses.

Online Videos

There are great videos for both Python novices as well as experts.

  • PyVideos - The big Python conferences such as PyCon and DjangoCon are recorded and the videos are made freely available.


Other than Learn Python the Hard Way (which is arguably a book) probably the most well known Python books are:

There are other more topic specific books including:

  • Python for Data Analysis by Wes McKinney
  • Python Algorithms by Magnus Lie Hetland
  • Python Standard Library by Example by Doug Hellman

Practice, practice, practice!

  • CodeWars helps you level up your skills in a number of languages by solving challenges that range from simple to complex. They have a very nice selection of Python challenges.
  • Python Koans - A port of Ruby Koans, this interactive tutorial helps you learn Python by making tests pass.