Finally, a bundle that makes it easy to understand Python without a degree

I'm not a coder. I can help you format an HTML doc in a CMS and tell you what those acronyms mean, even, but that's about it. I'm roughly the equivalent, coding-wise, of a howler monkey with a pipe wrench.

Yet more and more, at work and elsewhere, I've found myself having to understand code. We've all felt the frustration of using an automated tool and having it cough up some weird result. And when you can't peek under the hood and figure out what happened, it's frustrating.

Furthermore, even though I don't work with code, that's slowly changing. I may work primarily with words, but more and more I'm being asked to work with data as well. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to better understand the systems I use just to do my job.

That led me to Python. I knew it was everywhere, that it was behind a lot of automation on the web, and one of the more popular coding languages. And hey, I pulled an A in formal logic in college! I even installed Linux on a netbook that one time! How hard could this be?

First: The Books

I started with two books: One for dolts and one I admit I mostly picked up because of the rat on the cover.  Anybody making a visual joke like that is my kind of people. Swapping between the two, and my freshly downloaded code editor, I quickly found myself falling into the gap between "grandparent who needs help configuring a router" and "brushing up on code before developing a machine learning system for nuclear missiles."

Beyond that, while the concepts were clear, the execution wasn't. I'd only ever heard about segfaults from Twitter jokes, and they're undersold as one of life's grand annoyances.

Second: Online Documentation

Since paper wasn't getting me anywhere, I decided to put some online discussion of the basics up in one monitor, a code editor in the other, and took a swing at it.

It was better, in the sense that at least I could copy the code when I inevitably botched, but it was still missing the basics. And there was, overwhelmingly, a less than welcome tone of explaining to the normies the magic world of code.

Third: YouTube

After filtering out the inevitable cranks, I did find a few useful YouTube videos. And when they had a "code-along" structure, it really worked for me.

But they weren't consistent. Sometimes the host got bored and simply ended the series without so much as a goodbye end card. Other times, they dragged out the lesson to pack in ads. And sometimes I wasn't comfortable learning about code from a guy who really should have closed all his browser tabs before firing up Camtasia.

At this point, I was about to give up. But I decided to give it one more try, and see if there were any professionals available. Fortunately, there were.

Fourth: eLearning Courses

What I liked about the Premium Python Programming Certification Bundle is that every instructor had a feel for it that only comes from using something daily. The courses were built to acknowledge my comfort level with code without making me feel bad about it.

Each course has a series of short videos divided into sections, making it easy for me to fit a lesson in between breaks at work and after hours on the weekend. I could move at my own pace, rewatching if I stumbled over a concept, or hit yet another segfault.

Ideally, for me, it started at absolute zero and laid a foundation I could build on with clearly explained code-along projects. Here, my arrogance about my long-ago college logic case actually came in handy. After I learned some basic programming that worked, a lesson on conditional statements helped me click it into place.

There were several courses on the fundamentals I could work through to really get the concepts down, and then I was able to move on. I learned about flow control, advanced functions and data types, and advanced concepts before I moved into a few practical applications, such as Spark 3 and automated stock trading.

Along the way, it helped me sort the reality from the hype. It's hard to escape automation as a buzzword, yet handling some of the code helped me better understand both the potential and the limits.

Am I able to automate my way out of doing any work? Not yet, and in fact, I learned why that's a myth. But I've learned enough that I feel comfortable talking about Python at work, that I can take a look at programs and better understand how they work, and even consider developing some of my own personal projects.

I may never be coding all day, every day, professionally. Yet having the confidence to know that, maybe I could, helps me navigate an increasingly code-heavy world.

Want to learn Python yourself? You can get the Premium Python Programming Certification Bundle for $17.99 with the code VIP40 during the VIP Sale.