So I'm trying to learn Python mostly for fun but also to prepare for graduate school next year (i'm going into a quantitative neuroscience program this fall where it will help a lot to be familiar with programming ahead of time).

The problem is I can't seem to find a good resource for learning python. I've read through some python books, I've attempted to go through the python tutorial on python.org but I can't seem to stay focused enough to learn much.

I know the really basic stuff but I lose motivation once I study more complex programming techniques. I know this makes me sound pretty dumb, but in order for me to learn something completely new (like computer programming) I need to have my hand held all the way through the beginning stages. Once I get through that, I'll be fine.

So my question: are there any resources online that present a project in python and then make it super easy to complete? For example, instructions to make a very simple game and then each line of code is presented and explained in detail.

So far I've only found stuff that is too detailed with no goals presented which makes me lose focus easily or projects that are too complex which I have no idea how to start!

I appreciate any advice, thank you!

For what its worth, my own way to learn something is a little different than what you propose for yourself: I find a project (small, accessible) that fulfills some need of my own, and just start in doing it. The result is a useful tool if all goes well, but even if not, I learn quite a bit. You might be able to find a compromise: A tutorial that creates something you would like to have.

So, what small bit of software do you need? A rolodex tool? Something you can use to keep track of the time you spend on various aspects of your work? A tickler file / reminder service? Something like the Unix "fortune" command, but oriented to your own particular tastes? Maybe something numeric? Pick something that "a proficient programmer" could get done in a week or two, and just start. When you get stuck, ask Daniweb for help.

To make "ask Daniweb for help" work well, you do need to design your project so whatever your problem is can be summarized in a copule dozen (or fewer) lines of code. And, when you are asking about real-world problems (which this is: You want something that actually is helpful), it is important to mention the platform and version of Python that you are using.

Good luck.

You may find Head First: Python and Head First: Programming the type of books that really help beginners to get started in a more absorbing way. Getting started is the hardest part - learning then comes by doing.

For what its worth, my own way to learn something is a little different than what you propose for yourself: I find a project (small, accessible) that fulfills some need of my own, and just start in doing it. The result is a useful tool if all goes well, but even if not, I learn quite a bit. You might be able to find a compromise: A tutorial that creates something you would like to have.

So, what small bit of software do you need? A rolodex tool? Something you can use to keep track of the time you spend on various aspects of your work? A tickler file / reminder service? Something like the Unix "fortune" command, but oriented to your own particular tastes? Maybe something numeric? Pick something that "a proficient programmer" could get done in a week or two, and just start. When you get stuck, ask Daniweb for help.

To make "ask Daniweb for help" work well, you do need to design your project so whatever your problem is can be summarized in a copule dozen (or fewer) lines of code. And, when you are asking about real-world problems (which this is: You want something that actually is helpful), it is important to mention the platform and version of Python that you are using.

Good luck.

Thank you for your reply and advice! I was looking around this site and people do seem very helpful so I will have to give it a try with some projects I start with. I just know my questions will be super elementary though!

The thing is I won't really know what specific programs I'll need to make til I start grad school so I'm just hoping to be able to do some general ones now.

You may find Head First: Python and Head First: Programming the type of books that really help beginners to get started in a more absorbing way. Getting started is the hardest part - learning then comes by doing.

I checked this book out and it might be just what I need! I like how the author has all the programs on his website. Thank you!!

I liked how the "head first" book was written but it really isn't helpful past the first chapter unless you already know a programming language. The author actually says this book is for people who already know a language. sigh. it looked promising but i'm back to square one for learning python. thanks anyway!!

OK, so what you really want is a Programming 101 class, and you have decided Python is a good option for the language (good choice, imo). Alas, I've been programming for (OMG) about 30 years, so I'm not really at all familiar with your situation. A quick web search using introduction to programming python turned up several options in the first page of results

I have not read or used any of these: Caveat emptor

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