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Top 8 Python Tutorials For Beginners

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This series of tutorials is intended to help anyone learn to program in Python. If you are new to computers, however, you may benefit from the absolute beginner's tutorial: How a Computer Looks at Your Program.

Once you have downloaded and installed Python for your platform or operating system, you will probably want to jump right into programming. Before you do, you should ensure that you are equipped with an editor you can live with and familiarize yourself with the basics of Python programming.

1. Executing a Python Program: Shell or File?

Programming is pointless if you cannot run, or execute, the program you write. Executing a Python program tells the Python interpreter to convert the Python program into something the computer can read and act upon. There are two ways to do this: using a Python shell and calling the Python interpreter with a "bang" line.

2. Choosing a Text Editor for Python Programming

To program Python, most any text editor will do. A text editor is a program that saves your files without formatting.

3. Data Types

In order to program, you need to know the types of containers your program uses to hold your data. This tutorial will help you know when to use which kind.

4. Operators

Before you can calculate anything, you should read this tutorial and learn which symbols mean what operation to Python.

5. Controlling the Flow

Computer programs are all about choices: if low, buy; if high, sell. This tutorial covers the several ways of expressing decisions in Python.

6. Putting it All Together With Syntax

In order for your commands to make any sense to the computer, they must follow a certain protocol, put certain pieces of information in certain places. This "putting together" is what syntax is all about (in fact, syntax comes from the Greek word which means 'put together'). This tutorial will teach you what should be put together with what.

7. Exceptions, Errors, and Warnings

If your programs are going to live in the real world, they had better be able to crash softly. This tutorial tells you how to ensure that.

8. Python's Encodings for Unicode and ASCII

Python's encoding functions offer a means of encoding ASCII in Unicode and vice versa. Any program that might be used on the internet someday will need to work with multiple character sets. Here is how.
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