One of my New Year's Resolutions was to spend more time writing programs and making stuff. I have been able to hack things together using example code with surprisingly good results, but when I tried doing API calls to do some data mining, I hit a wall. I did not know a dictionary from a tuple, and it was time to learn!
Fortunately I came across the Python for Everybody specialization on Coursera. Taught by Dr. Charles Severance (aka Dr. Chuck), the courses are great for anyone who is just getting started with Python. Having some programming knowledge is helpful but not entirely necessary.
The series of classes is an adaptation of Dr. Chuck's courses at my alma mater, the University of Michigan. His well written book, Python for Informatics, serves as the reference for the class. It is available online in PDF format or from Amazon. It is easy to follow along with the lecture using the book, and the exercises are well thought out.
This was my first Coursera course, and I actually did the 4 sections for free. There is a way to validate your work on Coursera if you ever want a course certificate, and I highly recommend doing this. Once I finished the first 4 sections, I decided to do the Capstone project. Since I was going to have to pay for the Capstone anyway, I decided to pay for the whole specialization so I could get a course certificate. To be honest, I don't really need this piece of paper, but I felt that there was so much value in the education that it was worth paying for it.
I am just starting the Capstone project and will report back once it is complete. So far the classes have actually helped me to develop some pretty cool Python applications including:
So if you are tinkering with Python on the Raspberry Pi or any platform, check out this course. I think you will enjoy it!
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